It is a universal phenomenon. Many moms share the same shocked reaction when it comes to catching a reflection of themselves whether walking by a glass window or Facetiming with a dear friend. They no longer recognize the person that is staring back at them. While bringing a child into the world is one of the most rewarding experiences, most moms would like to reverse the unexpected physical transformation that occurs during and after pregnancy. This mommy makeover phenomenon is keeping Aesthetx doctors like Dr. Kamakshi R. Zeidler and Dr. Amelia K. Hausauer very busy. Here is what they had to say:
How do you know if you would be a good candidate for a mommy makeover?
Dr. Zeidler: Moms come to Aesthetx because they want to regain the body confidence they had before having children. If you are experiencing physical changes that do not make you feel like yourself then it is worth exploring this to get an understanding of the many surgical and non-surgical options available. The most important thing to remember is that all of your treatments can be customized and personalized specifically for you to feel feminine and restore your confidence again.
Dr. Hausauer: We now have the luxury to offer a wide variety of treatments from the subtle to the much more dramatic. This is a way of empowering new moms and giving them back a sense of self. There are many new experiences and changes but it’s nice to feel like your body doesn’t have to be one of them.
What is the ideal timing for a mommy makeover?
Dr. Zeidler: I recommend waiting at least three to six months for a few reasons. Most importantly, it is best to wait until after a woman has decided to stop breastfeeding and weaned her child. The amount of anesthesia that remains within the body after surgery should be avoided as to not expose the baby. It is also optimal to make sure breasts return to their normal size which decreases the risk of complications – like milk in the incisions. In addition, this also ensures that the size and shape created with surgery matches what is discussed in the consultation. In terms of the abdomen, women get the best overall results when they lose as much baby weight as they can on their own before surgery.
Dr. Hausauer: For minimally invasive procedures such as neuromodulators (i.e. Botox) or fillers, I also always recommend until after breastfeeding. There is already enough worry during those first few months, so no need to add the questioning or concern that may come with doing any elective procedures.
What are the most popular treatments for moms and what are their respective recovery time?
Dr. Zeidler: At Aesthetx, I would say that the treatments listed below are ranked in order of popularity but again patients can choose which of these treatments best fit their individual needs.
Breastfeeding and pregnancy can wreak havoc on women’s breasts. Once lactation is over, the breasts start to shrink, sag, and lose firmness. A breast lift is a great option, if you want to restore perkiness to the breasts. Breast lifts can do more than lift and reposition the breasts; it can actually reshape the breasts back into a rounder, fuller form. Implants and fat grafting can also be added to their breast lift to restore volume and create a natural fullness.
Recovery Time: Typically with breast surgery, patients usually get back to all light activities, such as driving and going to work, within a week. When fat transfer is done to the breasts, however, the liposuction areas can be quite sore for a longer period of time. Body suits are worn for three to six weeks to offer support and help in healing. Generally light exercise can begin at six weeks.
Women’s abdomens tend to stretch to make room for their growing bellies during pregnancy. As a results some women end up with a stretched out abdominal wall and excess skin that just won’t go away. For patients who desire a narrow waist and flat belly, a tummy tuck can tighten those muscles and remove that extra tissue for a more athletic belly. There are many variations of the tummy tuck and at Aesthetx, we customize the procedure based on each patient’s individual anatomy. These procedures range from a mini with a small skin excision and liposuction, to endoscopic assisted where the mini also includes a muscle repair, to a full tummy tuck that produces dramatic changes.
Recovery Time: With the abdomen, recovery depends on the procedure – anywhere from 2-6 weeks.
If women want to sculpt their body back into shape, a great option is liposuction using Hydrasolve and VaserLipo technology. These approaches allows for greater precision, are easier on the tissues and give a faster recovery time. Another option is CoolSculpting which can permanently remove fat in those who want a non-surgical option. This is usually done in a series of sessions to achieve gradual but meaningful results. these procedures can work just about anywhere; so fat can be removed on the flanks, belly,thicks and even areas on the face such as the neck.
Recovery Time: Liposuction takes a full three months to see the final results but most patients return to normal activities within a week and can begin light exercise at 2-3 weeks. Garments are worn for 3-6 weeks to help shape the body as it heals and postoperative lymphatic drainage massage helps speed up the process.
Dr. Hausauer: Body contouring doesn’t always need to involve surgery. We have a number of women who elect to have CoolSculpting, a minimally invasive procedure that “freezes fat.” This is the perfect option for a busy mom who can’t afford the downtime away from her family or needs to return to work after maternity leave.
