Pregnancy Effects Your Body, But There Are Surgical Options in Houston by Dr. Ravi Somayazula
Pregnancy is certainly something celebrated around the world, after all, it is a milestone for every family. From baby shows to gender reveal parties to push presents, there is a lot of love and affection bestowed towards moms-to-be. Having children is rewarding in so many ways, however, there are some physical effects of pregnancy on the female body that causes negative repercussions. Pregnancy can lead to permanent changes that can affect both the breasts and the abdomen. Here at Houston’s Body by Ravi Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics, our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ravi Somayazula can help get your pre-pregnancy body back.
All too often, many women tell us the same thing: “After my pregnancy my belly just doesn’t look the same. I’ve been exercising, doing sit ups and watching my diet, but my belly doesn’t seem to look the way it did before my pregnancy.”
During pregnancy, women gain a varying amount of weight. Some or most of this weight may be lost afterwards. If a woman become pregnant multiple times, they repeatedly gain and lose weight. This leads to a yo-yo effect in which the abdominal wall and its contents are stretched out multiple times. This leads to musculofascial and skin laxity, also stretch marks appear on the tummy and areas of lipodystrophy, or fat deposits, form.
The more significant the weight gain during pregnancy, the more likely you will have these resultant changes; therefore, a tummy tuck (also called an abdominoplasty) would be needed. The degree of weight fluctuation also determines the amount of excess skin. The amount of excess skin that needs to be removed to give the contoured body most women are looking for will be determined by Dr. Ravi. The more skin that needs to be removed will ultimately lead to a longer abdominoplasty scar.
The musculofascial laxity (which causes abdominal muscle separation called diastasis recti) is addressed intraoperatively by Dr. Ravi using permanent sutures to tighten the six pack muscles. This maneuver flattens the abdominal wall by pushing inward the intra-abdominal contents. Finally, areas of liposuction are performed at the same time as the tummy tuck to fully contour the abdomen. A tummy tuck alone will not get rid of all the fat that in most cases is needed. Typically, the areas treated with liposuction are the upper abdomen, waist, mons and lower back; additional areas moms choose to liposuction are the back and bra rolls. This entire process helps to rejuvenate the midsection and helps moms look the way they did before having children.
Pregnancy obviously affects the breasts as well. During pregnancy, the breasts engorge under the hormonal influence of mainly estrogen and progesterone. After a woman is done breast feeding, the glandular breast tissue involutes and shrinks down. The breast may appear deflated due to loss of volume at the upper poles of the breasts, as well as overall loss of volume.
With multiple pregnancies, this cycle continues, and the breasts will appear to be sagging due to more skin than needed to support the breast tissue. “Sagging” of the breasts can result in glandular sag (also knowns as ptosis), nipple ptosis or a combination of the two. This sagging is a result of stretching of the ligaments of the breast, known as Cooper’s ligaments. These ligaments attach the breast tissue to the chest wall. When tight, these support the breast nicely, keeping the breasts looking perky. These ligaments become loose because of having children, causing the breast to fall or sag. In these cases, not only does the breast itself sag, but the nipple position falls to varying degrees below the breast crease or fold.
After having children and breast feeding, or even without breast feeding, many women unfortunately feel their breasts appear unattractive compared to the “perkiness” they had prior to having children. With a breast lift (also known as mastopexy) surgery, Dr. Ravi can correct the postpartum deflated breast and glandular or nipple drooping/ptosis.
At the initial consultation for breast rejuvenation, Dr. Ravi meets with all his patients for a thorough physical evaluation and to have an in-depth conversation about what bothers them about their breasts and what their goals are. If the main concern is sagging of the breast, a breast lift or mastopexy procedure would likely be recommended. This can be performed either with or without breast implant placement at the same time. In many cases, the concern is sagging and loss of volume. In these cases, the patient’s goals will likely require a breast lift with implant placement.
If you’re an individual concerned about your abdomen or breasts as a result of pregnancy, these above mentioned procedures may be right for you. Dr. Ravi is happy to see you for a consultation to determine what would be best for you. He is also an expert in Mommy Makeover procedures which are typically a combination of a breast surgery and tummy tuck. Call us today at 281-242-1061 to speak with a Patient Care Coordinator to get all your questions answered. Body by Ravi Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics, the office of Dr. Ravi Somayazula, is in the Spring Valley area of Houston, right off the I-10 feeder. We are easy to get to from all part of town, including the Galleria, Bellaire, Memorial and Katy, Texas.