Nothing is more precious than your child. Nevertheless, pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding can dramatically affect a woman’s body. Although having a child can be extremely fulfilling, a post-pregnancy body can make some women feel self-conscious and even depressed. Feeling attractive and sexy does not have to be given up as the price for having children. Many new mothers are having Mommy Makeover surgery to counter the physical effects that are not reversible through proper lifestyle changes alone, such as healthy eating and exercise. Our plastic surgeons, Dr. Ram Kalus and Dr. Craig Rowin, offer Mommy Makeovers at their Charleston and Mount Pleasant practice for women who would like to address multiple cosmetic concerns at once and restore their pre-pregnancy figure.
- What Is a Mommy Makeover?
- Mommy Makeover Options
- Mommy Makeover Articles
- Mommy Makeover After Pregnancy
- Mommy Makeover Recovery
- Mommy Makeover Scars
- Mommy Makeover Cost
What is a Mommy Makeover?
The term “Mommy Makeover” can mean different things to different people. In general, it is usually thought of as a series of treatments designed to improve areas of the body commonly altered by pregnancy and nursing, such as the abdomen and the breasts. Childbearing can create a variety of physical changes in the body, such as stretched abdominal muscles, deflated breast volume, an accumulation of stubborn fat—usually in the lower tummy and possibly the flanks—and increased skin laxity in the breasts and the abdomen. The breasts can undergo several different possible changes as a result of pregnancy. Most women’s breasts will enlarge with pregnancy, but then return either to their pre-pregnancy breast volume and may appear slightly droopier; end up larger than their pre-pregnancy size; or, most commonly, lose volume (especially in their upper pole) and possibly become droopier or exhibit more sag as well. A Mommy Makeover is customized to correct these changes and treat each patient’s unique areas of concern in one surgical plan, offering comprehensive improvement that is tailored to achieve your desired look.
Often overlooked, there can also be changes to a woman’s face after one or more pregnancies that can include skin pigment changes such as melasma (which usually resolves and reverses on its own) as well as early signs of aging, such as more noticeable nasolabial folds, or more visible dark circles or bags under the eyes. Even something as simple as worry lines from the stress which can often accompany being a young busy mom who experiences sleepless nights.
Dr. Ram Kalus and his team of nurses and aestheticians at Plastic Surgery of the Carolinas create an individualized Mommy Makeover plan for your body and face, customized for your busy lifestyle. Many plans include breast augmentation, breast lift, tummy tuck, and liposuction for a relatively quick transformation, but other procedures can be included as well. Although one thinks of body surgery when considering a Mommy Makeover, the face can also begin to show early signs of aging. A proper skin care regimen may help you achieve a healthier overall complexion. Fine wrinkles around the corners of the mouth and crow’s feet can be corrected with injectables. Sagging eyelids can make you look tired, or in need of sleep. In this case, you may in fact benefit from a blepharoplasty if those changes are present. Generally speaking, a Mommy Makeover can encompass a broad range of procedures. You may want to consider a Mommy Makeover if you have:
- Early signs of aging in your face or eyes
- Loose or sagging skin
- Stretch marks
- Post-pregnancy weight and fatty deposits
- Misshaped, sagging, or flattened breasts
- Pre-existing cosmetic concerns
What Does a Mommy Makeover Consist of?
Breast augmentation, lift, and reduction procedures may be options for women who want their breasts to return to their pre-pregnancy or younger-looking shape. Because pregnancy may cause a woman’s breasts to sag or increase/decrease in cup size, these procedures can be combined with other procedures to shape, contour, and enhance the breasts.
Tummy tuck and body lift procedures can eliminate loose and stretched skin, as well as fat deposits that diet and exercise cannot. Tummy tuck surgery, or abdominoplasty, is designed to tighten the abdominal muscles and remove excess skin, reverting your midsection to its pre-pregnancy look (maybe even better). A tummy tuck can also be combined with other body lift procedures, such as an arm lift, thigh lift, or butt lift, to address additional problem areas.
