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Mommy Makeover: A Plastic Surgery Trend

A growing number of women are undergoing mommy makeovers -- plastic surgery procedures that restore their post-pregnancy bodies.

By Annabelle Robertson

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

WebMD Feature

When Lisa Brock, of Lebanon, Pa., decided to get a breast lift and augmentation one year after delivering her fourth child, she had no idea she was embarking on phase one of her "mommy makeover."  She just knew she wanted her old breasts back.

"Before children, I was a full C cup," she says.  "After breastfeeding all four kids, I was less than an A.  I was a board.  I just hung.  Even my mother said she'd never seen anyone that needed surgery more than me."

Even though Brock was only 29 at the time, she had the surgery and was thrilled with the result.  Now, the licensed practical nurse, who is 31, has just gone back for more.  This time, she had a tummy tuck.

"God forbid I should have lifted up my shirt and let someone see that bump," she says, referring to her sagging stomach, which eight months of steady dieting and daily workouts had done nothing to cure.  "It's not fat.  It's just loose skin that I have no control over."

Brock is part of a growing number of women undergoing mommy makeovers -- multiple plastic surgery procedures that restore, or improve, their post-pregnancy bodies.

While it's difficult to come by exact numbers for mommy makeovers because it's a marketing term, not a surgical one, Douglas Mackenzie, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Santa Barbara, Calif., says that mothers are by far his largest demographic. He attributes the trend to our obsession with youth as well as the public's acceptance of plastic surgery.  Even the numerous television makeover shows, he says, are merely an indication of a boom that began awhile back.

"Unlike our parents generation, [these mothers] want to stay young and feel young, and preserve the body they've had," he says.  "The music they listen to, the restaurants they go to, the clothes they wear, all have a lot to do with it.  It's a new generation."

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS), 36% of the 9.9 million surgical and minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures performed in 2006 were on patients between the ages of 30 and 39; 29% of them were aged 20 to 29.

Breast augmentations increased 55% from 2000 to 2006, going from 212,500 procedures to 329,326.  Breast lifts -- another favorite among the mommy makeover crowd -- went up 96% during the past six years, with the total number of procedures going from 52,836 to 103,788.  Tummy tucks jumped a whopping 4,384% and buttock lifts increased 174%. 

Even cosmetic genitoplasty, which often includes modification of the labia minora or labia majora, has come into vogue.

Laurie Casas, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon and the co-author of a textbook on cosmetic breast augmentation, insists that while plastic surgery patients may be getting younger on the whole, postpartum plastic surgery for mothers isn't new.

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