The Mommy makeover: Getting your body back after baby

BY JENNIFER WALDEN 07.30.12 | 07:00 am

What gift would a new mom give herself after having children if she had the chance? One might guess a day at the spa, a new wardrobe, or maybe a weekly “date” with her personal trainer.  These are all appealing yet unsurprising things, but a recent survey shows that what a new mom really wants is plastic surgery.

A survey released from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) last year shows that if cost were not an issue, 62 percent of mothers said that they would consider a “mommy makeover” that includes procedures such as a tummy tuck, breast augmentation with implants and/or a breast lift.

According to these same statistics, the number of women getting “mommy makeover” procedures is on the rise. Women had nearly 112,000 tummy tucks in 2010, up 85 percent since 2000; 90,000 breast lifts, up 70 percent since 2000; and 296,000 breast augmentations, up 39 percent since 2000. I have found these trends to be right on the mark, as they are procedures I perform most often in my cosmetic surgery practice, Jennifer L. Walden, MD, PLLC, in Austin, Texas.

Before you gasp after reading the latest statistics, I’d like to take a step back here to give some background. This is the point in the article where some readers may infer that the rise in the number of cosmetic procedures is a terrible indicator that women feel pressured to change their bodies for someone else, and that our culture is too focused on that unattainable perfect female body image.

Many patients are asking for these procedures by name, largely because women now openly talk about having cosmetic work done. It’s more culturally acceptable than it was in previous generations, and it’s also more accessible.

I would like to set the record straight here to say that the majority of women seeking these procedures routinely are not doing it for a husband, partner or friend — they are doing it so they themselves can look and feel good again, the way they did in college.

Any woman who has had her abdominal muscles or “6-pack” irreparably stretched out by carrying a baby through gestation, or breasts completely deflated after breastfeeding would agree — so don’t knock it till you’ve tried it (pregnancy, that is. And… well, um, plastic surgery).

In the last decade women’s attitudes about cosmetic surgery have also changed. Today women are not afraid to admit that they love their children, but they wish their bodies looked the way they did before their first pregnancies. And they’re not afraid to acknowledge that they may need a little help beyond a healthy diet and exercise, as many of the physical changes brought about by pregnancy cannot be fixed by diet and exercise alone.

It would be unfair at this point to label the female of the species as being “selfish” for wanting surgery to restore her body back to the way it was before pregnancy and breast-feeding.  Getting mother nature back, yes. Selfish, no. Indeed,  how is it selfish to want your figure back after doing the most selfless thing in the world — becoming a mom? Motherhood in its purest form is, by the way, made up of sacrifice and love.

And the women seeking “mommy makeover” plastic surgery are younger than a decade ago.

In the past it was usually women in their 50s getting these procedures, but today it’s not uncommon to see young mothers in their late 20s, 30s, and early 40s coming in for cosmetic work. They don’t want to wait years to reestablish how they used to look and want their pre-baby bodies back now.

Many patients are asking for these procedures by name, largely because women now openly talk about having cosmetic work done. It’s more culturally acceptable than it was in previous generations, and it’s also more accessible.

So here we have a post-feminist wave of women making decisions for themselves about their own bodies, decisions that early feminists may not entirely agree with. That’s interesting, as the feminist movement was all about making personal decisions about our own bodies.

By the way, did you know Gloria Steinem had cosmetic surgery? I’ve always thought that spoke volumes without saying a word.  She’s an attractive woman (I saw her in a hopping midtown Manhattan eatery recently). The bottom line is, we all care about how we look on this particular planet, even though some don’t want to admit it.

So if you are thinking about getting anything done at all, it’s important to consider the following: plastic surgery techniques and technologies can now be used in an outpatient setting in a very safe and effective fashion, minimizing the amount of downtime, pain, and time away from work. This appeals to many patients.

