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by Dr. Scott Miller


    It's never easy to lose weight after a pregnancy, and the more children you have, the harder it can seem.  Women's bodies constantly change throughout pregnancy and, with hectic home and work schedules, it has become increasingly difficult and tiresome to regain pre-pregnancy body shape. Some new moms even opt to top off a C-Section with a tummy tuck to maintain their shape.  Pregnancy can affect women's skin, body shape and breasts.  Plastic surgery and some other popular procedures are viable options for women, post-pregnancy. However, there are ideal times to do so. 


The right time

   Post-pregnancy surgeries are most effective if conducted after the weight has settled (without change for three months), and breastfeeding has concluded (no milk for three months). 

   The most appropriate time for any aesthetic procedure is when a feature is very bothersome and can be safely and predictably corrected or improved.  I advise my patients who are planning pregnancy within the year to hold off on breast and body surgeries, as these can be done with greater precision following the pregnancy.  If pregnancy is two or more years away and the issue is distracting to the patient, he or she is usually better off having the procedure. 

   Breast lifts (with or without implants) and body contouring (tummy tucks and liposuction) are by far the most popular procedures to regain a women's pre- pregnancy body.  Often, an implant can restore lost breast fullness.  Other times, a mini or full breast lift is necessary to regain a perky, youthful breast appearance. 

   If skin is taught and thick, liposuction alone can sculpt the abdomen back to its prior definition and shape.  Often the hips can be narrowed this way as well.  Stretch marks and a "skin-apron" are indicators a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) will likely be necessary. 

   While changes are likely with subsequent pregnancies, it does not always require more surgery.  When necessary, such follow-up surgery can often be more of a subtle "touch-up".

Dr. Scott R. Miller, based in La Jolla, is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He has completed an aesthetic cosmetic plastic surgery fellowship and frequently teaches courses on plastic surgery, instructing surgeons in endoscopic (minimal scar) techniques and advanced concepts in facial rejuvenation and enhancement.


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