Mommy makeover surgery
Pregnancy and childbirth can significantly change a woman’s body. While some mothers return to their previous shape easily, others have difficulties regaining their pre-pregnancy figure regardless of all the effort with strict diets and different types of exercises.
Stretch marks on tummy, bulging of abdomen due to separation of abdominal muscles, deposition of stubborn fat, breast sagging or deflation – here are some common changes that are unfortunately permanent for many women. This is where plastic surgery can help.
What is a mommy makeover?
A “mommy makeover” is a descriptive term that refers to a combination of cosmetic procedures to restore or improve women’s shape after pregnancy.
It is also known as post-pregnancy surgery or postpartum makeover. The definition of these terms is not clear or fixed. While classical “mommy makeover “ includes breast enhancement and tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), in reality, the procedures conducted are tailored personally, according to individual goals and may not involve invasive surgery at all.
Below is a list of common procedures that can be a part of makeover. In most cases they can be performed simultaneously.
- Tummy tuck
- Breast lift
- Breast reduction
- Breast augmentation
You can see detailed procedural info down below.
- Skin tightening
- Cellulite reduction
- Non-surgical feminine rejuvenation
So the definition of “mommy makeover” varies according to patients’ needs. And it is more of a clever marketing than medical term.
In fact, pregnancy is not always required to qualify for these procedures – weight loss or aging can cause the same unwanted changes described above.
Choosing a suitable option
You will discuss your own personal goals with your plastic surgeon. You might want to improve breast symmetry, volume and correct sagging, or might be concerned with excess skin sagging from the abdomen, or wish to address both problems at once.
In the latter case your surgeon will advise you to go for classic mommy makeover with breast augmentation and tummy tuck. Plus you can add liposuction or any procedure listed above. There are not any rules set.
Best time for mommy makeover
When should you have a mommy makeover? There are some factors that need to be taken into account before you will decide.
- You should not hurry. Before undergoing such a complex surgery, one must be fully recovered from childbirth.
- Breastfeeding changes the shape of your breasts. So you should wait several months until breasts gain stable shape and size. Neither surgical nor non-surgical treatments are recommended during this period.
- As a rule, it is better to wait until you no longer plan to have children. It is not a surprise that your body will go through the same changes during subsequent pregnancies. So the results of surgical procedures like tummy tuck and breast lifting might be compromised. If you still plan to become pregnant, non- surgical interim treatments are more cost-effective options.
How are the mommy makeover procedures performed?
As we have already mentioned above, mommy makeover is not a single approach. It is a combination of surgical and non-surgical procedures to address individual needs.
Let’s go through procedures and see more detailed info on what to expect and how they are performed.
Breast lift, also known as mastopexy, allows women to get rid of the unpleasant consequences of sagging breasts (mastoptosis).
The reason for the appearance of mastoptosis can be multiple: carrying and feeding of the baby, rapid and significant weight loss, the initial discrepancy between the large breast and the weak musculoligamentous apparatus, or age-related changes.
The skin of the breast is stretched, losing its elasticity and firmness. As a result, there is a flattening and sagging of the mammary glands.
How it’s done
- The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, or the combination of intravenous sedation + local anesthesia
- After anesthesia your surgeon can begin with various types of incisions. The choice depends on the amount of extra skin and nipple position.
- After the incisions are made, the surgeon removes skin and reshapes the breast tissue.
- Nipples can also be repositioned and the size of areola reduced, to give your breast a more youthful look. In most cases nipples stay attached to underlying tissues to preserve sensation.
- The skin is tightened afterwards and the wound closed.
- The duration of the operation depends on the method chosen by the surgeon and patient. On average, the operation takes 2-3 hours. You can be discharged from the clinic in a day or two, but will need another week to get back to work.
- During the first month after operation, wearing compression underwear, that supports the breast, is recommended. This reduces postoperative edema and pain at the site of the wound, and also accelerates the patient’s rehabilitation. Painkillers are prescribed to reduce the pain in the postoperative period. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to prevent complications.
During pregnancy breasts usually enlarge and sometimes remain so. With very large, heavy mammary glands, a woman experiences a number of problems: back, shoulder and neck pain, spinal deformity, poor posture, skin irritation, rash and even sleep problems, as long as it is impossible to take a comfortable position.
The purpose of this surgery is not only to reduce the size of the breast, but also to give it an aesthetic appearance, while maintaining sensitivity.
Reduction mammoplasty is another name of breast reduction surgery.
How it’s done
- The anesthesia options are the same as in breast lift surgery. General anesthesia or combination of intravenous sedation and local anesthetics.
- To remove excess fat, skin and glandular tissue your surgeon can use a variety of options. If the main contributor to your breast enlargement is fatty tissue, liposuction can be sufficient. In other cases, both liposuction and excision are necessary.
- After choosing the best incision option, the surgeon will reposition the nipple, excise skin around areola if needed, and afterwards reduce, shape and lift your breasts. Nerve and blood supply remain intact.
- The sutures in tissue layers and skin will support a new shape of breast. Your breasts are then wrapped in gauze.
