Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Eric Chang has helped hundreds of women in and around Baltimore by performing mommy makeover procedures to restore their confidence and their figures after pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood. To help patients and their families know what to expect about this exciting but complex combinational procedure, Dr. Chang has compiled a list of the mommy makeover questions he hears most frequently at his practice in Columbia, MD.
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Despite their name, mommy makeover surgeries at our Columbia practice aren't just for mommies. Women from all walks of life can benefit from the procedure, which typically combines breast enhancement, tummy tuck surgery, and liposuction into one operation. The breasts and abdomen are commonly affected by pregnancy and breastfeeding, so mothers often get this combinational surgery. However, it is appropriate for anyone concerned about sagging breasts, loose abdominal skin, and localized fat deposits.
The procedure can include other areas, too, with facial treatments, for example. Because of their potential for customization, mommy makeovers suit a variety of patients. The best candidates are adult women who are nonsmokers and generally healthy. These women should have supportive family and friends and clear, realistic aesthetic goals.
This time varies for different people. The key is that your body has stopped changing due to pregnancy. You should be at a stable weight and be done breastfeeding. It's also important that you are able to adhere to the activity restrictions after surgery, such as not lifting heavy things — a difficult habit to break for some mothers of young children. The earliest time after childbirth Dr. Chang recommends is 6 months. On the other end of the spectrum, mothers with grown children can also make excellent candidates for surgery.
No. Within reason, a mommy makeover may be customized to suit each patient's unique needs. Although the breasts and the abdomen are typically the main focus of the procedure, different surgeries and treatments, including facial rejuvenation and non-surgical services, may be added. Dr. Chang's goal is to help each woman look and feel her personal best, and he understands that the process is different for every patient.
There are several advantages to combining multiple surgeries into a single procedure such as a mommy makeover. One major consideration is convenience. In general, it's easier to undergo one larger surgery rather than spacing out several small ones over the course of several months. By combining procedures, a patient's total downtime is reduced, allowing her to get back to her regular activities sooner.
Reduced expense is another benefit. When several procedures are combined, expenses such as operating room fees and anesthesia costs need to be paid only once.
Finally, another important advantage is the "wow" factor. Lots of women like the idea of a major transformation rather than a gradual adjustment, and a mommy makeover can provide it.
No two mommy makeovers are exactly alike, so there is no hard-and-fast timeline for the surgical process itself. Depending on the procedures performed, most mommy makeovers last between 2 and 6 hours. Mommy makeovers are outpatient procedures, and patients can return home after a brief period of observation.
Scarring is an important consideration before any surgery. Dr. Chang takes care to use techniques that minimize the risk of scarring, although some scars are inevitable. With good postoperative care, most incisions fade to inconspicuous marks.
Your specific scars will depend on the procedures you undergo and the incisions Dr. Chang uses. Some procedures, such as liposuction, produce very tiny scars, while others, such as tummy tuck, create larger ones, although they are hidden beneath clothing. Whether your procedure involves liposuction, tummy tuck, or another service at our Columbia practice, Dr. Chang spends plenty of time with you to explain which incisions he plans to use and the level of scarring you can expect.
Each woman has a different recovery experience following a mommy makeover. Factors including the specifics of her procedure, her anatomy and physiology, and her adherence to postoperative instructions can affect her recovery process. The average patient can expect to drive and leave the house after 1 week. During this time, light activity may be resumed, but expect to wait up to 6 weeks to resume strenuous activity, such as working out.
Discomfort is manageable with prescribed medications or long acting local anesthetics. Some medicines may make you lose your appetite or feel drowsy. Rest is important, but it's also a good idea to walk around the house several times a day to prevent blood clots. During the recovery period, if you have young children you'll need help with childcare, chores, and other activities. It's important to have supportive family or friends that are willing to lend a hand.
Even after cosmetic surgery, our bodies continue to change and age over time. By following Dr. Chang's postoperative instructions and maintaining your weight through a healthy diet and exercise regimen, you can enjoy the beautiful results of your mommy makeover for many years.