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Mommy Makeover Recovery: What to Expect

By Dr. Scott W. Vann

By Dr. Scott W. Vann

Pregnancy may have changed your body, but those changes don’t have to be permanent. A mommy makeover combines multiple plastic surgery techniques to restore your confidence in your post-baby body. Most often, women address their breasts and abdomen. 

A mommy makeover involves two or more major procedures. It’s important to know what to expect from recovery, so you can take good care of yourself while you’re healing.

Mommy Makeover, Savannah, GA

What Is a Mommy Makeover?

Most women find that their body changes after pregnancy and nursing. For many women, these changes can lead to a loss of self-esteem and body-confidence. A mommy makeover can help restore your body’s youthful, pre-pregnancy appearance and build back your confidence. 

The full procedure typically consists of a breast lift and/or a breast augmentation, along with a tummy tuck. Many women also choose to have liposuction around the hips, thighs, or abdomen. 

Having a mommy makeover can slenderize your waistline and lift your breasts, but it’s important to maintain your weight in order to maintain your results. Gaining weight or gaining and then losing weight may affect the results of your surgery. For this reason, it’s best to have a mommy makeover only after you’ve finished having children.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Mommy Makeover?

Because a mommy makeover combines multiple procedures, recovery time is longer than for just one procedure. Full recovery can be up to a year, most of the healing takes place during the first three months, but the majority of patients are able to return to work in one to two weeks, depending on which combination of procedures they have.

Planning Your Mommy Makeover Recovery Time

After your surgery, you’ll feel discomfort and even some pain. This is absolutely normal, and usually nothing to worry about. Your breasts and abdominal area will feel tender and perhaps painful. There will also likely be some bruising and swelling in these areas.

Your surgeon will provide you with thorough instructions to guide you through your recovery safely and comfortably. Make sure to follow these instructions closely. They may include some of the following:

  • Call your doctor or surgeon if you have a temperature over 100.4° F, or if your incisions become infected. 
  • If you’re prescribed antibiotics, make sure to take them as directed. 
  • With pain medication, you can use your own discretion. If you feel like you don’t need pain relief, you can skip it. Call your doctor or surgeon if you have pain that isn’t relieved by the prescribed medication.
  • If you are given or recommended any compression or support garments, wear them as directed. They provide important support for your body while it’s healing.
  • Apart from compression garments, avoid constrictive clothing during the first few weeks after surgery.
  • Adopt a low-salt diet for the first few weeks. This can help reduce swelling.
  • Keep your fiber intake high to help you reduce the need to strain during bowel movements.
  • After a tummy tuck, you’ll have to avoid standing up straight for about the first week. This is important because it prevents you from straining your abdominal muscles.
  • Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous or high-impact exercise for several weeks. Your surgeon may advise you to wait until they say it’s okay to resume normal activity levels, or they’ll tell you exactly how long to wait.
  • After a breast lift or augmentation, you’ll have to avoid sexual activity and breast contact for three to four weeks. This is important because your breasts will be particularly sensitive after surgery.
  • After breast surgery, avoid sleeping on your stomach for four weeks.
  • Avoid sun exposure for around three months. Scars are sensitive to sunlight and can become irritated, painful, and even discolored after sun exposure.

What to Expect on the Day of Your Surgery

Because the mommy makeover includes more than one procedure, it takes several hours to complete the surgery. Some people have all of their procedures in one session, while others need a couple of sessions for the full makeover. Generally, if you’re young and in good health, a full mommy makeover can be completed in one session.

Because the surgery is long and involves multiple procedures, it’s usual to stay in the clinic or hospital overnight, then go home the next day. This is important to make sure you’re comfortable and recovering as normal. 

The First Week 

After around one week—or a little sooner—you’ll have a follow-up visit with your surgeon. They’ll check that your incisions are healing normally and remove any drainage tubes that were placed during surgery.

At this visit, you’ll have the first real look at your new body. There will still be a lot of swelling at this stage, so don’t be alarmed if your body doesn’t look like you were expecting. You’ll see a big change in your shape, but there will be more changes to come as your body continues to heal.

Your breasts may feel very firm—even hard—as a result of swelling. They might also be bigger than you were expecting. This is due to swelling too, so it won’t be permanent. Once the swelling starts to go down, your breasts will start to look more like you imagined.

One to Three Months After Your Mommy Makeover

A month after your mommy makeover surgery, you’ll still have significant swelling, especially in the abdominal area. By the two month mark, most of the abdominal swelling will have subsided. After a breast lift or augmentation, it can take two to three months for most of the swelling to subside. In both cases, you may need a year or more for swelling to go away completely. However, by the three month mark, most of the swelling will have gone, and you’ll have a good idea of what your new body looks like. 

By two months, your incisions should be fully healed, but they’ll still be visible. The scars will be red to purple and may be puffy or raised. They may get puffier over the next few months. Don’t be alarmed—this doesn’t mean they’re not healing properly. Over time, your mommy makeover scars will fade and flatten out. 

At around the three month mark, you’ll be able to resume most or all of your previous activity level. This includes strenuous physical activity, heavy lifting, and other core muscle activities. The point at which you’re ready to resume normal activities is different for everyone. It depends on how well your body heals, and on your general physical health. Your surgeon will let you know when it’s safe for you to do this.

What to Expect One Year Later

It takes 12 to 18 months to see the final results of a mommy makeover. By now, you’ll be enjoying all the benefits of your new body, feeling good, and looking great.

Your body will have finished healing, and all the swelling should be gone, or nearly gone. By this time, your scars will have flattened out and faded significantly, although they might continue to fade over time. Almost everyone who has a tummy tuck has at least some permanent scarring, but your scars will be positioned so they’re beneath your panty line.

If you’ve had a breast augmentation with implants, it’s important to remember that implants aren’t designed to last forever. You may need to have replacement surgery at some point in the future. It could be as few as 10 years, but may be much longer.

If you have breast augmentation with fat transfer, your results are permanent, and you won’t need revision surgery. Your breasts might change shape over time due to age and gravity, just as natural breasts do. 

A Mommy Makeover Can Help You Feel Like Your Old Self Again or a New-and-Improved You!

Pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing can change your body dramatically. Are you unhappy with how you feel in your body postpartum? There’s no reason it has to stay that way! Mommy makeover recovery is longer than most other plastic surgeries because of the number of procedures, but there’s no doubt that it’s worth the wait. If you miss the body you had before having children or you’re ready for a new-and-improved you, a mommy makeover could be just the thing. Contact us at Savannah Plastic Surgery to learn more about mommy makeovers.

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Dr. Scott W. Vann

Dr. Vann is board certified in both General Surgery and in Plastic and Reconstructive surgery. He is a member of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He served as former Chief of Surgery at Memorial Health University Medical Center. His practice emphasizes body-sculpting procedures, including liposuction, abdominoplasty, breast enlargements, breast lifts, breast reductions, and treatment specifically of patients who have experienced large amounts of weight loss.