Pregnancy can take its toll on a woman’s body, often resulting in unwanted changes to the belly and breast areas. Sagging, deflated breasts, enlarged areolas, stretched nipples, stretch marks on the abdomen and breast, and a prominent tummy with stretched skin are common side effects of pregnancy and breastfeeding. Having healthy children is definitely worth it, but it is frustrating that no amount of exercise and dieting seems to fix these breast and body issues.
In some women, everything does return to their pre-pregnancy condition, though in most, the skin is stretched beyond repair, the abdominal muscle separate (diastasis recti), and the breasts stretch and lose volume. Weight gain during pregnancy, multiple pregnancies, genetics and skin quality all factor into the amount your body changes after pregnancy. The good news is that a mommy makeover with Dr. Trussler in Austin TX can help reverse the effects of pregnancy on the breasts and body in one surgical procedure.
The term “mommy makeover” is a catch-all phrase for combining breast and abdominal cosmetic procedures designed for addressing the residual effects of pregnancy. There are multiple different options for each area, and a mommy makeover is customized by Dr. Trussler in Austin, Texas to suit your individual goals.
The procedures typically performed are a tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck (in some women, a body lift could be considered to correct outer thigh laxity), combined with a breast lift with or without breast implants or just a breast augmentation alone. The advantage of a mommy makeover is that it corrects two areas in one surgical procedure with only one recovery.
Abdominal Options for a Mommy Makeover:
Breast Options for a Mommy Makeover:
- Breast Lift (mastopexy)
- Breast Lift with Breast Implants (mastopexy-augmentation)
- Breast Lift with Auto-augmentation
- Breast Augmentation
Mommy Makeover Surgery
The mommy makeover surgery is a cosmetic surgical procedure performed in the operating room under a general anesthesia. It involves multiple areas, both breast, and body, which makes it difficult to safely and comfortably perform this combination of procedures under anything but general anesthesia. The procedure takes about 4 to 6 hours depending on the procedures performed, and Dr. Trussler generally reserves at least one night in the aftercare facility in Austin, Texas to make your recovery easy, safe and stress-free.
The mommy makeover starts with the breast procedure first with the abdominal component last. If a body lift with an outer thigh and buttock lift are to be added to the mommy makeover, this is performed as the first step of the procedure.
Surgery Options Include:
Mommy Makeover: Breast Lift with & without Breast Implants
The aftermath of pregnancy can leave you with sagging breasts, uneven breasts, lost breast volume, drooping nipples and stretched areolas (the dark skin surrounding the nipple). A breast lift, or mastopexy, is performed to reverse these changes and return a youthful shape and lift to your breasts. In all breast lift procedures, the incisions are made around the nipple areola to reduce its size and facilitate the ability to move it upwards.
- Mastopexy (breast lift) – the excess breast skin is removed and then tightened around the repositioned nipple.
- Mastopexy augmentation procedure– the breast is reshaped after the implant is placed under the muscle and then the excess breast skin is removed and tightened around the repositioned nipple.
- Mastopexy with auto-augmentation – the breast tissue is wrapped around the nipple areola to give the appearance and firmness of a breast implant.
In all mastopexy procedures, the breast skin is then tightened around the repositioned nipple. The majority of breast incisions are closed with stitches under the skin. Dr. Trussler does place deeper supportive sutures which help support the breast over time. The nipple areola is sized so that they are round and equal in size. These incisions are closed with stitches that need to be removed though limit any scarring around the areola.
Mommy Makeover: Breast Augmentation
Pregnancy may not permanently stretch the breast but may lead to just volume loss. A breast augmentation with the placement of a breast implant can replace the volume, shape, and firmness back to the breast. Small incisions are made in inconspicuous places on the breast to minimize scar visibility. The placement of the incisions are discussed pre-operatively and may be located:
- In the crease on the underside of the breast (inframammary), or
- Under the areola, the dark skin around the nipple (periareolar)
- In the armpit (transaxillary) which Dr. Trussler uses an endoscope to help position the breast implant (endoscopic breast augmentation),
The breast pocket is created through this incision, most commonly under the muscle, or over the muscle. At this point, temporary breast implants are placed and the size and position of the breast implant are confirmed with the patient in the sitting position prior to choosing the final breast implant.
