Richard A. Baxter, M.D.

The Art Behind Plastic Surgery

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May 09

Dr. Baxter

The modern mommy makeover: Can you have it all?

Posted by Dr. Baxter

Like motherhood, the modern mommy makeover has changed, and recognizing the importance of individualization is at the heart of both. Not every mom is the same, and the mommy makeover should not be a cookie cutter operation. True, there are things that remain fundamental: pregnancy changes a woman’s body in ways that are not restorable without tummy tucks and breast lifts, and nurturing children will always be a parent’s purpose. The modern mommy makeover recognizes that improved surgical methods need to improve results AND speed recovery to mesh with a mom’s new way of living.baxter-young-woman-and-baby-laptop.jpg

So for Mothers’ Day this year, here are some trends to celebrate:

  • Moms are more highly educated and more likely to have fulfilling jobs. According to a large international survey, motherhood is increasingly recognized as “about being, not doing.” Moms have careers, and want to be recognized for being a good parent, beyond doing a good job of parenting.
  • Despite the fact that women are spending more hours at their jobs, both moms and dads are spending more time with their children. Parenting is becoming more equally shared.
  • Not all moms are the same. Most new moms are millennials, and they dislike being portrayed with traditional clichés. But they do share one thing with their own moms: Control of the household pursestrings. Moms are decision makers and influencers.
  • Women are delaying childbirth so moms are older. This can take a larger toll on their bodies.

How does this relate to the modern mommy makeover?

  • Techniques to individualize the result: For the tummy tuck, there are several variations so the best option for each person can be determined. For implants (if necessary), a variety of profiles and shapes allow for fine-tuning.
  • Faster recovery with less pain: The use of a technique called a TAP block with the long-acting numbing agent Exparel means less pain, less reliance on opioid medications, and a head start on recovery.
  • Progressive Tension Sutures for early drain removal: This is the technique used in the “drainless tummy tuck” but if drains are used they can be removed in a few days instead of weeks.
  • Muscle repair only when needed: Although abdominal muscle separation (diastasis) is typical after pregnancies, it is not always significant enough to require repair. If it is present then the result will be much better with repair but if not then recovery is faster.

There are often special issues with mothers of multiples. The MoMs Makeover emphasizes their needs with enhanced techniques. This can include the internal bra for long-term shaping and support of the breast, and reinforcement of the repair of abdominal muscle separation.

One other universal truth about the modern mommy makeover is that women feel less of a sense of guilt for considering it. What they almost always say is that they just want their old body back (even if a slightly enhanced version.) It’s a quality of life issue, and what better could we want for our moms?

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