Pregnancy can have a major impact on a woman’s body. All the changes caused during pregnancy due to fluctuating hormones can make it extremely difficult to regain her pre-pregnancy body through simple diet and exercise: oftentimes cosmetic surgery is the only route to a younger, toned body.
A mommy makeover takes all of the usual cosmetic surgeries desired after pregnancy and rolls them into one procedure to help clients save time and money. By getting a tummy tuck, breast enhancement, and liposuction all at the same time, women have less overall recovery time and more dramatic results.
Good candidates include women who are in good overall health, between the ages of 25 – 60, and not planning to have any more children.
Most of the recovery time associated with a mommy makeover is due to the tummy tuck or abdominoplasty component. This is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the stomach area by removing excess skin and fat and tightening the muscles loosened by pregnancy. Often combined with liposuction for best results, there are three different types of tummy tucks commonly performed today:
- Traditional tummy tuck:
A traditional tummy tuck requires an incision running from hip to hip which allows the surgeon access to all abdominal tissue. This is considered a major surgery with longer recovery time.
- Mini-Tummy Tuck:
The mini-tummy tuck is for clients whose undesirable fat is located predominantly under the belly button. The shorter incision lines limit the amount of tissue that can be sculpted by the surgeon but also mean that this procedure has a shorter recovery time.
- Extended Tummy Tuck:
Extended treatment extends to the sides and includes the areas known as the “love handles”. This procedure will have a slightly increased recovery time due to the larger incisions required.
Another benefit of this procedure is the ability to address stretch marks, stretched abdominal walls, and scars from C-sections at the same time.
When used in conjunction with the types of tummy tuck, liposuction can bring in the waistline and help to create more pleasing contours in the stomach region. It will remove excess fat packets that are resistant to exercise for a flatter, fitter tummy.
Breast enhancement surgeries are employed as part of a mommy makeover procedure to repair the sagging of breast tissue caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy and breast feeding. Many clients decide to augment their breasts as part of this surgery to create a larger size or replace lost volume.
Women who desire a long-lasting solution can opt for a breast lift with leaves more scarring but reduces excess skin and remodels breast tissue for more dramatic results. Women who are happy with the position of their breasts and simply want to restore volume can instead choose less invasive methods such as autologous fat transfer injections.
While no two patients will heal at the same rate, it is important to follow your surgeon’s after care instructions carefully. Younger patients in good health will likely experience shorter recovery times.
Surgery is performed under local anesthetic and patients will usually be released into the care of a family member or friend once they recover from the anesthetic. Once home it is important allow yourself several days of bed rest to recover. Immediately following the procedure you will likely experience pain, swelling, and discomfort which can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. Your surgeon may also prescribe antibiotics to help prevent infection.
You should plan to take at least 1-2 weeks off from work and take it easy: your body will be tired and require lots of rest. Within approximately 3 weeks most swelling, redness, and bruising will have faded and movement should be less painful.
Limit physical activities for at least 6 weeks depending on your procedure and how fast you are healing, it will take most patients 1-2 months to return fully to their normal routine after a tummy tuck alone: combining procedures will likely extend your convalescence. Do not get impatient with yourself as you are healing, pushing yourself will only do more harm than good and is more likely to extend the healing process rather than shorten it.
A mommy makeover is not recommended for any women who are planning, or even considering, having children in the future as there can be complications associated with the alterations done to the abdominal region during the tummy tuck portion of the procedure.
Also, women who are still breast feeding should not undergo serious surgeries or have breast enhancement procedures performed. It is best to wait 3-6 months after pregnancy and achieve your ideal weight before seeking cosmetic surgery of any kind.
The author of this article is Emma William who is a consultant plastic surgeon in Toronto, Canada. She mainly works with breast implants, breast lift and liposuction. Now on researching in other areas of plastic surgery.