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Mom's makeover- Rising trend of body contouring after childbirth
When we were growing up we were made to believe that cosmetic surgery was something that only film stars and the rich elite underwent, but looking at recent trends in Delhi NCR we realise that the burgeoning middle class now has the aspirations and affordability for reversing the ravages of time. Call it the democratization of the beauty industry!

When Payal, a mother of two approached Dr. Nanda at Artemis Hospital in Gurgaon for a 'mommy make-over' she was very specific in her concerns. ''I have been going to the gym every day, swim regularly and have been doing this for several years but, there are obstinate deposits of fat around my tummy area that just don't budge!''

Dr. Nanda explains that it is the nature of fat in certain areas that just doesn't go in spite of exercising, specifically, these areas are called 'love-handles' and 'saddlebags'.

She also wanted a reduction and breast lift for the rejuvenation of the sagging of her breasts. After detailed counseling she underwent Abdominoplasty (tummy-tuck) with Liposuction and Mastopexy (breast lift). She was in the hospital for 2 days and on looking back Payal is greatly pleased with her decision. 

''I am able to wear nice western dresses that I have always wanted to wear for the last many, many years'', she beams.

Or the case of Surina who travelled with her husband from San Francisco to get Mastopexy (breast lift), a tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty) and genital rejuvenation.

"We had been recommended Artemis by a local contact. Being JCI certified, and the much lower charges compared to the US, helped in the decision making. After our first meeting with the doctors here, we felt relaxed," says her husband.

The surgery was done after a few sessions of discussion over the operative plan and the subsequent recovery were explained. Dr. Nanda feels that these interactions are as important as the operation because they help the surgeon understand the aspirations of the patient and also enlighten the patient about the limitations of surgery. 

"It was a long surgery and it was her commitment that made her recover so well," explains Dr. Nanda.

Inspired by her, Surina's sister travelled from Australia to under go a tummy tuck at Artemis recently. Another young lady, Garima, a resident of Dwarka, had developed loose skin over her tummy following her first child and so this time while she was carrying her second baby, she decided that she is going to get herself a tummy tuck at the same time of as her delivery.

She explained that being a busy career woman she could not foresee any free period in the future when she could plan the tummy tuck. ''This is my only chance,'' she quipped, ''my mother-in-law is going to be with us and my husband has taken off from work.''

Around a year following the simultaneous Caesarean and tummy tuck, the couple are very happy with the outcome.

Dr. Nanda says that body contouring surgery at the time of the Caesarean is better postponed for many reasons. ''The tissues after childbirth are in a dynamic stage and tend to regress or shrink over the next 6 months. Let nature complete the contouring and only then intervene. The uterus is enlarged and does not allow the surgeon to achieve a flat tummy.''

He understands that in this fast paced world we are all in a hurry but cautions that it may be a good idea to wait at least 6 months following childbirth before proceeding for a tummy tuck or breast surgery.

Combining procedures such as liposuction, tummy tuck and breast reduction is convenient for the patient, but increases the duration of surgery and should be undertaken in a hospital with suitable facilities. "Safety of the patient is of utmost importance at Artemis," said Dr. Nanda.

More advanced techniques using ultrasonic liposuction cause less bruising and may be appropriate in redo/revision surgeries or tougher areas such as the back. If the expectations are realistic, and the surgery is well planned, the patients are extremely satisfied and grateful.

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