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.

Mommy Makeover in Columbus Ohio

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.

Breast Implant Options

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.

Mommy Makeover FAQs

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?

Get In Touch With Us Today!

I was thinking about making a change.  I’ve worked really hard on improving my body over the last few years, and I really liked what I was doing but I needed a little extra. So, I did some research.  I really liked what I saw on the website for Dr. Donaldson’s office. I called in, made an appointment, met the staff, met Dr. Donaldson – he’s awesome. The staff was awesome. I really felt comfortable as I came in. And here I am, six weeks later after the surgery. I feel great. Everything looks awesome! I’m healing in front of schedule and I just really like the results. I’m looking good. 

*Note: Patient results will vary. All video testimonials were voluntarily submitted by actual patients with permission to publish on our website. Testimonials or statements made by any person(s) within this site are not intended to guarantee outcomes.

In 2011, I came to Dr. Donaldson and got a breast augmentation and a mini tummy tuck; and eight years later, I decided to come right back to Dr. Donaldson again because I trusted him and because he did such amazing work before, I trusted him to do it again.  You’re probably wondering, “why’d you have to come back in eight years?”. Well, I mean, your body fluctuates within eight years – gaining weight, losing weight, gaining weight, losing weight– and I just wasn’t happy with what I had up here anymore. I thought “you know what? it’s time for a little pick-me-up”, so that’s exactly what  Dr. Donaldson gave me again. I couldn’t be happier with the results that I have. I recommend everyone to come to Dr. Donaldson. I even live in Cleveland, just FYI. I used to live in Columbus, which is why I went to him, and I moved to Cleveland to be with my husband; and he drove me down to get my surgery done because that’s how much I trust and believe in Dr. Donaldson.  So, come to him! I trust him and you should too! 

*Note: Patient results will vary. All video testimonials were voluntarily submitted by actual patients with permission to publish on our website. Testimonials or statements made by any person(s) within this site are not intended to guarantee outcomes.

It is tempting to squeeze into one of the more recent iterations of high-fashion “shapewear” and avoid the anatomy of the underlying problem of the belly. As recently noted in the Wall Street Journal, this approach has clear drawbacks:

As men and women age, the cycles of weight loss and gain, exercise success and failure, pregnancy, dietary and nutritional changes and genetic influences tend to distort the abdomen. The skin may stretch, fat may accumulate and the muscles may thin and spread apart. Routine
surgical procedures such as hernia repairs, c-sections and appendix removals can also contribute to these changes. The safest, most attractive and durable treatment for this common set of concerns is the Tummy Tuck. Columbus, Ohio plastic surgeon Jeffrey Donaldson addresses each aspect of the tummy tuck with equal care. First, he removes the loose, wrinkled, stretched skin to ensure a smoother, tighter appearance. He then removes any extra fat, including the “love handles” on the flanks. Finally, he cinches in the muscles to better define the “six-pack” and eliminate any bulging from muscle spread. If the belly button has been misshapen over time, Dr. Donaldson will revise it to be smaller, more vertical, and youthful in appearance.

The resulting scar should be as small, thin and unnoticeable as possible. Dr. Donaldson works with each of his patients to understand where they want the scar positioned — usually just under the bikini line to accommodate low-rise jeans, underwear and swimsuits.

In Columbus, Ohio, tummy tuck surgery is often considered an integral part of a complete “mommy makeover” at Donaldson Plastic Surgery. Dr. Donaldson has experience and an eye for detail when it comes to this important cosmetic procedure.

Bikinis, tank tops, low-cut jeans and shorts are coming out of storage during warm weather, which means belly buttons across the world are coming into view. Many summer fashions feature the navel… Great if it’s cute, not great if it’s ugly!

Perhaps you are fortunate to have a navel that is small, vertically-oriented, slightly tapered around the edges and centered within a concave “six-pack” of muscle — these are the descriptors of the aesthetically ideal umbilicus that has been studied by current plastic surgeons. If so, then flaunt with pride! If not, then you might want to consider making a change.

Women whose midriffs have been distorted by weight loss, weight gain, surgery or pregnancy are now seeking help from Dr. Jeffrey Donaldson in Columbus, Ohio. Belly button surgery (umbilicoplasty or omphaloplasty) is offered here to restore a youthful, more attractive appearance. Dr. Donaldson hides the small incisions inside the cavern of the navel, and he uses several layers of inner stitches to create the desired effects.

When the belly button alone is treated, this focused procedure may be performed in the office under local anesthesia. Sometimes, the optimal result is achieved in combination with liposuction or tummy tuck to contour the entire abdomen. Either way, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Donaldson to review your goals and best options. Don’t let the shape of your belly button limit your fun in the sun!

Watch Dr. Donaldson’s interview on WCMH Columbus on Reconstructive Tummy Tuck surgery.

tummy-tuck-and-pregnancyPregnancy causes stretching of the abdomen, which often leads to permanent contour changes.  Skin folds, stubborn fat and muscle separation may never improve through diet and exercise alone. This stretching is so common that postpartum tummy tucks have become a key component of what has affectionately been termed the “mommy makeover.” Tummy tucks are also common procedures for women who have never had children. For both postpartum mothers and women without children, there are a few questions to ask before undergoing the procedure.

Will a Tummy Tuck Affect My Ability to Get Pregnant?