Other popular treatments focus on getting rid of the pigmentation that comes up during pregnancy, sometimes referred to as the mask of pregnancy. Melasma is the medical terms and though it often lightens as hormones subside, many women are left with muddy patches. They are extremely sun sensitive so good photoprotection is key. Chemical peels such as the Cosmelan peel or very targeted laser treatments such as the Halo or Clear and Brilliant are other popular ways to restore that glow and even canvas in our practice. It is important to see an expert in this field, however, since melasma is notoriously stubborn and some popular treatments such as IPL/BBL can actually cause it to flare. Personally, I love giving women the confidence to go makeup free – having a few extra minutes in the morning to snuggle with your little one rather than painting on foundation.
This is also the time many women start to think about small amounts of Botox or fillers to help camouflage sleep deprivation and give them that well rested, well relaxed look. The secret is tiny drops to soften lines, under eye circles, or creases. A little bit goes a long way.
Dr. Zeidler: Another procedure that is growing in popularity is labiaplasty. Genetics, hormonal changes, or childbirth can cause the inner labia to enlarge in a way that makes women uncomfortable. While this is not an issue that’s widely discussed, it affects the everyday lives of so many women around the world. It’s more than a problem with aesthetics or self-consciousness about their body, many women have significant discomfort from chafing and irritation when wearing regular clothes, during intercourse, or athletic activities like riding a bike. For so many women, enlarged labia might limit their everyday activities or prevent them from feeling confident in their own skin so labiaplasty can be the first step for women to feel carefree and confident about their femininity.
Dr. Hausauer: Labiaplasty is really an increasingly popular procedure in our practice with immense quality of life implications. Dr. Zeidler and I are always looking for new and innovative ways to integrate women’s health into our practice both in and out of the operating room, so we take pride in creating customized plans that fit each unique woman’s needs.
Is it best to undergo all of the procedures/treatments at once or stagger them?
Dr. Zeidler: It is very common to undergo several procedures at once to maximize time under anesthesia and to go through one recovery period, but it is definitely dependent on the patient. For our patients, we try to reduce the risk of using anesthesia since some procedures can be done with epidurals and sedation – such as on the back and abdomen. This allows patients to only be under full general anesthesia for the breast part of the surgery. Ultimately, this reduces the amount of time my patients are under anesthesia, decreasing the risk of complications and making recovery easier.
Dr. Hausauer: At Aesthetx, we are are always fans of maximizing your downtime and benefits. It’s one of the main reasons that we decided to join forces. So, we try to coordinate and collaborate whenever possible. Then you can get back to feeling and looking like yourself faster.
Dr. Kamakshi Zeidler
Board certified and fellowship trained, Dr. Kamakshi Zeidler is a thought leader in the field of plastic surgery and co-founder of Aesthetx. As an expert in aesthetic and reconstructive breast surgery, she is an active author, lecturer, and clinical investigator for multiple research trials including those that bring new breast implants to market from companies such as Allergan, Sientra, AirXpanders and most recently Motiva. She is a contributor to a couple of upcoming textbooks detailing her unique procedure for breast lift. Dr. Zeidler is committed to innovation and routinely partners with companies to bring new technologies to the market, serving as a strategic medical advisor to the CEOs and executive teams of a variety of the plastic surgery industry leaders. She also serves on the board of directors of Cancer CAREpoint, Silicon Valley’s nonprofit providing resources to those suffering from breast as well as other types of cancer. Dr. Zeidler’s exquisite plastic surgery outcomes have earned her renown not only in the heart of Silicon Valley but also around the world. Her vision of an aesthetic medical practice combining the best of plastic surgery and dermatology with the latest proven technologies is leading a new trend in the aesthetic industry and has positioned Aesthetx to be the destination for the most discerning patients.
Dr. Amelia K. Hausauer
A visionary in the field of minimally invasive aesthetics, Dr. Amelia K. Hausauer is the Director of Dermatology of Aesthetx. She is an innovator and rising star in the world of platelet rich plasma (PRP) — a component of the blood rich in growth factor– and microneedling, spearheading several research trials, serving as chief editor and major contributing author for upcoming textbook, in addition to lecturing and training other healthcare providers on these topics. Moreover, Dr. Hausauer is an expert advisor on laser and injectable therapies. She has served as an investigator on trials for Allergan, Merz Aesthetics, Revance Therapeutics, ThermiGen LLC, Eclipse Aesthetics LLC, and Sciton Inc; written multiple pupublications on neuromodulators (i.e. Botox® cosmetic), dermal fillers, and other aesthetic skin procedures; is a frequent reviewer for the medical journal Dermatologic Surgery; and was selected to participate in the prestigious American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) Future Leaders Network, intended to groom leadership in the field of procedural dermatology.