If you are considering a “mommy makeover”, Dr. Jennifer Walden has these tips:

Wait at least six months to one year after having your last child to undergo “mommy makeover” procedures

Be specific about your post-baby body goals so that I can recommend the most appropriate procedures

To optimize the final outcome, if you are trying to lose weight, do so before undergoing “mommy makeover” procedures

Take a look at before and after photos of patients here who have similar body shape as yours, including height and weight, to get an idea of what to realistically expect given your anatomy.

Cosmetic doctors react to ‘the $25 facelift’

July 24th, 2012, 12:00 pm ·  · posted by 

A product  likened to “Spanx for your face” is being touted as something that can save you a trip to the plastic surgeon’s office and thousands of dollars.

Cosmetic doctors have mixed views about it.

Facelift BungeeA Newport Beach plastic surgeon says he thinks this gizmo is a good idea. He especially likes the notion that people can use it to see how they might look if they’re contemplating going under the knife.

But another plastic surgeon and a cosmetic dermatologist who watched a TV news video about the device say they have their doubts about using it on a daily basis.

The Facelift Bungee — which sells for $25 – has turned up on ABC News, with its inventor Kimberly Aschauer of Palm Beach singing its praises.

“It’s easily inserted, it’s easily removable. I can insert it within 30 seconds every morning. I can take it out in less than 10 seconds,” she said.

From ABC News:

The product consists of two small combs linked by a bungee cord. Users are instructed to make a small braid at each temple. They insert one comb into a braid, pass the cord around the back of the head and insert the second comb into the braid on the other side.

Hair on top of the head is pulled over the bungee cord to hide it.

The device is sold in a little jar …

Asked how she came up with the idea, Aschauer said, “Well, my son was getting married and I went for plastic surgery consultation, and the price was outrageous, so I created this out of pure panic.”

Aschauer said wearing the Facelift Bungee doesn’t cause “any more pain than a ponytail headache.”

You can see the video of how it works here

I ran the story past Newport Beach plastic surgeons Dr. Terry Dubrow and Dr. Douglas Hendricks, and cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Vince Afsahi of Newport Beach and Tustin.

Dubrow said:

“Love the idea! So creative and I bet it works. Great for people who may want to ‘try on’ a facelift before going under the knife or for those who want to look great in upcoming photos to post on their Facebook page.”

The others weren’t sold on it, though.

Hendricks said:

“Since this device puts traction on only one area of the face, I doubt it can do much to make a noticeable change. I really did not notice much change in the [ABC] video  …

“My other point is that the traction is in the wrong direction to get any improvement where it really counts and that is the lower 1/3 of the face.

“Lastly, my biggest concern is traction alopecia which is a common problem for women that have constant traction on the hair such as tight braids. It is a known, common cause of hair loss, which could be permanent. Using this device could put significant traction on the sideburn hair and loss of the hair in that area could be quite noticeable.”

Afsahi also was doubtful about the product, saying:

“I am skeptical. Who is really going to wear this around town? I suppose it may do something for your appearance temporarily, but it seems impractical. If you keep pulling on your hair you can develop a traction alopecia resulting in hair loss. Interesting concept but not a logical solution.”


Photo courtesy of ABC news

Plastic surgery: ‘Wild West’ of medicine

By Dr. Anthony Youn, Special to CNN updated 7:28 AM EDT, Wed July 25, 2012
Editor's note: Dr. Anthony Youn is a plastic surgeon in metro Detroit. He is the author of "In Stitches," a humorous memoir about growing up Asian-American and becoming a doctor.

(CNN) — Martha* had decided to undergo a breast augmentation. She researched doctors and found one she thought was well-qualified; ads in magazines touted him as board-certified and a top plastic surgeon in the area.

Martha met with him for a consultation and underwent the procedure in his office several weeks later. But at home that night, she discovered a shocking sight:

Her breast implants were lodged in her armpits.

The next morning, she rushed back to her doctor’s office. He inspected her chest and, with a quizzical look on his face, declared, “I have never seen this before.”

Martha decided to seek another opinion. A new surgeon explained that the previous physician had botched the procedure. She would need extensive surgery to correct it.

