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> Mommy Makeover USA Home > Search for Plastic Surgeon > Michael S. Beckenstein, M.D.
Plastic Surgery FAQ Provided by Dr. Michael Beckenstein

Frequently Asked Questions

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The toll that pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding can have on a woman's body can be devastating, both physically and emotionally. Even with proper diet and exercise, oftentimes it is near impossible to restore one's post-pregnancy body back to one's pre-pregnancy body.

Some of these effects include:

  • Stretching of the stomach muscles
  • Stretching and loosening of the skin in the areas of the breasts, thighs, abdominals
  • Excess fat deposits in the belly, back and thighs
  • Stretch marks on the breasts, belly and thighs
For those mothers out there who want a firmer, tighter body, even after childbirth, there is the Mommy Makeover. This revolutionary cosmetic procedure has been developed by cosmetic surgeons with the needs and desires of mother's everywhere in mind. Essentially, this procedure brings together the best of several popular surgical procedures to restore and rejuvenate the mother's body back to her pre-pregnancy body, as close as possible.

Options for the Mommy Makeover

The Mommy Makeover procedure is comprised of several different cosmetic procedures that, when used in conjunction, produce stunning results. However, because every woman has different restorative needs, the combination of procedures will vary from one body to another. The Mommy Makeover is not a 'cookie cutter' procedure, but one that can be tailored to meet your individual needs, which is one reason why the Mommy Makeover procedure is so revolutionary in its design.

Tummy Tuck or abdominoplasty with Liposuction

The skin and muscle tissues in the abdominal areas stretch during pregnancy and will leave skin looser and "flabby." Even after weight loss, training and dieting, the skin may remain loose and unsightly. An abdominoplasty, also known as a Tummy Tuck, can revitalize your stomach and abdominal area by removing excess skin, tightening the inner walls of your stomach muscles, and removing unwanted fatty deposits through liposuction, producing a tighter, flatter abdominal profile. The use of liposuction during the Tummy Tuck portion of the Mommy Makeover allows for the removal of excess fat that develops during pregnancy as well as handle the stubborn areas that don't respond to dieting and exercise.

Breast Lift, Breast Augmentation, and Reduction

The procedure known as mastopexy, or the 'Breast Lift' reconstructs the breast in such a way that excess fat and skin is removed, thus tightening the tissues of the breast, giving it a 'lifted' appearance, which restores the breast appearance back to that of your pre-pregnancy, youthful breast contours. The mastopexy will also address the tissue surrounding the nipple, or areola, which oftentimes becomes stretched due to the same effects.

If you desire fuller, larger breasts, the surgeon can perform a Breast Augmentation along with the lift. This cosmetic enhancement procedure uses either saline or silicone breast implants to create a bust line that is, perhaps, larger and fuller than the patients' pre-pregnancy breast size. Once again, the option of Breast Augmentation should be discussed with your doctor in your consultation prior to surgery to determine the best course of treatment.

The Breast Reduction surgery can be an option for those women who have very large breast that cause back pain and general discomfort due to childbirth or as a pre-pregnancy condition. The reduction mammaplasty is a procedure designed to reduce the size of the breasts by removing the excess skin, fat and tissues of the breast, alleviating any pain or discomfort.


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Breast Augmentation

Women around the country who desire larger and fuller breasts, are extremely satisfied with breast augmentation procedures. Patients who have lost breast size and shape after childbearing may also benefit from breast augmentation surgery.

By choosing the appropriate breast implant, taking into account both size and shape, and placing it in the right position, Dr. Beckenstein will achieve a natural appearance, eliminating the recognizable “augmented” look. There are several variables that must be addressed to determine how to achieve the best aesthetic result with your breast enhancement surgery. When you visit our office to meet with Dr. Beckenstein, your breast dimensions will be carefully analyzed. After a discussion of your aesthetic goals, you and Dr. Beckenstein will then discuss the incision site, implant location, and implant type.

Breast Implant Incisions

There are three different approaches to inserting breast implants. In the Inframammary Approach, the incisions can be placed beneath the breast, in the new breast crease. Access can also be obtained through the areola (peri-areolar approach) or the underarm ( transaxillary approach). There are advantages and disadvantages to these approaches, which will be discussed in detail during your breast augmentation consultation at our office. The breast implant can be placed above the pectorailis major muscle (subglandular) or beneath this muscle (subpectoral). There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to these approaches and various circumstances will dictate which approach might be better suited to you.

Breast Implant Size and Shape

Breast implants are available in several sizes and shapes and have different shell characteristics. Implant shapes are either round or anatomic (tear drop). The dimensions of your breast and the predicted size increase will determine which implant type is appropriate for you. The outer shells of these implants are either textured or smooth and the choice of which type to use is usually determined by the implant location in relation to the pectorailis muscle. Dr. Beckenstein employs the anatomic approach to breast augmentation which requires a careful assessment of your breast dimensions. He co-authored a chapter in a breast surgery textbook detailing this method. These dimensions are used to choose the appropriate implant to assure the best aesthetic results.

Your Consultation

During your initial breast augmentation surgery consultation you will spend one-on-one time with Dr. Beckenstein. First he will educate you on the procedure, and then you will undergo an extensive examination. During this examination, Dr. Beckenstein will determine the operative plan for your breast augmentation surgery, including implant type, size, and the approach to be used. We listen carefully to our patients and become attuned to their expectations. The final plan takes all these factors into consideration. We want to achieve a natural appearance and not the "augmented" look that is too obvious!


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Tummy Tuck

Abdominoplasty has traditionally been a very successful procedure for patients across the country. Women who have had children can develop abdominal wall laxity known as a diastasis. This is caused when the abdominal wall is stretched by the developing child. After childbirth, the abdominal wall remains stretched and does not return to its pre-pregnancy tightness. Dieting and exercise will not restore the abdominal wall tone. The abdominal skin also becomes lax, especially if there are stretch marks, and excess fat can accentuate the lower abdominal fullness. Women who are close to their ideal body weight are good candidates for an abdominoplasty. Women who are considering having additional children should wait until they are finished before proceeding with tummy tuck surgery.

The best way to find out if abdominoplasty ( tummy tuck) surgery is right for you is to schedule a consultation at our office. Dr. Beckenstein will only recommend treatment after a thorough evaluation of your medical history and discussion of your aesthetic goals.

Abdominoplasty Procedures

There are several abdominoplasty procedures (including mini tummy tuck) available that can restore a more aesthetic contour to the abdomen, depending on the degree of skin laxity, diastasis, and excess fat. The basic premise of these methods is to remove the excess skin and fat, and to tighten the lax abdominal wall.

A traditional abdominoplasty will result in scarring and require relocation of the belly-button. If the outer thighs have excess fat and skin laxity, an extended abdominoplasty can be performed to incorporate this area and re-contour the thighs as well. A belt lipectomy can be performed to address the entire circumference of the lower torso. This will re-contour the abdomen, outer thighs, and gluteal (buttock) regions.


Women with a minimal diastasis and skin laxity might be candidates for a mini- abdominoplasty. This method leaves only a short scar in the lower abdomen and does not require relocation of the belly button. Although a mini- tummy tuck is also an invasive surgery, because the procedure is more limited in scope, it often requires less recovery time.


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Michael S. Beckenstein, M.D.
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Office Address:
800 Saint Vincent's Dr.
Suite 610
Birmingham, AL 35205
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Dr. Beckenstein has 3 patients available for view in the Before and After Photo Gallery. Click here to visit.
Dr. Beckenstein has 1 video available in the Video Gallery. Click here to view.

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