Childbirth, aging, and fluctuations in weight can change a woman’s body in ways that diet and exercise alone cannot fix. The Mommy Makeover addresses these effects by combining multiple surgical procedures – such as breast implants and liposuction. There are many different procedures available and a lot of options to consider. Dr. Raj guides his patients along each step, from the initial consultation through the procedure and into recovery. Mommy Makeovers, as with any kind of surgical procedure, has potential questions.
What is a Mommy Makeover?
Pregnancy is associated with breastfeeding, weight fluctuations, and aging – all factors that permanently change a woman’s body. A Mommy Makeover refers to combining two or more cosmetic surgical procedures to reduce these effects of aging and childbirth on a woman’s body. This typically includes one breast procedure and one abdominal procedure, but there are no hard and fast rules, just a desired outcome that leaves the patient feeling restored and looking their best.
Who is a candidate for a Mommy Makeover?
Mommy makeover candidates usually have a variety of post-pregnancy concerns to address including:
- A loss of breast volume or sagging/drooping
- Inability to get into shape/fit into their pre-pregnancy clothes despite proper diet and exercise.
- Loose skin and abdominal muscle from pregnancy
Typically, patients who are healthy and are non-smokers are good candidates for mommy makeover procedures. Mommy Makeover patients should not plan on having future children and should be at their stable ideal weight to obtain the best long-term results.
What’s included in a Mommy Makeover?
Usually, two or more procedures such as a breast lift (with or without implants) and a tummy tuck make up the majority of Mommy Makeovers.
Options and Variations
Most individual procedures can have subtle and not-so subtle variations based on the materials and techniques employed. While there may seem to be an overwhelming array of choices, Dr. Raj has experience helping to home in on an optimal protocol for each patient.
The most common breast procedures performed in a mommy makeover are breast augmentation, breast mastopexy, and breast reduction.
If a woman’s breasts are small or have lost volume after pregnancy, a breast augmentation with saline or silicone implants can restore the shape and volume of the breasts. These implants are typically placed with a hidden incision underneath the breast and put in a pocket below the muscle.
If a woman’s breasts have developed excess skin and are droopy and if the nipple is in an abnormal position, a breast lift can help reshape the breast and lift the nipple to a more appropriate position. This procedure also helps move the breast tissue upward so it is in a more youthful position.
Some women not only need a lift to remove excess skin and raise the nipple position, they may also desire a reduction in the size of the breasts to relieve symptoms such as neck pain, back pain, or rashes. The type of technique or incision pattern used depends on the physical exam measurements. Dr. Raj performs a thorough exam to suggest which breast surgery is most appropriate.
This procedure lifts the breast but also adds volume by placing a breast implant. Dr. Raj most often performs these two procedures at the same time. This is very commonly performed as a part of a mommy makeover.
The most common abdominal procedures performed in a mommy makeover are a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and liposuction.
Body contouring of the abdominal region are aimed at creating a smoother silhouette which typically requires removal of excess skin and tightening of the abdominal muscles. The type of tummy tuck or abdominoplasty depends on how each patient presents. The incision length can vary depending on how much skin needs to be removed. A muscle repair or tightening is performed by using suturing techniques.
Liposuction can be performed as part of a mommy makeover or in conjunction with abdominoplasty to better contour the flanks and back. The type or extent of liposuction employed can vary.
During the initial consultation patients will meet with Dr. Raj and his staff, and a thorough medical history and physical will be conducted to ensure that the patient might safely undergo plastic surgery. Dr. Raj and the patient will then discuss the patient’s goals as well as reviewing any reference materials the patient has brought to gain a thorough understanding of what the patient is trying to achieve with a mommy makeover. Depending on the procedures selected Dr. Raj may use imaging technology and take detailed measurements.
The findings of these measurements and examinations help Dr. Raj to narrow down options, such as implant sizing or incision position for the chosen procedures. By the end of the initial consultation the patient should have their questions about the procedures answered and Dr. Raj will be able to finalize the surgical plan.
Before the procedure, patients are given clear instructions on how to prepare for the procedure and what medications to avoid. Patients may need pre-operative testing to be completed and older patients will be required to obtain a mammogram. Patients who smoke tobacco will be required to stop using tobacco for a period before surgery can be scheduled.
For the safety of all patients, surgical appointments take place at an accredited surgery center or hospital, where patients will be greeted by staff to help them prepare for their surgery. Prior to the procedure Dr. Raj will perform a marking and discuss the details of surgery in the pre-operative holding area. This provides a final opportunity for Dr. Raj to answer any questions before the patient is placed under anesthesia and the surgery commences in an operating room.
