post pregnancy

Although many women think about the changes their bodies will go through during pregnancy and childbirth, fewer considerations are paid to the effects on the body post-pregnancy. However, many women find that their bodies are not the same after they have had children, and this can be debilitating to confidence. There are a number of procedures that are appropriate for getting post-pregnancy bodies back into shape; most commonly the issues relate to post-pregnancy abdominal tissue and skin laxity, together with laxity in breast tissue and quite often loss of breast volume.


What procedures are most suited to a post-pregnancy body?
The most commonly sought-after procedures for women who have had children are abdominoplasties and breast procedures. During and after pregnancy, the breasts and abdomen are affected, and so breast uplift surgery, breast enhancement surgery and abdominoplasty are the most commonly required surgical procedures after pregnancy.

Why is mastopexy or breast uplift surgery often required post-pregnancy?
During pregnancy, breast hypertrophy occurs with significant enlargement of the glandular tissue in preparation for breastfeeding. Following pregnancy and breastfeeding, the glandular tissue reduces in size but very often the skin does not retract and the result is that the breast and nipple drops. This situation can be corrected using a breast uplift.

Why is abdominoplasty surgery required post-pregnancy?
Pregnancy causes stretched skin and sometimes stretch marks. Often the skin does not retract after the pregnancy and can leave folds and an overhang of skin. At the same time, the enlarging womb can cause the muscles to separate leaving a permanent weakness which does not improve, even after exercising the abdominal muscles. This is called a rectus divarication and amounts to a split in the muscles. Abdominoplasty surgery aims to remove the loose skin and tighten the muscles in order to achieve a flatter appearance.

In some situations where a minimal amount of loose skin is evident on the lower abdomen, a mini-abdominoplasty can be performed. This is quite common in women who have had a caesarean section in which case a small amount of skin can be removed above the caesarean section scar.

Why is breast augmentation required post-pregnancy?
Following the enlargement of the breasts during pregnancy and breastfeeding, an involution of the breast glands takes place and many women find that they have lost volume to their breasts after pregnancy. In these situations, breast augmentation can be carried out using breast implants. For small amounts of enlargement, perhaps one cup size, fat transfer can also be carried out using fat which is taken using liposuction from other parts of the body. However, only a maximum one cup size increase can be achieved using this method.

What is the recovery process for post-pregnancy cosmetic surgery?
If you have recently given birth or have small children, you should be aware that you may not be as mobile as usual immediately after surgery, and make arrangements for this accordingly. All types of post-pregnancy surgery will require a general anaesthetic and some form of hospital stay – usually one night. Following this, time off work of one to two weeks is needed and you will need to refrain from exercise for 6 weeks.

What are the risks of post-pregnancy cosmetic surgery?
The risks associated with cosmetic surgery are not enhanced if you’ve had children – provided that you allow your body to recover for some time, and do not pursue cosmetic options immediately after you have given birth. You should not, for example, seek cosmetic breast surgery whilst you are still breastfeeding. For more information on this and other examples of how long you should wait for post-pregnancy, speak to Mr Chana during a consultation. He will advise you as to the time frame you should adhere to for your surgery.

The risks associated with cosmetic surgery – a chance of infection, swelling, bruising etc. – will be explained to you fully well ahead of your procedure. Please note, it is often advisable that women do not seek cosmetic surgery until after they are done having children. Cosmetic treatments – particularly those performed on the abdomen – are only effective to a certain extent, and putting the same amount of strain on the area for a repeated time has potential to reverse the effects of the procedure. For best results, you should aim to sustain a similar shape and size post-surgery through diet and exercise, so as not to disturb the effects of the procedure and maintain the long-term results.

How do I proceed with post-pregnancy cosmetic surgery?
If you are interested in any form of post-pregnancy surgery cosmetic surgery, you should book a consultation with Mr Jag Chana to discuss your options and to discuss what treatment plan is right for you. Mr Chana offers a bespoke and personalised service, so your individual needs will be thoroughly assessed before a procedure is suggested and approved. Your psychological and physical suitability to surgery will also be considered.

Your consultation is also an excellent opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have about the procedure. Many patients find that being fully informed about the procedure helps to ease the anxiety related to considering surgery.

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