In my last post, I highlighted the so-called “mommy makeover,” a highly customizable surgical procedure that can be a fountain of youth for women who feel like they’ve lost control of their bodies and identities after giving birth. Here, I’ll take a deeper dive, outlining what the surgery entails, how you can expect to feel in the days and weeks afterward, and where you should set your expectations for the years ahead.
What happens during the surgery
One of the biggest benefits of the mommy makeover is that, with a single surgery, you can address a range of concerns. Which means that you’re going under anesthesia only once and you’re also enduring just a single recovery.
But that also underlines the importance of, one, finding the right board-certified plastic surgeon for you and, two, being honest about your needs and wants ahead of the surgery. Because elective surgeries are generally limited to six hours as a safety measure, and the tummy tuck can absorb a significant portion of that time.
Most mommy makeovers include the following:
Tummy tuck: Your plastic surgeon will make a low, hip-to-hip incision, pull back the skin and underlying tissue, repair and tighten the ab muscles, and remove the excess skin and tissue. A hernia or diastasis recti repair may also be done in the process.
Liposuction: Fat is suctioned out through a thin tube, called a cannula, that’s inserted through small incisions at the targeted areas.
Breast augmentation: Usually coupled with a breast lift, your plastic surgeon will insert silicone implants, remove the extra skin, and reposition the nipples so that they sit higher on the breasts.
Common additions include a Brazilian butt lift, where fat that’s removed through liposuction is transferred to the butt to increase the volume and enhance the shape, and vaginal rejuvenation. Here, your plastic surgeon will perform a perineoplasty to tighten the vagina’s entrance and vaginoplasty to restore the vaginal canal and floor.
What to expect afterward
Plan to take a couple weeks off after the surgery so that you can fully dedicate yourself to healing. You’re probably going to be fairly sore for the first few days, but you’ll be prescribed pain medications that will help with much of it.
Some scarring is inevitable. But, for as invasive as the surgery is, the scars will be well-hidden—even in a bathing suit. Plus, there are number of treatments available to help reduce them once you’ve recovered, including microneedling with platelet-rich plasma and laser therapy.
You’ll start to see some of your results as the swelling subsides after a couple of weeks. Over the coming months, they’ll become even more defined. After a few months, you should see the full scope of your new figure. And those improvements will be long-lasting. As long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle, they’ll hold for years to come—even as your kids continue to make your life as difficult as they can.