From Flab to Fab: Moms Get Sexy New Look
By Sherri Roberts
Looking for the perfect gift for the love of your life this season? What many women would actually like to have might surprise you. In a 2011 survey of mothers taken by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), 62 percent said that—if money was no object—they would consider a “mommy makeover” —a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure combination which restores a pre-pregnancy appearance to a woman’s body after she’s had children. Depending upon the physical improvements she desires, it typically includes tummy tuck surgery, breast augmentation with silicone or saline breast implants, and/or a breast lift, and liposuction.
Statistics reflect the growing popularity of these procedures: Between 1997 to 2013, the number of breast augmentation procedures performed in the U.S. skyrocketed 209.7%, breast lifts increased by 590.2%, and the number seeking tummy tuck surgery grew by 370.8% (source: American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery).
What is a Mommy Makeover?
To discover why mommy makeover surgery is such an appealing option to many, consider what happens to the body during pregnancy. The abdominal skin and its underlying muscles undergo extreme stretching as the baby inside grows. Adjacent areas such as the waist, hips, and thighs often stretch and accumulate extra fat, as well. After childbirth, this leaves a lot of women with added bulk in unwanted places, loose skin and muscles that can’t be improved through exercise or diet, and breasts that have lost volume and firmness.
While having a baby is one of life’s greatest, cherished gifts for many women, the lingering physical effects upon their feelings of attractiveness, confidence and enjoyment of intimacy often impact them in more ways than they may consciously realize. In a survey of 150 consecutive tummy tuck patients of Houston plastic surgeon Dr. Chris Patronella over the past 18 months, approximately 90 percent of patients reported improvement in their comfort with intimacy and their sexual relationship with their partners.
This is why mommy makeover surgery is such a significantly positive, life-changing experience for so many beyond the physical transformation it renders. From a surgical perspective, this is what takes place:
Dr. Patronella resculpts the breasts to give them a fuller, shapelier appearance that fits an individual’s unique anatomy. A breast lift may be performed alone or in conjunction with augmentation to give the breasts a perkier, youthful shape and position on the chest.
Tummy Tuck Surgery
Dr. Patronella restores a smooth and toned appearance to the abdomen using the detailed True Form Tummy Tuck® method he developed. With this procedure, he incorporates numerous artistic details to the standard tummy tuck technique with advanced scientific techniques to give the abdomen a natural-looking, softly-contoured, elegant beauty.
For the majority of his mommy makeover patients, Dr. Patronella also performs liposuction to remove excess fat from areas adjacent to the abdomen. With this step, the goal is to give areas such as the waist, hips and thighs more ideal contours so their appearance blends seamlessly with that of the newly rejuvenated abdomen.
Beyond the clinical description, the words of those who’ve undergone mommy makeover surgery with Dr. Patronella conveys a greater understanding of its more far-reaching effects upon the body, mind, and spirit. One—a physician and mother of two, describes it this way:
“Having two children left my abdomen very loose. I had an abdominal and umbilical hernia, and a bulging stomach. I was fed up trying to figure out what to wear each day to try and look good. And I wanted to wear a bikini once again. [After having a tummy tuck, breast augmentation, breast lift, and liposuction], I can wear anything now. It has done amazing things for my self-esteem.
After surgery and swelling went down, I was wearing clothes that were more revealing; whereas, I used to be covered up. Random people were commenting on my appearance, and people seemed to gravitate more toward me—maybe the confidence level went up. After a decade, my husband and I started to go out and dance—enjoy life. There are layers to me—like an onion. Before surgery, I had the respect professionally. But this opened up my social life. I feel more myself, with no self-doubt. I’m amazed by the surgery’s impact upon me emotionally. And this summer I’ve been so confident in a bikini!”
Weighing the decision to pursue mommy makeover surgery evokes a complex mix of emotions for many women: excitement about the possibilities and guilt which questions the validity of investing in themselves in this way. Mari, who had a combination of breast augmentation, breast lift, and tummy tuck surgery, has advice for moms who may be conflicted about pursing this option for themselves.
Prior to having surgery, she was disappointed that, after having four children, her once attractive C-cup breasts had shrunk to a smaller, less shapely size, and her formerly tight abdomen now resembled a look she described as a stretched out “kangaroo pouch.” Upon observing the impressive cosmetic plastic surgery results of a neighbor, Mari decided the time had come to take action about the physical concerns that weighed on her mind.
“I know many moms who don’t want to go to the pool” because they are self-conscious about their bodies, but they don’t seek plastic surgery to address their concerns “because they’re nervous about it,” said Mari. “But once you go through it, you’ll love the results and never regret it. It makes you feel a 1000 times better.”
For more information about Mommy Makeovers or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Patronella please contact us.