Motherhood brings joy, but it can also take a toll on your body. In fact, pregnancy can cause unwelcomed changes that include a stubborn tummy, sagging breasts, noticeable stretch marks, or persistent pockets of fat around the thighs, arms and waist.
While you can often reverse these changes through lifestyle modifications like better nutrition and exercise, in some cases the changes seem stubbornly resistant to improvement, and it can be quite frustrating to feel that you have to live with them for a long time.
Fortunately, a mommy makeover is a way out. At Politis Plastic Surgery, we see many women who simply want to look the way they did before they had children, and we are happy to recommend mommy makeover surgeries.
What is a mommy makeover?
It is a coordinated set of surgical procedures designed to restore the body’s pre-pregnancy appearance. The surgeon performs a series of operations to reverse the physical changes linked to childbearing, weight fluctuations or aging, resulting in a renewed and refreshed body. The treatment reinstates your bust and flat tummy, restores your slimmer appearance, and allows your clothes and swimwear to fit better.
Since every woman responds differently to pregnancy, no two mommy makeovers are the same. Each treatment is tailored to achieve only the desired corrections. The procedures may target breasts that have lost their youthful fullness, sagging that wasn’t there before, a seemingly permanent bulge in the abdomen, or isolated fat deposits that do not respond to diet and exercise.
Dr. Effie Politis makes the corrections with a tailored set of procedures that are usually completed within one session. With the single surgery approach, you enjoy optimal outcome with just one time under anesthesia and one recovery process. You also receive personalized care throughout the planning, surgery and recovery periods. And the results of your mommy makeover will be impressive and enduring for several years.
Is a mommy makeover right for you?
You should consider a mommy makeover if you are unhappy with your appearance after pregnancy, especially if you are uncomfortable and self-conscious about the fat deposits and extra skin left behind after pregnancy, or the ptosis (sagging) of your breasts.
The surgery will:
- Make your breasts firmer and proportional to your body.
- Make your waistline slim and well-defined, tighten your tummy, and remove stretch marks.
- Get rid of fat in your hips, thighs, and love-handle area.
- Eradicate areas of fat over your surgical scar after a C-section.
- Remove early signs of aging from your face and around your eyes.
Dr. Politis will ensure that your mommy makeover produces an outcome that boosts your outlook. In particular, it will renew your body, reverse unattractive changes, and revive your self-confidence.
To assess your suitability for the surgery, she will carefully assess your medical history, listen to your concerns, and understand your aesthetic goals. She will also carefully weigh a number of factors before deciding whether the surgery is a good option for you.
Dr. Politis will consider whether:
- You are in good overall health without underlying medical conditions that may complicate the surgery or recovery process.
- You are a non-smoker—nicotine can compromise the ability of incisions to heal. If you are a smoker, she will advise you to stop smoking at least six weeks before the surgery.
- You can get enough time out of work for recovery. Enough recovery time prevents potential complications of the surgery.
- You have clearly and openly outlined your desired corrections in a way that the surgery can be planned to meet your specifications.
- You have realistic goals and practical reasons for the surgery.
What are your mommy makeover options?
Mummy makeover is not a procedure, but a term that describes who and what is involved. There are different procedures that can be included depending on your intended aesthetic goals. Your plastic surgeon will help you choose the procedures to undergo.
The five most common procedures are:
1. Breast Augmentation (Augmentation Mammoplasty)
If your breasts have lost their curves and fullness over time, you may need to increase or restore their size. Breast augmentation is a procedure to enhance your breasts using implants. The breast implants are placed under your breast tissue or chest muscles to increase the size, change the shape, enhance fullness and improve the texture of your breasts.
Dr. Politis performs breast augmentation under general anesthesia, using long-acting medication that will keep you comfortable during and after the surgery. She places the implants—whether saline, silicone or alternative composite—into your breast pocket in a way that requires shorter incisions and reduces complications associated with the procedure. After placing the implants, she closes the incisions using a layered technique to boost incision healing.
