A woman’s body experiences many changes as a result of pregnancy and breastfeeding. The more children you have, the greater the toll on your body in many cases. A mommy makeover is a coordinated set of surgical treatments designed to restore a woman’s body after having children. It can also help women that have seen changes due to weight fluctuations or the aging process.
The mommy makeover is one of Dr. Barrett’s most popular procedures: “The feeling women get when they are able to get their body back is very motivating for me. We all make sacrifices for our children and they are precious, but we also want to feel good about our bodies. Nothing in plastic surgery looks better than a mother getting her body back.”
What is a Mommy Makeover?
A mommy makeover addresses the precise correction you want – no more, no less. No two mommy makeovers are precisely the same since every woman responds to pregnancy a bit differently. Some notice the breasts almost seem to deflate as they lose youthful volume, while others notice distinct sagging that wasn’t there before children. The abdomen may sport a seemingly permanent bulge as underlying muscles that separated during pregnancy do not typically return to their original position. Isolated fat deposits may also linger that do not respond to diet and exercise. The buttocks may also lose volume and shape in some women as well.
A mommy makeover can address all these issues, with a customized set of procedures that can usually be performed in one session. The single surgery approach means you enjoy an optimal outcome with just one time under anesthesia and one recovery process. Dr. Barrett will spend ample time helping you plan for your procedure to ensure all your concerns are addressed. Rest assured, you will receive personalized care throughout the pre-operative planning, surgery and recovery period. Your results of your mommy makeover will be dramatic and should last for many years.
Is a Mommy Makeover Right for You?
Women that choose to undergo a mommy makeover do so for a variety of reasons. Some are unhappy with the changes to their appearance after pregnancy. Others want to capitalize upon the surgery to produce an outcome that enhances their original look. Some find the extra skin and fat deposits left behind after pregnancy, as well as the ptosis (sagging) of the breasts, leaves them feeling physically uncomfortable as well as self-conscious about their appearance.
A mommy makeover is an opportunity to rejuvenate the body, reverse unattractive changes, help clothing fit better, and renew your self-confidence when you look in the mirror.
There are different factors Dr. Barrett will carefully weigh when determining whether a mommy makeover will be a safe and successful procedure for you. Some of those factors include:
- Good general health without underlying medical conditions the could complicate your surgery or recovery process
- Non-smoker (this is particularly critical for this procedure as nicotine can significantly compromise the ability of the incisions to heal properly)
- Understanding that there will need to be sufficient time for recovery to prevent possible complications after surgery
- Openness to discussing all post-pregnancy concerns so that desired corrections can be made according to your specifications
- Healthy reasons for wanting the operation performed and realistic expectations about the outcome
Your safety and comfort are Dr. Barrett’s top priorities. He will carefully assess your medical history and listen to your concerns and aesthetic goals before determining a mommy makeover is the right procedure for you.
Mommy Makeover Options
There are many different choices when planning your mommy makeover. Some of the most common procedures that might be included are:
This form of breast enhancement uses implants or fat grafting to create additional fullness to breasts that have lost their curves over time. This procedure provides a bevy of options, allowing Dr. Barrett to work with each patient to match unique body proportions and desired results. Some of the choices you will make in preparation for breast augmentation include:
- Implant Type – choose from silicone shells filled with a sterile saline solution or a cohesive silicone gel
- Fat Grafting – This requires fat to be harvested from other parts of the body using liposuction.
- Implant Shape – round and teardrop-shaped (anatomical) implants are available
- Implant Shell – outer shell of the implant can be smooth or textured
- Implant Size and Profile – profile refers to how breasts will project from the chest wall
- Implant Placement – implants may be put over or under the pectoral (chest) muscle
- Incision Location – best option is usually periareolar (around the areola) but other options are available
While the decision-making process before breast augmentation tends to be extensive and somewhat daunting, Dr. Barrett will accompany you through each step to ensure the choices you make are a good fit for you and you are comfortable with them.
Dr. Barrett usually performs breast augmentation under general anesthesia, using a long-acting medication that will keep you comfortable during and after your surgery. He will use a Keller funnel to place your implants into the breast pocket, which requires shorter incisions and reduces the rate of some complications associated with this procedure. Once the implants are correctly positioned, he will close the incisions using a layered technique that assists with incision healing.
Most women are ready to head back to work within one week of breast augmentation surgery, although individuals with more strenuous jobs may need to wait a bit longer. Patients will have multiple follow-up visits at our office so Dr. Barrett can monitor your recovery process and advise you on when it is safe to resume specific activities. Results of breast surgery are evident right away and will be long-lasting in most cases. Both the FDA and implant manufacturers recommend replacing implants every 10 years. Monitoring is also recommended after breast augmentation.
