The Mommy MakeoverJanuary 19, 2015,
by W. Grant Stevens, MD, FACS
Having children is, of course, an absolute miracle—but, unfortunately, no one’s told the human body that! While having your own bundle of joy is an amazing experience, it would probably be a little more amazing if you could have your pre-baby body along with it. Fortunately, doctors have developed the “Mommy Makeover” to counteract the cataclysmic effects of childbirth on the body.
WHAT IS THE MOMMY MAKEOVER?
The Mommy Makeover is a blanket term for a number of combined procedures—generally a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty in conjunction with any breast surgery. This can include a breast lift, breast reduction, or breast augmentation. The tummy tuck or abdominoplasty can address a number of problems, like extra skin around the abdomen, loss of tone or splitting of muscle in the abdominal wall, and excess fat around the stomach, hips, and flanks. As far as breast procedures go, an augmentation, reduction, or lift can solve any number of complaints, and can counteract the sagging or deflated look that often comes with having children. Breastfeeding, of course, can only exacerbate these issues, and may inspire women to request nipple reconstruction as part of their makeover.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
The Mommy Makeover is a great choice for any patients (not just “mommies”) who are interested in both a stomach procedure and a breast procedure of any variety. However, some patients may worry that having multiple surgeries at once is unsafe or risky. Fortunately, this procedure has been tested rigorously, and complication rates for the Mommy Makeover were exactly the same as when the procedures involved were done separately. In some ways, the Mommy Makeover actually decreases risk. The patient undergoes surgery just once; she is exposed to anesthesia once; she takes time away from her family, children, and work once. Costs are at least 50% reduced, because the surgical fees are for a single procedure, rather than two separate procedures. By combining the surgeries into one procedure, the patient will save time and money while decreasing risk.
HOW TO CHOOSE A SURGEON
Even though Mommy Makeovers can decrease risk, it’s still extremely crucial for a prospective patient to pick the right doctor—even more so in this case, given that multiple procedures are being performed. The most important step is for patients to do their research. Is the surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery? Is the surgeon a member if the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)? The amount of care that a patient would typically use in finding a doctor has to at least double if a patient wants to get excellent results for both procedures. Additionally, patients should check to make sure that the surgery will be performed in an accredited outpatient facility or hospital, with the participation of a board-certified anesthesiologist.
Though the cost varies depending on the surgeon (as well as the geographical region), a Mommy Makeover generally runs anywhere from $13,000 to $20,000. As this is a cosmetic (rather than reconstructive) surgery, insurance generally will not cover the price, but there are typically payment plans that patients can look into.
The Mommy Makeover is a great option for any woman (whether or not she has children) that is looking to feel better about her appearance and regain a sense of normality. As miraculous and wonderful as children are, they inevitably damage their mother’s body in ways that are difficult (if not impossible) to fix without surgery. But no matter what, whether children have sucked the life out of your breasts or you just don’t like your abs, there’s always a way to regain confidence and feel amazing again.