The final breast implant is placed in the breast pocket after removal of the temporary sizer and irrigation of the breast pocket with antibiotic irrigation. No drains are used for primary breast augmentation surgery. The incisions are closed with internal sutures and covered with a clear plastic dressing.
Mommy Makeover: Tummy Tuck
Pregnancy stretches the lower abdominal wall in order to accommodate the growing baby. After giving birth, the skin and muscle of the abdomen do have the ability to recoil back to their pre-pregnancy tone, though typically there is permanent stretch to these areas. There are numerous types of tummy tucks performed by Dr. Trussler and the choice does relate to the location and amount of the excess skin.
- Mini-Abdominoplasty is appropriate for the woman with excess skin below the belly button only. The abdominal muscles are typically tightened with this procedure without the need for moving the belly button. The incision for this procedure is typically longer than a C-section scar.
- Full Abdominoplasty can help recontour the entire abdomen and can tighten skin above and below the belly button. The abdominal muscle is typically tightened and the belly button is repositioned. The incision is kept in a very low position though typically extends to the hips.
- Extended Abdominoplasty is intended for the patient with excess, lax skin in the abdomen and outer hip region. The incision is commonly made circumferentially in the lower waistline to lift and contour the buttocks, hips, and abdomen.
In all of these procedures, the specific areas of skin laxity are corrected and the underlying abdominal muscle is tightened to help flatten the abdomen and tighten the waistline. Liposuction may be added to help decrease fat deposits to help thin and sculpt these stubborn areas. Dr. Trussler closes all incisions with deeper supporting stitches and then aligns the scars with stitches under the skin. Drains are usually placed in each of these procedures to help collect fluid that accumulates after these operations. The torso is flexed in these procedures to decrease tension on the healing skin. A compression garment is placed at the conclusion of the operation to hold the contour in place and avoid collections of fluid./p>
Mommy Makeover: Liposuction
Liposuction can be included as part of a mommy makeover to contour areas not responsive to diet and exercise such as the inner and outer thighs, or to sculpt the abdomen and hips as part of a tummy tuck. It is uncommon that liposuction alone would be effective at sculpting the post-pregnancy abdomen because the skin and/ or muscle is commonly stretched which is not improved with liposuction alone.
Liposuction may make the excess skin and protuberant abdomen more pronounced if those structures are left untreated. The liposuction cannula is then inserted through small incisions after the fluid is injected into the areas of fat. The cannula is used to either apply energy or to suction out the fat. The amount of fat removed is systematically recorded to help ensure symmetry, as well visual and palpable inspection is used to determine if enough suctioning is done in each region. Stitches are typically used to approximate the small incisions to help scars heal in a fine line. Compression garments and foam padding are placed on the areas of liposuction to hold the contour in place and avoid collections of fluid.
What To Consider When Having Your Mommy Makeover Consultation
The decision to reverse the effects of pregnancy is an individual and personal one. The confusing thing is a mommy makeover is a very general term for this very individual procedure. Every woman’s body responds differently to pregnancy, so what a friend had done may not be exactly what you have done. The location and amount of excess abdominal skin, the degree of abdominal bulging, the amount of sag in the breast, and the degree of volume loss in the breast, are all considerations in approaching a mommy makeover. Other considerations are the amount of time between pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as the amount of time needed to recover.
Mommy makeovers are best performed at the minimum of a year from giving birth and approximately 10 months from breastfeeding. This allows for the hormone-induced changes on the skin and body to return to normal. Also, with a new child at home, it is important to allow for maternal bonding and the waiting at least until one year from giving birth would allow the mother to take two weeks to recover from the surgery. Picking up your child and playing with your child are all important activities, though will be limited for a couple of weeks after the mommy makeover.
What To Expect From Your Mommy Makeover
A mommy makeover can help improve your figure to a more feminine and youthful contour by flattening the abdomen, removing excess abdominal skin and stretch marks, lifting the breast, and replacing volume, firmness, and shape. A mommy makeover is ideally performed after the woman has returned to her pre-pregnancy weight and has a stable diet and exercise regimen. Like any cosmetic procedures, the patient should be healthy and non-smoking with a stable personal and family life with defined goals for the mommy makeover.
Recovery From Mommy Makeover Surgery
After any type of mommy makeover procedure combination, patients will likely experience mild soreness and swelling for a few days. Dr. Trussler advises at least a one night stay in the aftercare unit to encourage early ambulation and make the first night after the surgery comfortable. Mothers have two or more people to worry about at home, but in the first week after a mommy makeover, it is important to have enough help at home so moms can focus on their own healing and recovery.
