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What is a mommy makeover?

A mommy makeover is a surgery that usually involves improving the breasts by replacing the lost volume with a breast implant.  If the position of the nipples has dropped too much, then a breast lift may be recommended.  Sometimes both an implant and a lift are necessary to center the nipple, improve the breast volume, and achieve better cleavage.  Sometimes only a breast lift is wanted or needed.  The abdomen is improved by performing a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) which removes the excess skin and some of the stretch marks and tightens the abdominal muscles which may have been stretched apart by the pregnancy.  Liposuction may be performed on excessively full fatty areas.  Or a lower body lift is another option.

What it won’t do:

A mommy makeover is not a substitute for weight loss or exercising to achieve the appropriate muscle tone.  While the results of a mommy makeover are technically permanent, your body’s appearance can be affected by significant weight fluctuations or additional pregnancies.  Ideal candidates for mommy makeover are women who have completed their childbearing, and who are at or as close as they can get to their ideal weight.  The trade-off in improving your shape is the addition of permanent scars to your body.  Stretch marks that are above the level of the belly button and lateral to the hips will remain after tummy tuck, but because the surrounding skin is tightened, they may be less obvious.

Consultation and preparing for surgery

Dr. Barnthouse feels the success and safety of your mommy makeover depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation with him.  You will be asked a number of questions about your health, desired outcome and lifestyle.

During your consultation be prepared to discuss with Dr. Barnthouse:

  • Your surgical goals
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
  • Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
  • Previous surgeries

Is it right for me?

A mommy makeover surgery is highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself. 

Dr. Barnthouse will also:

  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Take photographs
  • Discuss your options
  • Recommend a course of treatment
  • Discuss likely outcomes of the mommy makeover and any risks or potential complications
  • Discuss the use of anesthesia during your surgery
  • Examine your breasts and may take detailed measurements of their size and shape, skin quality, and placement of your nipples and areolas

Prior to surgery Dr. Barnthouse may ask you to:

  • Get lab testing or medical evaluation
  • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding

A mommy makeover may be performed in a licensed ambulatory surgical center or a hospital.  Your mommy makeover could be performed on an outpatient basis, so be sure to arrange for someone to drive to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery. 

Recovery after surgery

After your mommy makeover is completed, dressing or bandages will be applied to the incisions by Dr. Barnthouse.  You might need to wear an elastic bandage support bra, or a compression garment to minimize swelling and support your body as it heals.  Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect. 

You will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for your body following surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when you follow-up with Dr. Barnthouse.

Results

The results of your mommy makeover surgery are immediately visible.  Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade.  Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover from surgery.  The final results of your mommy makeover may be initially obscured by swelling and your inability to stand fully upright until internal healing is complete.   Your final result will appear over the next few months as your breasts’ shape and position continue to settle.

Previous abdominal surgery may limit the potential results of a mommy makeover.  In women who have undergone Caesarean sections, the existing scars may be incorporated into the new scar.  Incision lines are permanent but will continue to fade over time.  Your scars may take several months to a year to fade as much as they will.

The results of your mommy makeover surgery will be long-lasting.

Over time, your body can continue to change due to aging and gravity.  You will be able to retain your new look longer if you:

  • Maintain your weight
  • Keep a healthy lifestyle

Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee.  In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure but sometimes a second surgery may be necessary.