The foundation of the “Mommy Makeover” is a combination of a tummy tuck and breast surgery. But within that framework, there are lots of variations: the mini-tuck, full tuck, skin-only tuck (lax, stretch-marked skin is cut away, but the abdominal muscles are not repaired); and for breasts, there’s the lift, reduction, augmentation, or a hybrid therein.
A flood of interest, coupled with advances in plastic surgery techniques, has broadened the definition even further to include liposuction, fat and filler injections, and vaginal rejuvenation.
The fact that many new moms are millennials is believed to be one of the main driving forces behind the mommy makeover’s recent surge in popularity—and the larger de-stigmatization of plastic surgery. They tend to be more accepting of it than any other generation. According to RealSelf, an online plastic surgery library of sorts, the primary demographic researching mommy makeovers is 25- to 34-year-olds.
Millennials are also likely to be more open about their treatments, whether that means discussing them among friends or posting photos of themselves throughout the process on their social media feeds. Surgeons, too, have begun to pull back the curtain a bit, discretely posting procedures-in-progress and before-and-after photos with savvy hashtags. Together, they’ve helped popularize and demystify the various elements of the mommy makeover.
Mommy Makeover; Less discomfort
It’s not all a result of good timing and better promotion, though. Recent surgical advances are playing a big part as well by enhancing the safety of the operations and minimizing the recovery.
One of the most meaningful innovations is the use of long-acting numbing agents, which are injected into the surgical site and block much of the pain for up to three days following the procedure. Less discomfort during the recovery means less reliance on opioids and fewer side effects from those drugs. It also gets patients on their feet faster, which shrinks the risk of blood clots.
Surgical drains have long been a standard feature of tummy tucks. When the procedure’s done, there’s a large space that needs to be collapsed, and the tissue has to grow together. Drains help fluid from pooling and slowing this process. But they can be quite intrusive.
However, a new technique is increasingly making drains unnecessary. By using progressive tension sutures, which are special internal sutures that reduce potential fluid build-up, or incorporating tissue glues and compression garments, plastic surgeons are able to provide drain-free tummy tucks.
Plastic surgeons are also exploring new ways to tweak the protocol, including performing non-invasive fat-reduction treatments, like CoolSculpting, in the months leading up to the mommy makeover. That eliminates the need for liposuction, a more invasive procedure, at the time of the surgery, which shortens the operating time and the healing time.
The mommy makeover is becoming more comprehensive—and, perhaps, more attractive—because the surgery and recovery are becoming more efficient and less demanding.