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5 things to know before your Mommy Makeover

Pregnancy can do a number on your body; here's the skinny on a popular procedure that can help

So, you had your second or third child several years ago, and both you and your husband agree that your family unit is complete. Your life is starting to get back to normal and you have returned to work, or settled into being a stay at home Mom. Thanks to a solid diet and exercise routine that avoids your kids' leftover Mac n' Cheese, you even lost all your pregnancy weight. All is great except for one large detail! Your body just isn't the same since pregnancy.

The combination of pregnancy weight gain, hormones, breast feeding and delivery (C-section or vaginal) can wreak havoc on a woman's body. Breasts can deflate and droop while the abdominal skin loses elasticity and sags and the underlying muscles stretch out and lose function. Many times diet and exercise does not completely provide relief because of the sagging tissue.

Hence the rise in popularity of Mommy Makeover Surgery. This operation addresses the breasts and abdomen simultaneously. A breast lift, with or without implants, rejuvenates the breasts, returning them to a perkier and fuller former self. Tummytuck with or without liposuction, sculpts the region and flattens the stomach. The underlying abdominal muscles are tightened internally, providing a permanent internal girdle. The popularity of this procedure hinges on the "Extreme Makeover" transformation. The dramatic results are realized with one operation and one recovery period. Here are some factors to consider if you are contemplating Mommy Makeover Surgery.

1. You must be healthy enough for this 3 to 6 hour surgery

Most plastic surgeons require medical clearance from your personal physician and if you smoke, stop for at least 2 weeks before and after surgery.

2. Plan on missing 1 to 2 weeks of work

That is, if you have a desk job. Plan on longer if you have a more strenuous job involving physical exertion or heavy lifting. No arduous workouts for 4 to 6 weeks while you recover. If your kids are young and not in school yet, try to get some help for at least the first week after surgery.

3. Plan for recovery time

While you will look very good right after surgery, it takes a minimum of 3 to 6 months for all of the swelling to subside, so don't shop for that new bikini right away.

4. Understand the trade-off

In order to lift the breasts and remove redundant skin and fatty tissues from the abdomen, incisions must be made, which leave scars. The Tummytuck scar is placed very low, below your bikini bottom or panty line, but some scars on the breasts will show when topless, but covered by a bikini top. Your plastic surgeon will counsel you regarding scar care.

5. Do your research

Mommy Makeover Surgery is extensive, but carries a very high satisfaction rate when done well. For that reason, be certain to consult with a board certified Plastic Surgeon, certified by the American Board of Medical Specialities. Contact The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery to locate a board certified plastic surgeon in your area.

About the Author:

Robert Tornambe, MD

Medical Advisor, Trueself

New York City Plastic Surgeon

Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Tornambe has been practicing plastic surgery for more than 25 years. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, was featured in NYMAG's "Best Doctors" issue, and was the Chief of Plastic Surgery at NYC's Cabrini Medical Center for 20 years.

For more information on the Mommy Makeover procedure, click here!