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Mommy Makeover Surgery

What is a Mommy Makeover?

For most women, pregnancy creates some unwanted changes in the breasts, tummy, hips, thighs and other body areas. Pregnancy affects everyone differently; age, genetics, weight gain, the total number of pregnancies, twins/multiple gestations and luck all play a role. Permanent body changes following pregnancy can include breast deflation, loss of breast volume or droop, loss of abdominal muscle tone, stretch marks, excess abdominal skin and fat or stubborn and persistent fat in other regions.

Some mothers interested in getting their pre-pregnancy bodies back carry guilt about considering surgery, unnecessarily. When mothers come to see us regarding rejuvenation options, many are almost apologetic and have to be reminded that it’s not wrong or selfish to do something for themselves! All mothers routinely put others’ needs ahead of their own and usually put themselves very last in their list of priorities. How a mother feels about herself as a wife and a woman is integral to her body image and self-esteem. For a Mom to want to take care of herself and feel youthful, feminine, sexy and confident is certainly NOT self-centered or vain!

Check out Dr. Horton’s media appearances where she shares her personal thoughts on Mommy Makeovers, as a mother of twins and a board-certified plastic surgeon.

The “Mommy Makeover” spectrum of procedures rejuvenates a woman’s body after she has completed childbearing. This type of surgery usually focuses on the breasts, tummy and body. Most Moms usually just want their pre-pregnancy bodies back, or perhaps to look even better than they did before having children! Mommy Makeover patients are uniformly thrilled with their results! See our Testimonials section to hear about Moms’ experiences in their own words.

Some lucky Moms may not need an extensive surgical procedure to feel rejuvenated after pregnancy. Non-Surgical Rejuvenation of the face, skin and body is an alternative for some mothers, while other Mommy Makeover patients compliment their surgical procedure with non-surgical cosmetic treatments. Please see our section on medical-grade Skin Care and other non-invasive cosmetic procedures for more details.

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What Changes Does Pregnancy Create in a Woman’s Body, and How Does a Mommy Makeover Correct Them?

Breasts

Many mothers find they must wear a push-up or padded bra just to feel somewhat normal or feminine, missing the breast fullness they once had. Regardless of whether you breastfeed or not, having babies “sucks the life right out of them” (the breasts)! Moms’ breasts usually become more deflated or saggy after each pregnancy. Loss of breast substance or volume is usually addressed by a breast augmentation or breast lift.

Depending on your bodily changes from pregnancy and your specific aesthetic goals, rejuvenation of the breasts as part of a Mommy Makeover can include breast augmentation, breast lift (mastopexy), combination mastopexy-augmentation, or breast reduction. Recovery is 3-4 weeks for most procedures. Please see our Breast Procedures section for more information about each of these breast procedures.

Abdomen

Many Moms find their abdomens have permanent changes following pregnancy, including stretch marks, loss of abdominal tone, flabby and excess skin and fat deposits that persist after having their babies. Most mothers do not have complete recovery of their bodies after children.

Moms who undergo abdominoplasty reap the benefits of a slimmer silhouette, reduced abdominal laxity and a tighter abdomen. A tummy tuck can help patients turn back time and correct a protruding, saggy abdomen. The finishing touch may include liposuction to remove excess fat deposits in stubborn areas.

The abdominal muscles are stretched apart after pregnancy, creating a permanent separation that fills in with scar tissue called “Rectus Diastasis”. Twin pregnancies and multiple births can amplify these changes, and in some cases the rectus muscles are stretched so far apart that a hernia occurs (visible upon sit-ups as a protruding bulge in the midline).

Any abdominal bulge or hernia is routinely repaired in a standard abdominoplasty, together with tightening the muscles back together, reconstructing the “core” of the body and removing excess abdominal skin and fat. There is no substitute for this incredible operation! Many of our Mommy Makeover patients are extremely physically fit or work as personal trainers; even professional fitness experts need a little help once they are mothers!

Liposuction can also recontour the tummy area and remove excess fat in the abdomen, flanks and pubic area. Depending on your particular situation, either abdominoplasty or liposuction (or both) may be recommended to achieve your specific goals. Recovery is 3-6 weeks for abdominal rejuvenation. Please see our Abdominoplasty and Liposuction sections to learn more about these procedures.

