A woman’s body can change after pregnancy. For those patients wishing to restore their body after pregnancy, there are surgical and non-surgical options available to help women improve their figure and abdominal strength. Post pregnancy procedures, do not follow a specific, standard formula. This is a highly customisable set of procedures that address the problems unique to each mother.
The aim of plastic surgery and non-surgical procedures after pregnancy is improvements in post-pregnancy changes to the body and face. We recognise that new mothers are time-poor, and shorter recovery periods are optimal. As such, we provide you with treatment plans and recommendations to assist you in getting back into your normal day-to-day activities as soon as possible.
Common surgical and non-surgical procedures post pregnancy are those that treat areas like the face, breasts, and tummy:
***Please note, as of July 2022, the Australian Government has reinstated a Medicare Item number for abdominoplasty following pregnancy for patients with diastasis recti (abdominal muscle separation). This new Medicare item number is 30175. Patients must meet several criteria to qualify.
What Surgeries does Post Pregnancy reconstruction consist of?
Abdominoplasty, or “tummy tuck,” removes excess skin and fat, usually from the lower abdomen and repairs separated abdominal muscles. This is a common problem after pregnancy, due to the area being stretched. The surgery also tightens the abdominal muscles resulting in improved contour and tone as well as functionality of the abdomen. An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is best performed after you have completed having children and you are at your ideal, stable weight.
Meet your Surgeon
Dr Steve Merten
Meet your Surgeon
Education and Training:
- Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from Sydney University in 1991
- Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) in 2001
- Fellowships in Aesthetic (Cosmetic) Surgery at the Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery and Monash University
- Fellowship in Breast Reconstruction at the University of British Columbia, Canada
Pregnancy and breastfeeding often lead to dramatic changes in the breast appearance, with loss of volume commonly experienced. This results in breasts being “deflated” and smaller in size, with loose skin and “sagging” breasts. Breast Implants can restore volume in your breasts, aiding in fullness and improving their overall shape.
There are many factors that go into personalising a breast augmentation procedure. Together with your surgeon, you will make choices regarding implant type, size and projection, as well as placement technique and incision location. We utilise Crisalix 3D simulation software to help you virtually “try on” different implants and visualise your results.
Mastopexy, or breast lift, is ideal when you are content with the size of your breasts, and you wish to retain the same size while correcting saggy and/or loose breasts caused by pregnancy. A mastopexy offers women the chance to restore their breast shape and position by lifting the tissue. This provides firmer breasts and better-positioned nipples.
The primary component of breast lift surgery is the removal of excess skin. Redundant skin is excised around the nipple and in the lower breast, then the nipple is repositioned to a higher level on the breast. In some patients, “internal re-arrangement” of the breast tissue is performed to further improve breast shape and position.
With pregnancy and breastfeeding, the ligaments and overlying skin of the breasts stretch and elongate. They may not return to their pre-pregnancy state on their own, and they are not issues that can be addressed with diet and exercise. Breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty) reduces the size of the breasts and creates a more aesthetic shape.
The specialist plastic surgeons at Pure Aesthetics have many years of experience in performing breast reductions, and Dr Merten has trained over 50 local and international plastic surgeons in advanced breast reduction surgery techniques.
Augmentation mastopexy combines a breast lift with implants to increase the size of the breasts while also addressing drooping (“ptosis”) with loose skin, which often results from pregnancy, breastfeeding, and major weight loss.
If there is minimal loose skin present, breast implants alone may be sufficient for filling the drooping breasts. On the other hand, if the breasts are of an adequate size but the tissue has become lax and is drooping, a mastopexy without implants may be more appropriate. The most appropriate surgery or combination will be discussed during your consultation.
Pregnancy does not just change a woman’s breasts; it can also change the appearance of the nipples and areolas. Cosmetic nipple surgery can reduce overly large or long nipples, reposition droopy nipples, correct inverted nipples or resize enlarged areolas. These procedures can be performed at the same time as any other breast enhancement procedure.
Most nipple procedures interfere with the milk ducts, which can reduce the likelihood of being able to breastfeed after surgery. It is critical to take this under consideration as you weigh up whether it is right for you.
Liposuction is an option for those wanting to remove those stubborn areas of fat that, even after diet and exercise, just won’t budge. Hormonal changes that occur with pregnancy and breastfeeding can cause storage of excess fat, particularly in the body’s midsection (that is, the tummy, buttocks and thighs).
Liposuction can assist in reshaping and contouring your body to its pre-pregnancy form. However, the procedure is intended to reduce isolated pockets of fat and is not recommended for weight loss. Ideal patients are those at their goal weight and fitness level. Liposuction can be combined with other cosmetic surgeries such as abdominoplasty to further improve body contour.
Childbirth can alter the anatomy of a woman’s vulva. When this occurs, some women find that activities such as exercising, intercourse or wearing form-fitting clothing become difficult or unpleasant. If you are concerned about the cosmetic appearance of your labia or suffer from chronic irritation, labiaplasty may offer a solution.
Labiaplasty is designed to address looseness, uneven labia and excess tissue. The procedure typically includes removal of tissue from the labia minora or majora and/or reduction of the mons pubis through liposuction. It is also possible to augment the labia majora or mons pubis with fat grafting if they have lost volume.
