You Don’t Have to Be a Mom to Enjoy a Mommy Makeover

Contrary to what the name may suggest, a mommy makeover procedure isn’t only reserved for those who are mothers.  While it’s original intent was to identify a procedure that corrects common physical changes that a woman’s body experiences during/after carrying and delivering a child, similar effects can also occur to those who have never had kids themselves.  Mommy makeover surgery consists of a strategic combination of body contouring and breast procedures to remedy effects that natural aging and weight gain/loss can have on the body.  Don’t let a name fool you into thinking that it’s not an option for you, because it is.  With the many benefits combination procedures have, let’s take a look at what mommy makeovers can be for all women.

liposuction-atlanta-georgiaOriginally, mommy makeover was coined as a term to describe procedures that reverse the effects of pregnancy weight gain, weakened abdominal muscles and excess sagging breasts from breastfeeding.  Each surgical plan is customized to give each patient mommy makeover results that mirror a pre-pregnancy body; one more proportionate to the patient’s frame, without all of the excess fat and skin.  The two biggest areas of concern for moms tend to be the stomach and the breasts.  As your child grows in the womb, the abdominal muscles can stretch and become separated from the abdominal wall, commonly referred to as diastasis recti.  On top of weakened muscles, the abdomen can form a pooch and harbor excess skin and fat long after a child is born.  Achieving a contoured waistline can be hard to do with even the most steadfast diet and exercise regimen, therefore tummy tuck surgery tops the list for procedures to re-sculpt the midsection and re-tighten the muscle.

Then we take a look at the breasts.  After breastfeeding, the once enlarged breasts simply will not go back to the position they were once before; the extra skin sags and the breasts become more pendulous and less perky.  We have several options to address these concerns.  First we’ll figure out if you want to go bigger, smaller and possibly add a lift.  With a breast augmentation, we’ll use a pre-determined breast implant to increase the bust and raise the breast higher up on the body.  If you already have large breasts and want them to relieve some of the weight from your body, a breast reduction can remove the excess fat and skin.  When combining a breast reduction with a breast lift we aren’t enhancing the breasts but raising them higher in position, one more proportionate to your body’s frame.  For those that aren’t mothers, gravity takes its toll on the breasts and can cause the same pendulous effects when experiencing dramatic weight gain/loss.  The same combinations would be beneficial to helping restore the breasts to a more youthful aesthetic.

A major benefit to combination mommy makeover surgery is that you’re minimizing several key factors: recovery, time and money.  Having one comprehensive procedure versus say three (for example one procedure for a tummy tuck, another for a breast reduction and another for a breast lift) will reduce the overall amount of time you need to recover.  Less time spent in the hospital means less time spent at home recovering and quicker time getting you back to your regular schedule.  With each surgical procedure there are fees outside the cost of materials and labor like hospital stays, anesthesia, surgical fees and medications.  Each time you have a procedure these are factored into your total costs; if you have one complete procedure, those fees apply to that one procedure versus multiple.

It’s really about when the timing is right for you.  For mothers, the time should be when you’re finished having children because the same physical effects could reverse any results you’ve accomplished from your plastic surgery procedures before that point (the same goes for women who have a tendency to fluctuate in their weight gain/loss).  If you’d like to learn more details on the benefits of mommy makeover or combination procedures, don’t hesitate to contact Southern Plastic Surgery.  For the most up-to-date plastic surgery news and specials be sure to connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Teens and Plastic Surgery: When Is It Beneficial?

I’ve noticed lately a lot of discussion about teenagers and plastic surgery in the news.  When I hear of stories like the “Kylie Jenner Challenge” (a social media frenzy where teens/young adults attempted to suck the air out of shot glasses to create the celebrity’s now infamous “pouty” look; followed by posting videos/pictures of their severely swollen lips after realizing it doesn’t work that way), I am reminded of the real implications society and social media has on teenagers when it pertains to cosmetic plastic surgery.  Collectively, we tend to put age limits on many things and when it comes to our kids, there can be a fine line when considering how young is too young for cosmetic procedures.  Whichever side of the debate you’re on is entirely your own, but let’s take a look at why I believe plastic surgery can be beneficial for some of the younger generation.

Teens and Plastic SurgeryThere are distinct divisions for plastic surgery motivations when it comes to teenagers and they aren’t all that different to those of adult plastic surgery patients.  There are those who may obsess on wanting to address a specific body issue (we call this body dysmorphic disorder; when a patient focuses on their body image negatively and are never satisfied with the way they look), those that are truly suffering physically and emotionally from their physical appearance and then there are those who simply want to enhance certain features (this could be a temporary fad or motivated by public figures as seen on television, movies, etc.).  As a double-board certified plastic surgeon, for me, I work with young patients (and their parents) who are highly motivated for the right reasons, emotionally mature and have also reached physical maturity.  When you have this combination, the procedure becomes more of a necessity for improving the overall quality of life for the teen and in the end, I really do believe that not only the patient, but also the family benefits.

