Mommy Makeover Q&A

Motherhood can significantly alter a woman’s body. We often focus on the breasts and tummy due to the direct relationship these body parts have with pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, motherhood can induce widespread changes, affecting a woman’s hips, buttocks, thighs, and even her face. A mommy makeover is often thought of as “breast and tummy” work. In reality, this plastic surgery makeover is much more. A mommy makeover can be described as any combination of procedures that restore pre-pregnancy body contours or give a woman the body she’s always wanted, even if she has not had children.

Mommy makeover treatment is completely customized to each patient. The procedures that are often associated with a mommy makeover revolve around the areas of the body that commonly change during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Examples include breast augmentation or reduction, breast lift, abdominoplasty, and liposuction. We cannot limit a mommy makeover only to those procedures, though. More women are including complementary procedures such as a thigh lift, labiaplasty, and even facial procedures into their makeover process. When you consult with Dr. Gear, you can expect to engage in a conversational consultation in which your cosmetic goals are identified and noted as the starting point for a personalized treatment plan.

Healthy adult women who would like to address various aspects of their body shape generally make good candidates for a mommy makeover. In addition to understanding the possibilities and limitations of the procedures involved in treatment, the best candidates are also women who do not plan on having more children.

Mommy makeover treatment achieves the most dramatic results without extended downtime. This is the primary benefit of combining multiple surgical techniques. Studies have indicated that surgical risks do not increase when various surgical procedures are performed in one operation. In terms of recovery, patients often experience significant improvement in various operative areas, such as the abdomen and the breasts, within two weeks, after which normal activities can gradually resume.

Surgical risks associated with a mommy makeover include infection, bleeding, and adverse reaction to anesthesia. Cosmetic risks associated with surgery include the chance of asymmetry, poor wound healing, or unsatisfactory results. A board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Gear approaches every surgery with the intent of natural-looking results that add harmony to each patient’s overall appearance.

Women who are interested in a mommy makeover have typically reached a weight they are happy with before they schedule surgery. Health lifestyle habits also support optimal healing after surgery. Women who smoke are advised to quit at least several weeks before surgery. Certain medications and supplements may also need to be stopped. It is important to discuss all medication and supplementation with the surgical team during the initial consultation for surgery. In some cases, lab work may be ordered by Dr. Gear to confirm that a patient is an optimal candidate for a mommy makeover.

In addition to preparing for the physical aspects of a mommy makeover, patients also need to arrange sufficient help for the duration of their recovery period. This includes childcare, pet care, time off work, meals, and personal care.

Mommy makeovers are conducted in an accredited surgical center or hospital operating room. Before surgery, patients meet with the surgical team to review the protocol that has been planned based on cosmetic objectives. After this brief meeting, the patient is taken into the operative, where the board-certified anesthesiologist will administer sedative medication. After the patient has entered a deeply sedated state, a breathing tube may be inserted into their throat. Due to their sleep-state, patients do not experience discomfort. When they wake up after surgery, the breathing tube will have already been removed. Mommy makeover surgery can take from 2 to 6 hours depending on the variety of procedures being performed.

Mommy makeover recovery initially focuses on post-operative comfort. Patients who have abdominoplasty will stand and lie down with a slight bend for a few weeks. Compression garments are worn during this time to control swelling and provide gentle support for sore, healing tissue. Oral pain medication is prescribed to maintain comfort. Many patients are able to stop their prescription after 5 days. For 7 to 10 days, patients need to prioritize rest and good nutrition.

Approximately 10 to 14 days after a mommy makeover, tissue recovery has progressed well enough to go back to work and resume many light activities. Vigorous exercise, anything that increase heart rate over 100 beats-per-minute, may resume as early as two weeks after surgery. This is dependent on the recovery progress observed during post-operative follow-ups.

After two weeks, recovery may focus primarily on swelling reduction, incision care, and the progressive increase in physical activity. Patients may apply silicone sheets to incisions to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Lymphatic massage may be recommended to expedite swelling reduction. Compression garments will continue to provide necessary support for up to 8 weeks after surgery. Patients are typically cleared to resume all levels of normal activity when abdominal swelling has reduced by 90%. This usually occurs 8 to 12 weeks after the mommy makeover.


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Providence Plastic Surgery

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery located in Charlotte, NC

If you’ve lost tone in your abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, and even face from childbirth, you may want to consider a mommy makeover. Choosing a skilled practitioner is critical to achieving a good outcome, and Dr. Andrew Gear of Providence Plastic Surgery & Skin Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, has performed hundreds of mommy makeovers, helping women feel great about their bodies. When you’re ready to learn more, schedule a consultation using the online tool, or reach out to the office by calling (704) 771-1747.

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