The procedure itself varies from patient to patient but every patient will have a similar experience surrounding the surgery itself. Mommy makeover surgery is performed in an operating room under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure for patient comfort and safety.
Most mommy makeover procedures can be performed at the same time and will take between 3 and 6 hours.
After the procedure
Patients are given personalized instructions on the recovery process for their Mommy Makeover, though there are some general recommendations that apply in most cases.
Protocols for breast surgery patients include wearing a supportive bra post-surgery, using soft gauze or pads over the incisions – especially in cases of breast lift or reduction. Abdominoplasty and Liposuction patients will be required to wear a compression garment, which is provided after surgery, for a total of 6 weeks while the healing process takes place. All sutures are dissolvable and do not require removal.
Pain and swelling are normal within the first week. Dr. Raj utilizes long-acting anesthetics in his surgical technique to improve the ability to walk and return to most normal activity during the early healing stages. Depending on the type and extent of procedures, patients may be required to abstain from strenuous activity and exercise for 4-6 weeks while wounds are healing. After one month, Dr. Raj teaches scar reduction techniques to further improve healing.
Limitations, Risks, and Possible Complications
Every procedure has unique risks and complications but most commonly the risks of surgery are bleeding, infection, and reactions to anesthesia. Proper would care can help prevent, but not eliminate the potential for unfavorable scarring, skin discoloration, and poor wound healing/breakdown.
Dr. Raj employs techniques designed to minimize fluid accumulation and skin loss, but there is still some risk. His patients are well educated on how they can best avoid uncommon reactions such as fat necrosis or cardiac complications from surgery. Finally, with any cosmetic surgery, the possibility exists for revision surgery due to these types of complications or other changes, such as extreme weight fluctuation after the fact.
Q: Which “mommy makeover” breast procedure do I need?
A: The needs of each patient begin with establishing what they are looking for. Women who want volume will likely be happiest with breast augmentation. Those seeking perkiness or to reduce sagging may be very satisfied with a breast lift alone. Some women need a reduction after pregnancy and a breast reduction provides the size they’re looking for while raising the nipple to a more appropriate position.
Q: What procedures do patients generally choose to undergo and why?
A: Patients who have undergone pregnancy typically choose one breast procedure and one abdominal procedure, but there is no magical combination of specific procedures. Individual patients call for individualized plans.
Q: How Painful is a Mommy Makeover?
A: Any surgery which involves tissue and muscle trauma is going to have some associated bruising, swelling and pain. Still, mommy makeover surgery is usually less painful than patients expect. This is because Dr. Raj employs long-acting, injectable pain medications such as Exparel which help mitigate pain at the wound site during the first days of healing. This reduces the amount of narcotic pain medication required for patients and helps them to get on their feet faster. Combined with proper wound care and the pain from surgery is minimized, though patients may be sore for several weeks or more the pain is not debilitating.
Q: When is the best time to have a mommy makeover?
A: Women of all ages can undergo a mommy makeover, but it is recommended for ones who have been at a stable weight and have completed childbearing. The surgical result can be lost or suboptimal if weight is gained after surgery or if patients become pregnant again.
Q: What is the recovery like for a mommy makeover?
A: The recovery depends on the procedures that are done. It takes a few weeks for swelling and bruising to completely subside. Most patients can return to work 1 week after surgery. Most patients are cleared for light exercise after 4 weeks. Patients are cleared to resume their exercise regimen at 6 weeks.
Q: How long does it take to see the result?
A: Results will be seen immediately but it takes a total of 3-6 months to see the final result after all of the swelling and bruising decrease.
Being a world-class plastic surgeon requires a tireless pursuit of learning, teaching, and growing alongside one of the fastest evolving surgical fields combined with a standard of patient care that is anything but standard.
Still, it’s not publications or personality, industry recognition or awards that make Dr. Raj the best choice to perform a Mommy Makeover. These things may influence patients and inform their decisions, but ultimately there is only one thing that really matters in the end, and that’s the end result. Dr. Raj delivers where it matters most – in the mirror.
If you want to learn more about Mommy Makeover surgery please call (469) 301-1725 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Raj Mohan, board certified plastic surgeon serving the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. He operates in Arlington, Grapevine, Southlake, Dallas, Plano, Frisco, Irving, and Coppell.