As if this weren’t bad enough, he also informed her that her doctor wasn’t what he claimed to be. Sure, he was board-certified — just not in plastic surgery.

Her “plastic surgeon” was actually an eye doctor.

Stories like Martha’s are becoming more and more common across the United States. Plastic surgery has become the Wild West of medicine, with an increasing number of doctors performing invasive cosmetic procedures without proper training or credentials.

 In my metro Detroit practice alone, I’ve been horrified by dozens of botched jobs. One of my patients, a beautiful 25-year-old woman, was left with shark bite-sized divots all over her thighs and stomach after undergoing laser liposuction by a family medicine doctor.

A local ENT (ear nose and throat) physician took $12,000 from a young hairdresser for two unnecessary operations: insertion of watermelon-sized breast implants and liposuction to her abdomen. The implants were eventually removed, and the liposuction left her tummy a rippled, lumpy mess.

Why does this happen?

Although state medical boards regulate who can obtain a license to practice medicine, they don’t restrict doctors from performing procedures outside of their training or specialty. Once they are licensed, there is no law against doctors performing any medical procedure they want to, as long as the patient consents to it.

As a board-certified plastic surgeon, I can legally perform a knee replacement or hysterectomy, procedures for which I am completely unqualified. This lack of regulation has allowed an increasing number of doctors of all types — including gynecologists, general surgeons and even emergency medicine physicians — to perform tummy tucks, liposuction, facelifts and breast enhancement.

These procedures are almost never performed in real hospitals. Hospitals typically vet their surgeons and allow them to practice only within their field of training and expertise. Doctors get around this by performing cosmetic procedures in their own in-office operating rooms or at ambulatory surgery centers, where the credentialing requirements may not be as strict.

So why do so many doctors reject their chosen specialty and remake themselves as plastic surgeons?

One word: money.

Declining physician reimbursement has resulted in more physicians looking for ways to enhance their income. And plastic surgery is one of the only fields of medicine that is shielded from insurance companies.

So an increasing number of doctors are closing their traditional medical practices and opening cosmetic surgery centers. These physicians learn the basics of plastic surgery through weekend courses, shadowing other doctors and even online webinars. This influx of poorly trained cosmetic surgeons has caused Martha’s story to become just one of many.

If you are considering having plastic surgery, I implore you: Do your homework. Find a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the only plastic surgery board that is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. (or Canadian)

For facial plastic surgery, a doctor certified by the Canadian or American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is considered an equivalent in all states/provinces.

I consider it a privilege that my patients put their lives and bodies in my hands. All surgeons should. In return, we have a moral obligation to only perform procedures that we are fully qualified to do.

No matter how well it pays.

*Patients’ names and identifying details have been changed to protect their privacy. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Dr. Anthony Youn.

Good News For Future Scars

Posted Tuesday, July 24, 2012 by Anna Jimenez, Senior Interactive Editor

Scars are often thought of as battle wounds—reminders of a time and place when the body was put to the test and survived with a story. Anyone who has had a C-section can attest to this. After all, a scar—the fibrous tissue that replaces normal skin after injury—is your body’s way of repairing itself and is a natural part of the healing process.

For instance, while a healthy baby is a good trade out for a C-section scar, some scars, especially those from cosmetic surgery, are not typically ones women want to show off. This explains why so much research continues to be done to improve the look of post-surgery scars. New strategies are constantly being developed and tested and now, scientists at New York University have found a new treatment to reduce or in some cases, stop scars from forming on the skin. Researchers found that applying agents that block certain receptors in healing skin can greatly reduce the scar, producing skin that feels more like the original, unscarred skin. Research is still in the beginning stages, but it could mean that post-operative scar care could be greatly improved.

