Sometimes it is possible to perform two or more aesthetic procedures at the same time, the most famous example being the so-called mommy makeover. While potential benefits such as combined recovery times and cost savings may arise, safety is the most important consideration when combining procedures.
What is a Mommy Makeover?
The term mommy makeover refers to both breast surgery and abdominal contouring performed together – most often in a woman with one or more children. While each patient is different, the most common mommy makeover is a combination of a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and a breast procedure that includes a breast-lift or mastopexy. Dr. O’Connell believes that breast augmentation and abdominoplasty can also be an effective mommy makeover.
Patient safety is always Dr. O’Connell’s first priority in cosmetic surgery. Because of the added surgical and anesthesia time, added magnitude of the procedures when combined, and other poorly understood factors, the risks of combination procedures are significantly greater than the risk of each procedure. The risk of venous thromboembolic events (VTE) associated with aesthetic surgical procedures, and especially combination procedures, is of great concern to plastic surgeons.
With over 35 years of surgical experience and credentials that speak for themselves, Dr. O’Connell is your ideal choice for a mommy makeover. This isn’t just an empty claim – we’ve got the satisfied patients to prove it!
Mommy Makeover Candidates
Candidates for mommy makeovers should be in good general health. All procedures associated with mommy makeovers produce permanent scarring and, even though every effort is made to minimize them, prospective patients should be aware of the locations of the scars and the fact that no guarantee as to their appearance can be provided. It is best to be at or near your regular weight prior to mommy makeover. This does not mean, however, that you must meet an arbitrary weight goal set by your surgeon.
Mommy makeover may be an option if you have:
- The issues that occur in the abdomen following childbirth and/or weight loss include:
- A loose, fatty, unattractive or hanging mons (pubic area)
- Loose, wrinkled or hanging skin
- Diastasis recti – a separation of the rectus abdominus muscles
- Fatty excess of the abdominal wall in combination with loose skin
- Scarring of the abdomen that you wish to reduce including an unattractive C-section scar with skin overhang
- Droop (ptosis) of the breasts possibility in combination with either volume loss following pregnancy or volume excess
- Breasts that are either too small or too large
Your Mommy Makeover Consultation
Because mommy makeovers require longer surgical times and because procedures are being combined with abdominoplasty, there are safety issues that must be carefully considered. Dr. O’Connell will review your medical and surgical histories including allergies, medication, supplement and tobacco use and especially, any excessive tendency for clotting. Because pregnancy and weight loss can affect each patient differently, he will carefully evaluate your abdominal contour in the context of skin excess, muscle separation and fatty excess and also your breast size and shape using tissue based planning where necessary. Together you will review the various options for mommy makeover including both surgical and non-surgical (where applicable) along with their risks, costs and likely potential benefits. You’ll have an opportunity to view educational videos, diagrams, and photographs on TouchMD and we will provide you with written materials to help you understand the various options – and of course, all your questions will be answered.
Preparing for your Mommy Makeover
As part of the preoperative process, you may be asked to:
- Obtain blood work to evaluate your blood counts and clotting system
- Stop taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, vitamins, supplements and other preparations that can increase your risk of bleeding
- Stop smoking
- In some cases, you will be asked to obtain a medical evaluation from your primary care physician
- When mommy makeover is performed on an outpatient basis, you must have a responsible adult drive you home from your surgery and stay with you for at least the first 24 hours
- Arrange for help at home with childcare, etc. for the first week following your surgery
Mommy Makeover Procedure Steps
In many cases, Dr. O’Connell performs mommy makeovers under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. For safety reasons, most patients who undergo a breast reduction in combination with abdominoplasty stay overnight and return home the morning following surgery.
When full abdominoplasty is needed, Dr. O’Connell usually utilizes a “no-drain” technique such as his BAND Abdominoplasty. Drains are usually not needed for breast lifting or breast reduction in our practice. Small, true abdominal wall hernias can usually be corrected at the time of mommy makeover.
Mommy Makeover Recovery
Following a mommy makeover, you usually will rest in the “beach chair” position if an abdominoplasty has been performed. Ambulation immediately following surgery will be encouraged. You’ll be provided with pain medication and medications to prevent nausea and vomiting along with detailed written postoperative instructions. Most patients are allowed to shower at 48 hours.
Most patients are able to drive in 7-10 days and can return to sedentary work in about 10 days. For many years, Dr. O’Connell has allowed his patients to resume gym workouts at 21 days following surgery but this is individualized especially if a true hernia is repaired or breast implants are utilized during the procedure. We recommend that our mommy makeover patients have help at home as the issue of running a household and lifting children is always a concern.
Dr. O’Connell will see you several times during the postoperative period to ensure that healing is progressing normally, to review your care and to address any concerns or questions that you might have.
Mommy Makeover Risks and Safety Information
All medical and surgical procedures carry risks and potential complications and the final decision whether to proceed with surgery is your personal one based upon your evaluation of the risks and potential benefits.
Some risk of mommy makeover surgery include:
- Bleeding, infection and difficulty with wound healing
- Seroma – an accumulation of fluid beneath the abdominal skin or within the breast
- Venous thromboembolism (VTE) – e.g. blood clots that can travel to the lungs
- Unfavorable scarring
- Malposition of the belly button
- Chronic pain
- All the risks that accompany the use of breast implants or that accompany mastopexy/breast reduction depending upon procedure choice
Because of the added risk of VTE associated with mommy makeover surgery, at Total Aesthetics ™ all patients are risk stratified with a Caprini score in order to help determine appropriate risk reduction measures.
Mommy Makeover FAQs
What benefits do combination procedures offer?
Combination procedures provide a more dramatic change in appearance and, because the procedures are performed at the same time, the total mommy makeover recovery time is usually less than when performing both procedures separately. Cost savings can include the surgeon’s fees as well as anesthesia and facility fees.