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Strategies for Aesthetic Reshaping of the Postpartum Patient

Matarasso, Alan M.D.; Smith, Darren M. M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: August 2015 - Volume 136 - Issue 2 - p 245–257
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000001410
Cosmetic: Original Articles
Press Release
Video Discussion

Summary: Statistics reflect that pregnancies are occurring at a later age, multiple births are becoming more common, and a sizeable population—with a keen interest in nutrition, fitness, and a continued desire to retain a youthful figure—is aging. Consequently, postpartum reshaping is a priority for many women, enough so that the phrase “mommy makeover” has entered the vernacular. In this article, the senior author’s practice was evaluated to explore patient goals, methods, and outcomes in reshaping the postpartum abdomen. A literature review was conducted to assess the state of the art in methods to meet these goals. The postpartum patient often uses her prepregnancy appearance as a barometer for her postpregnancy goals. Although aging is one force motivating women to pursue abdominoplasty, the majority desires the correction of changes related to pregnancy. The abdomen and breasts are the regions most visibly affected by pregnancy, although numerous aesthetic units of the trunk and surrounding regions concern patients seeking postpartum body contouring and they may be part of the patient’s perception and idealization of her appearance. Abdominoplasty is central to postpartum body contouring, and numerous strategies such as concurrent flap, flank, or mons pubis liposuction and waistline enhancement methods are integral components of it. Consideration should also be given to the multiple body areas affected by pregnancy that may enhance the patient’s overall appearance. In the appropriate context, multiple procedures can be safely and effectively combined to address the various regions affected by postpartum changes.


Video Discussion by Michele Shermak, M.D., is available online for this article.

New York, N.Y.; and Pittsburgh, Pa.

From the Department of Plastic Surgery, Manhattan Ear, Eye, and Throat Hospital; and the Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Received for publication November 4, 2014; accepted February 10, 2015.

Disclosures: The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

A Video Discussion by Michele Shermak, M.D., accompanies this article. Go to and click on “Video Discussions” in the “Videos” tab to watch.

Alan Matarasso, M.D., 1009 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10028,

©2015American Society of Plastic Surgeons