What is a Mommy Makeover?
A mommy makeover is any combination of cosmetic procedures that restore you to your pre-baby body, typically focusing on the breasts and abdomen. A typical makeover might include a tummy tuck, liposuction, and a breast procedure such as an augmentation, lift or reduction.
Mommy Makeovers Give You the Prebaby Body & Confidence
Being a mom is such a huge part of our identity as women. It something many women dream of as little girls. So, it comes as a surprise to some women that after having children, they would want their pre-baby body back. We moms give so much to our family and others that we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves. That can take a toll. One day, we wake up and look in the mirror and wonder where that sexy, vibrant woman went. Today, women want to be both a fantastic mom and a sparkling individual. A mommy makeover can help you take control of your shape.
When to Consider a Mommy Makeover
- If your pregnancy has affected the size and shape of your breasts
- If you’re unhappy with your sagging tummy and stretch marks
- If pockets of fat on your waist, abdomen, arms or thighs do not improve with diet and exercise
- If you don’t plan on having more children in the near future
Mommy Makeover Pros and Cons
- Restores more youthful breasts and flat tummy
- Your clothes and swimwear will fit better
- Helps you return to slim and healthy body appearance
- If you get breast implants, they will require monitoring and possibly replacement.
- Pregnancy following these surgeries may compromise results.
- Weight gain following these surgeries may compromise results.
Who is a Good Candidate for Mommy Makeover?
Mommy makeovers are designed to reverse the physical changes associated with childbearing and aging. If childbirth has left you with the following characteristics, consider undergoing a mommy makeover:
- You have sagging breasts, uneven breasts, decreased breast volume, drooping nipples and stretched areolas (the dark skin surrounding the nipple).
- Your breasts have become so much larger after childbirth that they are out of proportion with the rest of your body and they cause back pain.
- Your tummy has loose skin and stretch marks and your waistline has become thick and undefined.
- You had a C-section and now you have areas of fat hanging over your surgical scar.
- You have excess fat in the love-handle area as well as in the hips and thighs.
- You are in good general health and have realistic expectations
How is a Mommy Makeover procedure performed?
Mommy makeover is a descriptive term, not a procedure, so your first step is to consult with us and decide on the procedures you will undergo. The following procedures described below are common to mommy makeovers.
Tummy tuck – also known as abdominoplasty
What it does
A flabby abdomen results from fat, poor skin elasticity, excess skin, and stretching of the inner girdle of connective tissue (fascia) and abdominal muscles (rectus muscles), extending from the ribs to the pubic bone. This inner girdle, which holds the internal organs in place, gets stretched during pregnancy or weight gain and the stomach protrudes. Abdominoplasty removes loose, excess skin and fat and tightens slack fascia, removing stretch marks and excess skin in the lower abdomen below the belly button.
How it is done
Most of the skin and fat between the belly button and pubic hair is removed in an elliptical or oval shape.
Then the fascia overlying the abdominal muscles is tightened with sutures.
The skin around the belly button is repositioned and the belly button is brought out through a small incision and sutured in its normal position.
The incision, which typically runs from hip to hip, is closed with sutures. This will leave a scar that falls along the natural crease within the bikini line. The length and visibility of the scar varies.
Liposuction – also known as lipoplasty
What it does
A tummy tuck may narrow your waist, but not your lovehandles or hips. Liposuction of the hips and flanks is often recommended at the same time as a tummy tuck.
How it is done
After you receive anesthesia, very small incisions are made near the area where fat will be removed.
During surgery, fluid containing a local anesthetic to control pain and epinephrine to minimize bleeding will be injected into the fat layer beneath the skin.
A thin, hollow rod (cannula) will be inserted through the incision to create tunnels through the fat. Then suction forces the fat into the cannula and out a high-vacuum hose.
After fat removal, dressings and a compression garment will be applied.
Breast lift – also known as mastopexy
What it does
A breast lift or mastopexy treats sagging and uneven breasts, decreased breast volume, drooping nipples, and stretched areolas, returning a youthful shape and lift to your breasts. Women who desire larger, smaller, or more rounded breasts may want to consider a breast augmentation or breast reduction along with the breast lift.
How it is done
You will receive either a general anesthetic or a combination of local anesthesia and intravenous sedation.
Mastopexy incisions vary, depending on the amount of excess skin, the position of your nipples, your preference.
After making the incisions, breast tissue is reshaped and excess skin is removed.
Then the nipple and areola are repositioned to a more youthful height. (Note that nipples and areolas usually remain attached to underlying mounds of tissue, which usually allows for the preservation of sensation and the ability to breastfeed.) If needed, the size of the areola can be reduced by excising skin around the perimeter.
