After childbearing, some women are left with cosmetic changes to the breasts or belly that don’t resolve with just healthy lifestyle changes. For patients who have had children or weight loss, a mommy makeover can help tighten and flatten the belly and lift, reduce, or augment the chest–restoring an hourglass figure.
What is a Mommy Makeover?
The term mommy makeover refers to combining a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) with any breast enhancement surgery – breast lift (mastopexy), augmentation (with implants), breast reduction, or lift with implants.
Mommy makeovers can address various issues, like fat deposits (belly pooch, love handles), loose skin, stretched abdominal muscles, and breast droop or deflation. Body contouring surgeries allow mothers to achieve a firmer, more toned, and rejuvenated silhouette, specifically targeting common physical changes that can occur after pregnancy.
Although Dr. Goldman most commonly performs mommy makeover as a single-stage procedure, it can be performed in two separate stages when appropriate, most often when combined with a different but related surgery.
Dr. Goldman almost always combines abdominoplasty with his 360-degree liposuction technique to optimize an hourglass contour of the trunk. Non-surgical procedures generally cannot achieve the results of a mommy makeover.
What are the benefits of a mommy makeover?
By individualizing the specific combination of procedures used for each patient, an optimal contour and shape of the breasts and belly can be achieved to mimic a patient’s pre-pregnancy body, emphasizing youthful, fit contours. Specific surgical maneuvers vary depending on each individual’s goals and physical characteristics.
Patients generally describe feeling more fit, slim, and youthful after a mommy makeover. Patients state that their friends may notice a flatter abdomen, more youthful-looking chest, and more athletic-looking buttocks.
Many women specifically know that they have diastasis recti, separation of the washboard muscles. This is corrected as part of the abdominoplasty portion of the mommy makeover.
Patients also often notice a functional improvement in their core strength, including the ability to do more sit-ups, lift more weight, and run faster. These observations are common.
This esthetic and functional improvement often leads to enhanced self-confidence. When a patient feels better about her appearance, she tends to be more self-assured in her daily life, which can positively impact her relationships and overall happiness.
What is included in a mommy makeover?
The standard Mommy Makeover includes a tummy tuck and some form of breast surgery, either breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction, or augmentation with a lift or reduction. Dr. Goldman includes 360-degree liposuction of the abdomen and flanks as a part of his mommy makeover.
Although additional procedures can be performed concurrently with the mommy makeover, these must be carefully selected so as not to overly prolong operative time or interfere with recovery.
Small hernias, in particular belly button hernias, are often fixed with the abdominal muscle tightening that is part of the tummy tuck portion of the mommy makeover.
What are the cons of a mommy makeover?
Like all surgery, the mommy makeover carries potential risks, including bleeding, infection, wound healing problems, skin necrosis (a patch of skin can die and scar), hematoma (blood collection), seroma (fluid collection), loss of nipple sensation, recurrent skin looseness, and breast implant-related issues.
Bleeding: Excessive bleeding during or early after surgery is rare but can require a return to the operating room or even hospital admission and transfusion.
Infection: Infection is also rare but may require oral or intravenous antibiotics or even return to the operating room or hospital admission.
Poor Healing of Incisions: Wound healing problems are more likely in certain patients, like smokers or diabetics, so patients must be optimized from a health standpoint prior to surgery. Healing problems generally resolve with wound care and bandages but may require further surgery.
Hematoma and Seroma: These are collections of blood or fluid under the skin in the wound that may require drainage, which can often be achieved in the office with a needle but may require further surgery.
Loss of Nipple Sensation: Breast surgery commonly causes a minor increase (hypersensitivity) or decrease (numbness) in nipple sensation early after surgery. Permanent numbness is uncommon but possible from any procedure.
Implant Issues: Patients opting for breast augmentation must understand that implants are not lifetime devices, even though they usually last many years. Issues requiring further surgery include implant leakage, shifting (malposition), and capsular contracture (scar tissue tightening around the implant). Patients are given detailed information about implant-related issues.
Unfavorable Scarring: Scarring is a natural part of surgery; any incision will always leave a scar, even if subtle. Scarring can be optimized with appropriate surgical techniques, including suturing techniques. (Dr. Goldman places his incisions under the skin to leave no suture marks.) But even with optimal surgical technique, some patients will have noticeable scars. See Silicone Sheeting for Scar Reduction.
Recurrent Skin Looseness: Skin always stretches, which is how it allows women to accommodate a pregnant belly in the first place. The abdominal skin generally stays smooth and tight after a tummy tuck, but the skin will always stretch to some degree after surgery, especially in patients with thin, sun-damaged skin.