At this time, there are some good options already available for scars. Nonablative lasers can stimulate the production of collagen from within the body to improve texture and tone on the surface of the skin. “In the past, the go-to in-office treatment for treating scars was cortisone injections and silicone-based sheeting, but today the trend is to use laser devices,” says San Francisco dermatologist Vic Narurkar, MD. “They are more predictable, offer better results in many (but not all) patients, and are especially effective at treating raised, red scars. Plus, they can safely be used on facial scars.” Injectable fillers can also be used with success to treat facial scars, especially those caused by acne.

Most doctors agree that it is also important to continue to treat your scars at home in conjunction with any in-office scar treatment. There are also options like  Dermatix.

However, “it is important to keep in mind that scars fade and usually improve over time without treatment, so the only way to know if a therapy works is to treat only half of the scar and compare to an untreated “control” half,” says Mountlake Terrace, WA, plastic surgeon Richard Baxter, MD. The good news is, much time and research is going into scar treatment, so hopefully one day, they really will be a thing of the past.

Brides who say ‘I do’ to plastic surgery: The women resorting to worrying extremes to look perfect on their big day

By Eimear O’hagan

PUBLISHED:21:09 GMT, 18 July 2012| UPDATED:09:37 GMT, 19 July 2012

 When Alice Lillie walked up the aisle to marry the love of her life, as tradition dictates she had something old (an antique pouch for the wedding rings); something borrowed (a diamond bracelet); and something blue (her garter).

Her ‘something new’ was, however, rather less orthodox. For Alice was proudly sporting a brand-new nose, after paying more than £4,000 to ensure she looked flawless on her big day.

A bride’s wedding preparations used to be relatively simple. A manicure, perhaps some professional hair and make-up, and she was ready to say ‘I do’.

Nose job: Alice Lillie hated the shape of her nose and had £4,200 of surgery before her wedding

But growing numbers of women such as Alice — often influenced by the vanity of celebrity brides — are by-passing the beauty salon for the operating table in their determination to look nothing less than perfect on their wedding day.

One recent survey revealed that 10 per cent of brides now undergo surgery or injections of Botox and fillers before their weddings.

And clinics across the UK are reporting an increase in requests for pre-nuptial procedures — or ‘bridalplasty’, as the trend has been dubbed.

‘We have seen a 13 per cent rise year-on-year in bookings for pre-wedding surgical treatments,’ says Riccardo Frati, consultant plastic surgeon at the Harley Medical Group, adding that the most popular techniques are liposuction and breast augmentation.

So what causes a woman to spend thousands of pounds on procedures that can be risky, and often cost far more than her gown?

And when the confetti has blown away and the honeymoon tan faded, is the expense really worth it? Especially when it’s never been financially more difficult to set up home.

‘I couldn’t face spending my big day stressing about how the pictures would turn out’

For Alice, feeling confident that her wedding photos would be faultless meant her nose job — or rhinoplasty — was worth every penny.

‘As I posed for photo after photo, feeling relaxed and happy, I knew the surgery had been vital to my confidence,’ she says.

Alice, a lecturer who lives in Edinburgh with husband Neil, a college manager, explains: ‘I was born with a lump in the middle of my nose. Throughout my life, I would go to great lengths to avoid having my picture taken.’

She met Neil in 2005, when he was a student and she was working at a university in Cornwall. He proposed three years ago. The couple immediately began planning a wedding in Tuscany, Italy. But while delighted to be tying the knot, Alice, 30, could not stop fretting about her nose.

‘The problem with a less than perfect nose is there’s nothing you can do to conceal it,’ she says. ‘You can pad out small breasts. You can dress to conceal excess weight, but you just have to live with your nose — or have it fixed. I couldn’t face spending my big day stressing about how the pictures would turn out.’

After making the decision to have the operation, she told Neil, 31, what she was planning.

‘Neil was worried in case the results didn’t live up to my expectations, but he supported my decision,’ she says.

In May 2010, Alice, who has two children — Jade, nine, from an earlier relationship, and Cole, four, with Neil — went ahead with the surgery. ‘It was such a quick decision I didn’t tell anyone else,’ she says.

‘I knew there were risks with any operation so, of course, I was a little worried. I’d read on the internet about operations going wrong. But I talked over my concerns with the surgeon and he assured me I was in good hands.’