The remaining skin is tightened while closing the incisions. The sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to support the newly-shaped breasts and skin adhesives and/or surgical tape to help close and support the skin.
What it does
During pregnancy, your breasts usually swell to a fuller size and shape. In some women, the breasts remain larger. This can be a welcome change unless your breasts have become disproportionately large and cause pain, poor posture, rashes, breathing problems, skeletal deformities, or low self-esteem. Breast reduction solves these problems by removing fat and glandular tissue and tightening skin to produce smaller, lighter breasts.
How it is done
Surgery is performed in the accredited surgery center, usually under general anesthesia.
After deciding what is the best incision option for you, skin incisions are made, the nipple (which remains tethered to its original blood and nerve supply) is repositioned, and the areola is reduced by excising skin at the perimeter, if necessary.
The breast tissue is reduced, lifted, and shaped. The sutures are layered within the breast tissue to create and support the newly-shaped breasts, and then the skin is closed with sutures, skin adhesives, and/or surgical tape.
You may be have drains and be required to wear a surgical bra.
Breast augmentation – also known as augmentation mammaplasty
What it does
Breast augmentation increases or restores breast size using silicone gel implants, saline implants, or fat grafting.
How it is done
In breast augmentation using implants, Dr. Su makes an incision, lifts the breast tissue, creates a pocket in the chest/breast area, and places a saline or silicone gel implant.
The implant is placed in a pocket underneath the pectoral muscle, which is located between the breast tissue and chest wall, or underneath the breast tissue and on top of the pectoral muscle.
You will be wrapped in a surgical compression bra. Drainage tubes may be used for a short time to drain the surgical site.
Breast lift combined with breast augmentation
If you want your breasts to be larger in addition to being less droopy, or if you desire to maintain projection and roundness of the breast mound and your drooping is severe, Dr. Su may recommend a breast lift combined with a breast augmentation as part of your mommy makeover.
What are my options?
You have many options, beginning with your choice of which procedures to undergo.
If you undergo breast augmentation, you will choose between silicone and saline breast implants, or, possibly, fat grafting. Depending on the size and shape you would like to achieve, Dr. Su will give you some recommendations.
In any of the mommy makeover surgeries, your preferences will be a deciding factor in incision placement as much as possible.
Your Mommy Makeover Consultation Appointment
During your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss what you want to achieve. We will evaluate you as a candidate for a mommy makeover and clarify what procedures may benefit you most. Once we understand your goals, we may suggest additional procedures.
It is important to be completely honest during the consultation. Be fully prepared to answer these questions:
- Do you have any medical conditions or drug allergies? Are you being treated for any medical conditions?
- Have you had any previous surgeries?
- What are your current medications and vitamin and herbal supplements?
- What is your current use of alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs?
- What is your history with any noninvasive cosmetic procedures?
- What outcome do you expect from the surgery? What is your chief motivation in undergoing a mommy makeover?
We may also:
- Ask you to look in a mirror and point out exactly what you would like to see improved
- Take photos for your medical record, using computer imaging to show improvements you can expect
- Evaluate your health status, including pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Evaluate the elasticity of your skin
- Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes, including risks or potential complications
- Discuss the type of anesthesia that will be used
Your Mommy Makeover Treatment Plan
Based on your goals, physical characteristics, we will share recommendations and information with you, including:
- An approach to your surgery, including the combination of procedures
- The outcomes that you can anticipate
- Your financial investment in the procedure
- Associated risks and complications
- Options for anesthesia and surgery location
- What is needed to prepare for the surgery
- What you can expect to experience after surgery
- The doctor will also share before-and-after photos of cases similar to yours and answer any questions
How do I prepare for a mommy makeover procedure?
We will provide thorough preoperative instructions, answer any questions you may have, take a detailed medical history, and perform a physical exam to determine your fitness for surgery. If we recommend weight benchmarks or lifestyle changes, do your best to achieve them to ensure the best results and minimize the chance of complications. Since mommy makeover surgery places heavy demands on your body for wound healing, there are special recommendations:
- Achieve your desired target weight first, but not in the month before surgery.
- Make sure you are exercising at least thirty minutes per day.
- Be sure to have a healthy diet with a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants.
- Keep alcohol consumption at less than two to three drinks per week.
- Stop smoking at least six weeks before undergoing surgery to promote better healing.
- Avoid taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs: Advil, Motrin, Aleve), and vitamins/homeopathic regimens that can increase bleeding.
- Establish a support system – ask for help postop. This is most critical to your recovery. If you have children less than five years of age, you must have someone to take care of them for at least two weeks. Lifting, driving, laundry, and cleaning are absolutely prohibited for 2 weeks postop.
If your surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, arrange for someone to take you home and stay with you.
What can I expect on the day of mommy makeover surgery?
