A mommy makeover is a generic term for a combination of cosmetic surgery techniques aimed at restoring the body’s physical appearance following childbirth. There are no cookie-cutter standards for a mommy makeover, as each procedure is tailored to address each patient’s unique anatomy and desired results. However, the surgical aspect of the procedure generally involves contouring of the breasts and abdomen with additional elements included per request of the patient.
Because mommy makeovers are designed to target several problem areas, surgeries are more extensive and recovery periods greater. One facet of post-operative recovery that often gets overlooked is the cosmetic appearance of one’s scars. If left untreated, some patients may experience more scar tissue growth than expected after surgery. Luckily, there are clinically-proven ways to flatten and reduce the appearance of old and new scars, and products are readily available online.
Continue reading to learn more about mommy makeover procedures and to discover new ways to make the most of your post-operative recovery time.
A mommy makeover commonly involves contouring the shape and size of the breasts with either a breast augmentation
(augmentation mammoplasty) or breast reduction
(reduction mammoplasty). Postpartum changes to a woman’s breasts can lead to breast enlargement, which often results in variable sagging, or breast distortion. These alterations occur in reaction to hormonal changes during pregnancy, which stimulate milk production and breast enlargement. These changes are a sign of a healthy pregnancy because your body is getting ready to provide sustenance for your baby. But once a woman’s lactation period is over and breastfeeding nears its end, the breasts may decrease in size. These sudden and dramatic fluctuations in shape and size can stretch breast tissue and alter the appearance of the breasts. This is one aspect of a post-pregnancy body that some women want corrected by undergoing a breast augmentation, lift or reduction as part of a mommy makeover.
As a secondary measure to amend the drastic changes caused by pregnancy, a mommy makeover will often include a tummy tuck
, also known as an abdominoplasty. As is already well known, pregnancy is accompanied by weight gain, and the belly undergoes stretching to accommodate for the growing baby. This can lead to sagging skin and abdominal separation (diastasis recti). Abdominal separation often occurs during pregnancy when pressure from the growing uterus causes the two bands of abdominal muscles to separate. While this is a generally harmless phenomenon, abdominal separation can make it difficult or even impossible to achieve a tight, firm abdomen. Tummy tucks and breast-contouring procedures are often life-altering steps that help women regain their pre-pregnancy physique, or to achieve an entirely new esthetic.
Mommy makeovers are very modifiable procedures that a plastic surgeon can tailor to address the unique needs of each patient. These procedures can also include a thigh lift, arm lift, buttocks lift, circumferential abdominoplasty, and liposuction. It’s not likely that every one of these techniques will be implemented in a single procedure, so it’s up to the patient and the surgeon to determine which ones will yield optimal results. If necessary, two sessions will be considered to address further needs.
Post-operative recovery and scar management
Depending on the extent of the procedure and your body’s natural healing response, mommy makeover patients can expect to resume light activities after one to four weeks. Gauzes and post-operative compression garments may be worn to reduce swelling and promote uniform healing. Your surgeon may advise you to refrain from heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for up to six weeks post-surgery. Most patients will feel completely normal again between three and six months after surgery, but others can experience minor swelling and soreness for up to one year. As with any invasive procedure, it is highly recommended not to smoke in the weeks prior to and after surgery. Nicotine reduces healthy blood flow and can significantly interfere with the body’s natural ability to heal wounds.
To reduce significant scarring from a mommy makeover, silicone gel sheeting or silicone ointments should be applied to the affected areas. Topical silicone works through two mechanisms of action: dermal hydration of the scar site and collagen regulation. Wounds need an ideal healing environment, also known as homeostasis, to facilitate unaggressive scar tissue growth. Silicone gel sheeting allows the user to fully encapsulate the scar site and retain moisture that would otherwise leave the body through transepidermal water loss. This moisture retention in turn normalizes collagen synthesis, which often precipitates out of control when the skin is damaged, leading to raised, discolored scar tissue.
Silicone gel sheeting emerged over 30 years ago as an effective topical solution for the reduction and prevention of keloids and hypertrophic scar formations . With a number of clinical studies to support the efficacy of medical grade silicone, it is often the first line of defense recommended by surgeons and dermatologists around the world. A variety of options are available online to prevent abnormal scarring from surgery or injury. Epi-Derm Silicone Gel Sheets come in an array of shapes, sizes, and colors, and Pro-Sil is the only patented silicone scar stick on the market today.
Biodermis is an innovative market leader with 30 years of expertise in the medical silicone industry. Visit Biodermis.com today to explore a complete range of scar management and post-operative care solutions.
PHYSICIANS AND MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS: REFER OR RESELL?
Biodermis offers custom tailored referral programs designed to simplify and reduce the cost of your patients' post-op care. Additionally, we offer professional pricing if you opt to retail our products. Give us a call at 800.322.3729, and we will be happy to provide additional details on these programs.