At £4,200, the surgery cost significantly more than Alice’s £1,000 wedding dress. She paid for it by plundering her savings account and putting the rest on her credit card. So how did Alice feel after the op?

‘My nose was splinted and strapped up, my eyes swollen and bruised — I looked like I’d been in a car accident,’ she admits. ‘It was a week before I saw my new nose and I was thrilled.’

And she was still delighted last August when she and Neil married in Italy in front of 20 family and friends.

‘Neil was happy because I was happy, and lots of people complimented me,’ she says.

Nazar Kazzazi, consultant surgeon and medical director of MYA Cosmetic Surgery, says a wedding often acts as a catalyst for women who want to address issues that are already blighting their lives.

‘Some of the brides coming in for treatment have been unhappy with some part of their body for years,’ he says. ‘But they want their wedding pictures to present the best possible image of them.’

Understandable. But is the cosmetic surgery industry exploiting women at a vulnerable time in their life?

Alice says she was inspired to have her nose job after an advertisement for one well-known cosmetic surgery group flashed on to her computer screen as she searched for wedding venues a few years ago.

While she doesn’t know if it was generated because she had typed in the word ‘wedding’, the advert succeeded in giving Alice the idea of having surgery with the firm.

‘Having a nose job had crossed my mind in the past, but I’d never felt I could justify the cost,’ Alice says. ‘But seeing that advert made me realise I’d never have a better reason to have it done.’

  Breast enlargement: Eneshia Prescott went from a B-cup to a D-cup, left, after she found her perfect wedding gown, but didn’t feel she had the body to match

‘The dress was perfect, but my body wasn’t so I looked flat around the bust’

For Eneshia Prescott, 28, her wedding last year to Andy, a 27-year-old soldier, simply wouldn’t have been as perfect without her new bust. Months earlier, she’d been overjoyed when she’d found her dream dress; ivory with a corseted bodice covered in crystals and a full skirt, it cost £3,200. Just one thing spoiled the effect. ‘The dress was perfect, but my body wasn’t,’ she says. ‘My dress looked flat around the bust.

‘I’d never been happy with my B-cup breasts. They were out of proportion to my size 12 bottom half, and I usually had to wear gel-filled bras to pad them out.

‘I’d longed for a bigger bust since I was a teenager, but surgery wasn’t something I’d given much thought to because of the cost.

‘I couldn’t believe it when Andy offered to pay for it as a wedding gift to me out of his savings. He said he loved me just as I was, but if it would make me happy, he’d help.’

Eneshia, a receptionist from Cambridge, had met Andy in August 2009, two weeks before he flew out for a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Even though they’d only had three dates, the couple kept in touch while he was away.

Andy proposed two months after returning in January 2010, and in December that year Eneshia underwent her breast enlargement, opting to go up to a D-cup at the MYA clinic in Manchester. She was all too aware of the risks of having surgery. Three years earlier, a back operation had gone wrong, leaving her in a coma for two weeks and resulting in the loss of a kidney and multiple further surgeries. ‘My mum was worried about me having my breasts enlarged, due to what had happened before,’ she says. ‘But this was something I wanted.

‘As the anesthetic took effect, all I could think of was my dress and how much better I would look in it.’ She adds: ‘For a week afterwards, I was bandaged and bruised. But I forgot all about the pain the moment I saw my new breasts. At my dress fitting a month later, it was really emotional. It’s not often you feel perfect, but standing there looking in the mirror I really did.

‘Walking up the aisle seven months later, I had never felt so confident. We had a military church wedding in North Yorkshire, and it was the best day of my life. It would still have been amazing if I hadn’t had the surgery, but I wouldn’t have felt so good about myself.’

Many would say that feeling you have to be nothing less than perfect on your wedding day misses the point about marriage — with its vows to love each other ‘for better for worse’. And, after all, if your fiancé wants to marry you with all your flaws, why feel the need to change?

