Columbus, OH board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey H. Donaldson answers your most personal and practical questions about the mommy makeover procedure.
What is a mommy makeover?
A mommy makeover is an umbrella term we use for any combination of surgeries that address the parts of the body most affected by pregnancy and childbirth. A typical mommy makeover may include any combination of:
Who is a good candidate for the mommy makeover procedure?
Any patient who is healthy, and has those typical anatomic changes that are associated with pregnancy. Those changes might include abdominal muscle separation, extra subcutaneous fat that may have lingered after childbirth, stretched skin, stretch marks, or a deformity or overlap at the point of their c-section scar.
Some women’s breasts may have been deflated through breastfeeding, which is characterized by a lack of fullness in the upper pole of the breast, or by a lack of cleavage line. A breast augmentation can provide roundness for someone whose breast tissue has fallen lower on their chest, or they may even benefit from a breast lift. There are also patients whose breast tissue tends to grow and enlarge after pregnancy, in which case a breast reduction with a lift might be necessary.
Patients who may have enlarged labia minora or the inner lips of their vaginal area may require tightening or reduction, which is commonly referred to as a labiaplasty.
Do I have to have kids in order to do a mommy makeover?
Not necessarily! The “mommy makeover” moniker is given because these changes are typical through pregnancy and childbirth, but similar changes can occur through massive weight change or weight loss, or just through our own genetics.
How long should I wait to get a mommy makeover after nursing?
I recommend waiting at least 6 months from the time you finish breastfeeding to pursue any form of breast procedure. Your breasts continue to change over time, and you can see residual deflation in months and years after. It is possible to have an operation that might have been different had the breast tissue been given time to settle back into its normal state after pregnancy.
Can you revise a c-section scar with mommy makeover?
Yes — that’s a part of a routine abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, which is a procedure usually part of a mommy makeover.
Why do you repair the abdominal muscles during a mommy makeover?
Often times during pregnancy, the rectus muscles of the abdomen (or the “six pack”) tend to spread apart. There’s a small tendon called the linea alba that brings those muscles together; during pregnancy that can stretch to the point where what used to be a flat floor is now rounded or somewhat soft, causing your abdominal muscles to separate and weaken. During a tummy tuck, sutures are used to bring the outer covering of those muscles back together and reconstruct that tendon down the middle, so those abdominal muscles are brought back side by side. Repairing this diastasis recti makes it possible to get back that nice flat core that existed before pregnancy.
How long is the recovery for a mommy makeover, on average?
It certainly depends on what kind of combination of procedures are chosen. Typically, if there is both a breast procedure and a tummy tuck, it’s usually anywhere from a week to two weeks away from ordinary responsibilities, and closer to a month to six weeks before any strenuous exercise.
What should I do to prepare for a mommy makeover?
Generally, it’s best for patients to be within 15 to 20 pounds of their natural realistic weight. Most people are, so as long as they’re within that zone, then it would be safe. Other than that, it’s a matter of good nutrition, good rest, exercise, and being physically and emotionally prepared for surgery.
What kind of implants would you recommend for me?
Implant selection is a highly customized process where we discuss proportions, anatomy, goals, and desires. Most often, we use a round, smooth silicone implant of moderate or high profile. The size is generally determined by the patient’s measurements and their own goals in terms of size and shape.
What are the scars like typically for a mommy makeover?
It depends on what procedures are selected, but for a breast augmentation, there will be a very small fine scar, approximately one inch long that is hidden within the fold under the breast. A tummy tuck would be similarly smooth, and would run right below the bikini line above pubic area from hip to hip across the front of the abdomen. Generally tummy tuck scars are not carried out to the sides of the flanks.
Any liposuction would be done through very small, quarter-inch incisions that are well concealed. And then, of course, labiaplasty would be very minimal scarring, often completely free of any scar tissue.
Can I get a mommy makeover if I still want to have children?
Yes. However, if a patient is actively planning on having more kids, we generally counsel them to wait until they are finished. In the event that a patient would become pregnant after a mommy makeover, there may be some sort of touch up procedure necessary.
Where do you perform mommy makeovers, and is an overnight stay required?
Mommy makeovers are outpatient procedures that we perform in an outpatient surgical center in the Columbus, Ohio area. No overnight is required, but for someone who lives out of state or has more complex medical concerns, overnights could always be arranged.
Is there a benefit to combining procedures with a mommy makeover?
If a patient knows that they want to have multiple procedures, then typically we will combine anything that can be done within a six-hour time frame. That is the point at which the risk curve tends to increase with more anesthesia. There is also an advantage in terms of only having a single recovery period, and it offers small financial advantages to combine multiple procedures.
What is the right age to get a mommy makeover?
There is no right age for a mommy makeover! Anyone over the age of 18 who has had children is usually a good candidate for a mommy makeover procedure. Genetics, health history, and background all play a role.
Why should I choose Donaldson Plastic Surgery for my mommy makeover?
The mommy makeover is what we are quite well-known for. A lot of patients trust us to do multiple procedures for them at the same time, and we have excellent outcomes. We consistently have patients rave about our staff, about our process, and about our results, and they tend to heal very well.
Interested in setting up a consultation with Dr. Donaldson or Dr. Sieffert for a mommy makeover?
About The Author
As a board-certified plastic surgeon, Jeffrey Donaldson, MD has helped countless women throughout Columbus, Ohio and beyond decide if Mommy Makeover surgery was the right move forward for them. He uses his 20+ years of hands-on experience to help guide patients through the decision-making process before performing their successful set of cosmetic surgeries.
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