Body

Liposuction permanently removes stubborn deposits of excess fat that persist after a Mom has achieved her optimal weight and achieved all she can with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Waiting at least 6 months after giving birth to your last baby is recommended before considering liposuction.

Liposuction can be performed in multiple areas of the body at the same time or together with other Mommy Makeover procedures. Common areas addressed by liposuction include the upper and lower abdomen, the flanks, back, bra roll, hips, inner thighs, outer thighs, pubic area, and buttock roll. Recovery averages 2-3 weeks. See our Liposuction section for information on this fantastic option for Moms!

Labiaplasty

After repeated pregnancies and vaginal deliveries in some Moms, redundant or hanging inner labia skin of the external genitalia can cause embarrassment, pain with intercourse, or friction sores when walking or doing exercise. Labiaplasty is a procedure where excess or stretched-out labia minora tissue is excised to create a more neat and tidy appearance to the labia area. Recovery is 2-3 weeks, and intercourse can resume approximately 6 weeks after surgery. Please see our section on Labiaplasty for additional information on this rejuvenative procedure.

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Who is a Good Candidate for a Mommy Makeover?

Good candidates for Mommy Makeover surgery include individuals who are healthy, in good physical shape, and at their ideal body weight (or a stable weight following major weight loss). Please see our Preparing for Surgery section to learn about the best timing of surgery and how to best prepare for your Mommy Makeover.

We recommend most Moms wait at least 6 months after their last pregnancy, and 4 months after they have stopped breast feeding before having breast surgery. However, a consultation may occur at any time, even during pregnancy! We encourage any woman who is interested in learning more about her options to come in for an in-person consultation, including a complete history and physical examination to learn more and to determine which procedure(s) will best meet your goals.

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Twin Pregnancy Mommy Makeovers

Following a twin pregnancy, abdominal changes can be magnified, including rectus diastasis, bulge or hernia and excess tummy skin. Abdominoplasty is the procedure most commonly sought by mothers of twins or triplets after a multiple pregnancy, and also following multiple “singleton” pregnancies. “Twin Skin” refers to excess, baggy abdominal skin that remains after a woman has had multiple pregnancies, often regardless of whether she has actually had twins or not!

A tummy tuck not only removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen after pregnancy, it restores the anatomy of the abdominal wall back to its pre-pregnancy state, enabling better ergonomics and creating a firm, flat abdominal contour. Most mothers of twins combine breast and tummy procedures, often including liposuction if appropriate.

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Please click here to see before and after Mommy Makeover results!

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When Is the Best Time to Have a Mommy Makeover?

You should wait to schedule Mommy Makeover surgery at least 4-6 months after the birth of your last child so that your body has the chance to recover as much as possible on its own with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

If you are a new Mom, are planning to have additional children (or are currently pregnant), you can still come in for an educational consultation at any time to learn more and plan for the future! You will be asked to return to the office for a second visit once your body has completed its post-partum changes so that we can reevaluate your goals and our corresponding plan for surgery.

We encourage each of our patients to become as physically fit as possible before considering any major surgery. If you are athletic and your body is used to being worked physically with release of natural endorphins and a healthy heart and lung workout, then surgery will be much less of a stress to your body. In contrast, “couch potatoes” who do not exercise find that surgery is a huge stress to their bodies with a much tougher recovery.

Planning is paramount to ensure a smooth recovery after a Mommy Makeover. In the early postoperative period, you will need to recruit help around the house for at least 2-3 weeks after surgery to assistance with lifting your babies and carrying out strenuous activities. Please see our Preparing for Surgery section to learn more.

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At your initial Mommy Makeover consultation, a complete medical history will be taken. Your surgeon will spend a great deal of time with you to get to know you personally. Many of our patients declare they feel most comfortable discussing their bodies, confiding body image, self-esteem and their personal goals for surgery with another woman.

As women Plastic Surgeons, we have the same anatomy and face many of the same body image issues. We will explore your reasons for seeking surgery and examine your breasts, tummy and other areas of the body you would like to discuss. If you are an appropriate candidate for Mommy Makeover surgery, your options will be described in detail.

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Dr. Karen M. Horton, M.D. - Plastic Surgery, Physicians & Surgeons - Medical-M.D., San Francisco, CA