What is a “Mommy Makeover”?
Women often complain that their bodies change after having children. After pregnancy and breastfeeding, the breast and belly often have lingering or permanent effects. The skin can be stretched and lose its elasticity after the pregnancy is over and even after additional weight loss is accomplished. The breasts can lose volume/fullness and change position after pregnancy too. The “Mommy Makeover” is a phrase that is used to describe the combination of breast and abdominal (belly) procedures to improve or restore the body to its pre-pregnancy condition.
Many people assume that the “mommy makeover” means having a breast implant. But for those patients who don’t want to increase the size of their breasts, a mastopexy or breast lift can be done. The amount of ptosis, or “hanging”, of the breast is how the decision is made as to which lift is needed. A lift and an augmentation with an implant can also be done together if the patient is looking to increase the size of the breast while lifting to a more youthful position.
The second part of the “Mommy Makeover” is the Tummy. Abdominal procedures range from liposuction by itself to “tummy-tucks” or a combination of both. Again, the degree of skin looseness and the amount of fat under the skin determines which of the procedures is appropriate for each patient.
Who is an ideal candidate for a mommy makeover?
A mommy makeover is intended to directly address the areas of the body affected by a pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. The localized weight gain in the lower belly and breasts can leave a pooch in the tummy, flattened, sagging breasts, and pockets of stubborn fat. If this sounds like your body after the birth of your child or children, a mommy makeover can correct these changes.
What procedures are involved in a mommy makeover?
Mommy makeovers target the areas most affected by the localized weight gain and loss of a pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. Mommy makeovers usually consist of a tummy tuck, breast lift with or without augmentation, and liposuction. Here’s a description of what Dr. Lombardo will do during each of these procedures at Lombardo Cosmetic Surgery:
- Tummy tuck — A tummy tuck targets loose skin and underlying stretched or separated muscles on the abdomen. An incision is made along the bikini line, usually from hipbone to hipbone. The underlying muscles, which have been separated by the localized weight gain of pregnancy, are pulled together and sutured for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. The skin is then pulled down and excess is trimmed away. Your tummy tuck may just involve the lower incision, or it may also include an incision near the belly button to address sagging above the navel.
- Breast lift — The breast lift seeks to bring the breasts back up to a higher position on the chest. The incisions needed depend on the amount of sagging. Dr. Lombardo may be able to accomplish the lift with an incision around the areola of each breast. But if more skin must be trimmed, the incision could need to extend down to the breast crease, and sometimes outward along that crease. This is known as an “anchor incision.” A lift doesn’t return lost breast volume. If you want to add volume Dr. Lombardo can add augmentation through breast implants to your breast lift. Augmentation at this time is not difficult as the implants can be placed though the incisions already made for the breast lift.
- Liposuction — Stubborn pockets of fat in your abdomen and possibly your outer thighs and buttocks are the targets of the liposuction portion of your mommy makeover. These areas are almost impossible to target with exercise or diet. This procedure uses a cannula inserted through tiny incisions to suction out pockets of unwanted fat and slim your contour. Dr. Lombardo uses tumescent liposuction, where a liquid solution of saline combined with adrenaline and anesthetic is injected into the treatment areas to minimize bruising, blood loss, and to help loosen the fat.
How long does mommy makeover surgery last?
This combination of procedures with Dr. Lombardo can take between 4-6 hours. This is a long time and it will make for an involved recovery, but that’s the beauty of a mommy makeover — three procedures but just a single recovery.
What will my recovery be like?
Your recovery will be predicated upon which procedures you’ve had in your makeover. There will even be variation within procedures. For instance, Dr. Lombardo may only perform a mini tummy tuck if you don’t have tons of sagging skin. That will make your recovery easier than if you had a full tummy tuck with two incisions. The same can be true with your breast lift. An anchor incision will be more difficult in recovery than an areolar incision.
You’ll wear compression garments for around one month to minimize swelling and to help your body adapt to its new slimmer contour. The first week of your recovery will be difficult — there’s no sugar-coating that. Due to the muscle repositioning and incision length involved with a tummy tuck, full recovery can take up to six months. You won’t be able to lift more than 10 pounds for at least one month, due to your tummy tuck. Most mommy makeover patients can return to a light level of activity in one to two weeks, but any strenuous exercise, particularly lifting, will have to wait at least six weeks.
We’ll discuss your recovery in detail during your consultation and in preparation for your mommy makeover.
What will my scarring be like after a mommy makeover?
As a board-certified plastic surgery, Dr. Lombardo will do all she can to minimize your incision scars, but scarring is inevitable with tummy tuck and breast lift surgeries. For a tummy tuck, Dr. Lombardo drops the incision line below the panty or bikini line so that it is easily hidden. Depending on the amount of sagging skin that needs to be removed in your breast lift, your incision may follow the anchor pattern. This will leave an incision scar, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly this fades in the months after your recovery.
What Our Patients Have to Say
“I could not have been more pleased. Her staff are amazing. Together they make the entire surgical process stress-free and actually pleasant. You feel like you are surrounded by good friends. It has now been a year since my procedure and I remain extremely satisified. I would not hesitate to use Dr. Lombardo again.” -David M.
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How long after my final child do I need to wait before having my makeover?
This isn’t something to jump right into. Dr. Lombardo recommends that a potential mommy makeover candidate should have finished breastfeeding for at least two to three months. This allows your breasts to return to their normal cup size. Also, since liposuction and tummy tuck surgery are not weight-loss procedures, you should be within 10 to 15 pounds of your ideal weight. It also helps if a candidate is exercising regularly, as this will make recovery easier and is a start down the path toward a healthy lifestyle that will help maintain your results for the long haul.
I’m still considering having additional children. Should I have a mommy makeover?
During her consultations for mommy makeovers, Dr. Lombardo stresses that the woman must be certain she is not going to have any additional children. This is because the improvements made by these combined surgeries will be negated by another pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding.
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