Q&A Topic: Mommy Makeovers
Michael H. Rosenberg, MD, FACS
Q. Why is a mommy makeover so popular?
A. While many women look forward to the celebrated “glow” of pregnancy, for some, motherhood’s long-term effects on the body may be a little less pleasing. A mommy makeover addresses changes to the body associated with pregnancy and child rearing, most notably drooping breasts, scars from stretch marks and c-sections, and loose skin. Our goal is to give moms their pre-pregnancy body back, helping them feel more comfortable and confident. Every mom knows that motherhood requires certain sacrifices, but they find it comforting to know that their body doesn’t have to be one of them.
Q. What surgical procedures are involved in a mommy makeover?
A. A mommy makeover may include various procedures, generally focusing on the breasts and abdomen. Women may opt for a breast lift with or without augmentation, to address sagging breasts or a loss of volume. In the abdominal area, liposuction can remove fat, and an abdominoplasty (or “tummy tuck”) can tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall and remove excess fat and skin. Other procedures may focus on eliminating extra skin, minimizing scarring from c-sections, and vaginal rejuvenation and tightening. A mommy makeover can also improve stretch marks by pulling skin tighter during abdominal or breast surgery and removing extra skin that may contain these unwanted marks.
Q. You’re getting rid of my stretch marks and C-section scars, but will I have scarring from the makeover?
A. No surgical procedure is done without scars. However, plastic surgeons reduce the appearance of scars as much as possible with concealing techniques. We use fine sutures and employ natural skin lines for flatter and thinner scars. We also try to hide incisions in areas of shadow and contour. For example, during breast surgery we may hide a scar in the crease where the breast touches the chest wall or around the areola, where there is a natural color change. Special dressings and gels are often used to help scars heal, and in some cases, laser treatments may be an option.
Q. What’s the healing process like?
A. If abdominal surgery is involved, patients can expect to stay in the hospital overnight (breast surgery alone may not require a hospital stay). After surgery, women should wait a week before driving and resuming most activities, and four to six weeks before exercising. My patients usually take about two weeks off before returning to work.
Q. Who is an ideal candidate for this procedure and who is the ideal surgeon?
A. Mommy makeovers involve an element of family planning, as the ideal candidate for surgery is done having children and nursing. While the body will accommodate a pregnancy after a mommy makeover, the results of the surgery may be lost. Patients should wait at least three months after finishing nursing before electing to have this surgery.
In choosing a surgeon, board certification is a must and nothing beats experience. Look for someone who does the procedure fairly regularly, speak to other people who’ve had the surgery, and don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion. It’s so important to feel comfortable with your surgeon. There is plenty of information readily available, so it’s easy and important to make yourself knowledgeable, proactive and informed.
Michael Rosenberg, MD, FACS
Institute of Aesthetic Surgery & Medicine
Associate Medical Director,
Northern Westchester Hospital
Northern Westchester Hospital is a proud member of Northwell Health.
Read Past Topics from Dr. Rosenberg
Cosmetic Body Surgery
Breast Reduction Surgery
Breast Reconstruction Following a Lumpectomy
Q&A Topic: Lip Augmentation
Excess Skin Removal After Weight Loss