Your mommy makeover surgery may be performed at the outpatient ambulatory facility. We will give you an estimate of how long your surgery will last based on the procedures you have decided to undergo.
You will receive medications to keep you comfortable during the surgical procedure. Local anesthesia combined with sedation may be an option, or you will receive general anesthesia. An anesthesiologist will be present to administer sedatives or general anesthesia and assist in monitoring.
For your safety during the surgery, various monitors will be used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse, and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood.
Your surgical dressings will depend on the procedures you undergo and may include surgical drains.
After surgery, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored.
Before leaving for home, you (or someone looking after you) should feel comfortable emptying and resetting the drains.
You may go home on the day of surgery or spend one night in an aftercare center with a nurse.
We will discuss how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of activity and work. After surgery, you and your caregiver will receive detailed instructions about your postsurgical care, including information about:
- Drains, if they have been placed
- Normal symptoms you will experience
- Any potential signs of complications
What to Expect in my Recovery for Mommy Makeover
Immediately after a mommy makeover
Generally, you can expect to be bandaged, wearing compression garments, and you may have some surgical drains.
When the anesthesia wears off, you may have some pain. If the pain is extreme or lasts long, contact us immediately. You will also have some swelling after the surgery. In some cases, this swelling will remain for weeks or even months.
Recovery time frame
Because procedures are performed together, the benefit is that you only have to endure one recovery time. The first week will be the worst, and you will still feel like you are recovering for about two to three weeks. After that, you’ll probably be feeling pretty well, but you will not be able to do any heavy lifting (such as picking up your children) for six weeks. Here is more information about what to expect:
The recovery period is significant and can be intense the first few days
- The tummy tuck component of the makeover is the most uncomfortable. Make sure you follow your instructions carefully. The first two days are the most uncomfortable. Discomfort typically drops down to a “nagging” level by five to seven days.
- Full recovery is about six weeks. You should be up and walking slowly the day after surgery.
- By the end of the first week, you should be walking around the house frequently, but you are still unable to drive.
- You will probably be comfortable enough to drive a car in two weeks.
- Swelling should subside within five weeks, and the results are apparent within three months.
- Having both procedures done at the same time does not lengthen the recovery. For example, breast augmentation recovery is approximately seven days, and tummy tuck recovery is ten to fourteen days. Your recovery period for both procedures will be in the ten to fourteen days.
Healing from mommy makeover surgery
Follow all postsurgical instructions. This will include information about wearing compression garments, taking any medications prescribed, and the level of activity that is safe. Your doctor will alert you to the signs of problems to watch for, such as signs of infection. It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies based on what your mommy makeover entails. However, there are some basic precautions and instructions that you should follow to help this recovery go as smoothly as possible, including:
- Arrange for someone to help you get around the house and help with your medication for at least the first twenty-four hours after surgery.
- Make sure you continue to have lots of help at home—this cannot be stressed enough. You’ll be tempted to try to help around the house quickly, but you won’t feel like yourself for at least seven days (ten to fourteen in many cases) and you still shouldn’t do any heavy lifting for four to six weeks. If you have small children, you must put someone else totally in charge of their care for two weeks.
- Try sleeping with several pillows under your back and keep your legs slightly bent at the hips to minimize the tension on your incision, reduce pain, and facilitate a thinner scar.
- Call us immediately if you notice an increase in swelling, pain, redness, drainage, or bleeding in the surgical area, or if you develop fever, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. Other red flags include shortness of breath, chest pains, and unusual heartbeat.
- We will supply you with a surgical bra to wear early in your recovery after breast reduction or breast lift. This will help minimize swelling. Most swelling should subside within a few weeks, although some swelling may persist for up to four months after breast reduction.
- You will need to wear an abdominal binder during your tummy tuck recovery. You may shower after the dressing, sponges, and gauze pads are removed. This usually occurs within seventy-two hours of your mommy makeover. After showering, pat your incisions dry and replace your abdominal binder.
- Avoid heavy lifting, contact sports, and jogging for up to six weeks.
Mommy Makeover Cost or Price
The cost of a mommy makeover varies from doctor to doctor, from one geographic area to another and based on the techniques involved. The biggest factor will be the number and kind of procedures you undergo. It is more accurate to look at the average cost per individual procedure (tummy tuck and augmentation) than use a national average for Mommy Makeover.
Limitations and Risks
Fortunately, serious risks of mommy makeover surgeries are rare and the satisfaction rate with these procedures is high. Your specific risks will be discussed during your consultation. The overall complication rate is small.
All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Some of the potential complications of all surgeries are:
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
- Infection and bleeding
- Changes in skin sensation
- Allergic reactions
- Damage to underlying structures
- Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures
- Blood clots in the legs or lungs