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What is a Mommy Makeover?

As gratifying as motherhood may be, bearing and rearing children is hard work. Years of sacrifice involving pregnancy, weight fluctuations, and inability to exercise can result in dramatic changes to a woman’s physique. These changes are often seen in breasts, hips, thighs, and abdominal areas. And for many mothers, even vigorous exercise and dieting fail to restore their previous form.

To describe the desire for mothers to look and feel the way they did before having families, the term “Mommy Makeover” was born. Although each case is unique, these makeovers frequently involve various combinations of procedures. For instance, one mother may seek a breast augmentation and a tummy tuck while another may find that thigh liposuction and a breast lift fulfill her goals better. Regardless of the combinations selected, experienced board-certified plastic surgeons like Dr. Brian Braithwaite and Dr. Lorri Cobbins are uniquely trained and qualified to perform the full range of these makeover procedures. Numerous options and techniques are available to safely perform these enhancements, and physical examination and patient expectations often dictate the best choice.

Determining Candidacy for a Mommy Makeover

To determine if you are a good candidate for makeover surgery, your doctor will review your health history and perform an examination during your consultation. He or she will inquire about your concerns and goals, as well as review available techniques and limitations. Our doctors are exceptionally qualified to present all your options to you during your consultation visit, and you will leave our office with a clear understanding of any proposed treatment plan.

Breast Enhancement Options for a Mommy Makeover

For breast enhancement, our doctors perform breast augmentation, breast lift, mastopexy-augmentation, and breast reduction. Breast augmentation is frequently used to restore volume changes after pregnancy or weight loss. It is also helpful in correcting breast asymmetry, a condition where dramatic size differences exist between the two breasts. A breast lift, or mastopexy, is an operation performed to elevate and reshape deflated, sagging breasts. With a mastopexy, our doctors can tighten the breast skin and reposition the breast tissue, providing a more youthful shape with improved nipple position. Depending on tissue characteristics and patient desires, mastopexy is often combined with breast augmentation, a procedure called mastopexy-augmentation. The addition of breast implants to the procedure usually ensures a very long-lasting result.

Some mothers experience tremendous breast growth with pregnancy or weight gain. For these women, breast reduction is an option, especially if they experience neck and back pain or an inability to exercise. In this procedure, your doctor will remove breast tissue and skin, making the breasts smaller, lighter, and more firm. For patients with large, sagging breasts, breast reduction provides a tremendous improvement in shape and nipple position, much like a breast lift.

Body Contouring Options for a Mommy Makeover

To restore changes in the hip and thigh areas, our doctors usually perform liposuction, removing undesirable fat deposits. While liposuction can dramatically enhance contours in areas that do not respond to diet and exercise, it is not a treatment for obesity. Common treatment areas also include the abdomen, waist, arms, neck, and back. Various liposuction technologies exist today, and your doctor will review all your options and deliver the safest treatment. For mothers who have experienced dramatic weight loss, loose skin often collects in the inner thigh area. For these women, thigh lift surgery is an option because liposuction will not remove the excess skin. During a thigh lift, your doctor will remove excess skin and fat from the inner thigh, tightening the sagging tissues.

Many mothers are interested in abdominal rejuvenation because excess skin and fat across the abdomen is often resistant to diet and exercise. Some mothers have poor muscle tone in this area, largely due to stretched or separated abdominal muscles. These changes are common after pregnancies or major weight fluctuations. A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is an operation performed to flatten the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat and repairing separated muscles. Stretch marks are a common problem in this area, and a tummy tuck often eliminates them. When performed correctly, an abdominoplasty can be one of the most powerful form-enhancing procedures available in plastic surgery. And because every mother’s case is unique, your doctor will tailor your abdominoplasty to your concerns.

Indeed, sometimes a more extensive procedure such as a lower body lift is advisable. A lower body lift includes an abdominoplasty but also treats sagging buttocks, hips, and outer thighs. When recommended, this procedure involves a circumferential incision to remove a belt-like strip of skin and fat from around the waist, profoundly enhancing lower body contours.

Patient Results

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The Mommy Makeover Procedure

The particulars of your mommy makeover will be dependant upon the specific procedures performed, the extent of the issues being addressed, and whether the treatment is conducted at one time or in multiple stages. For the majority of patients, the proposed combination of procedures can be completed in a single operating session using general anesthesia, though some individuals may require a staged approach to help ensure optimal safety and results. Additional factors that may influence the treatment plan include available time for recovery, financial details, work/family responsibilities, at-home care, and more, all of which will be discussed in full detail at the time of your consultation.

Recovery from Mommy Makeover

Once again, there are many elements that will impact the mommy makeover recovery experience, including the unique combination of treatments employed as well as your body’s natural healing response. Some degree of bruising and/or swelling will often occur in the targeted areas, but these side effects should fade with time. Significant postoperative pain is uncommon, though any potential discomfort can generally be managed effectively with medication. During the initial recovery phase, it is important that you have a close friend or family member nearby to assist with everyday tasks (e.g. taking care of kids and/or lifting heavy items), as over-stressing the treatment regions can prohibit proper healing and negatively affect your final outcome. Once the use of any narcotic pain medicine has ceased, you can typically resume driving and/or non-strenuous work as you feel comfortable enough to do so, but any heavy lifting or strenuous exercise should be avoided for a minimum of several weeks.

Contact The Aesthetic Institute of Chicago

If you would like to schedule a consultation for makeover surgery at our Chicago plastic surgery practice, please contact us via email or call (312) 361-8108 today!