Dr Kohout's Plastic Surgery Blog

Plastic Surgery After Pregnancy

Mark Kohout - Sunday, February 24, 2013
pregnant bely with stretch marksToday, I would like to cover the topic of post-pregnancy plastic surgery.  A lot has been written about the “mummy-makeover”, which I think is a terrible moniker.  However, there is no doubting the relevance of the concept and the increasing popularity of plastic surgery after pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding has many effects on the  body, most of which are unpopular with the new mother.  

The most common areas of concern are:
    • Breasts: Droop and loss of volume, particularly in the  upper part of the breasts
    • Stretched and loose abdominal skin and weak, bulging abdominal muscles
    • Vaginal looseness

My patients commonly request correction and improvement of any of the three areas and sometimes more than one area.  For instance, the correction of abdominal looseness and breast droop is a common combination.  Vaginal tightening and breast surgery is also quite a common request.  I have now had a handful of patients requesting all three.  Here we have to mention that doing all three procedures may not be feasible or advisable as such an operation may take 6 hours or so and may be just too much surgery for one operation.  
As a summary of the operations we are talking about, let’s have  a look at breast augmentation  with or without a lift.  This operation is going to depend on how much droop your pregnancy has left you with.  If the nipple is near or below the breast crease, a breast lift may be required for the best-looking, high, firm result.  However, if the  nipple is well above the breast crease, a lift is generally not required.  An implant alone, will restore the shape and fullness in the breast in a procedure that takes around one hour.

An abdominoplasty or “tummy Tuck”  is  a bit more involved in that it requires 2-3 nights hospital stay and around 2.5 hours in the operating room.  This operation removes excess skin/ looseness and tightens up the abdominal muscles which are often weakened or even separated after  pregnancy, leading to a “pot-stomach” appearance.  This  operation takes around 6 weeks to get over fully but if the breast surgery is performed at the same time, there is no additional down-time due to the extra procedure.  An added ‘bonus’ is that if you have a caesarean scar, it is removed during the procedure.  

Vaginal tightening is becoming more common as it gains popularity.  Stretching of the vaginal walls during childbirth can lead to loss of stimulation  and decreased pleasure for both partners during sexual intercourse.  Vaginoplasty can restore the tightness and stimulation. It is a day surgery procedure that takes around an hour to perform.  It is virtually painless although it means abstaining from intercourse for 6 weeks.

Mark Kohout
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