You can go back to work within a week after the procedure, though a longer wait is advisable if you have a more strenuous job. Your recovery will be monitored closely and you will be advised when it is safe to resume specific activities. Results are almost immediate and long-lasting. However, the FDA and most implant manufacturers recommend replacing the implants every 10 years.
2. Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
If your breasts are sagging, drooping or uneven, you may require a surgical lift to help them regain a more youthful projection on your chest wall. A breast lift is a surgical procedure done to change the shape of the breasts. During the lift, excess skin is removed, the nipples reduced or repositioned, the areola resized or relocated, and the remaining tissue tightened. By reshaping breast tissue to raise the breasts, the procedure lifts and creates a natural, proportionate appearance.
Dr. Politis may recommend the breast lift alone as part of your mommy makeover, or in conjunction with breast reduction or augmentation to produce an optimal outcome. A breast lift starts with an incision around the areola, where the scarring will be hidden within the pigmented area of the nipple. A second incision may be made vertically in the center of the lower half of your breast.
Through the incisions, the surgeon removes and repositions tissue and excises loose skin to produce a firmer, perkier breast shape. After surgery, the incisions are treated with silicone scar gel to speed up healing and reduce post-operative scarring. Skin adhesives and surgical tape may be used to close and support the skin.
3. Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty)
As your body prepares for breastfeeding, your breasts swell to a fuller size and shape. Unfortunately, they can become disproportionately large, heavy and pendulous, causing back and neck strain, skeletal deformities, poor posture, rashes, and skin irritation as they rub against the skin of your chest. To regain your original breast size and shape, a reduction surgery may be necessary—either performed alone or together with a breast lift. Dr. Politis uses a reduction procedure to sculpt breasts to a size and shape that enables better balance, eliminates uncomfortable physical symptoms, and restores a higher position for the breasts. During the procedure, she makes incisions on the breasts, reduces the areola, repositions the nipple, removes excess skin, fat and tissue, and tightens the remaining skin.
She then layers sutures within the breast tissue to create and support the newly-shaped breasts and closes the skin with surgical tape, skin adhesives or sutures. After the surgery, she applies a silicone scar gel to the breasts to minimize post-operative scarring.
4. Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
If you want to regain your flat stomach after having children, you might need to have the loose skin, slack fascia, or stubborn fat deposits corrected surgically. A tummy tuck improves the integrity of abdominal muscles and gives them the look and feel of a taut core. At Politis Plastic Surgery, the procedure is done under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make an incision that runs from hipbone to hipbone across your lower abdomen, and remove most of the skin and fat between your belly button and pubic hair. She then brings out and repositions the belly button, and applies sutures to tighten the fascia that overlies the abdominal muscles in a layered approach that minimizes visible scarring and speeds up healing. The result is a natural looking belly button.
A long-acting pain medication is injected into the abdomen and abdominal placation to offer sustained pain relief for the first three days. You will also receive instructions and scar reduction aids to assist in your healing process.
The procedure provides positive results right away, though post-operative swelling may delay the outcome for a few weeks. Recovery usually takes two weeks, but heavy lifting will be restricted for up to six weeks to give the abdominal area ample time to heal.
The incision takes a longer time to fully heal, with the final results developing within a year. To help with incision healing, Dr. Politis will start you on a scar management regimen for at least 3 months. Eventually, your tummy tuck results will be long-term as long as you maintain a healthy weight after the procedure.
5. Liposuction (Lipoplasty)
Sometimes, after pregnancy, altered contours that do not respond to diet and exercise will appear on your hips, flanks, thighs or upper arms. To deal with these areas of stubborn fat, you might need liposuction to smooth them out. Lipoplasty is a surgical procedure that uses suction technique to remove fat from nearly anywhere on the body. Dr. Politis makes tiny incisions near the area with from which fat will be removed. She then inserts a small, precise cannula (thin, hollow rod) through the incisions and uses suction to push the fat deposits into the cannula and out via a high-vacuum hose. With limited scarring, the recovery period is quite short. You may return to routine activities within a few days with dressings or compression garments. And if you stick to a healthy, active lifestyle, the results are permanent.
