Mommy Makeover Q&A - Dr. Hayes Answers the Most Popular RealSelf Mommy Makeover Questions.
A mommy makeover helps women reclaim their pre-pregnancy body.
1. What is a Mommy Makeover?
A mommy makeover is a term for a combination procedure that includes a tummy tuck and breast surgery. This could include a breast lift, lift/reduction, breast augmentation, or breast augmentation with a lift. Often, liposuction is performed at the same time. A mommy makeover addresses changes in the body after pregnancy. These include breast deflation, breast drooping, abdominal wall laxity, and excess skin on the tummy.
2. How Can I Get Rid of Loose Sagging Skin After Pregnancy?
The best way to get rid of loose skin of the abdomen after pregnancy is typically a tummy tuck. A “full” tummy tuck typically performs two things. It uses an incision that is low on the abdomen to remove excess skin and to tighten a loose abdominal wall. Abdominal laxity, also known as diastasis recti, is common after a pregnancy. In order to make room for the pregnancy, the abdominal wall stretches. Unfortunately, after the pregnancy, the abdominal wall doesn’t always return to its original tightness. During an abdominoplasty the surgeon can use sutures to retighten the abdominal wall. This helps flatten the abdominal wall and narrows the waistline.
Some patients may do well with a mini tummy tuck. A mini tummy tuck uses an incision low on the abdomen, but does not include an incision around the belly button. This means that a smaller amount of skin is removed from the lower tummy, and the abdominal wall is tightened below the belly button only. This does not include tightening above the belly button. It can be a good choice for some patients.
3. Can liposuction and tummy tuck be done at the same time?
A tummy tuck and liposuction are commonly combined. Liposuction can be performed on the tummy or other areas of the body. It's common to perform liposuction of the flanks. Tightening the abdominal wall in combination with liposuction of the flanks, can have a dramatic effect on flattening the tummy and narrowing the waistline. At the time of a tummy tuck, liposuction can also be performed on other areas of concern such as the thighs or arms.
4. Should I have a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck during my mommy makeover procedure?
This is a very common question. It's important to understand the differences between a mini and a full tummy tuck. A mini tummy tuck makes an incision that's low on the tummy so that skin can be removed and the abdominal wall can be tightened BELOW the belly button. The key difference between the mini and full tummy tuck, is the belly button incision and the fact that a full tummy tuck also tightens the tummy ABOVE the belly button. Most women who have had children are better candidates for a full tummy tuck. This because the pregnancies have stretched their abdominal wall, and overlying skin, on the upper and lower part of their abdomen. Careful examination in the office helps determine which procedure is best for each patient.
5. How long should I expect to have surgical drains after mommy makeover surgery?
After a tummy tuck, surgical drains are used to allow excess fluid to be removed from the body so that it doesn't pool under the skin. Two drains are placed under the skin and the small tubes exit within the pubic hair. The first drain is typically removed during the one week visit. The second drain is usually ready to be removed at the two week visit. If a breast reduction surgery has been performed I also use drains in the breasts. These drains are removed at the one week appointment.
6. Can you tell me about the mommy makeover recovery?
During a tummy tuck procedure, sutures are typically placed in the abdominal wall to tighten the tummy and narrow the waistline. The abdominal wall takes six weeks to heal fully. Because of this repair, my patients are asked to not lift more than 10 pounds for the first six weeks after their surgery.
Here is a common recovery schedule in my practice.
7. I am interested in a mommy makeover. How long do I have to wait after I have children?
This is another common question. There are two issues to consider when planning for a mommy makeover procedure. The first relates to changes in your body after giving birth and making sure that changes in weight, or breast size, have fully taken place before having surgery. The second issue relates to the recovery. It's important to make sure that you have enough help at home when recovering from a mommy makeover procedure.
After giving birth it typically takes one year for changes in the body to be complete. Most women will lose weight as their body changes after pregnancy. Changes in their breasts will also occur, which will take longer to complete if a woman decides to nurse. In order to have the most predictable, and longest lasting, results I prefer to allow all of the changes to take place before I perform surgery. This means waiting at least 6-12 months after delivery and six months after completing breast-feeding.
It's important to make sure that you have enough help at home after a mommy makeover procedure. It's important to not lift more than 10 pounds after tightening the abdominal wall, so that everything has time to properly heal. For women with young children, this is difficult given the fact that they're lifting their kids. Most women wait until their children are a bit older and don't need to be lifted anymore.
8. How Much Does a Mommy Makeover Cost?
The cost of a mommy makeover procedure varies and depends on the exact procedures being performed. Typically, a mommy makeover includes a full tummy tuck with liposuction of the flanks, plus some type of breast surgery. This could involve a breast reduction, breast lift, breast augmentation, or breast lift with implants. The exact breast procedure affects the price. Breast implants add to the cost also. The time required for the surgery affects the cost of the operating room and anesthesia. The price range varies by region of the country. In my office, the price is typically between $11,600-16,000, but is usually on the lower end in the 12,000-14,000 dollar range. Make sure to see board-certified plastic surgeons when considering any breast and body cosmetic surgery.
9. Plastic surgery financing - What are some reputable lenders?
In my office we offer financing through Care Credit. We walk you through the process of getting approved. However, there are many reputable lenders for cosmetic surgery financing. Some patients have a good relationship with a bank, and choose to take a personal loan.
10. What should I expect during my consultation?
During your consultation you meet personally with me. During the first part of our discussion I like to hear about your goals and areas of your body that you would like to improve. I ask your current and goal breast size. I want to know what type of breast you like. Do you like a full and augmented look, or a natural look?
We discuss your health history to make sure that your healthy enough to have surgery.
During your examination I ask you to point out areas of your body that you would like to improve. I take careful measurements of your breasts to determine whether you would benefit from a breast lift. I look at excess skin and fullness on your tummy, as well as areas of your body that may benefit from liposuction. This typically includes the flanks, to help narrow your waistline and make your buttocks look more full.
If you're considering a breast augmentation, we'll have you try on implants in a bra and clothing, so that we can get a sense of which breast implant size you like.
I never pressure patients into surgery. My goal is to explain the different surgical procedures so you have a full understanding of each procedure. We then work together to pick the combination of procedures that will give you the best results.
How do I make an appointment?
To book an appointment, or for further information, contact us online or call (503) 297-9340.
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Dr. Austin Hayes is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon with offices in Portland, Seattle, and Hood River.