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Christine Carman Stiles, M.D. Answers Questions On Plastic Surgery

Christine Carman Stiles, M.D. Answers Questions On: Plastic Surgery

What does the mommy makeover entail?

The mommy makeover is my favorite procedure because we’re able to address the areas of a woman’s body most affected by pregnancy – the breasts and abdomen. A mommy makeover combines a breast procedure (augmentation, lift, implant exchange, or reduction) with a tummy tuck. We customize each procedure to accommodate our patient’s needs. Doing both procedures together maximizes downtime for busy mothers.

What should a woman consider before making an appointment with you to discuss the mommy makeover?

This is a procedure that you want to do when you feel that your family is complete and you are certain that you don’t want to have any more children. Additionally, you should not be changing diapers because this can cause infection.

In order to have breast surgery, you’ll have to have stopped breastfeeding for at least six months. After a mommy makeover, you will not be able to carry anything greater than 5 pounds for six weeks. Typically, the best candidates are women who are in good health overall and who are at a healthy weight.

I always recommend that our patients plan ahead for their recovery period. I advise them to think of themselves as an 80-year-old woman for the first two weeks post-op. You want to “call in the recruits” to help you – sisters, your mother, friends. Make sure you have people who can help you with daily tasks, especially during the first two weeks post-op. It typically takes about six weeks before your energy fully comes back after a mommy makeover.

Overall, what should any plastic surgery patient keep in mind at the outset of their journey?

Often the most challenging part of the journey is coming to the initial consultation. It can be intimidating to discuss an area of the body that a person is unhappy with and self-conscious about.

During the visit, the patient and I will talk about their concerns, do measurements, and take photographs. We’ll use the Vectra 3D simulation system to give the patient an idea of how they’ll look. Next, we’ll devise a plan and partner with the patient to make a great change in their life. The plastic surgeon and staff are there to guide the patient through every step along this journey to a better life.

We do recommend patients stop smoking prior to the surgery and are at a healthy weight – or at least have a BMI below 35.

Prior to breast surgery or a tummy tuck, a woman might be concerned about scarring. Usually, the scar is thin and light in color. This falls within the bikini line.

Most patients are surprised by how much their lives change after having a cosmetic procedure. For example, women who have breast reduction surgery often have been in chronic pain or discomfort for so long that they don’t realize how much it has limited their lives – the clothes they wear, the choices they make, and the activities they do. Then suddenly post-op, they can run, join an exercise class, and wear clothes they haven't been able to wear for years.

What do you find most gratifying or exciting about being a plastic surgeon?

I love helping my patients on their journey to a better life! When someone doesn’t feel confident about the way he or she looks, it changes how that person participates in life. Attending public functions, appearing in photographs, and enjoying family celebrations such as weddings can be difficult for those who don’t feel like the best version of themselves.

When I see my patients after their procedures – six weeks, three months, six months post-op – and they have a confident, beautiful smile, I know that we have made a true difference in their lives. I love to see them wearing an outfit that they had dreamed of. When they are happy with the person they see in the mirror, I am thrilled!