What Factors Can Affect the Results of the Surgery?
A major element of any Mommy Makeover result is the combination of plastic surgery procedures involved. The term “Mommy Makeover” can refer to any combination of breast surgery and body procedures to help a woman return to her pre-pregnancy baseline. That might include a breast augmentation using breast implants, breast lift or breast reduction combined tummy tuck surgery to remove excess skin and repair stretched abdominal muscles, along with liposuction to contour. The same combination of procedures included in a Mommy Makeover can be applied to a patient with extensive weight loss once they have achieved a stable goal weight through diet and exercise or bariatric surgery.
Pregnancy will essentially undo all the improvements and repairs made during a previous surgery. A history of previous tummy tuck itself will not prevent you from getting pregnant nor have any negative implications on the actual pregnancy itself. However, the repaired rectus diastasis will stretch again as will the overlying skin and breasts will inevitably change due to hormones and breastfeeding. Hence, mommy makeover surgery prior to completion of bearing children is almost never indicated. In fact, revision, and repair in the instance of a previous surgery is often much more difficult due to scarring and permanent changes previously made.
Post-Surgery Lifestyle & Health
Breast surgery recovery is usually less significant than anticipated. Patients can return to work in 2-3 days if activity restrictions are respected. You can expect to feel chest pressure and tightness for several days after breast surgery, but NO sharp chest pain. If a tummy tuck is involved, you should expect at least one week off work from an office. You could reasonably work from home after 2-3 days from a tummy tuck. Pain medications are provided and should be used as needed during the immediate post-operative period.
Most patients will feel almost entirely back to normal after 1 week. I usually need to remind patients to respect the recommended activity restrictions as to not risk bleeding or implant shifting. Although the term “rapid-recovery” is often associated with breast surgery, it is important to remember that there are activity restrictions in place to ensure that you heal perfectly.
Lower body exercises such as spinning and speed walking can be resumed after 1 to 2 weeks. Use of the upper body, pectoralis muscles, and core training can be resumed at 4 to 6 weeks after breast surgery. No heavy lifting (greater than 10 lbs.) for 6 weeks.
Most women will have absolutely no change in nipple sensation from breast surgery. However, a nipple/areolar incision does have a higher likelihood of causing some changes in nipple sensation called “paresthesia”. Still, more than 90% of women who opt for a peri areolar incision will regain full nipple sensation. Paresthesia, if it occurs, can be temporary, involve only one side or both, and in a very rare circumstance, cause a permanent reduction in nipple sensation. A breast crease incision, due to its distance from the nipple-areolar complex, has NO permanent effect on nipple sensation. In women where nipple sensation is an important part of their sexuality, a breast crease/fold incision might be a better choice for surgical insertion of implants.
Breast implants, regardless of sub-glandular or submuscular position, do not affect your ability to breastfeed. A nipple/areolar incision has a higher likelihood of disrupting some of the milk ducts and can slightly affect the transfer of milk to the main nipple duct. This will be discussed in detail during your consultation.
Scheduling a Consultation with Dr. Maman
The first step to schedule a consultation would be doing thorough research. There are many ways to find a plastic surgeon. Arguably the best way would be to receive a referral from another physician, such as primary care, dermatologist, or OB-GYN. These providers often see multiple patients with good results and can attest to those by referring their patients somewhere. Friends are a secondarily good referral source, especially if they are patients themselves. When it comes to advertising, the most essential consideration is the plastic surgeon’s education, board certification ONLY by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and before/after gallery. If those components match your desired outcome, then they would be a good source of information to seek in consultation. You will often come across taglines such as “no downtime surgery” or “no anesthesia required”. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. There are no shortcuts to SAFE plastic surgery.
The next step would be to contact the office of a board-certified plastic surgeon to find a time to meet them. First impressions last a lifetime, so pay attention when speaking to the receptionist upon calling. Should you decide to have surgery, this is the team you will be dealing with multiple times per month for at least a year. The administrative team directly reflects the surgeon’s ways of working. Another thing to clarify would be a potential timeline for surgery. This is sometimes best done before reaching out to qualified providers because they are booked one to six months out, on average. Knowing well enough in advance will give you adequate time to interview surgeons, get any preoperative lab work done, and feel confident moving forward with your scheduled procedure.