What Non-surgical Treatments Can Be considered post pregnancy reconstruction?
Anti-wrinkle Injections and Dermal Fillers
After pregnancy and with the new demands of motherhood, women often experience hormonal changes and are chronically tired, both of which can lead to changes in their facial skin. For concerns like fine lines and wrinkles, cosmetic injectables can be used to minimise signs of age, as well as restore volume for a more refreshed, youthful appearance. Both anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers can temporarily but effectively address facial ageing with little to no downtime.
What Should I Consider Before Undergoing a Post Pregnancy procedure?
During your consultation, your specialist plastic surgeon will determine whether you are a suitable candidate for abdominoplasty, breast or other surgery and explain what you need to consider before moving forward. It is important to note that the surgery is not meant for extreme weight loss, and you should be at your ideal weight before undergoing the procedure.
In addition, it is best for this surgery to be done when you have finished having children, as further pregnancy can compromise your results. To ensure your recovery goes smoothly, we require patients to refrain from smoking, as this can complicate the healing process.
What Does the Post Pregnancy Recovery Entail?
The recovery after a Post Pregnancy surgery will vary based on the specifics of each case. Those who desire their breasts and tummy reshaped can often undergo both procedures at once, shortening their recovery and achieving more dramatic results.
For most post pregnancy procedures, patients will need to spend a few days in hospital, followed by adequate rest for the first week. You may begin to move and walk around according to what your surgeon advises. Make sure to have help taking care of young children during this initial period of your recovery. Strenuous activities should be avoided for several weeks to allow yourself enough time to heal.
In general, most patients can expect:
- 1-2 weeks off driving
- 2-3 weeks off work
- 6 weeks wearing compression garments
- 6-8 weeks off heavy lifting and strenuous exercise
More personalised details will be provided to you during your consultation so you know what to expect. This will include post-operative care instructions for resting, wound care, medications, special garments, and when to return for follow-up visits.
What Are the Risks and Complications of Post Pregnancy Reconstruction?
All surgical procedures involve risks and potential complications. The risks that apply to any operation include anaesthesia complications, excessive bleeding, post-operative pain, hematoma, numbness in the surgical area, fluid build-up, infection and poor wound healing. Our team will explain the risks and complications of post pregnancy reconstruction in detail during your consultation as part of your informed consent process.
What Will My Scars Look Like After My Surgery?
As with any surgery, scars cannot be avoided with the post pregnancy reconstruction surgery. While the location and size of each incision will be determined by the specific procedures performed, our plastic surgeons utilise advanced surgical techniques to ensure scars are minimal and are in areas that are easily concealed. More details about how to care for your incisions and promote healing will be explained to you prior to your surgery.
What Is the Typical Timeline to See Results?
Most patients require two to three weeks off work and at least six weeks off heavy lifting and strenuous exercise. You will resume regular activities gradually, as swelling reduces, discomfort diminishes and your incisions heal.
The preliminary results of your surgery will be apparent at the time of your first dressing change. Depending on the procedures chosen, you may notice improvements in your breast, abdominal and hip contours. However, bruising and swelling will still be present, so patience will be required before you can evaluate your final results.
Final results can typically be observed at the three-month post-operative mark. Scar healing is a longer process, and you may not see the final appearance of your scars for up to a year.
Post Pregnancy Before & After Photos
How Much Does Post Pregnancy Body Contouring Surgery Cost?
The cost of a Post Pregnancy procedure will depend upon the combination of procedures being performed, the number of operations needed to complete these, and the extent of the surgical improvement desired. Once your plastic surgeon has tailored a treatment plan to address your concerns, our team can provide you with a detailed plan of the fees associated with your treatment plan.
If any of your procedures are covered by Medicare, you will be responsible for determining this and claiming a rebate from your insurance provider. Our team would be happy to assist in any way we can should you have any questions or concerns regarding the cost of your post pregnancy reconstruction.
Is a Post Pregnancy surgery Only for Mothers?
Post Pregnancy surgery is more versatile than its name might suggest. While mothers are the typical patient, the changes in the body that come with pregnancy are not exclusive to pregnancy. Sagging skin, stretch marks, breast volume loss and stubborn fat deposits can come with lifestyle, hormone imbalances, ageing or simply genetics.
The procedures commonly included in post pregnancy procedures can address these changes, no matter their cause. Anyone seeking a full-body makeover, including men, may be able to benefit from a customised combination of procedures.
Why Choose Pure Aesthetics?
At Pure Aesthetics, we recognise the decision to pursue plastic surgery and the choice of a surgeon are significant undertakings. We consider it a privilege to assist our patients in attaining their goals. Our mission is to provide comprehensive, compassionate and safe care in an attentive and comfortable atmosphere.
Pure Aesthetics prioritises patient education so you feel empowered to make the best choices for your care. Our plastic surgeons, cosmetic physicians and paramedical staff spend a great deal of time getting to know you and answering your questions, so we can best understand what you are seeking from your treatment. This allows us to create a customised surgical plan tailored to your individual needs and desired outcomes.
Every member of our team strives to stay at the forefront of innovation so we may implement state-of-the-art products, techniques and technologies. We pride ourselves on providing a high level of service and natural-looking results.