How Long Does It Take To Recover From Mommy Makeover?

Our time is valuable and for many of my hard-working patients, extended recovery time is not ideal. One of the most popular topics I generally cover during consultations is how long it will take to recover once the surgery has been successfully performed. While you have to keep in mind that every person’s body will heal differently, I’ve come up with an average timeline for recovery for my patients whether they choose facial rejuvenation, breast enhancement, and body contouring procedures. Since this month’s featured procedure is the ever-popular Mommy Makeover – if you had to answer how long does it take to recover from Mommy Makeover, what would you guess?

In case you’re not familiar, let’s start with the benefits of a Mommy Makeover:

  • Can help restore a pre-baby physique for mothers who’ve experienced changes to their body during/after carrying their child.
  • Even if you’re not a mother, Mommy Makeovers can benefit patients who have experienced physical changes to their body from aging and/or significant weight gain/loss.
  • A combination procedure that typically includes body contouring (tummy tuck and liposuction) and breast enhancement (breast augmentation or breast lift).
    • Since the procedures are performed simultaneously during the Mommy Makeover, you only have to go through one comprehensive recovery process versus first procedure then heal, second procedure then heal, etc.
  • This is an outpatient procedure meaning, you’re in and out the same day as your procedure (since you don’t have to stay in the hospital AND you’re combining procedures it means you’re not paying double the required hospital fees – such as anesthesia, surgical fees, and medication).
  • Natural-looking Mommy Makeover results will reveal a slimmer, more-contoured waistline and breasts that are not only proportionate to your frame, but also perky and youthful.

What should your expectations be regarding Mommy Makeover recovery?

The best thing you can do for yourself is to follow the pre and post-operative instructions I send you home with. I’ve heard time and time again from patients that the overall experience was a lot less strenuous than they may have assumed. In my over 22 years of experience as a double-board certified plastic surgeon, I firmly believe in giving my patient’s all the tools they need to increase their overall happiness with their results. Using highly-specialized surgical techniques (like the Scarpa Fascia Advancement technique for tummy tucks that I use to specifically reduce recovery time for my patients), combined with diligent effort from the patient to follow the recovery recommendations I provide, you’re more likely to increase your overall success with your procedure.

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.

My Plastic Surgery Story: Mommy Makeover Consultation

Dear Readers,

As a mother of three adult children and a few months into my 50th year on this Earth, I have decided to give myself a gift – a mommy makeover. I’ve honestly been thinking about plastic surgery ever since I can remember.  I didn’t breastfeed my kids but I have always been extremely flat chested since a teenager and extremely self-conscious.  On top of the physical changes my stomach experienced from pregnancy, I hide my 5’5/130lb. figure under size large and extra-large clothing.  With the encouragement of my daughters (I really just think they were tired of hearing me complain honestly), I decided to go see Dr. Whiteman and explore my mommy makeover options.  My consultation was just last week and I am so excited to share with his readers that I am scheduled for my mommy makeover in a little over a month’s time.  I keep asking myself if this is real life and pinching myself because the fear that I had prior to my consultation is now filled with excitement and happiness just at the thought of what my mommy makeover results that I have been longing for over several decades will finally look like.  I’m tired of hiding and now I want to share my story with as many mothers, daughters, and grandmothers out there!

I’m a detail oriented person so research has always been my first step when making any big, life-changing decision.  I was recommended to check out Dr. Whiteman at Southern Plastic Surgery (SPS) from friends that had themselves had previous procedures at SPS (none of them had a mommy makeover but most had either had a breast augmentation or a tummy tuck).  I live almost two hours away so I was worried about actually being able to make a consultation with my work schedule, but the SPS staff was amazing and worked with me to find a time for me to meet with Dr. Whiteman (he made a special trip from the hospital to meet with me!).  I brought my oldest daughter along for moral support and I’m so glad I did honestly because it’s nice having family support and someone who can help with questions that I may have forgotten – and did.  From the time I filled out paperwork to the time I went into the office, I have to say I was beyond nervous.  I was scared that Dr. Whiteman wouldn’t be the type of doctor for me, or that he would tell me that there was nothing he could do (sounds crazy, but hey, this is all new for me).

They set up an account on their TouchMD consultation software and I was able to look at before and after pictures and read more on the procedures I was interested in until Dr. Whiteman came in to the consultation room to introduce himself and get the consultation started!  I met his sweet intern and we all just started with a simple conversation about what were my biggest concerns and more about me current and previous medical history.  Up next was taking before and after photos so they could be uploaded to my TouchMD account to discuss his thoughts on my procedure.  After taking measurements of my breasts and examining what he was going to be working with, he shared that I had excellent breast tissue and skin to work with and I wouldn’t need a breast lift, just an augmentation!  Next he examined my stomach.  I have a pooch that makes me look bloated but I honestly wasn’t sure if I had what research considers muscle separation or not.  Turns out I did have minor muscle separation but his “Fab Ab” tummy tuck (that’s the name his patients gave it – isn’t that clever?!) combined with liposuction was going to help me get my flat stomach back.  Dr. Whiteman hit me with a TON of education and I have to admit that of my millions of questions I had written down, he covered EVERY SINGLE ONE before I even had a chance to ask them.  To say I was impressed is an understatement.

Once we went through the techniques for both the tummy tuck and the breast augmentation, it was time to try on implants!  I had done my research on the various breast augmentation techniques and we talked about the look and feel that I wanted to go for.  I’m not trying to go obnoxiously big since I’m a fairly small woman, but I wanted something noticeable but understated so friends will wonder what changed, but may not be able to place it, if that makes sense.  I wanted natural looking breast augmentation results so we settled on trying silicone breast implants.  Best part of this was that I literally was able to place the implant in a sports bra and see what my results could look like when wearing a t-shirt (ya’ll it was a size medium shirt too – and I actually filled it out!).  I can’t describe the feeling I had when I examined myself in the mirror; just pure anticipation and joy.  I knew that I was most definitely going to have the tummy tuck done, but it wasn’t until I tried the implants on that I decided to just go with both procedures.  After all, since I was already going to be in recovery over Christmas break, why not just do those both now?

After the consultation was over I met with Jackie to go over my expected costs and we talked about plastic surgery financing and possible surgery dates.  Generally they would just send you home with a packet of goodies and you let them know what you decide at a later date but I was ready to go.  I think that surprised my daughter as I like to really take my time to deliberate, but it just felt right.  I was really nervous that they weren’t going to have open dates because I had my consultation so late in the game, but Jackie worked her magic and was able to get me scheduled in enough time to allow my body to heal, meet with Dr. Whiteman for my follow-up consultation, and also be back to work without having to take a lot of time off.  I’ve never had a team work so hard to make everything work out for me, regardless if it wasn’t their usual routine, it didn’t matter to them.  Usually I think it’s cliché for businesses to claim to be a family, but for the SPS team that is exactly what it felt like.  Dr. Whiteman didn’t sugarcoat anything or try to sell me on anything he honestly didn’t think I need.  For that and many, many other reasons, Southern Plastic Surgery is like my Fairy Godmother and I cannot wait to share my results with the rest of the world!