No. Some women who hope to have children but do not expect pregnancy anytime soon will elect to have a tummy tuck. While pregnancy may result in skin stretching around the abdomen that will ultimately “un-do” the benefits of abdominplasty, the procedure should not affect the patient’s ability to become pregnant and develop a fetus through term.

Do I Plan on Having More Children?

This is one of the most important questions to ask when considering a tummy tuck. Even if you have never been pregnant before, if you plan on having children in the future, you might want to avoid getting a tummy tuck until after your last child is born. Pregnancy after tummy tuck often results in more stretching that requires secondary revision surgery.

Abdominoplasty and mommy makeover can go a long way in restoring a woman’s confidence after pregnancy. While a tummy tuck should not interfere with future pregnancy, it is generally best to wait until afterward in order to avoid the need for revision.


Belly Button Revision After Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck procedure effectively:

When properly executed, a tummy tuck should also improve the shape and contour of the belly button.  If a more natural and attractive look is desired, bellybutton revision after tummy tuck surgery may be an option.

Ideally, the tummy tuck surgeon begins with a stretched, distorted belly button that is weakened by gravity and surrounding fat and skin thus resembling a “frowny-face,” and creates a smaller, more vertically-oriented belly button that gently contours inward with hidden incisions to enhance the feminine silhouette.  If a surgeon is unable to achieve these goals, the belly button may be too large, too circular, too flat and smooth without an inward contour, or the scar may be too large or prominent. Sometimes an umbilical hernia emerges, or recurs.  Obese patients may have large, cavernous belly buttons; petite patients may not have enough central umbilical recess, and the scar may be obvious. Less fat may remove the “hood” of skin over the belly button; more fat may make it too prominent.

Some of these deformities are more easily corrected than others, but improvements are usually possible through belly button revision after tummy tuck.  Typically, a patient should wait three to six months after tummy tuck before considering revision. Many issues auto-correct during the recovery process, and some surgery can be avoided just by waiting.

If you are interested in umbilicoplasty, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Donaldson Plastic Surgery. We have been achieving beautiful results for years, and our work has garnered awards such as America’s Top Plastic Surgeons. You may schedule your personal consultation today to discuss your options with Dr. Donaldson!


Tummy Tuck Revision - Donaldson Plastic SurgerySome women desire a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) after pregnancy to help repair weakened abdominal muscles, remove fat, tighten loose skin or remove stretch marks. Both men and women who have lost a significant amount of weight may also pursue tummy tuck to address similar issues.

A tummy tuck should result in a beautiful, smooth midsection; however, this does not always occur. Whether due to surgical technique, patient anatomy and genetics, or post-operative care and behavior, sub-optimal results may require a tummy tuck revision.

Surgical revision may address concerns such as dimpled skin, poor waist contouring, extra skin or fat around the incision line, irregularly shaped belly button, high/enlarged/uneven scars. A revision can also correct bulging due to inadequate repair of the muscle wall.

If you have undergone tummy tuck without your desired results, you might consider consultation with Donaldson Plastic Surgery to discuss a surgical revision. Dr. Donaldson is highly regarded for his attention to detail and stunning results. His bedside manner and gracious staff have earned the Patient’s Choice Award for America’s Most Compassionate Doctors.

Liposuction Results Columbus, OH - Donaldson Plastic SurgeryMany patients ask Dr. Donaldson about the typical recovery period after liposuction and how quickly they can expect to see the results of their surgery. It’s important to understand the typical timeline so you know what to expect from this procedure.

Before surgery, patients are advised to stop smoking, optimize nutrition and health status, drink plenty of fluids, and exercise as usual. These basic steps will speed recovery.

During surgery, Dr. Donaldson uses a “tumescent” liposuction technique that involves injection of IV fluid, lidocaine and epinephrine (adrenaline) into the treatment areas. After waiting several minutes, this mixture provides numbness to the nerves and shrinks the tiny blood vessels surrounding the fat so that the liposuction is less traumatic. This method has proven to dramatically reduce post-operative pain, bruising, swelling, dehydration, and consequently the overall recovery.

After surgery, compression garments are recommended. These are custom-fitted, medical-grade elasticized clothing that are worn next to the skin. They provide support to the skin and underlying tissue to ensure a smooth, contoured result and they also help reduce fluid accumulation and swelling. Patients should wear compression garments as much as possible for the first two to four weeks after surgery.

Lymphatic massages and exercise should be discussed in advance with your surgeon. They may be helpful in reducing fluid and opening lymphatic channels later in recovery, but they can be counter-productive during the initial healing phases.

Dr. Donaldson explains to his patients that liposuction results may be witnessed in three stages:

  1. The day of surgery:   This is the most dramatic stage, when fat is physically removed from the body. Contours are immediately thinner, but swelling and bruising set in quickly and obscure the improvements.
  2. Week #1 through week #6:   The body clears itself of bruising and swelling as it carries away loose oils, damaged fat cells and debris that was left behind from surgery. This comes with a pleasant tightening effect.
  3. Month #1 through month #6:   Scar tissue organizes within the fatty layers that were liposuctioned, which causes further “shrink-wrapping” and tightening around the underlying muscle and bone.

Results are typically final after six months, when patients ultimately enjoy less fat and a contoured shape!

*Earned by Dr. Donaldson