Blame it on our proximity to the gorgeous, sunny Los Angeles beaches or Louis Reard, the French engineer who invented the modern-day bikini in 1946, but more and more of our patients at Aesthetics MD are part of a national trend that we call The Bikini Makeover (a modification of the commonly known ‘mommy makeover’). According to the ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons), the mommy makeover was one of the most sought-after surgeries in 2012.
The Bikini Makeover comprises modifications of an abdominoplasty (full or modified) combined with a breast augmentation (with or without a lift). It is ideal for women whose bodies have changed due to childbearing, weight loss or age.
These are the words of our 44 year old Mommy Makeover model, Karen, mother of three including twins. The last time she was in a bikini was eight years ago. Since then, she’s been resigned to tankinis and blousy cover-ups.
“Twins do bad things to your body,” Karen jokes. After her twins were born Karen did everything to get her old body back. She worked out – yoga, pilates, spinning – ate an organic, balanced diet and was patient with herself. Yet, after five years, she had to face the fact that no matter how hard she worked her bootie in Boot Camp and no matter how well she ate, her stomach still protruded like she was five months pregnant and her small breasts sagged.
It wasn’t only Karen’s body that was affected. Her self-confidence was also sagging. “It was getting to the point where I was self-conscious, especially in the bedroom,” she confesses. “I only wanted to be intimate with my husband with the lights off.” Karen, like so many other women who contemplate plastic surgery, grappled with not only her self-esteem, but also the idea that it shouldn’t matter to her how she looked. After all, it didn’t matter to her husband who found her just as beautiful as the day they met 13 years earlier. “No matter how much I thought it shouldn’t matter, the truth was, it did—to me.”
Karen’s Mommy Makeover included a breast augmentation with silicone implants and a modified abdominoplasty. With a full abdominoplasty, the incision is larger (usually hip to hip) to accommodate the removal of excess sagging skin. The incision for a mini-tummy tuck is just a little larger than a C-section, so the scar is easily hidden under a bikini bottom. Not every patient is a candidate for a modifed abdominoplasty. However, Karen’s issue was more related to a protruding stomach caused by the weakening of the muscular fascia of the abdominal wall than excessive sagging skin, so she presented as the ideal candidate.
One of Karen’s concerns was the overdone plastic surgery look that we’ve all become accustomed to seeing in the media. “I always thought plastic surgery was like what you see on TV, bloated faces and overdone breasts. But then I saw Dr. Anton’s before and after pictures, and everything he does is so natural. He really stood out amongst the other surgeons.”
To achieve Karen’s natural Mommy Makeover results, Dr. Anton has perfected several surgical techniques, including his signature procedure, the Triple Tuck Abdominoplasty. Imagine the abdominal muscles being encased in densely cross-linked fibers, fascia, that present something like a corset. A tummy tuck is like going in and tightening up the “corset”.
Dr. Anton uses a triple plication technique. Rather than tightening only the midline, which tends to distort the abdominal musculature, Dr. Anton first tightens the midline and then also tightens the fascia on either side, in front of the rectus muscle.
With regards to his breast augmentation approach, Dr. Anton always places the implants under the pectoralis major muscle because this gives the upper breast a more natural slope and not the artificial roundness of an implant sitting just beneath the skin. The combination of using the natural space under the muscle to create this smooth contour in the upper breast mixed with use of the subglandular space to create a nice, round contour in the lower breast pole produces a classically beautiful breast, while greatly minimizing the risk of capsule contracture (hardening of the implant).
Breast lifts (mastopexies) are sometimes needed to tighten the skin envelope and help make the breast more symmetric and youthful in contour. Occassionally, this requires only a little incision along the upper edge of the areola, or it may require the full mastopexy incisions. Many women are unsure of having these incisions, but once they visualize the youthful breast shape that can be produced by tightening the skin and how well the vast majority of these incisions heal over time, they elect to do whatever is needed.
After her Mommy Makeover, Karen is loving her new body and having a (beach) ball! “I didn’t realize how much I was dismissing my body because I just didn’t think it could be like it was let alone better than it was before having kids. Now I feel feminine and it feels very natural to me.”
To find out if you are a good candidate for The Bikini Makeover, click here. If you would like to schedule an in-office or remote consultation, call our office at 949-430-7114 or fill out our online form.
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20331 Irvine Avenue Suite E6, Newport Beach, CA 92660