Mommy Makeover Candidates
Are you wondering if you’re an ideal candidate for mommy makeover surgery? You may be a suitable candidate if:
- You are in good overall health.
- You have achieved your desired body weight.
- You maintain a positive outlook and have realistic expectations.
- The abdominoplasty portion of the procedure is appropriate for patients with loose belly skin and/or loose abdominal muscles, including diastasis recti (separation of the washboard muscles).
- Appropriate mommy makeover candidates may actually be thin or have areas of excess fat (lipodystrophy), but patients who are significantly (not slightly) overweight generally are not good candidates.
- Patients whose breasts have lost volume or flattened will generally benefit from implants. Patients with significant droop (ptosis) generally need a lift. Patients with excess volume and weight (usually accompanied by droop) may benefit from breast reduction. Some patients may benefit from breast implants plus a lift or even reduction to achieve a youthful, perky, full appearance.
Who should avoid tummy tuck surgery?
Tummy tuck surgery may not be the right choice for you if:
- You plan to have more children
- You are overweight or currently losing weight
- You are a smoker and are not willing to quit
Understanding these criteria will help you determine whether a mommy makeover aligns with your individual circumstances and goals.
How to prepare for mommy makeover surgery
As your surgery date approaches, it’s crucial to make some key preparations. First and foremost, you should completely stop using all tobacco or nicotine products, including gum, patches, and sprays. It’s equally important to avoid exposure to smoke and secondhand smoke during this period.
Generally, being completely smoke-free for 3 months or more is needed to minimize (but not eliminate) the increased risks of wound healing and medical problems known to be associated with smoking. This includes skin necrosis (when a patch of skin dies), heart and lung problems, and increased clotting risks.
Additionally, you’ll want to discontinue the intake of certain substances that can affect your surgery. Specifically, refrain from taking aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E, fish oil, and herbal remedies for at least two weeks. Medications and supplements can increase bleeding, high blood pressure, and other issues.
Also, hold Ozempic or any related medications for a month or more since these slow stomach emptying and can increase the risk of aspiration.
How long does it take to recover from a mommy makeover?
Recovery after a Mommy Makeover varies from one patient to another and is influenced by multiple factors, including the nature and number of procedures performed and the patient’s medical status, age, and overall health. Dr. Goldman emphasizes that early motion and activity are critical to a rapid recovery.
Dr. Goldman wants his patients up and walking (10 minutes or more each hour) immediately after surgery. Patients can shower in 2 days, exercise in 2 weeks, and do abdominal exercises in 6 weeks. Most patients take narcotics for 3-4 days and take 2 weeks off work (less than a week if only breast surgery is performed).
Most patients feel fully recovered within 3 to 4 months of surgery. Subtle healing changes continue for a year or more after surgery, including resolution of swelling and fading of scars.
Dr. Goldman and his staff individualize care for every patient, optimizing their preoperative preparation, tailoring the surgery itself, and giving detailed, understandable post-op instructions to maximize success for every procedure.
How long do mommy makeover results last?
If patients maintain their weight, tummy tuck results are essentially permanent, although aging will affect skin tone and texture, muscle strength, and body fat distribution over time. Breast lifts are usually permanent with respect to the elevation of the nipple, but skin can loosen, and breast tissue often thins with age.
Breast implants cannot be considered permanent devices. Most last well over 10 years, some more than 30 years. But they must be monitored long term, including periodic MRIs to look for early leaks in silicone implants. All women should perform monthly breast self-exams, and most need annual mammograms after age 40.
Like all surgeries, the outcomes of a mommy makeover differ from one patient to another due to the personalized nature of the procedure. Nevertheless, women can generally expect a substantial boost in their self-esteem.
Cost of a Mommy Makeover
The Mommy Makeover is a highly individualized procedure customized to each patient’s goals and physical characteristics. Prices vary based on the specific combination of procedures chosen. For a personalized cost breakdown, we recommend scheduling a private consultation with triple-board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Goldman.
Mommy Makeover Consultation with Dr. Goldman
If you’re considering a Mommy Makeover and ready to take the first step towards achieving your transformation, schedule a consultation by calling the offices of Dr. Steven Goldman today: Beachwood Plastic Surgery & Medical Spa at (216) 514-8899 and Westlake Plastic Surgery & Medical Spa at (440) 871-8899.
Let us guide you on your journey to a rejuvenated and confident you.