Most patients considering a mommy makeover at my Toledo, Ohio, practice are primarily concerned about the appearance of their abdomens. To create excellent results that meet the patients’ goals, however, it’s important to take what I call a “global” approach to developing a surgical plan that assesses the torso, breasts, thighs, and arms.
Why Is a Global Approach Essential?
It may be a bit cliché, but every patient who comes in for a consultation has unique physical concerns and aesthetic goals. My job as a plastic surgeon is to recommend a “master plan” to achieve those goals, and that involves determining which combination of procedures will produce those results.
For example, a patient may come in and say she wants to eliminate the pouch that hangs over her waistband. But along with the loose skin could be a bit of bulging muscle, excess fat on the “love handles,” and breasts that have lost fullness and are beginning to sag. There may also be excess fat on the flanks or along the bra line.
It makes sense to address these issues in a single operation. There is no specific mommy makeover procedure, and despite the name, combining body contouring and breast enhancement procedures isn’t a technique that’s limited to mothers. In the above example, I may recommend a surgical “master plan” that includes a tummy tuck, a breast lift with implants, and liposuction to contour the flanks, hips, and back. Every mommy makeover procedure is unique to that specific patient.
Combining a Tummy Tuck With Liposuction
A tummy tuck alone can achieve some of a patient’s goals, but improving the abdomen’s appearance without taking into account the entire body won’t create the results that most patients want. A tummy tuck removes excess skin and repairs abdominal muscles separated during pregnancy (a condition called diastasis recti) but doesn’t contour the rest of the torso. In some cases, an extended tummy tuck is needed. Liposuction removes the excess fat that creates unwanted bulges on the flanks and back. Surgical excision of the love handles might also be recommended.
Together, this approach produces results that are proportional and boosts the patient’s confidence in her body.
Combining Cosmetic Breast Surgery in a Global Approach
When looking at the body as a whole, rather than distinct areas, plastic surgeons can create attractive results that look more natural. That’s certainly true when it comes to tummy tuck patients after pregnancy or significant weight loss. Deflated, sagging breasts detract from the appearance of a flatter abdomen, which is why so many women combine a breast lift with or without implants as part of a mommy makeover.
Not all women need a breast lift after having children, especially if they’re younger and their breast skin retains most of its elasticity. But breast augmentation without a lift may accelerate the development of breast ptosis (sagging) because implants add weight. Combining a lift with implants both restores the breasts’ volume and creates a perkier shape that will last for years, as you can see in this gallery of before-and-after photos.
Many patients ask if they can get the results they want with breast implants alone. That’s something that can only be determined during a consultation that includes a physical exam to assess the quality of the breast skin and tissue.
What About the Arms and Legs?
Many people associate mommy makeover surgery with procedures to improve the appearance of the stomach and breasts because pregnancy takes a physical toll on those specific areas. But patients who seek body contouring surgery after weight loss may also have excess skin on their upper arms, buttocks, or thighs. An arm lift, buttock lift, or thigh lift, for example, may be needed to create the comprehensive results that are part of my global approach to body contouring.
Safety Is First Priority
A patient considering cosmetic surgery that combines multiple body contouring procedures needs to be in good overall health. Not everyone is physically ready to undergo up to 8 hours of surgery, so staging procedures might be the best plan. I also may recommend that patients plan to stay overnight after the surgery so nurses can observe their progress and help them.
Safety is a team effort at my practice. This involves nurses before, during, and, after surgery along with a board-certified anesthesiologist. All team members are familiar with the goals I have for each procedure:
- Patient comfort
- No nausea
- Excellent results
These goals are reached with the rapid recovery surgical techniques I use that limit post-operative discomfort while reducing the need for patients to take prescription pain medication. There is also less bleeding and bruising using rapid recovery techniques.
What’s most important to keep in mind is that there isn’t a single “cookie-cutter” approach to performing mommy makeover surgery. It requires an experienced plastic surgeon who understands how combining procedures yields results that are more than the sum of their parts. If you’re interested in getting a mommy makeover or other procedures such as a standalone tummy tuck at my Toledo practice, you can contact my office using the online form. Or call us directly at (419) 534-6551.