‘This is a very sad trend and one we should be concerned about,’ says Dr Baljit Rana, a Chartered Psychologist at BirminghamCityUniversity. ‘However, it’s not surprising. Celebrity culture promotes a message of perfection. It’s little wonder that brides, who face spending a day posing for photos they will keep for ever, are feeling such pressure to look perfect they will go under the knife to achieve it.’

But he adds: ‘You’re about to marry the man you love, in front of your family and friends. That should be enough reassurance that you’re fabulous, not a surgeon’s scalpel.’

          Laser lipo: Sharon Wong, who hid her treatment from her fiance, dropped from a size 12, right, to a size 8, left

Accountant Sharon Wong, 32, from North London, admits she certainly felt under pressure to look a certain way when she married 33-year-old Tom, who is in the military, last July.

‘It is sad that we feel so pressured to look good, but if there is something I could do to improve the bits of myself that I don’t like, then why not go for it?’

That’s why she had laser treatment to reduce the fat on her stomach, arms and chin.

‘I wanted everything to be perfect — including me,’ she says. ‘I think the pressure comes from a combination of things, seeing celebrities in magazines who all look slim and really pretty when they get married and bridal magazines always have photos of stunning brides.

‘It’s also the pressure of knowing that for one day everyone will be focused on you. Yes, it is a bit sad that we feel so pressured to look good, but I still feel that if there is something I could do to improve the bits of myself that I don’t like, then why not go for it?’

As a size 12, Sharon wasn’t overweight, but says she hated her ‘bingo wings’, flabby tummy and double chin. ‘No matter how many times I went to the gym, I couldn’t shift them,’ she says. ‘I’d already picked out my wedding dress — a simple, cream gown with delicate straps — and I knew I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing it if I didn’t tone up.’

A friend recommended Laser Lipo, which appealed to Sharon because, unlike traditional liposuction, which removes fat by inserting a tube under the skin and sucking it out, the fat is broken down using laser beams.

‘It’s non-invasive so there’s no scarring and it’s painless,’ she says.

Sharon admits that at a total cost of £3,000 it was a lot of money, significantly more than her wedding dress. She paid for it in instalments and cut back on nights out and new clothes.

‘I had 24 half-hour sessions — eight on each of the areas I wanted targeted — over three months,’ she says. ‘As the weeks went past, I began to notice a visible difference. My stomach and arms were firm, and my double chin disappeared.

‘By the time my wedding day came around, I’d dropped from a size 12 to a size 8. I was amazed. Slipping on my dress on the morning of our wedding, I felt toned and confident. I wasn’t worried about my bingo wings or double chin ruining the photos.’

She adds she didn’t tell her fiancé about the treatment until after their wedding.

‘Tom, who’d noticed my changing shape, presumed I’d lost weight through stress and thought it was hilarious when I confessed on honeymoon what I’d done,’ she says. ‘All that mattered to him was that I’d been a very happy bride.’

Would Sharon have enjoyed her day any less if she’d not had the treatment? After all, surely the important thing was that she was marrying the man she loved?

She concedes: ‘Probably not, but I would have had to wear a different dress.’

Nearly a year on Sharon insists she has no regrets, not least because she has maintained her size eight figure. ‘Having the lipo acted as the boost I needed to change my lifestyle, eat more healthily and exercise regularly,’ she says.

Likewise, Alice says she still loves her nose, and Eneshia, too, remains delighted with her bust. ‘The best thing is that even though the wedding’s over and the dress put away, I still have my breasts,’ she says. ‘They have given me such confidence.’

But implants aren’t intended to last a lifetime, unlike a happy marriage. And, ultimately, it would be very sad if the real meaning of marriage got lost in the desire for physical perfection.


