Medically reviewed by Dr. John Rosdeutscher – Written by Sine Thieme
If you’ve been unhappy with the appearance of your body after pregnancy and childbirth and have decided on a mommy makeover to restore your curves to your pre-pregnancy shape, finding the right plastic surgeon is the next step.
Below are several factors to consider to help you choose the best plastic surgeon for a mommy makeover.
Selecting A Professional Cosmetic Surgery Center
One way to find out if you are dealing with a professional plastic surgeon is to schedule a personal consultation before coming in for surgery. This consultation should take place with an actual plastic surgeon rather than only a medical consultant or sales person. You want to make sure you get to ask direct questions about your procedure and be able to assess the surgeon for yourself. You should also ask if the same surgeon giving your consultation will also perform the procedure. In larger practices that might not be the case.
Due to COVID-19 you might not be comfortable with an in-person consultation. Medical practices typically have good social distancing and sanitary practices in place so the infection risk should be fairly low, but do ask if virtual consultations are offered. This may actually give you more options as you won’t be as constrained geographically. Also ask if the practice offers travel packages to out-of-town patients.
When you come in for your visit (or meet virtually), make sure you observe the doctors and staff you interact with to get a feel for how comfortable you would be as a patient. A mommy makeover is a surgical procedure in a clinical environment, but it shouldn’t feel as if you were in a hospital. You will want to feel at ease surrounded by friendly and comforting nurses and other staff to get the best out of your experience.
If you can’t come in for a personal consultation, inquire if there are virtual tours available.
Questions to Ask About your Mommy Makeover Surgeon
- Is it easy to reach the staff on the phone and are they open and competent in answering questions?
- Is the front desk staff efficient and are appointments kept on time?
- Do the doctors and nurses seem friendly and compassionate, what is their overall bedside manner?
- Do you feel that all of your questions and concerns have been addressed and answered fully?
If there is anything that gives you pause or makes you uncomfortable, it might be a warning flag and prompt you to dig a little deeper before committing to the practice. When you have cosmetic surgery, you should be looking forward to the entire process and not just the outcome. If you have any concerns before going in, you are likely not going to have a good experience.
Choosing an Experienced Plastic Surgeon
Each and every cosmetic surgery procedure requires different skills as the range of services is vast. Plastic surgeons have historically been the ones to take on difficult cases because their range of experience is often the most comprehensive in a hospital setting.
Surgeon Experience with Mommy Makeovers
Nevertheless, plastic surgeons do often specialize in some way. Even if they offer an entire service catalog, they likely have 4-5 favorite procedures that get performed on a daily or weekly basis. They may specialize on breast implants but only perform occasional tummy tucks, or they may mainly be known for liposuction but do breast augmentations only occasionally. A mommy makeover requires a wider set of skills than most other procedures because it involves so many different parts.
You will want to make sure your surgeon can cover the whole range of breast procedures from implants to lift to reduction, as well as a variety of surgical and non-surgical tummy tucks and skin tightening for your waistline. An experienced surgeon may want to add the latest radio frequency assisted lipolysis to your mommy makeover to shape surrounding areas and make sure your resulting skin is nice and tight.
Board-Certification in Plastic Surgery
Board-certification by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is not required for a plastic surgeon to operate. A general surgeon or a surgeon certified in another discipline can also perform cosmetic procedures.
However, ASPS board certification is a rigorous process. A doctor seeking certification has to complete a minimum of six years of surgical training after finishing medical school. Three of these years must be residency training in plastic surgery. You also have to pass a series of oral and written exams and be a graduate of an accredited medical school. In addition, you have to undergo continuing medical education including patient safety training every year.
Granted, this does not guarantee that your surgeon will achieve amazing results. More than passing exams and undergoing training goes into making a great surgeon. Extensive experience with real-world patients makes all the difference. But it can give you a higher comfort level to know that your doctor is a professional who takes his or her work seriously enough to invest his time in ongoing professional training.
Examples of the Plastic Surgeon’s Work
Just like you would ask a contractor for samples before tasking him to remodel your bathroom, you should have an opportunity to view before and after pictures of your surgeon’s work as well as see references and testimonials before you sign up for their service.
Make sure you ask for mommy makeover before-and-after photos depicting their own patients. Equipment manufacturers often have their own before and after collections and pass them on to the doctor for marketing purposes. There is nothing wrong with a surgeon using them, but he or she should also have their own library or “brag book” of performed procedures.
Looking at such before and after pictures will help you discuss your goals with your plastic surgeon. Bear in mind that many patients do not consent to online posting of their pictures, but they may have allowed for the viewing in-house during consultations. Those are the kinds of pictures you’ll want to ask for.
Testimonials and other references can also help you gain a better understanding. Not everyone has the same preferences, and a plastic surgeon with many years of serving patients may have gotten the occasional bad review, but in general you can gain a pretty good picture after seeing a number of testimonials and reviews. It’s always a good idea to ask yourself if a review seems plausible. Genuine reviews often include small details that a paid review wouldn’t mention, even small pieces of critique where the practice could have done better.
Practicing Safety at the Facility
Patient safety should be the highest priority at any cosmetic surgery center. You can ask the doctor or staff what all is being done to minimize risks and make sure that your safety comes first. Ask for specific examples, ask about the technology that is used, the anesthesia methods, the cleaning regimen. This includes any COVID-19 safety measures.
We hope we’ve given you a comprehensive understanding of choosing your plastic surgeon for a mommy makeover. Please contact us if you have any other questions.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons: ASPS Member Qualifications