From the 5 Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons and 2 Licensed Aestheticians at Forsyth Plastic Surgery and The VISTA Aesthetic Center
BY ELLEN DEROSSET BASSETT
Whether it’s been two months, two years, or even 20 years after having a baby, you may look in the mirror and wonder whether it’s even possible to get your body back to looking like it did pre-pregnancy. The good news is there’s hope for breasts that don’t exactly look perky, that extra volume around your abdomen, loose skin around your waist, stretch marks, or a noticeable scar from a C-section. The five board-certified plastic surgeons at Forsyth Plastic Surgery (FPS) and the licensed aestheticians at The VISTA (FPS’s in-house aesthetic center) have some great thoughts and recommendations for you.
Dr. George Lawson, a board-certified plastic surgeon at FPS, gives a great overview of some of the options available to women. He says, “There are so many things we can do to help patients get their bodies back post-pregnancy and feel great about the way they look. And we love meeting with moms to talk about their options.” Dr. Lawson explains, “Some surgical procedures like a tummy tuck or a complete mommy makeover will require downtime, while other options, like CoolSculpting and CoolTone, are non-invasive and you can come in for a treatment and then go right back to your normal routine that afternoon.”
Dr. Leslie Branch, a board-certified plastic surgeon who had twin boys in November of 2019, says, “We have a lot of people who come in to talk about having a mommy makeover for the breasts and belly – two areas that are affected the most by having kids. During this surgery, we tighten, lift and contour.” Dr. Branch notes that a mommy makeover will be very different for each patient. She notes, “One patient may need implants or a lift and another may need a breast reduction with a tummy tuck or liposuction. I recommend patients come in for a full evaluation by one of our doctors here and then we can talk about your expectations, discuss what you might need and consider the downtime to decide what’s the best option.” Fortunately, a mommy-makeover can go a long way to helping moms start feeling great about their bodies again. Dr. Branch says, “The results can be very dramatic. Some women will lose multiple dress sizes and fit completely differently in their clothes.” She emphasizes that a mommy makeover is not a weight loss surgery but more of a shape surgery.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Andy Schneider has seen many moms get their shape back after pregnancy. He says, “For women who have just a little fat pocket after pregnancy, maybe the first thing I would talk about is liposuction. Liposuction is removing all of the fat, but leaving the skin behind. For women who have a lot of stretched out skin, well these folks either need a mini or a full tummy tuck.” Dr. Schneider says that while they usually advise women to wait until they’ve had all of their kids before undergoing a procedure like this, “it really is a great option for turning back the clock and getting your figure back to what you had before pregnancy.”
And what about women who’ve just had a baby in the last year? Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. John Fagg says, “If it’s right after you’ve had a baby, we would, of course, emphasize exercise and a healthy diet. Patients need to have stopped breastfeeding before they decide to have something done. Your skin stretches and your breasts get larger when you’re pregnant. For some lucky people, the skin goes back. For other people, the skin never goes back and the breasts never go back to the same shape. In this case, the patient could consider a breast lift and also a tummy tuck or liposuction or CoolSculpting or all three. And they can be used in combination.”
Gina Racca, the head aesthetician at The VISTA, is a fan of CoolSculpting herself. She says, “For non-surgical reshaping, I would definitely recommend CoolSculpting. I’ve had the treatment personally in several different areas. It works wonderfully on the waist area to give more of an hourglass shape.” Gina explains that CoolSculpting is approved to work on nine different areas of the body. She also loves CoolTone, a non-invasive way to tone and tighten. She says, “We’ve seen excellent results with CoolTone. You can treat your stomach, buttocks, the front of your thighs, and your inner thighs.” Gina notes the treatments are only about 30 minutes, so you can even come in during your lunchtime.
Dr. Gilson Kingman, another board-certified plastic surgeon at FPS, says, “We do see a lot of patients who are really ready to pull the trigger on what we call a ‘mommy makeover’ but part of this may be repairing abdominal muscles.” He says, “After pregnancy, we see muscles that have been pushed apart, so many of these patients will do better with an abdominoplasty. When we remove skin and fatty tissue then we are right down on the muscle and we can pull the muscles back together where they belong.” The result? A flatter, smoother abdomen that may make a patient feel much more like their pre-pregnancy self.
And what about stretch marks and scars from C-sections? Aesthetician Kinsley Nix says, “Our ResurFX laser is amazing for stretch marks after pregnancies. We can also treat the whole area with a Retin-A product to encourage collagen production. We also have an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) laser that can help with redness.” Kinsley notes that the stretch marks may not fade away completely, but you’ll definitely see a change. She also recommends using products that they sell at The VISTA that will help smooth the skin as well.
To book an appointment with any of the plastic surgeons or aestheticians at Forsyth Plastic Surgery or The VISTA, please call the Patient Care coordinators at 336-765-8620.
Non-surgical ways to contour your body:
- CoolTone treatments
To treat stretch marks and scars:
- ResurFX and IPL treatments for stretch marks
Surgical ways to get your body back along with diet and exercise (after you’ve finished having children)
- Mommy Makeover
- Tummy tuck
Tightening loose skin