(Don’t) Like My Photo: Social Media Spurring Plastic Surgery

PHOTO: Triana Lavey, before and after plastic surgery to fix her "weak chin." Lavey, a 37-year-old television producer in Los Angeles, got the surgery because she didn't like how she looked on Skype and Facebook.Triana Lavey, before and after plastic surgery to fix her “weak chin.” Lavey, a 37-year-old television producer in Los Angeles, got the surgery because she didn’t like how she looked on Skype and Facebook. (Courtesy Dr. Richard Ellenbogen)


July 16, 2012

Triana Lavey was about to undergo a radical transformation. And she was doing it for a radical reason.

She wanted to look better online.

With the help of Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, she was changing her chin, her nose and the shape of her face.

Lavey is a 37-year-old television producer in Los   Angeles. For work and socially, she spends a lot of time on Skype, Facebook and other sites. She said she didn’t like the face staring back at her from her computer screen.

“I have been self-conscious about my chin, and it’s all stemming from these Facebook photos,” she told ABC News correspondent Cecilia Vega.

The more she saw herself online, the more she said she wanted to change. “I think that social media has really changed so much about how we look at ourselves and judge ourselves,” Lavey said. “Ten years ago, I don’t think I even noticed that I had a weak chin.”

Lavey tried to change the camera angle. She even untagged herself in photos she didn’t like. But none of it was enough.

“Here is a weak-chin photo that I didn’t untag myself in … because I was working out really hard that summer, and I am pleased with everything else in the photo,” Lavey said. “But it’s my darn chin that bugs the living daylights out of me in this photo. … You keep looking and looking, and now it’s the first thing I look for in a photo. It all started with Facebook.”

Surgery was the only way to fix it. Simply cutting down her social media use wasn’t an option. “That can’t happen. … Where my career is headed and the industry is headed, I have to be on social media,” Lavey said.

Lavey is not alone. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, chin augmentations have increased 71 percent in the last year. Doctors confirm that more and more patients are asking for the Facebook facelift — plastic surgery for the iPhone generation.

At Lavey’s consultation, Ellenbogen showed her what her new online-ready face would look like.

Ellenbogen explained that augmenting the chin should be balanced by adjustments to the rest of the face with procedures like fat grafting — adding a bit of fat to the face — and rhinoplasty (a nose job).

Given that social media are supposed to make life easier, did Lavey feel she was doing something extreme?

“Plastic surgery should be a last-ditch effort,” she said. “It should be after you work out, after you diet.”

“I am blessed; I can afford it,” she said. “I feel really lucky. I have worked my butt off, and I feel like if I can afford it, if it’s something I can do to feel good and feel confident, why not? It’s 2012.”

The surgery Lavey got costs between $12,000 and $15,000, Ellenbogen said. Lavey is a friend, so she got a discount.

Is our eager embrace of social media creating a culture of Internet narcissism? And can’t we just move the webcam to improve the angle from which it shoots us?

“It definitely is, and most people should do that,” Ellenbogen said, “but there are people who have tried to do that, to make themselves more attractive, and they just need a little bit of a boost.”

More than a month after her surgery, Lavey was ready to show her 692 Facebook friends her new face.

She said she felt more confident.

“It extends all the way from Skyping with people [to] having people tag me in a Facebook photo,” she said. “If the camera comes out at a party … I am fine with it. I am excited to see them. Before, I used to want to hold my chin, but now I want to show my face.”

More moms opting for ‘Mommy Makeovers’

Posted: Jul 16, 2012 11:16 PM EDTUpdated: Jul 16, 2012 11:44 PM EDT

Americans spend nearly $10 billion annually on cosmetic surgery according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Ironically, doctors say Hollywood’s elite aren’t the biggest buyers. Rather, its middle-class moms.

The biggest trend taking off in plastic surgery is called a ‘Mommy Makeover’. Hundreds of thousands of these procedures are performed every year on women ages 20 to 39.

Whatever extra blubber your baby bump left behind – a scalpel, a surgeon, and a lot of suction can take away.

Pamela Maple is a 44-year-old mother who told us she hoped a tummy tuck and body jet procedure would give her back the body she once had.

“I was always covering my stomach and always had a muffin top,” Maple recalls.

