Medically reviewed by Dr. John Rosdeutscher – Written by Sine Thieme
Does a Mommy Makeover Require Surgery?
It’s no surprise the Mommy Makeover has become such a staple in plastic surgery practices around the country. Who doesn’t dream of a fresh beginning, a do-over that allows you to reinvent yourself? However, your typical mommy makeover requires surgery. And for some women, actual surgery with sedation and stitches is too high a price to pay in return for a nice body. Are there alternatives to a classic mommy makeover?
The Classic Mommy Makeover
The term “Mommy Makeover” was coined to describe a plastic surgery procedure that helps women regain their pre-pregnancy body. Or perhaps a better version of their pre-pregnancy body – we are not judging. Pregnancy and childbirth can be big contributors to our body image woes down the road. That’s why the idea of a makeover for Moms is so appealing.
But a Mommy Makeover is not really a set-in-stone procedure. It is more like a customized treatment plan to help women turn back the clock. And it’s not only for mothers. A Mommy Makeover is for any woman who wants to boost her confidence by putting flatness and curves back in their right places.
Most often, the passage of time and the demands of pregnancy and motherhood take their biggest toll on two main areas: Your tummy and your breasts.
Let’s talk about the tummy first.
Part 1: A Tummy Tuck for a Flat Tummy
A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that removes folds of extra skin around the abdomen and repairs underlying muscles if necessary. This gives your tummy a taut, fresh look. There are mini tummy tucks and standard tummy tucks, the difference essentially the size of the resulting scar. If you have loose skin as a result of weight gained and lost, no amount of dieting and exercise will make your stomach completely flat again. A tummy tuck is a foolproof way to achieve a flat tummy.
What’s the drawback, then? Mainly two things: Having to undergo surgery and a potentially lengthy recovery, and ending up with a scar.
It basically comes down to personal preference. Some people don’t mind surgery if the results are going to be great. And many people are ok with a tummy tuck scar, especially since a skilled plastic surgeon will position it below your bikini line. If you belong in this camp, you’ll probably want the tummy tuck.
Part 2: Implants for Fuller Breasts
You’ve got your tummy flattened or considerably slimmed down. Yay for you – You’re halfway there! In fact, you might be blessed with the perfect pair of breasts and declare your Mommy Makeover complete.
However, many mothers lose volume in their breasts at the same alarming rate that they gain volume around their midsection. If that sounds like what’s happened to you, then you’ll want to do something about your breasts as well.
Breast augmentation surgery is the foolproof way to achieve perfect volume and cleavage. With the placement of implants – whether silicone, saline, or so-called gummy bear – a plastic surgeon can give your breasts the ideal shape and volume according to your personal preference. A breast augmentation is a very popular – and safe – procedure. However, like the tummy tuck, it requires surgery.
Non-Surgical Alternatives to a Mommy Makeover
Many people are reluctant to undergo a surgical procedure that requires downtime and a lengthy recovery period. If you belong to this group, you don’t have to give up on a flat stomach, or even fuller breasts. There are several options for minimally-invasive procedures to remove belly fat and/or enhance breast volume.
Again, let’s start with the tummy:
Part 1: Minimally-Invasive Belly Fat Removal
How to decide between liposuction and a tummy tuck? The best way to find out is to schedule a personal consultation with a plastic surgeon. He or she will ask some questions and take a look at your fat. Some fat is more responsive to liposuction than other types; which kind you have is an important factor.
Within the broad category of liposuction there are yet more variations a surgeon might combine for the best overall outcome. He or she might employ physical and water (aka tumescent) liposuction for the bulk of fat, and additionally more targeted laser or radio frequency assisted liposuction (RFAL) such as BodyTite or Renuvion to contract tissues and tighten the skin. These latest methods have shown to contract skin up to 60%, achieving results that before were only attainable with surgery.
The huge benefit with this route is a much shorter downtime. Most patients return to their regular activities within 1-2 days. And it won’t leave a scar.
If you don’t have a huge amount of overhanging skin, liposuction with skin tightening might be a useful part of your Mommy Makeover.
Part 2: Minimally-Invasive Breast Enhancement
You may decide you’re ok with the volume of your breasts but would like for them to be firmer and somewhat less saggy. This might be a case for a breast lift without implants. It still requires surgery but you’d pull it off without any implants in your body.
You might have the exact opposite problem. The shape of your breasts is good, you still have good skin tone, but years of breastfeeding have simply rendered them depleted. Here is the really mind-boggling thing: You could have that liposuction described above to remove fat from your midsection, and then you could use that very same fat to inject it as a natural filler into your breasts.
This is called Fat Transfer to Breast, or fat transfer breast augmentation. Fat transfer is a minimally-invasive surgery. It uses liposuction to remove the fat from the unwanted areas, like your abdomen or thighs. It keeps this fat in a closed circuit while it is suctioned off, and then it can be re-injected into your breasts to boost volume. (Note: Fat transfer to breast is known to only yield relatively small increases in breast volume; for more, implants are recommended.)
Other Treatments for a Mommy Makeover
Skincare & Fillers
Of course, you can always supplement your Mommy Makeover with non-invasive treatments such as Botox, Juvederm, Voluma, Volbella, Thermi Tight, or a microdermabrasion to soften wrinkles, remove deep lines, repair acne scars and stretch marks or even out skin tone. Although these treatments are temporary, the rejuvenating effect on your appearance can be striking and you will likely feel a big boost in confidence.
Cellulite – the orange-peel type puckering of skin particularly on thighs and buttocks is a common complaint among women. While it is difficult to remove entirely, cellulite can be reduced, especially if it stems from age-related skin laxity. The above mentioned skin tightening technologies powered by RFAL such as BodyTite and Renuvion can be quite effective in treating cellulite.
To summarize: Mommy Makeovers are often surgical procedures, but they don’t have to be. It is possible to have an entire minimally-invasive mommy makeover. In the end it will come down to your preferences how to balance recovery time with results. You might go full-in for the biggest bang, or you might choose a less invasive, lighter touch. Either way, the great advantage of a Mommy Makeover is that you can typically combine the components into one procedure to shorten your overall recovery time.
We hope we have helped you gain a better understanding of a few mommy makeover alternatives. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.