As sure as the swallows return to Capistrano in the Spring, March signals the unofficial start of the plastic surgery season. It’s been a pattern in my practice for at least a decade, though the mix of cases varies. This year it is tummy tucks and breast lifts, in combination called the “mommy makeover” because changes to the breast and abdomen from pregnancy are usually the motivation. Seems like we are doing 3 per week. (See overall plastic surgery trends here.)
There are several potential reasons for March Mommy Makeover Madness, from things as simple as the season signaling a sense of renewal to tax refunds or (more probably) planning ahead for summer. There is some recovery time involved, usually about 6 weeks for resumption of unrestricted physical activity, and the time from deciding to schedule the consult to getting on the O.R. schedule adds additional time that needs to be planned for.
So why consider a mommy makeover? There are still some misconceptions out there so here’s what you need to know: tummy tucks, breast lifts, and breast augmentation are all done for pregnancy-related changes that are not correctable with diet and exercise. For example, a tummy tuck may include removal of localized fat in someone of a healthy overall weight, but it is not a good option for weight loss. Stretch marks still have no better solution than a tummy tuck, and breasts that have deflated after pregnancy will not perk up on their own.
This is not trivial surgery though, despite the cute nickname “mommy makeover.” It’s an important decision, and needs to be made in the context of a supportive home environment. Mom has to be able to be the care receiver more than the caregiver for a little while. But getting your old body back and feeling restored can be a very worthwhile thing.