Moms opting for surgery to get pre-baby bodies back


Like many new moms, the gym has become a second home for 28-year-old Shellie Schoellkoph.

"I jumped into diet and exercise and lost 75 pounds," she said.

Schoellkoph weighed 262 pounds at her peak. Now she's 187 pounds and still wanting to lose more. But she has plateaued, her strict diet and exercise wasn't working like it once was.

"I was seeing a lot of changes just in my silhouette and change in my shape in general. But I wasn't seeing the smooth lines, no matter what I did in the gym and how hard I exercised," Schoellkoph said.

Houston plastic surgeon Dr. Franklin Rose says he sees it all the time.

"They are very common, not just in my practice but in most plastic surgeons practices. There are so-called mommy makeover, which is really it might encompass 40, 50 percent of the patients we do," Dr. Rose said.

A typical "mommy makeover" usually focuses on three main procedures.

First, there's the breast lift or implants.

"First, the breast will enlarge, shrink, enlarge, shrink through the process which is called postpartum involution and patients end up with no filler or many cases with quite a bit of decent," Dr. Rose said.

Second, liposuction.

"It's not talked about enough in liposuction is the reduction in body mass index, her fat content," Dr. Rose said.

And finally, a tummy tuck to get rid of that unwanted skin.

Schoellkoph will have all three.

"This absolutely metamorphosis the patient," Dr Rose said. "The improvement in body image that we are able to provide gives them long-lasting boost in self-esteem for many years to come."

That improvement in body image and self esteem won't come over night.

Four hours of surgery is followed by several weeks of recovery, something Schoellkoph weighed heavily before making her decision.

"I wanted to know that he could match the image that I had in my head of my pre-baby body. And he seems confident that he can," Schoellkoph said.

Clinical psychologist Nanine Ewing says that every woman is different and getting that your figure back might not happen, even with plastic surgery.

"When that's the case and it's really that impeding of one's life, I think it's a natural progression, it's a natural thing if you can afford it. But the expectations need to be realistic," Ewing said.

Schoellkoph now is 15 pounds liter and 2 sizes smaller.

"I think they were right on par with what I was expecting," she said. "I was able to put on a bikini the last week or two of the summer so that was nice and I have been really, really pleased with it."

And all that extra skin is gone.

"There is scaring along the hip. It's a little longer than I expected, but I would trade the scar for the before any day," Schoellkoph said.

Now she has the best of both worlds: a healthy boy and her pre-baby body back.

The mommy makeover isn't cheap. Dr. Rose days it can set you back between $15,000-$20,000.

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