After three pregnancies, Maple had three beautiful boys and a saggy stomach covered in stretch marks that no amount of cardio and crunches seemed to cure.

“Look, let’s be honest. Women don’t want to look like pretty moms, they want to look like pretty women,” said Dr. Jeffrey Ditesheim who owns Ditesheim Plastic Surgery located in Charlotte.

He says many women who visit his office want a ‘Mommy Makeover which typically consists of a nip, tuck, and suck from the breasts to the hips.

For about $15,000, most ‘mom jobs’ involve a breast lift, implants, a tummy tuck, and some liposuction. This expense is not typically covered by most insurance providers.

Aside from surgery, there are several types of Laser or Ultrasound Technologies that can be used to slim you down.

Each technique has different degrees of results, recovery time and risk. Doctors say the most important question, however, is not about their tools, but about their training.

Make sure your surgeon is board certified with the Canadian and/or American Board of Plastic Surgery.

“What the general public does not often realize is all plastic surgeons are cosmetic surgeons. All cosmetic surgeons are not plastic surgeons,” Pratt points out.

Legally, any doctor can perform any procedure. So, technically, a dermatologist could give you a breast lift, but that doesn’t mean they have the extensive training and expertise, just a lower price in many cases.

Check the doctor’s credentials and their record with your area’s medical board.

Remember, just because it’s called a ‘Mom Job’ doesn’t mean it’s a packaged deal.

Don’t agree to procedures you don’t want or need. Doctors warn the more work done at once, usually means more risks.

A ‘Mommy Makeover’ isn’t about getting a picture perfect body. For many women, it’s about getting back the body they had before giving birth to their baby.

“Yes, I feel made over,” Maple said following her procedure. “I feel great. I feel like me, but I feel like a better me.”

Altogether, the procedures involve major surgery and cost major bucks. For women like Maple, the payoff comes every time she pulls out those hot-pink pants and takes a very happy peak in the mirror.

During any pre-op consultation with your plastic surgeon, be sure to arrive at their office armed with a list of questions, and ask how often they have performed the procedure in which you’re interested in.

Additional Information:

  • Legally any doctor is permitted to do any procedure. For example, a psychiatrist could do a breast augmentation. If you use a board-certified plastic surgeon, you know he or she has completed three to five years of training in general surgery and a minimum of two to three years of training in plastic surgery, plus they have to take written and oral tests.
  •  Board-certified plastic surgeons also have to do continuing medical education and take a written test every 10 years.
  •  Check the surgeon’s record.
  •  Malpractice judgments and disciplinary actions can be found through a state Medical Board.
  •  Ask if the surgeon has hospital privileges.
  •  Hospitals do background checks.
  •  Come armed with questions for the doctor.
  •  Find out how often he or she has done the procedure you’re interested in.
  •  Be wary of multiple procedures. More procedures at once equal more risk.
  •  Call the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (toll-free at 1-888-4-PLASTIC, or 1-888-475-2784)  or the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons (514-843-5415) to get a list of surgeons in your area who perform a certain procedure and are certified by the Canadian or American Board of Plastic Surgery.
  •  Plastic surgeons certified by the Canadian or American Board of Plastic Surgery have graduated from an accredited medical school, completed at least five additional years of residency (typically three years of general surgery and two years of plastic surgery), practiced plastic surgery for at least two more years, and passed comprehensive exams.
  •  Click here to find questions you should ask a plastic surgeon:
  •  There were more than 10 million cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures performed in 2008, an increase of 162% from 1997, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
  •  Click to read FAQ from the American Board of Plastic Surgeons –
  •  Click to search for a list of local doctors who are board-certified – or
  •  Click here <> to find reviews/blogs of personal Mommy Makeover experiences. The average cost of the Mommy Makeovers is $13,049.
  •  Mommy Makeover: trifecta of a breast lift with or without breast implants, a tummy tuck and some liposuction. The procedures are intended to hoist slackened skin as well as reduce stretch marks and pregnancy fat. (Source:

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