A mommy makeover typically includes a combination of two or more procedures, such as a tummy tuck, breast lift, breast augmentation and liposuction. ABC News in San Francisco is reporting a new twist on the makeover for moms — combining the cosmetic tummy tuck with a medical surgery for bladder problems.
An ob-gyn and a plastic surgeon teamed up to perform the two surgeries: a pelvic sling procedure to correct bladder issues that arise after pregnancy and a tummy tuck to remove excess fat and skin from the abdomen and tighten abdominal muscles.
ABC interviewed one mother who said her two pregnancies took an embarrassing toll on her body. “Every day you have to wear these thick pads so that you stay dry. Going down the steps, picking up your child from the car seat, a little bit of exertion you get wet,” she explained.
Rather than having her bladder issue fixed with conventional surgery, she decided on the combination procedure. “I know I’ll never be the same as before I had the children, but I think it will be spirit lifting,” she said.
“I like to call this the ultimate mommy makeover,” said plastic surgeon Carolyn Chang, MD, FACS, who has performed tummy tucks after the pelvic sling procedure at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.
The bladder procedure takes about a half hour, after which Dr. Chang performs the abdominoplasty.
Surgery always carries risks, and one of the downsides of combining procedures is a longer time in the operating room and a potentially more complicated recovery if there are problems with either surgery.
There are, however, some possible benefits to combining the procedures. The costs could be lower, because while the tummy tuck isn’t covered by insurance, some shared expenses – such as anesthesia and the recovery room — may be. Another possible advantage is that the patient will have a single recovery time for the two procedures.
Dr. Chang also pointed out another benefit: “You’re doing a surgery that you want with a surgery that you medically need and that makes having surgery in general much more palatable.”