How should you prepare for a mommy makeover?
A mommy makeover involves more than one procedure, so the decision-making process before surgery is important. Make sure to schedule a long enough consultation to share your goals and expectations with your surgeon. She needs to know what you expect and you should learn about different procedures and what might suit your body.
After your initial appointment, Dr. Politis will create a surgical plan that will give you the best results. She will also explain to you how each procedure will be performed and how you should prepare for your surgery. In fact, once your treatment plan is in place, she will give you a set of pre-operative instructions to follow in order to ensure your procedure is a safe one.
Pre-operative instructions may include:
- Maintain a balanced diet, which includes vitamins and antioxidants, before and after surgery.
- Stop smoking at least six weeks before and six weeks after your mommy makeover—if you are a smoker.
- Refrain from or keep alcohol consumption to a minimum.
- Achieve your desired weight several weeks before the surgery.
Start exercising for at least 30 minutes, 3-5 days a week, for several weeks before the surgery.
- Stop taking medications that may increase your risk of bleeding during surgery, such as aspirin, vitamin E, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and some supplements.
- Stock up on all prescribed medication, including constipation medication to take the first few days after your surgery and antibiotics to prevent your chance of post-operative infection.
- Ask a friend or family member to drive you home after your operation, and to remain with you for at least a day to assist you with your needs during the earliest part of your recovery process.
- Arrange for help with children and pets during the first week or so after your surgery in order to focus on resting and recuperating during that period.
- Stock up on food and plan for activities that will keep you busy during your recovery period in order to give your body plenty of time to rest and heal.
Dr. Politis maintains a schedule that allows her to provide time to each patient and procedure, ensuring an optimal outcome for every one of her patients. With her availability to respond to your questions and concerns, you will feel comfortable and confident with your surgical plan. And remember, the better you prepare for the surgery, the faster and more comfortable the recovery process will be.
What should you expect during and after mommy makeover?
Every mommy makeover is unique and depends on the specific procedures performed. Dr. Politis carries out the surgery under general anesthesia, and usually for up to four hours or more. She carefully makes incisions in areas where scarring is less conspicuous and tends to be hidden under clothing. She also uses special suturing techniques to reduce tension on the incision during the healing process.
The surgery is done on an outpatient basis, so you should prepare to return home the same day. Only in rare cases does she recommend that patients stay behind for observation. You will be given post-operative instructions to help you care for the incisions and enhance your comfort level throughout the recovery process. Weekly follow-up sessions with the surgeon ensure that your recovery is progressing smoothly.
You should expect to return to routine activities within two weeks. However, strenuous exercise is restricted for up to six weeks to prevent complications which may be triggered by when the body isn’t ready for the strain of normal activities.
Dr. Politis will advise you throughout the recovery process as to when it is safe to resume specific activities. Make sure to inform her if you notice increased swelling, redness, pain, or bleeding in the surgical area. Other red flags include fever, vomiting, nausea, unusual heartbeat, chest pains, or shortness of breath.
Dramatic and Enduring Results
Mommy makeovers provide remarkable results. Your tummy, breasts and abdomen can be enhanced while other areas will have marked improvements. You will enjoy the restoration of your pre-baby body for many years to come. If implants are used, you will need to keep the relationship with your plastic surgeon close for continuous monitoring.
Renew your body and improve your self-confidence
Dr. Effie Politis is a highly trained, experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon you can trust to handle your mommy makeover. She will take her time to ensure the procedure is personalized to your unique needs and goals.
For answers to your specific questions and concerns, schedule a consultation today. For more information on mommy makeovers and other plastic surgery procedures, visit the Politis Plastic Surgery website.