One of the most popular cosmetic surgeries on the market today is the Mommy Makeover. Aimed at mothers who want to get their pre-pregnancy bodies back and are finding exercise and diet alone are not enough, this procedure is actually a combination of three separate surgeries aimed at tightening the muscles loosened by pregnancy, removing stubborn pockets of fat and loose skin, and enhancing or lifting sagging tissue. Let’s start with the basics:
What is a Mommy Makeover?
A mommy makeover is a single-session combination of abdominoplasty, liposuction, and breast augmentation. What exactly each patients’ procedure includes will depend on the types of enhancements they desire, this package is a highly subjective one. Typically patients undergo a traditional tummy tuck as part of the surgery but options are available for mini and extended tummy tuck options depending on the needs of the individual patient.
Similarly breast augmentation can range from a simple implant to a full breast lift. A breast lift reduces excess skin and remodels breast tissue to repair sagging breasts as well as using implants to offset volume loss.
Will it remove my stretch marks?
Stretch marks are caused by the weakening of collagen in the skin due to rapid weight loss, weight gain, or pregnancy. The skin is stretched more quickly than normal and the collagen breaks down from the excessive pressure.
This can occur virtually anywhere on the body but is most common on the stomach, breasts, thighs, hips, and butt. During a tummy tuck procedure, many of these unsightly marks can be removed along with any excess skin.
What is the recovery time?
Recovery time for surgery depends substantially on the health of the patient beforehand as well as the exact nature of the procedures involved. Abdominoplasty is one of the most serious cosmetic surgeries on the market and recovery time can vary greatly for this extensive surgery.
Mini-tummy tucks may require less healing time but the general guidelines for patients recovery from mommy makeovers is about 2-3 months.
For the first couple of days patients should expect to remain in bed and will likely require pain medication but within the first 2-3 weeks most patients will begin to taper off the medication and increase their activity.
What are the risks?
Any time we undergo surgery we want to know what the risks are and be sure that we are in good hands. This is why we choose the best doctors and not the best price tags. Unfortunately not every procedure will go perfectly and complications can arise. Complications are rare but can include:
- Adverse reactions to anesthesia;
- Internal bleeding;
- Collection of fluid;
- Infections; and
- Blood clots.
To avoid complications, patients should be sure to follow this advice before scheduling their mommy makeover:
- Stop smoking! Smokers are at increased risk for complications with anesthesia and cigarettes can also have a negative impact on skin condition.
- Stop breastfeeding! Your breasts will need time to heal after the procedure so wean babies off breast milk long before you book your appointment.
- Have more babies! If you want or might want more children in the future, hold off on the tummy tuck for now as it can cause complications down the road.
Emma Williams is a consultant plastic surgeon in Canada whose private practice is largely dedicated to cosmetic surgical procedures like breast reconstruction and tummy tuck.