Liposuction can safely and effectively remove stubborn pockets of post-pregnancy fat that will not respond to diet and exercise. New liposuction technology can offer less discomfort and bruising, as well as a quicker healing time than ever before.
Ultimately, Drs. Kalus and Rowin can help you determine which treatment options are the most beneficial to achieve your ideal aesthetic. At the time of surgery, Dr. Kalus or Dr. Rowin will perform any recommended surgery as part of your Mommy Makeover in a safe environment encompassed by an accredited, private outpatient surgical facility or hospital setting that serves your specific needs. The length, procedure types, anesthesia or sedation method, and recovery period will vary depending on your individualized treatment plan.
“My results are very natural – I look like I did before I had my children & could not be more pleased!*”
Mommy Makeover Articles
Mommy Makeover After Pregnancy
The breasts may undergo various changes after pregnancy, whether or not a woman chooses to nurse her new baby(ies). Sometimes, a woman may notice that with the inevitable weight gain that occurs with pregnancy, her breasts may have grown significantly larger. This can not only be a cosmetic concern, but a functional one as well, as the symptoms of large breasts often include back and neck pain or spasms, shoulder bra-strap grooving and discomfort, and even difficulty finding suitable clothing. Large breasts can also interfere with sports and exercise, often discouraging some women from an active lifestyle. The good news is that breast reduction surgery can often be considered “medically necessary” by some health insurance companies, and therefore, include financial coverage. Your financial options can be confirmed after an office evaluation.
More commonly, a woman may notice that her breasts may have gotten smaller in volume after pregnancy, either with or without associated sagging or drooping. Sometimes a breast lift (mastopexy) alone may be beneficial, and other times a breast augmentation is necessary to enhance the appearance of the breasts. Occasionally, both might be the best solution. This combination surgery, known as a breast lift with implants or “augmentation mastopexy,” can be accomplished as one operation or in multiple stages.
Breast enhancement surgery, be it reduction, lift, or augmentation, can go a long way in boosting a woman’s confidence and self esteem.
Just as the breasts may undergo stretching and resultant sagging with pregnancy, these effects can most certainly occur in the abdomen. Both the skin and underlying musculature will stretch as the baby grows. It is no secret how especially true this can be with twin or triplet pregnancies, which are much more prevalent today because of the remarkable successes of IVF. Sometimes, the skin will return to an acceptable state, but often it can be overstretched and appear unattractive, crinkled instead of smooth, protruding instead of flat, or loose instead of tight. These concerns can usually be corrected nicely with an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).
This surgery will almost always include a tightening of the abdominal musculature, and may also include repair of a rectus diastasis (separation of the muscles), or even repair of a ventral or umbilical hernia. In addition, stubborn fat removal via liposuction is also common. All of your options will be determined during an office consultation. If a hernia does exist, the hernia repair is usually a covered procedure and may offset some of the costs associated with surgery. If a C-section was performed in delivering your baby, sometimes that scar can heal with a sunken-in appearance or an unattractive scar. This can be corrected either with an isolated scar revision procedure, or as a part of abdominoplasty.
Although pregnancy may not result in any overt facial changes, a patient can sometimes experience melasma, a condition in which patchy pigmentation can appear on the face and remain. This can be treated with bleaching creams, Retin-A, or IPL treatments . Moreover, because a young mother can sometimes feel overwhelmed and constantly fatigued, this can manifest physically with bags under the eyes, stress lines, frown lines, etc. Part of being a good mom includes taking care of yourself, and besides eating healthy and trying to exercise regularly, looking your best can also allow you to feel as good as possible. A proper skin care regimen, tailored to accommodate your specific skin type, can be recommended by Dr. Kalus or Dr. Rowin and their team of nurses and aestheticians. If a little more improvement is desired, BOTOX® Cosmetic, Dysport®, or other fillers such as Restylane®, Juvederm®, or Radiesse® can help restore youthful facial contours.
