San Francisco Mommy Makeover
Having a child is a beautiful, natural experience for most women. The profound act of nurturing a new life and bringing it into the world is a uniquely rewarding process that only mothers can understand. But in addition to forever changing the way a woman relates to the world and herself, pregnancy can leave an unwanted impression on a woman’s body, with issues like muscle separation and loose skin which can negatively affect core strength, urinary incontinence, the way that clothes fit, and ultimately, self esteem. For these women, a mommy makeover may be the answer.*
Even for new mothers who are able to quickly return to regular exercise and continue healthy eating, the reality is that for many women, pregnancy results in permanent changes to the body. In fact, according to a survey of new moms by Baby Center.com, a popular online parenting resource, 87 percent of mothers surveyed said their abdomen hadn’t returned to normal, and 43 percent of women with two or more kids said losing the weight after their second pregnancy was more difficult than for the first.
A mommy makeover is a combination of procedures designed to help restore a woman to her pre-baby body.* Although each person’s bundle of needed procedures is different, mommy makeovers typically consist of a tummy tuck, liposuction, and a breast augmentation, breast lift, or breast augmentation with a lift.
The skin and muscles of the abdomen, which stretch for nine months to accommodate the baby during pregnancy, often don’t return to their pre-pregnancy state even with a healthy diet and regular exercise. The result often includes excess skin and stretch marks. Changes in the volume of breasts due to breastfeeding can also leave a woman’s breasts deflated and sagging, which is something a mommy makeover can address as well.
During your initial mommy makeover consultation, Dr. David Sieber will assess your current anatomy, take measurements, and discuss the areas you are concerned about. Dr. Sieber also utilizes Vectra 3D imaging technology to help his patients visualize what their body may look like after the mommy makeover. You’ll talk about your desired outcome and may reference photos of yourself before you became pregnant. Together, you will determine the best combination of procedures to achieve your ideal body.*
With a collection of pregnancy-related physical effects as unique as your new baby, your mommy makeover will be designed with you in mind, and the goal will be to address what is causing discomfort and restoring a more youthful, lifted, and firm contour to your body. In fact, some women find their bodies look better after a mommy makeover than they did even before they got pregnant.*
MOMMY MAKEOVER CANDIDATES
While the best way to determine whether you’re a candidate for a mommy makeover procedure is to consult one-on-one with Dr. Sieber, women in good health who want to improve their body contours, whether in their abdomen or elsewhere, are often good candidates.
While it’s possible to sustain a pregnancy after having a tummy tuck or other abdominal procedure, the pregnancy likely will undo any of the positive impacts the procedures could have, meaning you could need another mommy makeover. Therefore, it’s best to only consider having a mommy makeover when you are certain you’re not going to become pregnant in the future and are done breastfeeding your kids.
Each woman’s anatomy and medical history are different, so San Francisco Double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Sieber, will conduct a thorough examination of you to determine which combination of procedures is best to address all of your concerns.
Mommy makeover surgery is able to improve:*
- Removing excess, saggy abdominal skin
- Tightening abdominal muscles stretched during pregnancy (diastasis recti)
- Alleviating stretch marks on the stomach and other areas
- Restoring volume of saggy and deflated breasts
- Reshaping and contouring the abdomen and other areas of the body
- Length: 4-5 hours
- Anesthesia: General
- Surgery Type Outpatient (overnight stay possible in some cases)
- Side Effects: Swelling, bruising, tightness, numbness
- Recovery: 2+ weeks
Mommy Makeover Technique
While each patient’s needs are unique, most mommy makeovers include some combination of breast augmentation and/or lift and a tummy tuck, which may include liposuction. These procedures can be performed all in one day in an outpatient setting. Dr. Sieber is double board certified plastic surgeon specializing in the Mommy Makeover technique. He operates out of the fully accredited surgical suite adjacent to his office, which is very convenient for his patients as they are already familiar with the location after having visited his office..
To rejuvenate the appearance of the breasts*, Dr. Sieber may perform a breast augmentation, which involves making a small incision, typically under the breast, and inserting either a silicone or saline breast implant. Breast augmentation is often done in conjunction with a breast lift, which is a procedure that lifts the breasts to a higher point on the chest wall. In the event that existing breast volume is adequate, a breast lift without an implant can improve breast sagging. It’s important to note that certain types of incisions made during a breast lift could potentially disrupt milk glands, which is another reason to ensure you are through having children before proceeding with your mommy makeover.
To re-contour the abdomen, a tummy tuck procedure is often the next step after breast rejuvenation. A tummy tuck, also called an abdominoplasty, involves lifting and removing excess skin and repairing the muscles in your abdomen. Abdominal muscles that have stretched apart during pregnancy are also repaired during this procedure, resulting in a stomach that appears flatter and firmer. The procedure may also include liposuction if your body has areas, such as in the abdomen, hip, or flanks, that have excess fatty deposits.
Preparing for Mommy Makeover Surgery
At least two weeks before surgery, you should stop all supplements and medications that could increase your risk of bleeding. Be sure to check with your primary care physician before stopping any prescribed medications. See our list of medications and supplements if you’re unsure, and contact San Francisco plastic surgeon Dr. Sieber with any questions.
Many popular over-the-counter health supplements, including fish oil, Ginkgo biloba and St. John’s wort, have been found to raise the risk of bleeding in some people. Of course, you should not smoke at all for a variety of reasons, but smoking and vaping can increase the risk of post surgical complications and make recovery more difficult.
