What's in a mommy makeover?
Because pregnancy affects the abdomen and breasts in irreversible ways, a mommy makeover includes a tummy tuck and restorative breast surgery, usually a lift and/or implants. Once the abdominal skin is stretched, especially when there are visible stretch marks, a thousand sit-ups a day is not going to tighten it up. Ditto for separation of the muscles (called a diastasis): Exercise can strengthen the abdominal muscles but not re-align them. And lastly, hormonal changes sometimes result in redistribution of body fat so it is disproportionate in the abdominal area. A tummy tuck addresses all of these issues.
After pregnancy and nursing, breasts often appear to “deflate” and end up smaller than before pregnancy. Those mommy makeover patients are just looking to restore what they had before; others want what they never had. When there is sagging, a breast lift might be considered. Sometimes an implant fills up the skin envelope enough to avoid a lift, sometimes only a lift is needed, sometimes both. These are all things to discuss with your plastic surgeon.
Is it safe to have a tummy tuck and breast augmentation at the same time?
Combining breast surgery with a tummy tuck makes it a long operation, typically 3-4 hours, but saves expense and recovery time compared to dividing it up into two operations at different times. There is good evidence that a mommy makeover is a safe combination for a healthy patient who is not overweight. We do these procedures as an outpatient so patients are able to go home the same day.
When is the best time for a mommy makeover?
Ideally you should wait until you are not planning any further pregnancies before having a mommy makeover. If you do become pregnant again, it should not be a problem for the pregnancy but will undo much of the benefit. Since you will have a few weeks of limited activity, you should plan on extra help if you have small children. But once the time comes, don’t put it off – patients often say it’s the best thing they ever did for themselves and wish they had done it sooner.