A mommy makeover, which entails cosmetic surgery to both the breasts and stomach, often along with liposuction, too, is a game-changer for women who say that pregnancy changed their body–and not always for the better. But even though this somewhat invasive procedure can eliminate stubborn areas of fat, reposition the breasts, restore lost volume, and get rid of loose skin on the stomach once and for all, there’s a lot to be fully aware of before going into the procedure. Here, we share the top 10 things to know about mommy makeover surgery before the big day.
- Wait at least six months or more after childbirth (preferably your last one) before having surgery.
There are some major misconceptions about how soon after having a baby to undergo a mommy makeover. First, any surgeon who tells you to opt for surgery immediately after giving birth is not who you want to operate on you. Following pregnancy and delivery, the body needs to heal, and the tissues have to contract–that goes for the breasts, stomach, and uterus, too. Also, it’s best to be as close to your pre-pregnancy or target weight before undergoing any procedure, especially a mommy makeover.
However, if you plan to have more children, it’s best to wait until you are done with all your pregnancies before having surgery. This way, you’ll get the best result and won’t have to worry if additional pregnancies can ‘undo’ the effects of a mommy makeover.
- Any combination of breast procedures exists within a mommy makeover.
Yes, breast surgery is one part of a mommy makeover, but there’s no set-in-stone rule about what type of surgery you have to have. For example, some women opt for breast augmentation while others choose just a lift. Still, a large majority of women select both breast augmentation with a breast lift. And if a breast reduction is needed, your surgeon can do that too.
The best way to choose the appropriate breast procedure for you during your mommy makeover is to identify what you don’t like about your breasts and discuss it with your plastic surgeon during a consultation. This way, you can adequately address the issues at hand with a customized approach.
- Set aside ample time for a full recovery.
A mommy makeover is an invasive procedure that requires plenty of time to rest, heal, and recover. A mommy makeover is one time when you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of extra help on hand and lots of time off (be it from work or everyday life) to give your body the support it needs to recover properly.
Don’t expect to have a mommy makeover done on a Monday and be back at work and running carpool by the end of the week–that’s not realistic. Instead, plan on taking at least a few weeks off and prep as much as possible before the surgery.
- Expect prolonged swelling.
Part of the recovery process of a mommy makeover entails long-lasting swelling that can take upwards of six months to resolve. Just because there is some residual swelling and puffiness isn’t anything to worry about–it’s normal. However, make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions and wear loose-fitting clothes that are comfortable and unrestrictive during this time.
- Stretch marks may improve, but they may not be entirely gone.
The tummy tuck portion of a mommy makeover eliminates loose skin, and if any stretch marks live on the part of the stomach where the skin is excised, those marks are likely to be gone for good. However, not all stretch marks are addressed during a mommy makeover simply because of their location and size. Some may move further down the stomach or may not be as prevalent once the skin is tightened.
- The tummy tuck scar can vary.
Depending on the extent of loose skin and muscle separation, your plastic surgeon may choose to perform a full tummy tuck, which includes a hip-to-hip incision, or a mini tummy tuck, which, in the end, resembles more of a C-section scar. Let your surgeon advise which technique will address your concerns to get the best possible result. Of course, a scar is a trade-off of surgery, but any tummy tuck scar is easily concealed under bathing suit bottoms and underwear.
- Liposuction is usually part of the mommy makeover.
Most plastic surgeons will incorporate liposuction into the procedure to create a streamlined look. The common treatment areas include the hips and waist, although if other areas are of concern, make sure to discuss them with your plastic surgeon during your consultation.
If enough fat is removed during the liposuction portion of the surgery, your plastic surgeon can transplant it to the buttocks. Known as a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) the addition of fat to the butt is now a popular option that patients interested in increased volume can opt for.
- General anesthesia is used.
Plastic surgeons always use general anesthesia due to the invasive nature of a mommy makeover. The surgery usually takes a few hours to perform, and you’ll want to be as comfortable as possible during it and afterward. While you may be groggy when you wake up from surgery, the anesthesia will begin to wear off over the next 24 hours, and then you’ll feel more like yourself again.
- There will be an incision around the belly button.
A small incision will be made around the belly button so that your plastic surgeon can lift and tighten skin from the belly button down. Ideally, the belly button will still retain its round shape post-procedure with a barely visible scar.
- Be patient with your results.
Like many other cosmetic surgery procedures, the final results of a mommy makeover are usually not seen immediately. It can take a few months, or longer, for everything to fall into place and look the way you expect. It’s normal for the body to go through different stages as it heals from a mommy makeover, and you should address any concerns you have with your plastic surgeon.