During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles—which form the foundation of a flat belly—can become overstretched, causing them to remain loose after delivery. The skin of the abdomen can suffer the same fate, becoming redundant and folding over. In the event of a cesarean delivery, the C-section scar can amplify this effect by fixing the abdominal skin to the muscle wall. Any retained fat in the lower abdomen also adds to its fullness and will increase the lower abdominal bulge.
Much like the abdomen, the breasts enlarge with pregnancy, as well. Sometimes the new breast volume remains, but more frequently, the added fullness decreases with the cessation of breastfeeding. This volume reduction, combined with the extra skin it creates, can lead to a deflated and/or “droopy” breast appearance.
Fortunately, if you are experiencing any or all of these cosmetic concerns following pregnancy (or significant weight loss), a personalized Mommy Makeover can be an excellent solution. With over 20 years of plastic surgery experience, Joseph A. Mele, MD is exceptionally skilled in customizing Mommy Makeovers to address the unique aesthetic needs and goals of his patients—ultimately helping to restore their pre-pregnancy figures with beautiful, natural-looking results.
To learn more about this rewarding treatment, we invite you to read through the informative sections provided below and/or contact our practice today to book a consultation.
What Is a Mommy Makeover?
The term Mommy Makeover was coined for any combination of body-shaping plastic surgery procedures intended to repair the two areas of a woman’s body that change the most with pregnancy: the belly and the breasts. While often requested by mothers after childbirth, a Mommy Makeover may also be selected to restore a woman’s body after significant weight loss or bariatric surgery.
Mommy Makeover Before-and-After Photos
Am I a Candidate for a Mommy Makeover?
To find out if you are a candidate for a Mommy Makeover, the first step is an in-person consultation with a plastic surgeon who is board-certified, such as Dr. Mele. An experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon can determine which breast and belly procedures will be the most effective, predictable, and safest for you.
What Are My Tummy Enhancement Options?
The tummy enhancement portion of the Mommy Makeover is most commonly a tummy tuck. If less repair is needed, a mini tummy tuck and/or liposuction can be substituted, but only the tummy tuck can optimally tighten the abdominal muscles, remove excess abdominal fat, tighten loose abdominal wall skin, and maximally remove lower abdominal stretch marks. Learn more about your tummy enhancement options below.
Standard Tummy Tuck
The Tummy Tuck is the gold standard for tummy tightening and is equally satisfying for both patient and surgeon. Full tummy tucks, or abdominoplasty, can rejuvenate the most stretched out bellies with a three-pronged approach that provides significant improvement by addressing the abdominal muscles, fat, and skin. It is an outpatient procedure; however, Dr. Mele often keeps his patients overnight for their comfort and safety.
Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) Before and After Photos
Mini Tummy Tuck
The Mini Tummy Tuck is usually an outpatient procedure which is a compromise between liposuction and the traditional full tummy tuck. Unlike liposuction, mini tummy tucks remove loose skin and also tighten the abdominal muscles. Unlike a full tummy tuck, however, the mini tummy tuck cannot effectively tighten the skin and muscles above the belly button.
If your skin and muscle laxity is isolated to the region between your belly button and pubis, a mini tummy tuck may be right for you. It can provide a safe and effective means of addressing the area with reduced recovery, cost, and operating time.
Liposuction is an outpatient procedure and a great option for round bellies with a firm muscular foundation and tight skin when the roundness is due to an accumulation of bulging, disproportionate fat. Liposuction works by sucking out the fat that exists between the muscle and the skin. It is very effective for removing weight from specific areas; however, liposuction is limited by its mechanism. Despite the specific technique used (tumescent, laser, ultrasound, or radiofrequency), liposuction is not an effective method for tightening the muscles or skin. In fact, loose skin may fold more when the supporting fat is removed; therefore, loose skin needs a procedure designed specifically to remove it.
What Are My Breast Enhancement Options?
The breast enhancement portion of the Mommy Makeover is most commonly breast augmentation. The procedure can restore missing volume and improve the deflated appearance of the breasts which frequently follows pregnancy and breastfeeding.
