My Patient Experience: Mommy Makeover Recovery

Some of you may remember me; I am the mother of three who first wrote about my mommy makeover consultation experience with Dr. Whiteman last month. As I reread my first entry, it’s hard to believe that November 11th (when I had my consultation and scheduled my procedure in the same day) was only a few short weeks ago and here I am, one week mommy makeover post-op, able to share my unbelievable experience again with you all. For any fellow mothers out there, the physical changes that even one childbirth can bring, let alone three, is something many of us don’t want to have as a permanent reminder. My small breasts and stomach pooch were two areas that I knew I wasn’t going to be able to fix on my own. Now, after the encouragement of my family, two meetings with Dr. Whiteman and his team, and a mommy makeover later, I can proudly say I finally have my body back and it’s even better than before!

The morning of December 22, 2015 my daughter drove me to the office where my procedure was to take place. Pretty sure I didn’t sleep the night before due to nerves but once I got dressed, hooked up to the machines and had the nurses explain just about every detail of the process, I was more excited than anything else. Dr. Whiteman came in and made a few drawings (similar to the ones he demonstrated during my TouchMD consultation) as guides for the surgery, I said goodbye to my daughter and when I awoke, it felt as if I had taken a quick cat nap. When I looked down at my chest I saw something I hadn’t seen since the early 90’s – perky cleavage (I have to admit I was a little bummed not being able to see my new breasts immediately, but I know good things come to those who wait, so I was patient)! Before I was able to go home the nurses went over vital post-operative mommy makeover recovery guidelines and I was free to start my recovery.

I work in the education system and specifically chose the holidays for my surgery because I have mandatory time off and was told that recovery from a breast augmentation and tummy tuck (the two procedures that made up my unique mommy makeover) would only take about two weeks. Each person is different, so I took this as a general rule but let me tell you all something, if you follow your pre-op tips and suggestions and stick to your post-op rules diligently, recovery is a breeze! I say this because after three natural births, this is NOTHING like that experience.

Prior to my surgery I wasn’t an active person in the sense of being a gym rat but I was more of the take the stairs instead of the elevator kind of “health conscious” individual. To prepare for the tummy tuck portion I upped my water intake (meaning I drank nothing but water), incorporated daily sit-ups into my morning and evening routine, and restricted meals to before 6pm. Not a huge demanding lifestyle change by any means, but I have to admit it was much needed encouragement. My biggest concern was maintaining my mommy makeover results so I was determined to follow each and every instruction given to me.

The first day or two was more about getting used to the feeling of heavier breasts and a tighter stomach. If I had to put it into words, it felt more like I had an intense gym workout and was sore the day after from maxing out on crunches and ab work. Moving around was obviously at a snail’s pace but the recommended breathing exercises helped to really help me maneuver around. Before your surgery Dr. Whiteman goes over pain management options you have to choose from and you’re sent home with just about everything you could need from compression garments to keep everything nice and tight, to antibiotics for the first week of recovery. After the one week mark I went back to Dr. Whiteman’s for my first follow-up consultation. This was the first time I was actually able to see my healing progress and hear from Dr. Whiteman on how I was coming along – not that it was a surprise to me, but I am healing remarkably well and have very minimal swelling left (did I mention it’s only been a week?).

If you’re like me you did your research. Of course I had a million and one questions for Dr. Whiteman but I did research at home to try to feed my curiosity. I watched YouTube videos (not for the faint of heart and to be honest was quite dramatic now that I look back on it) and read just about every public online forum regarding tummy tucks and breast augmentation. Nothing can really prepare you for an elective surgery but I’m hoping that my story can give you a different perspective. I’m 50 and this was my first surgery ever. If I could give readers three pieces of advice it would be this:

  • If you’re conscious of really listening to your body and what it needs, like rest, hydration, ice, etc., then I truly do believe your recovery would be just as easy as mine has been.
  • Don’t think you’re “too old” for plastic surgery – you’re not and you’ll only kick yourself for not having done it sooner.
  • Choose Dr. Whiteman. There’s a reason they call it the “Fab Ab” Tummy Tuck.

What Exactly Is a Rapid Recovery Lift?

