Dr. Joseph M. Perlman Advanced Plastic Surgery Centre

abdominal contouring

Mommy Makeovers have gotten to be a popular term in the last few years. The most common definition refers to cosmetic surgery that involves a combination of breast enhancement as well as abdominal contouring.

Many women, who have children notice significant changes in their breasts, particularly if they have breastfed. In addition, women will gain an average of 26 pounds during pregnancy, but I’ve had patients who gained and lost as much as 90 pounds. Needless to say, that wreaks havoc on the belly. The laxity of skin and muscle tone can be more pronounced after a cesarean section. Women tend to be in their 30s or early 40s, and once the childbearing days are done, want to spend a little more time feeling better about themselves, and that includes improving their self-esteem with cosmetic surgery.

When I was a resident in the 1980s, these procedures were called the “Divorcee Special”. They were combination procedures, done on women who were in the process of getting divorced and wanted to make themselves more attractive. I think some of the women wanted their ex-husbands to know how good they could look, but for most women, it was because they were going back out on the “market” and wanted to look their best.

After childbearing, many patients lose volume in their breasts. In addition, the breasts start to sag and even though they may fill the same cup brassiere as previously, they’re not perky. The abdominal skin as well as breast skin may have significant stretch marks indicating permanent damage to the skin. Patients will get back into active exercise programs and keep their weight at a good level, hoping that the skin will tighten up. Unfortunately, this rarely happens to any significant degree.

When I see patients, I explain to them, that lifting the breasts will probably cause a loss of volume of 1/2 cup to one full cup size and most patients will want a small breast augmentation, in order to get back to the size they were before, while they are undergoing a breast lift. As far as the abdomen is concerned, I will perform liposuction all the way around including the lower back. This decreases the volume and allows them to develop more of a waistline. I then proceed with the tummy tuck or abdominoplasty. The extent of the incision varies, depending on the amount of skin that overhangs when the patient is sitting on the examination table. Patients with relatively flat tummies and not much excess skin undergo what is known as a mini tuck or mini abdominoplasty.

Other patients can have so much excess skin the incision may extend all the way around to the back. The mini tuck can be done as an outpatient procedure but the more extensive procedures require an overnight stay. The results are quite dramatic. These patients are very happy and are only too glad to refer their friends to me.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Mommy Makeover?

A Mommy Makeover is a combination of cosmetic surgical procedures designed to restore a woman’s body to its pre-pregnancy shape. This personalized package typically targets areas most affected by childbirth and breastfeeding, such as the abdomen, breasts, hips, and thighs.

Why Do Women Get Mommy Makeovers?

Women opt for Mommy Makeovers to regain their pre-pregnancy appearance, boost self-confidence, and address physical changes that exercise and diet alone cannot correct. These changes often include stretched abdominal muscles, sagging breasts, excess skin, and stubborn fat deposits.

How Have Mommy Makeovers Evolved Over Time?

Mommy Makeovers have evolved significantly since their inception. Initially, they focused primarily on the abdomen and breasts. Over time, advancements in surgical techniques and a better understanding of post-pregnancy body changes have led to more comprehensive and customized procedures. Modern Mommy Makeovers now often include a combination of liposuction, breast augmentation or lift, tummy tuck, and other body contouring procedures. Additionally, less invasive options and improved recovery protocols have made these makeovers more accessible and appealing.

What Procedures Are Typically Included in a Mommy Makeover?

The procedures included in a Mommy Makeover vary based on individual needs and goals but commonly include:

  • Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty): To remove excess skin and tighten abdominal muscles.
  • Breast Augmentation or Lift: To restore volume and address sagging.
  • Liposuction: To remove stubborn fat deposits from various areas such as the hips, thighs, and abdomen.
  • Buttock Augmentation: To enhance the shape and size of the buttocks.
  • Vaginal Rejuvenation: To address changes in the vaginal area after childbirth.
What are the Recovery Expectations for a Mommy Makeover?

Recovery from a Mommy Makeover varies depending on the procedures performed and individual healing rates. Generally, patients can expect:

  • Initial Recovery: The first week is usually the most challenging, with swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Pain medication and proper rest are crucial during this period.
  • Two to Four Weeks Post-Surgery: Most women can return to light activities and work, avoiding strenuous exercise and heavy lifting.

Six Weeks and Beyond: Gradual return to normal activities and exercise, with most swelling and bruising subsiding. Full recovery and final results can take several months.