If you are happy with the size of the breasts, but dissatisfied with their appearance due to sagging, a breast lift may be what you need. The procedure lifts the breasts and nipples without changing the breast volume. If you have sagging and desire more volume, breast implants can be used with your breast lift to give you the best of both procedures—a better shape and larger volume. This breast enhancing surgery is termed breast augmentation-mastopexy.
Conversely, if your breasts are too large and causing you discomfort, or you feel “top-heavy,” breast reduction may be more appropriate. The procedure reduces the breast volume and lifts the breasts to provide a better shape and firmer, smaller breasts.
The most common breast enhancement component of the Mommy Makeover is breast augmentation. When the breasts have lost volume, breast augmentation corrects breast atrophy. Breast implants are used to re-inflate breasts and restore the lost breast volume.
Breast Augmentation (Mammoplasty) Before and After Photos
If the breasts are saggy, a breast lift (or mastopexy) may be recommended. A breast lift can tighten the overstretched skin that remains loose after pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight loss. Excess skin at the bottom of the breasts is removed, forming a tighter skin brassiere that lifts and firms the breasts. Breast tissue is not normally removed as part of a breast lift, but can be when a reduction in breast volume is desired.
Breast lifts can be combined with breast augmentation when it is desirable to both add volume to and lift the breasts. The breast lift helps shape the breasts and position the nipples, while the breast augmentation adds missing volume. When a breast augmentation and breast lift are combined, it is termed a breast augmentation-mastopexy.
Breast Lift with Breast Augmentation Before and After Photos (Augmentation Mastopexy)
If your breasts have enlarged with pregnancy but the increased volume won’t go away, breast reduction surgery can be performed as part of the Mommy Makeover in place of breast augmentation. Breast reduction surgery is much like a breast lift, except that some of the breast tissue is also removed. If the excess breast volume is causing neck pain, back pain, shoulder rutting, or a rash under your breasts, breast reduction may relieve these symptoms.
Breast Reduction Before and After Photos (Reduction Mammoplasty)
How Do I Prepare for a Mommy Makeover?
Once a Mommy Makeover plan is formulated, Dr. Mele will review any medications or supplements you are taking, and determine which to continue and which to stop around the time of surgery. The usual instructions for surgery, like avoiding aspirin and fasting, are required to reduce the risk of complications. Recovery is variable, but more on that is included below.
Dr. Mele prefers to keep his tummy tuck patients overnight, but regardless of whether your surgery is outpatient or overnight, you will need a trusted friend to drive you to and from the surgery center. The initial phase of recovery requires you to rest. Heavy lifting and vigorous activities are to be avoided. You may need help getting up from a lying or seated position for a few days, and help around the house is a definite plus. Preparing simple meals ahead of time and arranging childcare when needed will allow you to concentrate on yourself and your healing.
What Is Recovery from a Mommy Makeover Like?
All Mommy Makeovers are performed by Dr. Mele at an Accredited Surgery Center. For smaller combinations (breast augmentation and liposuction), you can typically expect to go home the same day. For combinations that include a full tummy tuck, you may be advised to stay overnight and go home the next morning after Dr. Mele checks you.
Follow-up visits are performed in the office weekly right after surgery, and less frequently as you continue to heal. Instructions on how to take care of yourself, and how best to reduce the appearance of your scars, will be provided. Activities like walking are encouraged immediately after your procedure, and more activity is allowed as you progress. Patients are usually able to get back to most of their usual activities in a few weeks, although heavy lifting and contact sports should be avoided for at least six weeks.
What Does a Mommy Makeover Cost?
Since Mommy Makeovers combine different procedures depending on each individual’s needs, the price ranges widely. The cost will include the breast and belly enhancing procedures best-suited for your situation. Professional fees, anesthesia, operating room costs, and appropriate garments will be included in the estimate provided at the time of your consultation.
Contact Dr. Mele
If you are interested in learning how a Mommy Makeover can specifically enhance your body, contact us online or call our office at (925) 943-6353 to schedule a personalized Mommy Makeover consultation. Dr. Mele personalizes each Mommy Makeover to be certain you get the best possible results.