Some women find that the size of the breasts isn’t the only thing that changes after pregnancy. Sagging, drooping breasts can be addressed with a lift procedure that restores the breasts to a more youthful projection on the chest wall. The nipples may also be reduced or repositioned to create a natural, proportionate appearance. Dr. Barrett may recommend the lift alone as part of your mommy makeover, or in conjunction with breast augmentation or reduction to produce an optimal outcome.
A breast lift begins with an incision around the areola, where scarring will be hidden within the pigmented area of the nipple. Depending on how much lift you need, a second incision may also be made vertically in the center of the lower half of the breast. Through the incisions, Dr. Barrett will remove and reposition tissue and excise loose skin to create a firmer, perkier breast shape. After surgery, incisions will be treated with silicone scar gel to assist with healing and minimize postoperative scarring. Dr. Barrett is known for his vertical (lollipop) breasts lifts that avoid the horizontal component of the anchor pattern lift.
While some women lament the loss of their full breasts after pregnancy, others find the enlargement that took place to prepare them for breastfeeding make their large breasts even more disproportionate to the rest of the body. These women may also find that heavy, pendulous breasts cause physical discomfort in the form of neck and back strain and skin irritation as the breasts rub against the skin of the chest. For these women, breast reduction may be the right option to sculpt a breast size and shape that is in better balance with the overall body profile and eliminates those uncomfortable physical symptoms.
Breast reduction may also be performed alone or in conjunction with a breast lift. The incision location is similar, and Dr. Barrett can use the incisions to remove excess tissue while restoring the perkier position of the breasts. After your surgery, Dr. Barrett will put you on his silicone scar gel program to minimize your post-operative scarring. Recovery time is similar for both procedures so that you can enjoy full results without extra time off work.
The breasts are not the only place on your body that goes through significant changes during and after pregnancy. The abdomen must accommodate the growing baby and its ability to bounce back after all that hard work is often somewhat limited. Women that cannot regain their flat stomach after having children may turn to a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty to recreate their pre-baby body. During a tummy tuck, Dr. Barrett tightens the underlying abdominal muscles, removes stubborn fat deposits and eliminates excess loose skin to create a smoother, flatter midsection.
Dr. Barrett performs abdominoplasty under general anesthesia, and patients may or may not spend the night in a certified after care facility after their surgery. He will make a horizontal incision across the lower abdomen that extends from hipbone to hipbone. Dr. Barrett has developed a special technique to keep your incision low and easily concealed underneath a bathing suit or underwear. This incision allows Dr. Barrett to make all the necessary corrections to the area before suturing the incision closed using a layered approach that optimizes healing and minimizes visible scarring as much as possible.
Dr. Barrett spends the most time during the abdominoplasty recreating a natural looking belly button. Too many doctors rush this step which results in unnaturally round or scarred belly buttons. Dr. Barrett is also one of the few doctors that uses Exparel, a revolutionary long acting pain medication, that he injects into the abdominal plication and incision. This provides sustained pain relief for the first three days. Dr. Barrett will also provide you with instructions and scar reduction aids to assist in the healing process.
Patients will enjoy positive results from their tummy tuck almost right away, although postoperative swelling may interfere with the outcome for a few weeks. Recovery generally takes two weeks, although heavy lifting will be restricted for up to six weeks to give the abdominal area ample time to heal. The incision will take more time to fully mature, with final results developing within a year. Dr. Barrett starts all of his patients on scar management for at least 3 months. Ultimately, your tummy tuck results will be long-lasting as long as you maintain a healthy weight after your procedure.
For women that do not need a full tummy tuck but would still like to eliminate areas of stubborn fat, liposuction may be a less invasive solution. However, in the case of a mommy makeover, liposuction is often combined with the tummy tuck to create additional sculpting and smooth out other problems spots around the tummy, hips and thighs. Liposuction is a highly customizable procedure that can be used nearly anywhere on the body to get rid of fat deposits that will not respond to exercise and diet.
Dr. Barrett uses the tumescent technique and S.A.F.E. liposuction technique for his liposuction patients, which involves the infusion of tumescent fluid into the treatment area first to minimize bleeding during the procedure. This is followed by pre-cannulation with power assisted liposuction which loosens fat cells to make them easier to remove and reduces post-operative pain for patients. This technique reduces the risk of contour irregularity or excess scar formation. Dr. Barrett uses a small and precise cannula to remove the fat, which requires tiny incisions for insertion that require few if any sutures and leave almost no scarring behind. Liposuction recovery is relatively short compared to other types of plastic surgery, with most patients returning to their usual activities within a few days with some compression. Like a tummy tuck, results achieved with liposuction are permanent as long as you adhere to a healthy, active lifestyle.