- Success depends both on the skill of the surgeon and on your careful observance of recommendations in the postoperative period. Physical activity, vertical loads, raising your arms above your head, carrying weights is strictly prohibited. It is very important to wear compression garments during this period.
Breast augmentation or augmentation mammoplasty is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures.
The goal here is to increase breast size. We can use silicone or saline implants and fat grafts.
How it’s done
- There are multiple approaches for breast augmentation. Generally surgeons choose between four types of incisions: Inframammary, areolar, transaxillary and trans-umbilical. Inframammary and periareolar are two most common and widely practiced types.
In the inframammary approach, an incision is created in the crease under the breast. This location allows the best access for implant placement.
Hence, it is an ideal choice for silicone implants. Inframammary incisions are the most commonly practiced approach in the U.S.
While performing an periareolar incision, the surgeon cuts near the lower side of the areola. This helps to hide scars afterwards.
In patients who are prone to formation of thick scar tissues (hypertrophic scarring) or have poorly defined inframammary folds this incision offers better outcome.
- After the incision is made, the surgeon lifts the breast tissue and places implants underneath or over the pectoral muscle. This muscle is located between breast tissue and chest wall.
- After incisions are closed, the breast is wrapped in bandage or surgical compression. Draining tubes can be left for some time.
- Following the recommendations given by the doctor is also of great significance here. Compression underwear, prevention of infectious diseases, moderate physical activity and sometimes diet is necessary.
Also known as Abdominoplasty. It is a complex surgical technique that is used to remove excess skin and fat from the tummy.
It is aimed at improving the shape, reducing the volume and strengthening the anterior surface of the abdominal wall, as well as transferring the stretched navel to its natural position.
Abdominoplasty is often done in conjunction with liposuction.
How it’s done
- There are several types of abdominoplasty. Most procedures fall into the category of Standard abdominoplasty. In this approach the entire abdominal wall, from xiphoid process to the pubic bone is involved. Most of the skin is removed from the region between navel and pubic hair via horizontal cut. The incision runs from hip to hip and leaves scar along the bikini line. In addition to removing excess fat and skin, abdominal muscles are sutured together. Then, after the skin is pulled downwards, a new opening for the belly button is made.
Another approach is called Mini-abdominoplasty. In contrast to standard abdominoplasty, only limited skin is removed from the lower area and the navel is not relocated. As a result the scar is a little bit smaller.
For those who have lost lots of weight, Vertical abdominoplasty might be a better option. In addition to removing skin in horizontal direction (as in the standard abdominoplasty) this procedure adds vertical cut to decrease abdominal circumference.
The drawback is additional long scar and associated problems with it, such as delayed wound healing.
- If necessary, liposuction is also performed to reduce subcutaneous fat deposits in the abdomen and waist. This grants the even distribution of fat layers in the abdomen.
- Abdominoplasty is performed under general anesthesia. The duration of the operation is from 1.5 to 3 hours, depending on its scale.
- Discomfort and swelling are expected for a few days and you will be given pain medication for a week or two. During this period you might also have drain tubes. This is to remove wound fluid and accelerate the healing process.
- Full recovery may take up to 3 months.
Lipoplasty is another name for this procedure. It is a method of removing fatty tissue that allows us to shape your figure without damaging skin.
While planning a mommy makeover, your surgeon will most likely recommend this procedure for flanks and hips to get better overall results.
Liposuction quickly and effectively removes excess fat in the desired areas and can also be performed on the chest, upper part of arms,thighs, neck, etc.
How it’s done
- The operation can be performed under either general or local anesthesia.
- After anesthesia the surgeon will make a minor incision. Sterile fluid and local anesthetic agents are injected along with epinephrine to reduce bleeding.
- Thin cannula will be inserted and excess fat will be sucked out.
- Complications after surgery include: bruising and tissue swelling in the operated areas, tissue hardening, temporary loss of sensation and general weakness. A compression bandage should be worn for 2-5 weeks after surgery.
What to expect after mommy makeover?
The most popular question is when the patient will be able to return to usual activities and enjoy the results. Since the procedures are personalized, the time of recovery varies. But in general, recovery time of the most extensive surgery should be expected.
Tummy tuck is the most extensive procedure in our list. Patients who have had abdominoplasty ( plus any other procedure) should feel comfortable and confident in 3 months.
Since most mothers wish to complete mommy makeover as soon as possible, the careful planning of childcare is necessary. Lifting is absolutely restricted for a month or two, so you will not be able to carry or even pick up a child and will definitely need help.
There is no need to list pros like slimmer body, better bust and flat tummy. But there are some things to consider. First of all, if you get breast implants, you should know that they are not lifelong devices.
The American society of plastic surgeons advises having them exchanged or removed approximately every 10-15 years. And you should also keep in mind that weight gain or subsequent pregnancy will most likely compromise the results.
Mommy Make Over Surgery – Summary
Mommy makeover is an effective procedure with long-lasting results. Of course, the best way to learn more about your own procedure options is to meet with a certified cosmetic surgeon for a consultation. Choose your surgeon according to experience with mommy makeover procedures.