Mommy Makeover (Post-Pregnancy Surgery)
A mommy makeover can be any combination of procedures that restore your before-pregnancy appearance, typically focusing on the breasts and abdomen. A typical makeover would include a tummy tuck, a breast augmentation, and/or breast lift or reduction and liposuction of the legs, arms or abdomen. The term “mommy makeover” may be new, but Dr. Jensen has performed these procedures over a long, successful, and safe period of time.
When to Consider a Mommy Makeover
- If your breasts have shrunken or have started to sag since your pregnancy
- If you’re distressed about your sagging abdomen and/or stretch marks
- If areas of fat on your flanks, abdomen, arms or thighs do not improve with diet and exercise
Pros and Cons of a Mommy Makeover
- Restores a more youthful and proportionate figure
- Your clothes and swimwear will fit and look better
- Helps you return to a more youthful-looking body appearance
- Breast implants require monitoring and possibly replacement.
- Pregnancy following these surgeries may compromise your results.
- Weight gain following these surgeries may compromise your results.
These are the top three pros and cons to consider when thinking about a mommy makeover. If you want to focus on what is unique to you, please consult with Dr. Jensen.
Am I a good candidate for a mommy makeover?
Mommy makeovers are designed to reverse the changes resulting from childbearing and aging. If childbirth has left you with the following problem areas, then consider a mommy makeover:
- You have drooping breasts, uneven breasts, decreased volume, and sagging nipples and stretched areolas (the dark skin surrounding the nipple).
- Your breasts are so much larger after childbirth that they are out of proportion with the rest of your body and they cause back pain.
- Your abdomen has loose skin with stretch marks and your waistline has become thick and undefined.
- You had a C-section and now you have areas of fat hanging over a depressed surgical scar.
- You have pockets of fat in the love-handle area as well as in the hips and thighs (saddle-bags).
- You have typical signs of aging in your face, neck and around the eyes.
If you are in good general health and have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are a good candidate for this cosmetic plastic surgery.
A Mommy makeover is any series of procedures that will refresh and renew your body.
How is a mommy makeover procedure performed?
Mommy makeover is a descriptive term, and not a single procedure, so your first step is to consult with Dr. Jensen and decide on the procedures you will undergo. The following procedures are the most common to mommy makeovers.
Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty
What it does
A sagging abdomen results from fat, poor skin elasticity, excess skin, and stretching of the connective tissue (fascia) and abdominal muscles (rectus muscles), extending from the rib cage to the pubis. This inner abdominal wall, which holds the internal organs in place, gets stretched during pregnancy or weight gain and results in a protruding stomach. Abdominoplasty removes all the loose, skin and fat and tightens slack abdominal wall fascia, removing stretch marks and excess skin in the lower abdomen below the belly button.
How it is done
- Dr. Jensen will remove the excess skin and fat between the belly button and pubic hair in a horizontal, elliptical shape.
- The fascia overlying the abdominal muscles is then tightened with sutures.
- The skin around the belly button is repositioned and the belly button is brought out through a new hole and sutured in its normal position.
- The incision, which often runs from hip to hip, is closed with dissolving sutures. This will leave a scar that falls along the natural crease within the bikini line. The length and visibility of the scar varies from person to person.
Liposuction – lipoplasty
What it does
Liposuction will improve the contour of the abdomen, flanks or hips, so Dr. Jensen might recommend liposuction of the hips and thighs at the same time as a tummy tuck. Liposuction is also effective in the chest, thighs, neck, upper arms, knees, and calves.
How it is done
- During surgery, a dilute anesthetic will be injected along with epinephrine to control pain and to minimize bleeding.
- After you receive sedation, Dr. Jensen will make very small incisions near the area where fat is to be removed.
- A thin, hollow rod (suction cannula) will be inserted through the incision to create tunnels through the fat. Then suction forces the fat into the cannula and out a high-vacuum hose.
- After fat removal, the nursing staff will apply dressings and a compression garment.
Breast Lift -Mastopexy
What it does
A breast lift or mastopexy corrects sagging and uneven breasts, decreased breast volume, drooping nipples, and stretched areolas, returning your breasts to a more youthful shape. Women who desire larger, smaller, or more rounded breasts will want to consider either a breast augmentation or breast reduction along with the breast lift.
How it is done
- You will receive either a general anesthetic or a combination of local anesthesia and IV sedation.
- Dr. Jensen will make incisions depending on the amount of excess skin, the position of your nipples, your preference, and Dr. Jensen’s suggestions.
- Dr. Jensen then repositions and tailors the breast tissue by removing excess skin.
- The nipple and areola are then repositioned to a more youthful height. (Note that nipples and areolas remain attached to underlying mounds of tissue, which usually allows for the preservation of sensation and the ability to breastfeed.) Typically, the size of the areola is often reduced by excising skin around the circumference.
- Dr. Jensen will then tighten the remaining skin while closing the incisions. The sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to support the newly shaped breasts and we will use skin adhesives and surgical tape to help close and support the skin.
