Should I Get a Mommy Makeover?

Sue Chung Health Guide
  • It's been a few years since I had children, but I still don't have my pre-pregnancy body back. I exercise and eat well, but I still want surgery. Are there places that specialize in this type of surgery? Is it safe to go with this option?

     

    Mommymakeovers.net. It sounds like a casting call for a new reality TV show. Overworked, harried moms from around the country gather in some remote location and compete each week for luxuries like manicures, massages, maybe even a seaweed wrap.

     

    In reality, websites like this one are popping up all over the internet and what they're advertising is not quite as gentle as a few superficial fixes. Instead, they're marketing what are starting to be referred to as "mommy jobs"-a combination of several plastic surgeries aimed at erasing any shreds of physical evidence that a woman has gone through the life- and body-altering experience of pregnancy.

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    What can you expect with a mommy makeover? It usually involves a breast lift, a tummy tuck, and liposuction. Dozens of doctors across the country now advertise these combination surgeries in this manner and many women say they feel better about their bodies after regaining their pre-pregnancy forms. Over the last year, over 300,000 women between the ages of 20 and 39 opted for the mommy makeover, raising its popularity by 11 percent since 2005.

     

     

    Despite the cheerful way these surgery packages are portrayed, there are real dangers behind any serious surgery. Any single procedure carries risks, but a combination of procedures raises these risks, which can include everything from infection to death.

    And while the doctors who perform mommy makeovers tout all-in-one surgery as a convenient way to get your pre-pregnancy body back in a flash, other doctors continue to look askance at what they perceive as a bottom-line marketing tactic. On their website, Dallas-based plastic surgeons Dr. Harlan Pollock and Dr. Todd Pollock state: "The term 'makeover' tends to trivialize a combination of major surgical procedures."

    Today's popular media pushes an exacting and narrow definition of beauty and women's bodies. From the furor surrounding the modeling world and its emaciated young women to the debate over how creative a professional photo retoucher should be when it comes to a celebrity's less-than-perfect image, women are hardly (if ever) immune from the pressures of physical perfection.

    However, describing a post-pregnancy body as a "deformity" that requires repair is not only inaccurate but highly offensive to the women of previous generations who lived without the benefit (or curse) of plastic surgery. And while mommy makeovers may be in vogue at the moment, even critics of the procedure still point out that while the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported a rise in cosmetic surgeries in women of child-bearing age over the past year, there are no clear numbers as to how many of these child-bearing women actually have children.

    In the end, there is nothing wrong with opting for a tummy tuck or a breast lift after your body changes due to pregnancy. But do the research and find not only a reputable plastic surgeon, but also one who views your health and not your wallet as his or her top priority. Since a mommy makeover can run anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000, take care to spend wisely.

Published On: November 09, 2007