- Dr. Trussler does make it easy to recover after a mommy makeover by limiting the amount of care need on the incisions and surgical areas for the first week.
- In general, the waist is kept in a flexed position, a surgical bra is kept on the breasts and a compressive garment is kept on the abdomen and thighs.
- After the first week, drains and stitches are removed and the abdominal compression garments are downsized.
- The breasts will be supported in a soft surgical bra for about three weeks or until healed. A sports bra can be substituted, but underwire bras are discouraged until the breast is completely healed which is commonly 6 weeks.
Most women will be able to return to caring for their children, work and light exercise within two weeks, although vigorous exercise and other strenuous activity should be avoided for about a month. Breast implant exercises are not needed in lift and implant procedures because they can disrupt internal supportive sutures, however, they may be encouraged in the breast augmentation patient. Dr. Trussler will provide you with specific instructions for your individual recovery.
Results Of Mommy Makeover Surgery
The results of a mommy makeover are visible immediately after surgery and will continue to improve as swelling subsides and scars fade. The breast and body shape will evolve over a three month period. Scar treatment will be initiated at the 3-week visit and may be continued for 3 to 6 months after the operation, or until the scars soften and fade. As previously mentioned, a bra must still be used after a breast lift procedure, but cup size and need for support may decrease in the standard breast lift patient.
Mommy Makeover FAQs
Who Would Be A Good Candidate For A Mommy Makeover?
A mommy makeover is intended to directly address the areas of the body affected by pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. The localized weight gain in the lower belly and breasts can leave a pooch in the tummy, flattened, sagging breasts, and pockets of stubborn fat. If this sounds like your body after the birth of your child or children, a mommy makeover can correct these changes.
Mommy makeovers with Dr. Trussler, however, are only an option if you’ve decided you’re not going to have any more children. This is because the improvements made by these combined surgeries will be negated by another pregnancy and delivery.
Can I Have A Mommy Makeover If I Have Not Had Children?
A mommy makeover is simply a moniker for a group of combined procedures — breast lift/augmentation, tummy tuck, and liposuction. It isn’t limited to mothers by any means. The problems such as stretched stomach skin and muscles can occur if a person has gained and then lost a good deal of weight. These weight fluctuations affect the breasts as well. The beauty of a mommy makeover with Dr. Trussler is that you can target different problems with different procedures that are combined into a single surgical session.
Should I Wait Until My Family Is Complete Before I Have A Mommy Makeover?
Patients opting for mommy makeovers with Dr. Trussler all have unique issues with their figures, and Dr. Trussler adapts each makeover to the patient. However, there is one thing all mommy makeover patients have in common — they are not going to have any more children. Plus, time needs to pass after childbirth and breastfeeding before proceeding with these procedures. Dr. Trussler generally recommends waiting at least one year after delivery and approximately 10 months after you finish breastfeeding before having a mommy makeover.
Will Insurance Cover My Mommy Makeover?
Is A Mommy Makeover Done All At Once?
That is one of the great things about a mommy makeover, combining various procedures into a single surgical session. While this makes for a more involved recovery than if you had the procedures performed separately, it is still only one recovery. The surgery for a mommy makeover takes from 4 to 6 hours, depending on your individual circumstances.
“Dr. Trussler made me comfortable from my initial consultation and was there to answer questions throughout the entire process and post surgery. Dr. Trussler does amazing work and is great at what he does. I have never been happier about my body! Dr. Trussler made my breasts full and natural looking, as they were prior to me having two children. I trust Dr. Trussler so much that even though I no longer live in TX, I would come back in town if I were to decide to have any future work done. Dr. Trussler has earned my trust and 100% satisfaction! Surgery is a stressful event and I wouldn’t want anyone other than Dr. Trussler to perform surgery on me.”
*Disclaimer: Results and individual patient experience may vary.
- Hatef, DA, Trussler, AP, Kenkel, JM. Procedural Risk for Venous Thromboembolism in Abdominal Contouring Surgery: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2010 Jan;125(1):352-362.
- Trussler AP, Kurkjian TJ, Hatef DA, Farkas JP, Rohrich RJ. Refinements in Abdominoplasty: A Critical Outcomes Analysis over a 20-year Period. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2010 Sep; 126(3):1063-1074.