Having children changes a woman’s life forever. But most women didn’t sign up for the changes pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding creates with their figures. The gain and loss of weight, breastfeeding, stretching of tissues and creation of stretch marks and cascading hormones all causes irreversible changes to her breast and body. A new mom is left with flattened breasts, a sagging tummy, and pockets of fat which persist despite diet and exercise.
All is not lost, however. Dr. Reynolds can perform a combination of surgeries known as a mommy makeover, and you can have your pre-baby body back and often even better than before!
What is a Mommy Makeover?
Pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding create a unique set of problems for a woman’s figure. Localized weight gain causes the skin, muscles, and support tissues of the abdomen area to stretch to a degree that the area often cannot tighten back down to its former firmness. The same is true with the breasts, as the rapid increase and then decrease in size, coupled with breastfeeding, tend to cause sagging and volume loss.
A mommy makeover targets these issues directly by combining a series of surgical procedures into one surgical session with Dr. Reynolds.
A tummy tuck tightens the abdomen, often bringing muscles that have separated back to the center. A tummy tuck can improve the entire abdomen. A breast lift brings the breasts back up to a higher position on the chest, removing excess skin as necessary. Many patients choose to add augmentation to their lift to regain some of the volume that was lost due to breastfeeding. Liposuction is sometimes also a part of our mommy makeovers to remove stubborn pockets of fat that accumulated during pregnancy and seem virtually impossible to get rid of.
Who is a good candidate for a Mommy Makeover?
Raising children is tough; having them in the first place is tougher! The process takes a toll on a woman’s body. These are common characteristics of our mommy makeover patients:
- Your breasts are sagging and the nipples may point downward
- Your breasts have lost volume and flattened
- Your lower stomach has a permanent pooch
- You have pockets of stubborn fat on the abdomen, flanks, and possibly the thighs
- Your abdomen has a rounded shape
- You have stretch marks in your abdomen
Mommy makeover patients should have lost most of their pregnancy weight (should be within 10% of ideal weight) and be in overall good general health. Good candidates will need to have finished with breastfeeding for at least two months prior to having a mommy makeover. This allows the breasts to return to their normal cup size.
Should I have a mommy makeover if I plan on having additional children?
Dr. Reynolds advises his patients considering a mommy makeover to wait until they have completed childbirth to prevent stretching the abdomen again. If you again become pregnant and deliver a child, your body will go through all of the changes again. This could diminish the benefits of your surgery. Plus, your incisions can become distorted with the kind of stretching that pregnancy creates.
What are the benefits of a Mommy Makeover?
Many women are surprised by the amount of change they see in their figure after having children. It can be discouraging and make a woman feel as if her younger figure from before having children is gone forever. A flat stomach area now has a pooch. Breasts that were firm and high now sag and appear deflated. Pockets of fat can be difficult to lose.
What’s the benefit of reversing these changes? That can only be answered by the individual, but it can really improve self-image and self-confidence. You can wear clothes and swimwear with confidence.
Plus, by combining multiple surgical procedures into a single surgical session, the patient only needs to endure one recovery period, rather than several.
What procedures are combined in a Mommy Makeover?
A mommy makeover with Dr. Reynolds usually involves these procedures but can include anything that is desired by the patient.
- Tummy tuck — A tummy tuck is the centerpiece of a mommy makeover. This surgery targets loose skin on the abdomen. An incision is made along the bikini line, usually from hipbone to hipbone. The skin is then lifted away from the muscles. The underlying rectus abdominis muscles, which have been separated by the distortion of pregnancy, are pulled together and sutured for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. The skin is then pulled down and excess is trimmed away. In most cases, a second incision is made at the navel, usually around it. This provides access to tighten the area above the navel. The navel will be moved to its natural position once the excess skin is trimmed.
- Breast lift — To address sagging skin and loss of breast volume, a lift brings the breasts up to a higher position on the chest. Usually the incisions will follow either a lollipop shape, circling the areola and descending to the breast crease; or an anchor shape, following the above description, but also moving outward in both directions along the breast crease. The anchor incision allows for the largest amount of removal of sagging tissue. Breast lifts don’t add volume, so for women who want to return volume to flattened breasts, or even add volume, Dr. Reynolds adds augmentation with implants. This is a simple addition to the breast lift, as he can place the implants through the incisions already made for the lift.
- Liposuction — Stubborn pockets of fat in your abdomen, flanks, and possibly your outer thighs are the targets of the liposuction portion of your mommy makeover. This minimally invasive procedure uses a cannula inserted through a small incision to suction out pockets of unwanted fat and slim your contour. Dr. Reynolds can also use liposuction when he is working through your tummy tuck.
What will my recovery be like after a Mommy Makeover?
Most of the discomfort is related to soreness from liposuction. The first week is the hardest. Dr. Reynolds puts in a pain pump that bathes the area with lidocaine which really minimizes discomfort. It’s best that you have some help around the house for the first couple of days. Most patients take around one week off of work. Wearing compression garments for around one month will help to minimize swelling and to help your body adapt to its new slimmer contours. You won’t be able to lift more than twenty pounds with your abdominal muscles for 6 weeks. After this you will have no restrictions. Overall, you can return to light activity in a week, but strenuous activity, particularly lifting, will have to wait for at least six weeks.
The plus about the single recovery with a mommy makeover is much better than multiple recoveries.
What are the risks involved with a Mommy Makeover?
As with any surgery there are risks although small. Some of them involve excessive bleeding, infection, blood clot formation, poor wound healing, reaction to anesthesia, and swelling. The risks are minimal. Dr. Reynolds’s extensive experience and overall expertise make these much lower risk. Dr. Reynolds is board certified in plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
These procedures involve low risk and are very satisfying for our patients.
What is the cost of a Mommy Makeover?
There is some variability with mommy makeover costs, as some patients choose to add augmentation and others may not need liposuction, etc. During your consultation with Dr. Reynolds, he’ll ascertain your situation and he can then give you a cost for your unique mommy makeover.
Is a Mommy Makeover covered by insurance?
Insurance companies categorize mommy makeovers as “elective surgery,” so the procedure is not covered by health insurance.