When to Call the Plastic Surgeon
Plastic surgery may seem like the easy answer to all of your postpartum body-image issues. Even a night in the hospital might not sound too bad at this point. However, most postpartum moms are not great candidates for plastic surgery, at least not right away. If you choose to have surgery, you will have a preliminary meeting with the surgeon to discuss the issues you have and their potential solutions. The surgeon will also take photographs and document your health history.
Before you have plastic surgery, be sure that you are done having babies. Getting pregnant after having plastic surgery will reverse its effects. There is no sense going through all the trouble and expense just to have a procedure redone at a later date.
The Right Weight
One of the biggest issues will be your weight. The majority of good plastic surgeons will not even consider working with you until you're at or near your ideal body weight. The reason is that your surgery won't really help or last if you aren't close to this weight when you have the procedure. Liposuction and other plastic surgery methods are not meant to help you lose weight. These surgeries are designed to help reshape and contour your body. Being overweight when you have surgery adds risks to your surgery, including the potential of poor wound healing.
Common Reasons for Plastic Surgery Postpartum
The most common reasons for plastic surgery after a baby are actually not cosmetic in nature. There are some medical reasons to have a surgical repair or plastic surgery after your baby is born. Here are some examples of surgery common in the postpartum period:
To repair a hernia after your pregnancy.
To repair separated rectus abdominis muscles (a condition referred to as diastasis) after carrying a large baby or multiples.
To reconstruct veins, usually in the leg, after suffering from severe varicosities in pregnancy.
To remove excess abdominal tissue that hangs around the waistline.
Choosing Your Surgeon
Choosing the doctor who will perform your surgery is a huge step. You may need to interview several practitioners before deciding on a particular one. Ask lots of questions during these meetings.
Stretch marks may be indicative of the way your body will heal after surgery. If you have deep or multiple stretch marks, you may have more scarring from surgery due to your skin's lack of elasticity. Be sure to question your surgeon about the elasticity of your skin and what you can reasonably expect from surgery.
Be sure to ask surgeons you interview if they have had experience working with postpartum moms. Ask to see before and after photos of women who had body issues similar to yours. Also ask for a realistic estimation of what you can expect. Talk to your plastic surgeon about alternative treatments. Are there nonsurgical things you can do to help your condition?
In the end, be sure the decision to have elective plastic surgery is the right one for you. Many moms are very happy with the results. However, if your problems are more emotional than physical, all the surgery in the world won't help you.