The facelift has been around for a while; in fact, the first facelift was reportedly performed by Eugen Hӧllander in 1901 and paved the way to numerous advancements in facial plastic surgery ever since. There is always a demand for improvement within the plastic surgery field. I’ve noticed that more patients in the 30-40 age range are seeking surgical procedures to help them combat common signs of facial aging like wrinkles, lax skin and unwanted accumulated fat. There tends to be a slight misconception that facelifts are primarily for seasoned patients who are experiencing extensive aging, but that’s not entirely the case when exploring a rapid lift. So what exactly is a rapid recovery lift and who can benefit from this procedure?

As a double-board certified Atlanta plastic surgeon I myself am consistently researching and implementing the most advanced techniques to improve the results for my patients. Some people don’t necessarily want to explore surgical routes and often turn to nonsurgical facial treatments like Botox® and facial fillers for temporary relief of their aging concerns. For others looking for more long-lasting/preventative results, they may want to consider a rapid lift, or a mini facelift, based on key target areas it corrects and the recovery time that comes with it.

Let’s take a look at when you may want to consider a rapid recovery lift/mini facelift:

  • If you’re concerned that you look older than you feel on the inside
  • If you’re bothered by the appearance of sagging/excess skin on your face
  • If you have fat that’s accumulated under the chin and jaw
  • If you experience noticeably deep wrinkling around the mouth

 

One of the main reasons we call the mini facelift a rapid recovery lift is thanks to the shorter recovery time a patient needs to restore their youthful appearance. Sometimes referred to by patients as a “weekend procedure,” mini facelifts can be performed in office, under local anesthesia, depending on the extent of your facial aging. When performing a mini facelift small incisions along the hairline and ear so that they can hide nicely within the natural creases of the face. I focus on the lower third of the face (the neck, jowls, or mid-cheek/face) by removing loose skin, removing fat pockets, and lifting the skin back to a higher position on the face. Recovering from a rapid recovery lift is significantly less than the time needed to recover – generally patients can be back on the go after a few days to a week of their procedure.

The main objective for your mini facelift results is to regain that younger look you once had and feel confident with the reflection you see in the mirror. I’m not trying to make you look as if your face was a piece of rubber that was stretched beyond recognition. My goal is to produce results that are so subtle even your friends won’t be able to figure out what you changed about your look but at least you’ll be able to recognize your new, improved changes. Don’t let age make you think there’s a right or wrong time to undergo cosmetic plastic surgery because it’s all-inclusive.

To learn more about Southern Plastic Surgery and the various facial plastic surgery procedures I perform, don’t hesitate to contact us today to set up your complimentary consultation. Stay connected with me, Dr. David Whiteman, and the rest of the SPS team on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ for more skincare tips and plastic surgery updates.

Happy Holidays from the Southern Plastic Surgery Family!

The Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C. (SPS) family and I have a lot to be thankful for as we reflect back on the year we’ve had together and with all of our inspiring patients. I say inspiring because it’s been a great year to witness many life-changing improvements that many of you have experienced after seeing your plastic surgery results. Here are a few highlights of some of the biggest memories that stand out for us in 2015 – a year in review of sorts that we’d like to share with you all this holiday season:

  • Our website got a much needed makeover because we wanted our patients to get a better sense of who we are and what we most enjoy doing – serving our patients!
  • Thanks to all of you, I was nominated, and announced the winner of the 2015 Best Self Magazine “Best of Atlanta Contest” for Best Plastic Surgeon for Tummy
  • I recently found out that The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has accepted, and will be publishing, my abstract on the Scarpa fascia tummy tuck technique I developed entitled “Abdominoplasty with Scarpa’s Fascia Advancement Flap to Enhance the Waistline”
  • The SPS team grew and we welcomed our newest team member Michelle to the office
  • Patient participation has been at an all-time high and I’ve been fortunate enough to have many of you volunteer as features for our patient spotlight blog, share your personal testimonies detailing your plastic surgery experience, and even received television screen time on Atlanta & Co.
  • We added several new procedures to our menu of cosmetic surgery services for our patients, both nonsurgical and surgical, including Kybella™ fat reduction, Radiesse® hand rejuvenation, the Grammy makeover, and Mommy makeover to give patients the opportunity to choose some of the most innovative treatments on the market today

We are hopeful that 2016 will be as successful as it has been in years past and even better thanks to all of you. Everyone here at Southern Plastic Surgery would like to thank you again as we look forward to another great year. Happy holidays and we hope to see many new and familiar faces in the New Year!