When I speak about procedures among teens, I’m referring to cosmetic procedures and not necessarily medically-required procedures.  Common procedures among my patients in high school and early college years include rhinoplasty (nose surgery), otoplasty (ear surgery) and breast reduction. Overly large breasts can create a number of concerns for young women and men.  It can be especially difficult for student athletes to actively engage in their sport if their breasts cause discomfort and hinder their performance.  In this case, a breast reduction would be explored to remove the excess fat and tissue to a more proportionate breast to body frame ratio.  When a patient approaches a surgical procedure, we want to make sure the body has developed so that significant plastic surgery results aren’t reversed.   For some patients, the nose is such a distinct part of the face and whether it may be too large or perhaps crooked, can cause young patients emotional discomfort.  The facial structure for females matures at age 15 and for men in their early 20’s and at this stage in their growth, rhinoplasty would be the procedure we would explore.  Finally otoplasty, or ear pinning, is ideal for those who want to reduce the size of their large, protruding ears (think along the lines of elephant ears) that make the face unbalanced.

I’m not saying this as a means of encouraging young teens to head to their nearest plastic surgeon if they are unhappy with their appearance; I take this very seriously and spend a lot of time with my young patients and their families when discussing all possible treatment.  The parents should be knowledgeable in the techniques and recovery related to the procedure and willing to consent to their child having the procedure.  In the end, the plastic surgery results that a teen undergoes can have such a positive influence on their wellbeing and ultimately that of family and friends as past insecurities diminish and newly increased self-esteem takes its place.

Don’t hesitate to contact Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C. (SPS) with any questions or concerns you have regarding the procedures we perform and your future cosmetic planning.  You can also keep up with me, Dr. David Whiteman, and the rest of my SPS team on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery topics and news.

New Trend Alert: Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer

According to the latest American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) statistics, 15.6 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed last year in the United States; out of those many millions, over 286,000 were breast augmentation procedures.  The motivation behind this consistent trend can range from women wanting to fill out their clothing to addressing physical effects the breasts can experience during pregnancy and breastfeeding or simply for a confidence booster.  While many factors remain constant with most plastic surgery procedures, here’s a look into a new trend in breast augmentation techniques that has evolved into a viable option for achieving larger, fuller and natural-looking breasts.Breast Size

The key component to breast enhancement has long involved the use of breast implants to augment the size of the breasts.  The main FDA-approved players in breast implants include:

  • Saline implants – made of a silicone outer shell filled with sterile saline solution, many patients choose saline implants because they enjoy the look and feel and prefer their shell to be filled after the implant is inserted (this allows for alternative incision options including under the armpit, around the areola, along the bottom of the breast or around the naval).
  • Silicone implants – made of the same silicone outer shell as saline breast implants except these implants are pre-filled with a predetermined amount of silicone gel.  Some patients prefer these types of implants for their more natural look and also because they are more stable in their form.
  • Gummy bear implants – comprised of a highly-cohesive silicone gel substance that improves shape retention (less rippling like silicone) and ultimately allowing a softer, more natural feel.

Regardless of the type of implant chosen, the technique remains generally the same: an incision is made in a predetermined place on the body then the implant is inserted and either filled to the desired size or positioned above/beneath the chest muscle (all dependent on the type of implant used, your body type and ultimate goal).  Now, fat transfer offers a different approach.

Breast augmentation with fat transfer begins by using liposuction to remove unwanted fat from one area of the body, typically the abdomen, back, buttocks, or thighs, before it is sent through a purification process.  Once purified, the removed fat is re-injected in the breasts to add volume.  The injections themselves can be administered using local anesthetic, making this a minimally-invasive procedure, and carries less risk of an infection largely in part because the materials used to augment are taken from your own body rather than using a foreign object (synthetic implants).  On top of that, many argue that the newly added tissue is more soft and free-moving in comparison to breast implants and creates a more natural look and feel.  The downsides to this type of breast augmentation procedure are that the desired results are not guaranteed.  The fat needs adequate space within the breasts to survive and there is a possibility that some of the fat will be absorbed back into the body, potentially creating breast asymmetry, a need for breast revision procedures or resulting in smaller breasts that the patient originally hoped for.

Before you decide on a specific type of breast augmentation procedure it’s best to do your research so that you can maintain realistic expectations about the type of results you can possibly see.  If you’re interested in discussing your breast enhancement options, feel free to contact Southern Plastic Surgery to set up a consultation.  In the meantime, stay connected with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery trends, specials and updates.