EDITOR'S NOTE: Pamela Maple and other patients featured in this story with before and after photos are clients of Ditesheim Plastic Surgery.
Americans spend nearly $10 billion annually on cosmetic surgery according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Ironically, doctors say Hollywood's elite aren't the largest group of people opting to have these procedures.
Rather, it's working men and women -- specifically, moms.
The biggest trend in plastic surgery now is called a "Mommy Makeover." In fact, hundreds of thousands of these procedures are performed every year on women between the ages of 20 to 39.
Whatever extra blubber your baby bump left behind; a scalpel, a surgeon and a lot of suction can take it away.
Pamela Maple is a 44-year-old mother who told us she hoped a tummy tuck and body jet procedure would give her back the body she once had.
"I was always covering my stomach and always had a muffin top," Maple said.
After three pregnancies, Maple says had three beautiful boys and a saggy stomach covered with stretch marks that no amount of cardio and crunches seemed to cure.
"Look, let's be honest. Women don't want to look like pretty moms, they want to look like pretty women," said Dr. Jeffrey Ditesheim, who owns Ditesheim Plastic Surgery in Charlotte, North Carolina.
He says many women who visit his office want a Mommy Makeover, which typically consists of liposuction and enhancements in the area between the hips and breasts.
For about $15,000, most 'mom jobs' involve a breast lift, implants, tummy tuck and liposuction. This expense is not typically covered by most insurance providers.
In Dr. Ditesheim's operating room, he uses the Body Jet procedure, where blasts of water break up the fat making it easier to remove your soft spots. Less force, Ditesheim says, means a faster recovery.
At The Refine Institute, also located in Charlotte, Dr. Broc Pratt prefers the 'SmartLipo' procedure, which uses of a tiny laser to melt the fat.
He says the heat makes a patient's muffin top easier to remove and helps the skin tighten smoothly.
There are several other types of Laser Lipo Technologies and sound waves can even be used to slim you down.
Each technique has different degrees of results, recovery time and risk. Doctors say the most important question, however, is not about their tools, but about their training.
Make sure your surgeon is board certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
"What the general public does not often realize is all plastic surgeons are cosmetic surgeons, but all cosmetic surgeons are not plastic surgeons," said Pratt.
Legally, any doctor can perform any procedure. So, technically, a dermatologist could give you a breast lift, but that doesn't mean they have the extensive training and expertise -- just a lower price in many cases.
Check the doctor's credentials and their record with your state medical board.
Remember, just because it's called a 'mom job' doesn't mean it's a packaged deal.
Don't agree to procedures you don't want or need. Doctors warn the more work done at once, usually means more risks.
A 'Mommy Makeover' isn't about getting a picture-perfect body. For many women, it's about getting back the body they had before giving birth to their baby.
"Yes, I feel made over," Maple said following her procedure. "I feel great. I feel like me, but I feel like a better me."
Altogether, the procedures involve major surgery and cost major bucks. For women like Maple, the payoff comes every time she pulls out those hot-pink pants and takes a very happy peak in the mirror.
During any pre-op consultation with your plastic surgeon, be sure to arrive at their office armed with a list of questions, and ask how often they have performed the procedure in which you're interested in.
South Atlantic (DE, FL, GA, NC, SC, VA, WV) 18.8%
Middle Atlantic (MD, NJ, NY, PA, DC) 16.2%
Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) 13.9%
Source: http://www.surgery.org/media/statistics (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery)
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck): Protruding abdomen; excess fat and skin; weak abdominal muscles. Surgeon Fees: $5,278 Surgery: 2-5 hours Procedures: One Recovery: 2-4 weeks
Breast Augmentation (saline): Small breasts, breast asymmetry. Surgeon Fees: $3,308. Time: 1-2 hours. Procedures: One. Recovery: 1-2 weeks.
Breast Lift: Sagging, poorly shaped breasts. Fees: $4,233. Surgery:1/2-3 ½ hours. Procedures: One. Recovery: 1-2 weeks
Lipoplasty: Normal weight with isolated fatty areas. Fees: $2,733. Time: 45 minutes to 2 hours. Procedures: One. Recovery: 1-2 weeks.
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