Even though women know pregnancy changes their bodies, the physical toll it can take still comes as a bit of a shock for some mothers. It can also be a source of frustration to women who dedicate themselves to regaining their pre-pregnancy bodies by leading healthy lifestyles but still can’t regain their confidence. And confidence is really what most Mommy Makeover patients at my Los Angeles practice are seeking.
The emotional and financial investment involved in choosing to undergo the combination of surgical procedures typically included in a Mommy Makeover is significant. So it’s important that you have as much information as possible and that you choose a plastic surgeon who specializes in body contouring surgery. In Los Angeles, our plastic surgery practice has earned a reputation for creating excellent results and making the patient experience positive every step of the way.
In this blog post, I’ll discuss what you should consider when making a decision about getting a Mommy Makeover and how to prepare for the surgery and the recovery. I’ll briefly describe the procedures that fall under the Mommy Makeover umbrella and provide some tips to help your recovery.
‘Should I Get a Mommy Makeover?’
One benefit of elective cosmetic surgery is that patients control the timing of the procedure. Even after deciding that you want a Mommy Makeover, it’s important to think about other factors. These include if you have small children at home and a reliable support system to help during recovery, will the operation create financial stress, and if you’re in good overall health and at a weight you’re comfortable with. The cost of a Mommy Makeover varies for each patient, but in Los Angeles the price can approach $30,000 to $50,000.
Even though many of my patients say they wished they had Mommy Makeover surgery earlier in their lives, it’s certainly not a procedure that’s limited to a certain age. The patient in this video, for example, is 53.
Preparing for a Mommy Makeover
Once you’ve decided that now is a good time for a Mommy Makeover, the excitement begins building. Preparing for the procedure is important, especially if you’re planning to consult with multiple surgeons. Most patients spend some time online researching the procedures and potential surgeons before their consultations. Reviewing before-and-after photos is a good idea, as is looking for reviews posted by patients on independent sites such as RealSelf and RealPatientRatings.
Before the Consultation
I recommend making a list of questions ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about remembering them. Ask about complications to make sure the surgeon is honest about the risks involved. It’s also a good time to ask if you should lose additional weight before the procedure. You should be near your goal weight and have a body mass index (BMI) below 30. (Check your BMI).
Other steps to take before surgery:
- If you’re a smoker, quit at least 4 weeks before the procedure.
- Arrange for child-care if you have small children.
- Begin an exercise program if you don’t already follow one.
- Make a list of any medications you regularly take; some may need to be temporarily stopped.
Most surgeons provide a pre-surgery checklist to help patients complete other preparations, such as getting prescription medication and compression garments ahead of time.
What’s Involved in a Mommy Makeover?
Combining multiple procedures in a single operation is a safe approach when performed by an experienced surgeon and includes some real benefits. For moms with children at home, having to arrange for only a single recovery period is invaluable. There are also cost savings involved because certain fees only need to be paid once, and there’s an emotional benefit to completing the physical transformation at once, instead of staging the procedures.
A Mommy Makeover typically includes:
The excess abdominal skin or belly pooch that remains after having children is what motivates many women to get a Mommy Makeover. It’s not unusual for patients to say they feel self-conscious undressing in front of their spouses or partners and are reluctant to wear anything that reveals their midsections. That can be difficult living in L.A.
The procedure does involve an incision that stretches from one hip to the other just above the pubic area. It can be concealed by bikini bottoms, and the scar usually fades significantly after a year or so. During the surgery, I can repair abdominal muscles separated during the pregnancy and create a flatter stomach. Liposuction is typically used to remove excess fat pockets and produce smooth, even outcomes.
Post-pregnancy breasts often appear deflated and saggy, which can be disappointing for women who once had full, shapely breasts. Some patients are satisfied with their breast size and will just get a breast lift, but it’s common to combine augmentation with a lift as part of the Mommy Makeover. Some women have overly large breasts after having children and get breast reduction surgery. I use techniques during cosmetic breast surgery that helps patients recover more quickly than is typical.
Patients who deliver their babies vaginally ask if there’s a procedure to decrease discomfort during intercourse and improve the appearance of the vagina by reducing or reshaping the labia. Labiaplasty includes specific techniques to address concerns about the inner and outer lips of the labia (labia minora and labia majora).
Infection is the most common risk associated with any surgery, and it’s crucial for patients to follow our post-op instructions to keep wounds clean, including keeping abdominal drains emptied. Patients should be alert to the signs of blood clots, too, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or coughing up blood.
Recovery After a Mommy Makeover
It’s essential that you’re realistic about the recovery following this procedure. If you have young children at home, for example, you won’t be able to pick them up for several days. That can be difficult to explain to a toddler. Our practice schedules a follow-up appointment at one week to check on a patient’s recovery process, but patients can contact us at any time with concerns or questions.
Most of my patients can return to work after 2 weeks (if they have jobs that aren’t physically strenuous), but it’s important to remember that you’re still healing. This is especially true for the tummy tuck.
Having someone help you get to the bathroom or prepare food is important during the initial part of the recovery. You should also prepare a special rest area for yourself before your surgery. Put everything you will need within easy reach of your bed and have extra pillows (including a full body pillow) available to support your body completely.
Expect your abdomen and breasts to remain swollen for several weeks, which will camouflage the final results of the procedure. At 6 weeks post-op, most patients can return to their normal exercise routine.
If you’re looking for the best plastic surgeon in Los Angeles to perform a Mommy Makeover, please consider contacting us using the online form to request a consultation. (We also offer virtual consultations if that’s preferable.) Or call us at (310) 300-1779 to schedule an appointment.