What is Recovery Like From a Mommy Makeover?
While each patient’s recovery period will differ depending on their individual treatment plan, those who have undergone a Mommy Makeover can generally expect some degree of bruising, swelling, and/or tenderness in the treated areas. Most patients can return to their normal non-strenuous routines within one to two weeks after surgery, depending on your unique rate of healing and which procedures were pursued. For most breast surgeries, it will be four weeks of avoiding exercise; for most tummy procedures, it will be six weeks. Dr. Kalus, Dr. Rowin, and their team will walk you through your recovery period and provide detailed after-care instructions when you are seen in person.
Mommy Makeover Recovery Tips
Although the details of Mommy Makeover recovery vary from patient to patient, there are a few general tips that can help facilitate a smoother recovery period:
- Arrange for a friend or loved one to help you around the house for the first couple of days following surgery. Since your mobility may be temporarily limited (mainly with tummy tuck surgery), having someone there to help you with household tasks can be valuable.
- Enlist help in childcare duties and chaperoning, especially for infants and toddlers. This assistance can be essential for tasks that involve heavy lifting, driving, or strenuous physical exertion, not to mention handling the logistics of a busy household.
- Wear post-surgical garments, such as surgical bras and compression bandages, for the correct amount of time prescribed by Dr. Kalus and Dr. Rowin or their nurses to minimize swelling and the likelihood of complications.
- Sleep with pillows underneath your back, and with a slight bend in the knees, to reduce stress at the incision sites following tummy surgery. Obtaining a wedge pillow can be very helpful.
- Always be sure to contact Dr. Kalus or Dr. Rowin if you have any concerns whatsoever regarding your healing and recovery process. Symptoms such as bruising, swelling, or pain can be normal, but if you begin to feel dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, fever, or chest pains, these can all be indications of symptoms that may require a greater degree of medical attention.
What Will My Scars From a Mommy Makeover Look Like?
The nature of your post-surgical scars will depend on which surgical procedures were part of your Mommy Makeover. For example, liposuction incisions are typically very small and placed near the treated area. In breast surgery, the usual incision sites are located around the borders of the areolas and/or along the natural contours of the breast crease. Depending on the nature of your breast enhancement, you may have an anchor-shaped scar, a lollipop-shaped scar, or a scar that simply surrounds the borders of the areola. Many patients report that their scars from breast surgery fade over time and become much less noticeable. The tummy tuck procedure generally involves a low incision across the pubis that extends from hip to hip. The resulting surgical scar is often easily covered by underwear or bikini bottoms. In any case, Dr. Kalus and Dr. Rowin take great care to place incisions in discreet locations for minimized visibility of scarring.
How Much Does a Mommy Makeover Cost?
Although an accurate cost estimation of your Mommy Makeover cannot be determined until your needs are assessed in a consultation, Dr. Kalus and Dr. Rowin understand that the price of treatment is a major consideration when pursuing cosmetic surgery. Your personalized quote will ultimately be calculated based on which procedures are included in your Mommy Makeover, the cost of breast implants (if applicable), and other factors pertaining to your unique needs.
Our office will provide you with a complete price breakdown at the time of your consultation. To make the cost of a Mommy Makeover more affordable, we work with CareCredit®— a highly reputable plastic surgery financing option that can allow qualified applicants to receive the enhancement they desire while accommodating any budgetary needs. CareCredit® offers an array of payment plans with low monthly installments, as well as low- to no-interest rates, to help patients pay for their treatment over time, rather than in a lump sum. For questions about our accepted payment methods, please don’t hesitate to contact our practice to speak to a friendly member of our team.
If you are interested in a Mommy Makeover, we encourage you to contact Plastic Surgery of the Carolinas today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kalus or Dr. Rowin and discuss your treatment options.