Mommy Makeover Information

  • Posted on: 21 December 2017
  • By: khelms

Mommy Makeover surgery is a marketing term used to describe any number of different surgeries designed to reverse the unfavorable changes to the body after pregnancies.

Weight gain associated with pregnancy stretches and internally tears the skin resulting in loose skin i.e. folds, on the abdomen, flanks, buttocks, inner thighs, and upper, inner arms.  Breasts sag below the inframammary crease and lose volume (size). The operations done to address these conditions are common procedures done by most plastic surgeons.  These surgeries are the same ones done to address body changes associated with weight loss, bariatric surgery weight loss, and the even the changes seen with just getting older. 

Should I Have Surgery if I Still Want to Have a Child(S)?

Results of these surgeries are more lasting done if done at a stable weight. Weight stabilization after the surgery helps maintain the results.  Therefore, if expecting future pregnancies, it would be better to put off these surgeries until you have finished having your family. 

What Specific Training Do You Have in Mommy Makeover Techniques?

Breast, torso, and extremity surgeries may be done at the same time though the complications are higher with multiple surgeries.  The recovery is often more difficult.  Multiple surgeries are usually done for the convenience of the patient not for medical reasons.  Combining other surgeries, especially with an abdominoplasty, increases the risk of a blood clot.  They can break loose, travel to the lungs, and be life threatening.  Limiting additional surgeries done in conjunction with an abdominoplasty will reduce the risk of these complications and simplify mommy makeover recovery.

Where and How Will the Surgery Be Performed?

Many questions about mommy makeover relate to the recovery.  Body makeover surgeries in our practice are done through outpatient surgery at the hospital.  An overnight stay is included in several of these operations.  The majority of the pain is associated with the muscle tightening done as part of the abdominoplasty. 

What Kind of Help Is Needed During My Recovery?

Narcotics, anti-spasmodics, and anti-inflammatories are often used after an abdominoplasty.  Most patients take some type of pain medication for a couple of weeks. Patients may shower the day after the surgery.  Usually after a couple of days, patients are able to take care of the incision and take care of themselves.  It is important to avoid constipation after any surgery. 

Limited activity after the surgery combined with narcotics and pain medications can quickly lead to constipation that can be difficult to correct.  The better option is to prevent it with the use of laxatives immediately after the surgery until narcotic use diminishes.  After the surgery, your doctor will ask you to limit activities to diminish swelling and drainage.  No activity that can elevate or blood pressure or heart rate is permitted to decrease the risk of bleeding. 

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How Long of a Recovery Period Is Expected?

Activity limitations persist until two weeks after the surgery or the drains are removed.  Once the drains are out light exercise and sexual activity may resume.  We discourage any targeted exercise that addresses the abdominal core.  These limitations are designed to avoid stretching out the muscle repair until they are sufficiently healed. 

How Are Complications or Misshaps Handled?

Complications of mommy makeovers are similar to any surgical procedure i.e. bleeding, infections, and poor scarring are seen in 1% of these operations.  Wound healing problems with tummy tucks and medial thigh lifts can be in the higher single digit range.  The most common complication is seroma formation.  Seromas are tissue juice collections that fall between the fat and the muscles. 

Multiple sutures can be placed (progressive tension sutures) to limit that complication.  Binders, drains, and limited activity are also used to diminish their occurrence.  Small seromas are usually drained in the office with a needle and larger or more persistent ones may require replacement of drains. 

Tummy tucks, belt lipectomies, brachioplasties, and medial thigh lifts are all involved in separation of the skin and subcutaneous fat from the underlying muscle.  This is done to free skin and fat from the deep attachments to facilitate removing redundant tissue to get a tight, smooth contour without folds.  This process adherently disrupts the blood supply to the cut edge that can result in wound healing issues.  Sometimes the wound healing area is small and be cut out and re-sewed in the office.  Larger areas can be cut out and allowed to heal in from the inside out.  Later, a scar revision can be done to improve the appearance.

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What Are My Options if I Am Unpleased With the Outcome?

The vast majority of patients are happy with the results of their surgery.  Some poor results are consequence of complications.  We like tissues to soften before attempting revisions.  This usually requires about 8-12 months following surgery.  Contour irregularities can be revised with a combination of suctioning and fat grafting.  Persistent loose skin is a special category of contouring procedures. 

Loose skin resulting from weight loss or weight loss surgery is prone to recur.  This is a result of surgery limitations that must take blood supply into consideration and the fact that the skin tone is often poor.  Almost all patients can benefit from a touch up.  There is cost involved, but usually considerably less than the original procedure. 

The vast majority of patients are happy with the results of their surgery.  Some poor results are consequence of complications.  We like tissues to soften before attempting revisions.  This usually requires about 8-12 months following surgery.  Contour irregularities can be revised with a combination of suctioning and fat grafting.  Persistent loose skin is a special category of contouring procedures.  Loose skin resulting from weight loss or weight loss surgery is prone to recur.

Mommy makeover operations are a collection of procedures that are designed to remove and tighten skin.  Liposuction is usually a part of most mommy makeover procedures.  The results of these operations are often dramatic and long lived.  Rarely can similar results be obtained with lesser “non-invasive” means.