What it does
A breast reduction is very similar to a breast lift. The difference being more tissue is removed with a breast reduction. During pregnancy, breasts usually enlarge to a fuller size and shape. In some women, the breasts remain larger. This can be a welcome change unless your breasts have become so large that they cause pain, poor posture, rashes, breathing problems, skeletal deformities, or low self-esteem. Breast reduction can solve these problems by removing fat and glandular tissue and tightening skin to produce smaller, lighter, perkier, breasts.
How it is done
- Dr. Jensen will make incisions on your breasts and surgically remove excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin. (In some cases, excess fat may be removed through liposuction in conjunction with excision.)
- Depending on Dr. Jensen’s recommendation, you may have either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia.
- After deciding together what is the best incision option for you, Dr. Jensen will make the incisions, reposition the nipple (which remains attached to its original blood and nerve supply), and then reduce the areola by excising skin at the circumference.
- Then Dr. Jensen will reduce, lift, and shape underlying breast tissue and bring the incisions together to tailor the now smaller breast. The sutures are layered within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts; the skin is then closed with dissolving sutures, skin adhesives, and surgical tape.
- Your breasts will be wrapped in gauze. You will need to wear a surgical bra for about three weeks after surgery.
What it does
Breast augmentation increases or restores breast size using silicone gel implants, saline implants, or fat grafting.
How it is done
- In breast augmentation using implants, Dr. Jensen makes an incision, lifts the breast tissue, creates a pocket underneath the muscle, and then places a saline or silicone gel implant.
- The implant is placed in a pocket underneath the pectoralis muscle, which is located between the breast tissue and chest wall, or underneath the breast tissue and on top of the pectoral muscle.
- You will then be placed in a surgical compression bra by the nursing staff.
Breast lift combined with breast augmentation- mastopexy-augment
If you want your breasts to be larger in addition to being lifted, or if you desire to maintain projection and roundness of the breast mound and your sagging is severe, Dr. Jensen may recommend a breast lift combined with a breast augmentation as part of your mommy makeover.
What are my options?
You have many options, beginning with your choice of which procedures to undergo.
- If you undergo breast augmentation, you will have to choose between silicone and saline breast implants, or, possibly, fat grafting. Depending on the size and shape you would like to achieve, Dr. Jensen will give you some recommendations.
- If you plan on liposuction, Dr. Jensen will explain the many new technologies associated with it, including: SafeLipo, SmartLipo, Tumescent Liposuction and Ultrasonic Liposuction.
- In all of the mommy makeover surgeries, your preferences will be a deciding factor in incision placement as much as possible.
What will my mommy makeover incisions and scars be like?
Every effort will be made to make these as small and inconspicuous as possible. Dr. Jensen is adept at hiding them.
Tummy Tuck: The incision extends from hip to hip just above the pubic area. This will leave a scar that falls along the natural crease and usually within the bikini line. Its length and visibility varies.
Liposuction: Because liposuction incisions are small, the scars are also very small. Dr. Jensen will place them in hidden areas.
Breast Lift: There are different types of breast lifts, each with a different healing pattern. Dr. Jensen will conceal some incision lines in natural breast contours, but others may be visible on the breast surface. Although incision lines are permanent, in most cases they will fade and significantly improve over time.
Breast Reduction: There are at least four different incision types. Your pattern will depend on the size of your breasts, how much your breasts sag, and where your nipple-areola complex is positioned on your breast.
Breast Augmentation: Your incision can be made in one of four places:
- Inframammary, underneath the breast (most common)
- Transaxillary, near the armpit, where the arm meets the chest area (most often used for saline implants)
- Transumbilical, in the belly button (only for saline implants). Dr. Jensen does not recommend this type of incision.
- Periareolar, around the lower edge of the areola. (Best for snoopy deformity)
How do I prepare for a mommy makeover?
Dr. Jensen and his staff will provide very thorough preoperative instructions, answer any questions you may have, take a detailed medical history, and perform a physical exam to determine your fitness for surgery. If Dr. Jensen recommends weight loss or lifestyle changes, do your best to achieve them to ensure the best results and minimize the chance of complications. Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration and frequent ambulation is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery and critical outcomes. Since mommy makeover surgery places heavy demands on your body for wound healing, there are special recommendations:
- Achieve your desired weight first, but not in the month just before surgery.
- Make sure to exercise at least thirty minutes per day.
- Be sure you have a healthy diet with a variety of multivitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants.
- Keep alcohol consumption at less than two to three drinks per week.
- Stop smoking at least eight weeks before undergoing surgery to promote better healing.
- Avoid taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs: Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Aleve), and high dose vitamins/homeopathic regimens that can increase bleeding.
- Establish a reliable support system for the full recovery period dictated by Dr. Jensen. This is most critical to your recovery. If you have children less than five years of age, you must have someone to take care of them for at least two weeks. Lifting, driving, laundry, and cleaning are absolutely prohibited.
- Prepare your home for recovery. Dr. Jensen and his staff can suggest many conveniences that will help you, depending on your procedure. For example, if your mobility is limited, it may be helpful to move objects to lower shelves.
- Arrange for someone to take you home and stay with you.
What can I expect on the day of surgery?
