HAGERSTOWN, Md., March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In the past, body contouring procedures were typically performed on women in their 50s, but with the increased popularity of the "mommy makeover"—a package of procedures designed to restore a woman's pre-pregnancy form—younger women are opting for surgery. This trend can lead to questions from inquisitive younger children, says Dr. Henry Garazo, a leading board certified Maryland plastic surgeon.
"There are several approaches to deciding what children need to know about plastic surgery," says Dr. Garazo, "and each patient should weigh different factors in crafting a response."
When debating what to tell a child about a mommy makeover, women typically have different concerns depending on the age of their children. A mother of young children wants to reassure them that her procedure doesn't mean that she is sick. A mother of a teenage girl may be concerned that she is sending the right message about her body image. In each situation, there are different approaches to the addressing the issue.
The recovery period for the surgery may prompt the most questions from children, as a mother's activities must be curtailed to insure proper healing. Mommy makeovers often include a tummy tuck as well as breast procedures such as a lift or an augmentation. The combination of procedures require a basic recovery time of several weeks, though strenuous activity may be prohibited for 6 to 8 weeks following surgery. Immediately after the procedure, the patient will have bandages and may have difficulty walking, sleeping and bending.Some families choose to send their children to stay with a grandparent or other family member during the period immediately after the surgery. For those who keep their children home, the concern may be addressed by explaining that their mother is not ill, but that the surgery will help her feel better. Parents of older children may choose to offer more information, explaining that having a baby changes the shape of a woman's body, and that having the surgery restores the body to the way it was before. In choosing this approach, it's important to assure the child that he or she is not responsible for this change or for the surgery, says Dr. Garazo.