What is a Mommy Makeover?
Pregnancy, becoming a mom, and all that goes with it, can take its toll on a woman. The abdomen stretches, breasts begin to sag and deflate, and other parts of the body can show the wear of carrying a child, delivery and of breastfeeding.
The breasts get bigger during pregnancy and go through more tugging and stretching during the process of breastfeeding. The skin that stretches does not necessarily shrink back to its former state; this can change the shape of the breasts as well as ultimately reduce them in size. Older mothers tend to have more difficulty with this than younger moms do. The passage of time has left their skin less elastic.
The abdomen stretches and the waist may lose its “girlish” shape over the course of one or more pregnancies. In many cases, no amount of exercise will return these parts of the woman’s body to their pre-childbirth state.
Mommy Makeover is a term coined for a series of plastic surgery procedures that a woman can undergo after having a baby. The goal of the makeover is to bring the body back to its original condition before pregnancy and childbirth. In some cases, the mommy makeover can result in a body that is more toned and attractive than it was before pregnancy.
Am I a good candidate for a Mommy Makeover?
The best candidate for a mommy makeover is a mother who is done having children. She must also be through breastfeeding. It is recommended that she try to lose as much weight and tone her body as well as she can on her own, and that she waits at least six months after giving birth to her youngest child.
If, at this point, the woman is not satisfied with the way her body looks and would like help in returning her breasts, abdomen and other affected areas back to their pre-pregnancy state, she is likely to be a good candidate for a mommy makeover.
What is involved in a Mommy Makeover?
As with any other cosmetic procedure, the first step is scheduling a consultation with a qualified, experienced, board certified plastic surgeon. You want a doctor who understands what you want to achieve and does not over or underestimate what it will take to get you there.
One of the good things about a mommy make over is that, depending on the woman’s individual situation and physical changes, she can choose to limit the makeover to a specific area or can take advantage of the range of options to transform her whole figure.
What might be included in Mommy Makeover Procedures?
A mommy makeover refers to any or all of a combination of cosmetic procedures, including tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), breast lift (mastopexy) and/or breast augmentation, labiaplasty and liposuction. Not every woman will elect to have (or will even need) all of these procedures. It is important to discuss all the options with your surgeon so that a customized plan can be created for you.
Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty)
It’s not unusual for a woman to have excess fat and loose, saggy skin in the abdominal region after one or more pregnancies. As part of a mommy makeover, the plastic surgeon will surgically remove excess fat and skin from the abdominal region and tighten the stomach muscles. The result is a smoother and more youthful contour in that mid-region of the body.
The procedure is performed, usually on an outpatient basis, and under general or sedation anesthesia. The cosmetic surgeon makes a horizontal incision above the pubic hairline. Separated or weakened abdominal muscles are repaired, and excess fat, tissue and skin are surgically removed. Often, liposuction is combined with tummy tuck to create a more pleasing proportion with the rest of the body including the waist line, outer thighs and mid-back area. It is very important to look at the overall shape of the woman’s figure and not just the abdomen. Liposuction can also be performed as a separate procedure.
Mommy Makeover Breast Surgery
An essential part of a mommy makeover is the breast augmentation and/or the breast lift. If a woman feels satisfied with the volume and size of her breasts, but the breast are sagging and have lost their shape, a simple breast lift is probably the answer. However, if the actual size and volume is inadequate then augmentation with some sort of implant may be needed. In some cases, the surgeon may choose to do both in order to achieve the best results.
This procedure is performed under general or sedation anesthesia and usually as an outpatient surgery. During one of the consultations the patient will have with their plastic surgeon prior to receiving their mommy makeover, she will be shown before and after pictures and will discuss with him the results she’s looking for. This is when she will decide on whether a breast lift or augmentation or combination of the two is right for her. Each decision will be made by the patient and her surgeon together, ensuring you get the best possible result from your mommy makeover.