Regardless of the combination of procedures that you and Dr. Sieber decide on, a mommy makeover is a major surgery. As such, it will also be essential that you have help around the house, at least for the first week after surgery, and adequate time off of work. Depending on how many procedures you undergo and how extensive they are, you will need at least one full week to begin to feel up to doing all the mom things you were doing before. Realistically, it will take longer. Recovering from a mommy makeover can be a long process, so be sure to have the support and necessary time off to make sure you are prepared well before surgery day.
Recovery from Mommy Makeover Surgery
Because mommy makeovers typically include a combination of surgeries, recovery could be quite complex, but many women are able to fully resume all normal activities in as few as six weeks after their surgery.
Although Dr. Sieber’s tummy tuck is typically drainless, in certain cases they may be necessary for optimal recovery. If that’s the case, then directly after surgery, you may wake up with drains placed in your abdomen to help remove fluid that accumulates after the surgery. After surgery, you will be placed in a compression garment, which is critical to wear for the first several weeks to help with swelling. While the drains will be removed about a week after surgery, you will need to wear this compression garment for at least six to eight weeks to ensure adequate healing and help maintain the new contours of your body.
In the first two weeks to month after the surgery, you will probably be very swollen. While this could be startling, it’s not a reason for concern. Swelling after a tummy tuck is very common and will lessen over time. You also may experience abdominal muscle spasms and tightness; this is also normal, since a typical tummy tuck involves reconstructing those muscles.
Because excess abdominal skin is removed and the remaining skin is pulled taught, most patients feel most comfortable resting in a slight bent angle and feel the need to walk in a slightly hunched position. This will lessen as your skin and muscles begin to relax and stretch allowing you to walk fully upright. If liposuction was part of your mommy makeover, you will likely have some areas of bruising where the fat was removed.
Full recovery from a mommy makeover is far from an overnight process. The worst pain and discomfort will likely begin to subside after the first week or so, but you will feel sore and uncomfortable frequently, especially the first few days. You’ll probably feel pulling, tugging, tightness, tingling and some numbness throughout your abdomen.These are a sign of your body healing and although they can last for months after surgery, they will gradually improve with time.*
Do not lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for at least the first month. For those with small children at home, having someone around to help at all times is a must. It’s important to refrain from rigorous activity for at least two weeks after surgery, but you can return to moderate exercise after a couple of weeks and be released to all normal activities after six weeks. Still want to know more about the mommy makeover?
Q: When is the best time to consider a mommy makeover?
A: A few variables go into deciding the right time for you. One, you should be sure that you are done having children. Second, your youngest child should be weaned from the breast for at least six months before your procedure. Typical procedures included in mommy makeovers, such as breast lifts and tummy tucks, can complicate pregnancy and breastfeeding. You also will need to ensure you have constant help at home at least for the first 2 weeks, as you will be unable to lift weight of more than 10 pounds during that time.
Q: Can I have liposuction at the same time as my mommy makeover?
A: Absolutely; in fact, San Francisco cosmetic surgeon Dr. Sieber routinely performs liposuction as a part of his tummy tuck and mommy makeover procedures. When used in combination with a tummy tuck, liposuction can often provide the best results in contouring the waist and hips to match the newly flattened and contoured abdomen.*
A: How long will I need help around the house after surgery?
Q: This depends on what procedures you had and how old your children are, but it can take as little as two weeks to as long as six weeks for you to be able to care for children alone again. Many patients are able to return to work and childcare within two to three weeks, but it will take at least 6 weeks to return to exercise.
Q: I’m still trying to lose my baby weight; when should I plan to schedule my mommy makeover?
A: This depends on which procedures you’re planning to get. For example, procedures that involve skin contouring should not be done if you are more than 10-15 pounds from your goal weight, as any additional weight loss could cause sagging even after you fully heal from surgery. It’s best to have an open, honest conversation with San Francisco plastic surgeon Dr. Sieber during your consultation about your weight journey and goals so that you can come up with a plan that will have the most successful outcome.
Q: In addition to stopping medication that can cause bleeding, what else should I do to prepare for my surgery?
A: Eat a healthy, nutritious diet and continue your regular exercise routine so that your body is healthy and strong for the procedures. For the most optimal recovery process, you should ensure your home is a stress-free setting. That means arranging for child and pet care, preparing food in advance, setting up your recovery area, and having someone to help with chores and tasks while you heal. You’ll need to focus on yourself, which is a challenge for most moms.
Q: Are mommy makeover procedures always done all at once?
A: While these procedures are usually done in one day to limit the number of times a mother will need to arrange for help around the house or take time off work, it is possible to stagger procedures in some cases. You can discuss this with Bay Area plastic surgeon Dr. Sieber during your consultation to determine whether what will be the best course of action for you.
Q: Is it possible to have more children after a mommy makeover?
A: If you are planning on having additional children, you should wait to undergo your mommy makeover until you are certain you’re not going to have any additional pregnancies, as that can negatively impact or totally undo the results of your mommy makeover. Additionally, some mommy makeover procedures, such as a breast lift, may prevent you from being able to breastfeed in the future. Also, while mommy makeover procedures like tummy tucks aren’t likely to keep you from successfully carrying a child, pregnancy is unpredictable, so it’s best to wait until you are certain your childbearing years are over.
- BabyCenter.com, the new-mom body survey: 7,000 women tell it like it is. (Undated.) https://www.babycenter.com/0_the-new-mom-body-survey-7-000-women-tell-it-like-it-is_3653252.bc
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, What are the benefits of breastfeeding? (2018.) Retrieved from https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/breastfeeding/conditioninfo/benefits
*Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person. Editorial content, before and after images, and patient testimonials do not constitute a guarantee of specific results.