Your mommy makeover surgery will be performed in our accredited office-based ambulatory surgical suite. Dr. Jensen will give you an estimate of how long your surgery and recovery will last based on the procedures you have decided to undergo.
- You will receive medications to keep you comfortable during the surgical procedure. Local anesthesia combined with sedation may be an option, or you will receive general anesthesia if a tummy-tuck is part of the procedure. An anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist will be present to administer sedatives or general anesthesia and assist in monitoring.
- For your safety during the surgery, various monitors will be used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse, CO2 and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood.
- Dr. Jensen will follow the surgical plan discussed with you before surgery. Once the operation has begun, Dr. Jensen may decide to combine various techniques or change a technique to ensure the best result. It is important that you feel comfortable and trust Dr. Jensen to make these decisions.
- Your surgical dressings will depend on the procedures you undergo and may include drain tubes.
- After surgery, you will be taken into our recovery room where you will continue to be closely monitored by our recovery room nurse.
- Before leaving for home, you (or someone looking after you) should feel comfortable emptying and recording the drains.
You may go home on the day of surgery with a responsible person. Dr. Jensen will see you the day after surgery to make sure you are healing correctly.
Dr. Jensen will discuss how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of activity, exercise and work. After surgery, you and your caregiver will receive detailed instructions about your postsurgical care, including information about:
- Drains, if they have been placed
- Normal symptoms you should expect
- Any potential signs or symptoms of complications
Immediately after Surgery
- Generally, you can expect to be wearing compression garments, and you may have some surgical drains.
- Once the anesthesia wears off, you may have some pain. If the pain is extreme or lasts long, contact our office (541) 770-6776. You should also expect some swelling after the surgery. In some cases, this swelling will remain for weeks or even months. Contact our office to find out if your pain and swelling is normal or a sign of a problem.
Because procedures are performed together, the benefit is that you have only one recovery. The first few days will be the worst, and you will still feel like you are recovering for about two to three weeks. After that, you’ll probably be feeling pretty well, but you will not be able to do any heavy lifting or Abs exercises for eight weeks. Here is more information about what to expect:
- The recovery period is significant and can be intense the first few days. We recommend that you speak with our staff about using medications to control pain and discomfort, so that you can move about and sleep as needed.
- The tummy tuck component of the makeover is the most uncomfortable. Make sure you follow Dr. Jensen’s instructions carefully. The first three days are the most uncomfortable. Discomfort typically drops down to a “nagging” level by five to seven days.
- Full recovery is about six weeks. You should be up and walking with help the day after surgery.
- By the end of the first week, you should be walking around the house frequently, but you are still unable to drive.
- You will probably be comfortable enough to drive a car in two weeks, when all of the sutures and drains will be removed and you are off all narcotics.
- You will be seen for follow-up evaluation with Dr. Jensen the day after surgery. During this visit, Dr. Jensen will check for any complications. Swelling should subside within five weeks, and the final results are apparent within three to six months.
- Having both procedures done at the same time does not lengthen the recovery. For example, breast augmentation recovery is approximately seven days, and tummy tuck recovery is fourteen days. Your recovery period for both procedures will be in the fourteen days.
Healing from a mommy makeover
Follow all post-operative instructions. This will include information about wearing compression garments, taking vitamins and any medications prescribed, and the level of activity that is safe. Dr. Jensen and his staff will alert you to the signs of problems to watch for, such as signs of infection. It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies based on what your mommy makeover entails and your own personal health. However, there are some basic precautions and instructions that you should follow to help this recovery go as smoothly as possible, including:
- Arrange for a reliable person to help you get around the house and help with your medication for at least the first 48 hours after surgery.
- Make sure you continue to have lots of help at home—this cannot be stressed enough. You’ll be tempted to try to help around the house quickly, but you won’t feel like yourself for at least seven days and shouldn’t do any heavy lifting for four to six weeks. If you have small children, you must put someone else totally in charge of their care for two weeks.
- Try sleeping with several pillows under your back and knees. This will keep your legs slightly bent at the hips to minimize the tension on your incision, reduce pain, and facilitate a thinner scar.
- Call our office immediately if you notice an increase in swelling, pain, redness, drainage, or bleeding in the surgical area, or if you develop fever, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. Other red flags include shortness of breath, chest pains, and unusual heartbeat.
- Our staff will supply you with a surgical bra to wear early in your recovery after breast augmentation or breast lift. This will help minimize swelling. Most swelling should subside within a few weeks, although some swelling may persist for up to six months after breast reduction.
- You will need to wear an abdominal binder for three weeks after your tummy tuck procedure. You may shower after the drains are removed. This usually occurs within four to seven days after your mommy makeover. After showering, pat your incisions dry and replace your abdominal binder.
- Avoid heavy lifting, contact sports, and jogging for up to eight weeks.
Fortunately, serious complications after mommy makeover surgeries are rare and the satisfaction rate with these procedures is high. Your specific risks will be discussed during your consultation.
All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Some of the potential complications of all surgeries are:
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
- Infection or bleeding
- Loss of feeling
- Allergic reactions
- Damage to underlying structures
- Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures
- Blood clots in the legs or lungs
You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of Dr. Jensen and his staff both before and after your mommy makeover.