Preparing for Your Surgery
Because a mommy makeover typically involves more than one procedure, the preparation and measurements for the surgery can be extensive. Rest assured that Dr. Barrett will take all the time necessary to explain the various procedures and walk you through the decision-making process to create a surgical plan that provides you with the best possible results. This preparation begins at your very first appointment with Dr. Barrett, where he will listen carefully to your concerns and aesthetic goals so that he can recommend the best path for you.
In addition to determining the best procedures to include in your mommy makeover, you and Dr. Barrett will discuss how each one should be performed to provide you with maximum benefit. While the process may seem overwhelming and daunting, this is where Dr. Barrett stands out from other surgeons by giving you all the attention you need to feel comfortable and confident in your surgical plan. He maintains a schedule that allows him to provide plenty of time to each patient and procedure to ensure an optimal outcome for every one of his patients.
Once your plan is in place, you will receive a set of pre-operative instructions that will ensure your procedure is a safe one. These instructions might include:
- Stop smoking for at least six weeks before your surgery, if you are a smoker. You will also need to refrain from smoking for at least six weeks after your procedure. Dr. Barrett encourages you to use this time to kick the habit entirely for both your health and your appearance.
- Do not take medications that could increase your risk of bleeding during and after surgery. These substances might include (but are not limited to) aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, vitamin E and some types of supplements.
- Fill all prescriptions provided by Dr. Barrett. These usually include an anti-constipation medication to be taken for the first few days after surgery and antibiotic to prevent your chance of post-operative infection.
- Ask a family member or friend to bring you home after your procedure and remain with you for the first day or two to provide you the assistance you will need during the earliest part of your recovery process.
- Schedule help with pets and children for the first week or so after your surgery so you can focus on resting and recuperating during that time.
- Stock up on food and quiet activities to keep you occupied during the early days of recovery so you can give your body plenty of time to rest and heal.
The better prepared you are for your surgery, the more comfortable your recovery process will be. Dr. Barrett and his staff are always available to answer questions in the time leading up to your operation to ensure you are entirely ready when your procedure day arrives.
Your specific procedure will depend on what is included in your mommy makeover. In most cases, Dr. Barrett will perform your surgery under general anesthesia, which could take up to four hours or more. Incisions will be carefully placed where scarring will be inconspicuous and hidden under clothing. Special suturing techniques are also used to minimize tension on the incision during the healing process to produce the best results. Dr. Barrett does not apply an abdominal binder for compression until two weeks after your surgery to minimize incision breakdown.
After Your Mommy Makeover
In most cases, you will go home within hours after your mommy makeover. However, some patients are required to stay in an aftercare facility for observation and care, depending on the preference of the patient and the recommendation of Dr. Barrett. You will be given post-operative instructions to help you care for your incisions and increase your comfort level throughout the recovery process. He will also see you in his office weekly for the first six weeks and then regularly after that to ensure your recovery process is progressing smoothly.
In nearly all cases, patients that undergo a mommy makeover can return to the majority of their activities within two weeks. However, you will be restricted from strenuous exercise for four to six weeks to avoid complications caused by performing activities before your body is ready. Dr. Barrett will be able to advise you throughout the recovery process as to when activities will be safe to resume.
Dramatic, Enduring Results
Because a mommy makeover is an extensive procedure, it offers some of the most dramatic results of any plastic surgery today. You will see a noticeable improvement in numerous areas of your body with just one time under anesthesia and one recovery process. Breasts, abdomen and other areas targeted by your mommy makeover will be enhanced, and you will be able to enjoy the restoration of your pre-baby body for many years to come.
Restore Your Body, Increase Your Self-Confidence
If you are unhappy with your appearance since you had your children, the toll pregnancy and nursing take on your body could be to blame. You can reverse these changes and restore your pre-baby body with a set of surgical procedures designed just for you. When considering surgery this extensive, you do not want to compromise on the level of experience or expertise in your plastic surgeon. Dr. Barrett is highly trained, experienced and board-certified, qualifying him to handle your mommy makeover safely and successfully. What is more, Dr. Barrett will take the time to ensure your procedure is customized to your unique needs and desired outcome.
You have dedicated your life to your family, now is the time to do something just for you. Contact Barrett Plastic Surgery at 310-598-2648 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Barrett and find out how a mommy makeover can help you get your body back!