Labiaplasty – Genital Rejuvenation as Part of a Mommy Makeover
Childbirth causes many changes to the vaginal area. The process of birthing a child can permanently stretch and loosen the labia, the skin that covers the vaginal opening. A labiaplasty can correct large or misshapen labial skin and enhance the external appearance of the vagina. The most common form of labiaplasty involves reducing the size/bulk of the inner labia to better align with the outer labia creating a more attractive and proportional look. Less commonly, the outer labia are the problem. Sometimes, the outer labia become very thin and “deflated”. This can be remedied with a simple procedure – fat injection to the outer labia. This fills out the outer labia and restores the youthful contour. Finally, in some women, the outer labia can become elongated. This can be reduced in length with labiaplasty just as the inner labia can be reduced. The goal of labiaplasty is to evaluate the labia, both inner and outer, and to create a balanced and youthful look.
Liposuction as part of Mommy Makeover Plastic Surgery
A plastic surgeon will likely use liposuction as part of a mommy makeover. After childbirth fat on the hips, thighs and abdomen can become increasingly difficult to lose through diet and exercise. Liposuction is one of the procedures that helps with eliminating these areas of fat. During liposuction the plastic surgeon uses a thin, hollow instrument, called a cannula to “suck” fat from the various affected parts of the body. The goal is to create a beautiful and proportional contour – to sculpt the body.
Liposuction removes fat cells permanently and is used to alter and contour the shape of the body. It is the most common cosmetic procedure performed in America and the United Kingdom.
Techniques to remove or lessen Mommy Makeover scars and stretch marks
During pregnancy, the skin stretches, causing tiny tears in the layers of the skin. These tears, called stretch marks, can appear as little glossy, white streaks in the skin.
Close to three out of four women will develop stretch marks on their legs, hips, abdomen, and other areas after pregnancy. To eliminate this unwanted scarring and return the skin to a more youthful appearance, many women turn to laser stretch mark removal. This procedure can reduce the appearance of stretch marks. The only way to remove stretch marks completely is to actually remove the affected skin as is done in a tummy tuck. Many women are excited to see their stretch marks disappear after this popular procedure.
Are there options to get a Mommy Makeover without surgery?
Although most women choose the more dramatic changes available with surgical procedures, there are minimally invasive techniques that can achieve some sought-after results.
One of the problems that can haunt a woman after pregnancy is the appearance of varicose veins and spider veins. Sometimes these can only be eliminated with surgery. However in certain cases, there are non-surgical approaches that work such as laser treatments.
Mommy Makeover Recovery Time and Post Op
How long will it take to recover from a Mommy Make Over? What are the limitations during recovery from a Mommy Makeover?
The amount of time it will take for full recovery depends in part on the number of procedures involved in that particular mommy makeover surgery. You’ll receive specific instructions and time estimates from your surgeon after surgery is completed.
Generally, the first seven to fourteen days the patient is limited to moving around the house. You should not lift anything heavy – including children. During the following two weeks the patient will be able to leave the house, go to work (if you have a desk job), walk for exercise, and be more active in caring for children. In this period the patient should still not lift anything heavier than ten pounds.
During weeks five and six of the recovery period, the patient can engage in more vigorous exercise. Starting at week eight the patient is free to engage in any of the activities they did before the surgery.
Will I have visible scars from my Mommy Makeover?
Yes, however the surgeries are performed in a way to hide, as much as possible, any scarring. These marks are usually well hidden by clothes, even a swimsuit. Most scars will be red for a few months and then will fade to white. To reduce your scars visibility as much as possible, your surgeon should use excellent technique and then guide you in the care of the scars in the months after surgery.
How much does a Mommy Makeover Surgery cost? Is a Mommy Makeover covered by insurance?
The cost of a Mommy Makeover depends on the number of separate procedures involved in the surgery. Unfortunately, most insurances do not cover a Mommy Makeover. Give our office a call and we can go over your particular financial situation with you.