Advances in Tummy Tucks, Body Contouring, Brazilian Butt and Mommy Makeover Procedures
In this insightful interview with Aesthetic Insider™ Dr. Irene Tower, a cosmetic surgeon who practices at Inland Cosmetic Surgery in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, discusses how her expertise in cosmetic surgery helps patients regain their pre-pregnancy body, as well as those that have experienced extreme weight loss. Dr. Tower’s approach to tummy tucks, body, arm and thigh lifts, and her unique approach to breast lifting and breast augmentation brings a more youthful and aesthetically improved physique to all her patients. To learn more about Dr. Tower and the aesthetic beauty and anti-aging procedures offered at Inland Cosmetic Surgery, visit www.inlandcosmetic.com or call (909) 987-0899.
Who is a likely candidate for a body contouring procedure?
Generally, patients with excessive stretching of the skin caused by a pregnancy or weight gain lose the elasticity in their skin and once that elasticity is gone, it is not likely going to come back and instead leaves stretch marks and loose skin in its place. When this happens the skin does not retract back to its normal tightness so we step in with cosmetic procedures that help a patient return to that pre-pregnancy, or pre-weight gain body. We are seeing a high number of patients that have undergone a weight loss procedure such as gastric bypass or gastric sleeve. For those patients we have to address the loose skin on all parts of their body, rather than just the tummy area as we would with a mommy makeover.
What is a Mommy Makeover?
A mommy makeover is a general term we use for any combination of breast and tummy procedure as those are the areas most affected during pregnancy and childbirth. However, at Inland Cosmetic Surgery we treat each patient individually so a mommy makeover will vary from one patient to another. Most women do feel some effect from pregnancy and childbirth which could result in minor stretching of the skin and muscle and a small amount of weight gain, all the way up to excessive stretching of the breast tissue and abdominal muscles, volume loss in the breast tissue and a lot of weight gain. Therefore, we may offer any combination of a breast lift or breast augmentation, a tummy tuck or mini-tummy tuck as well as liposuction or cellulite treatments if required. Some moms feel a loss of confidence about their body and it is our goal to help them feel good about themselves again.
What is the difference between a Mini Tummy Tuck and a Tummy Tuck?
That’s a great question. When we are talking about extra skin, we try to evaluate the different quadrants of the abdomen above and below the belly button. A tummy tuck is performed on patients that, as well as having excess skin after pregnancy, also experienced extreme muscle stretching and, in some cases, a hernia that results in a separation of the muscle wall. In this patient, we have to delicately tighten the muscles so they are fully supportive, remove the excess tissue and place the incision in the bikini line so that the patient has no obvious scarring after surgery. We may also have to repair the belly button if that has been stretched or distorted. We have coined the phrase the “Inland Inny” for our belly button repair procedure which our patients love. A mini tummy tuck addresses the skin at the lower portion of the abdomen which has been stretched and just won’t return to its prior state. This patient generally does not require any muscle tightening or a new belly button but does need to remove some excess skin. The nice thing about doing a mini-tuck is that we can do more liposuction of the entire abdomen as we are not removing as much skin, so we can be a little bit more aggressive taking out any excess fat.
How long after delivery can a patient seek a Mommy Makeover?
There is really no certain point, it’s when the patient is ready but we do advise a patient to wait at least three months after delivery before making any changes, and we do suggest waiting until they are pretty sure they do not plan to have any further pregnancies. We also recommend waiting at least three months after breast feeding has ended before having any kind of breast procedure. The breasts need to be dry from milk production, otherwise it can put the patient at a higher risk of infection.
As some moms are having children later, does age make a difference?
We find that general health is more important than age. Women that eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and keep up their protein intake will have a faster recovery. What moms need to remember is that their body has taken a toll from pregnancy, not just physically but at a cellular level, so the healthier they are inside and out when they come in for cosmetic surgery, the better their result will be regardless of age.
How do you help the patients that have already undergone massive weight loss surgery?
Patients who have undergone weight loss surgery often feel much better health wise. They have shed a lot of weight so they feel lighter, can walk further and breath better. However, many of them are disappointed about the way their body looks as they are often left with a lot of loose skin. So while they feel great physically and in many ways are much more confident, many have told me that they liked their body before because the skin was not hanging the way it is after weight loss surgery. They are ready to be active, to be more social and maybe even start dating but they are often held back because of the image they see. The other area of difficulty for this patient is the cost of their cosmetic surgery. Most of it is not covered by insurance and they have already spent a large amount on the weight loss surgery. Once complete, however, it is truly one of the most transformative and life changing surgeries we perform and these patients are usually the happiest and most grateful patients we see. It gives them a new outlook on life and the ability to move on and live the life they have only dreamed about. It’s very rewarding for me too.
What upcoming trends in cosmetic surgery do you see?
Cosmetic surgery will constantly adjust itself and new trends are happening all the time. Right now a lot of women are having their breast implants taken out and just getting a lift and choosing a more natural type of body appearance and smaller breast size. On the flip side, the Brazilian Butt lift is always dominating the headlines and the trend to have a more curvaceous body. On a non-surgical side botox and fillers are in high demand so we are seeing a lot of lip and facial filler patients that are seeking youth without surgery. Patient safety and natural results are an on-going trend in our industry, and each year procedures just get better and safer and I think the results are showing. Natural is in and I don’t see that going away for a long time.
To learn more about Irene Tower, MD and Inland Cosmetic Surgery, visit www.inlandcosmetic.com or call (909) 987-0899.
To listen to Dr. Tower’s interview at Aesthetic Insider™ Radio, CLICK HERE
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