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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.

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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.

"Breast augmentation was very popular during the 1970s and 1980s," she says. "They called it 'restoration of the breasts due to postpartum changes,' and it was done very, very quietly, and insurance paid for it.  From 1991 to 2003, there was a hiatus because women were scared that implants were unsafe, so they wanted to see the science.  After that, it became safe again, which is why we're seeing [the upswing]."

Jennifer Malone, 32, is one of those moms. Three months ago, the Jefferson, Ga., real estate agent opted for the postpartum plastic surgery trifecta: tummy tuck; breast lift plus augmentation; and liposuction on her legs, arms, stomach, and lower back. 

Later this year, Malone, who has three school-age children, also plans to take advantage of the free liposuction "touch-ups" included in the package.

"I can't wait," she says.  "And if the boobs start resagging, she'll relift them for free, too."

Costs and Complications

Those changes didn't come without pain, however.  While serious complications and death are infrequent, pain from the procedures can be severe, especially in the first several days after surgery.

"I was prepared for the worst, but I was off the narcotics in three days," says Malone.  "The first 24 hours is, by far, the most awful time of your life, though.  It was pure hell."

Still, Malone says her recovery period was surprisingly easy, and her scars are rapidly disappearing.  Brock was also amazed at how quickly she bounced back -- although the first three days after her surgeries were both very painful.

Brush Up on Beauty

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