Ask Dr. Whiteman: Am I Too Old for a Mommy Makeover?

In the words of Pablo Picasso, “youth has no age.” At the very core, age is a numerical representation of how many years we’ve lived on this Earth. What’s great about aging is that we get to experience many things in a lifetime and whether good or bad, we still have the capability to embody a youthful spirit even as we tack on years. Plastic surgery is an art, one that helps sculpt patients into a form that can positively impact their life and give them a real sense of looking as young as they feel. I’ve been a double-board certified plastic surgeon for nearly 22 years now and I still get the question, “am I too old for a mommy makeover procedure” more times than you may believe.

Whether you’re 30, 40, 50 or 60, if you truly believe that age is just a number, then the answer to this question is easy – no, you’re not too old for a mommy makeover. As a society we tend to get stuck on the nomenclature of just about everything and can lose sight of the real goal that we’re trying to achieve. The current procedure names that we know today are just identifiers we use to describe the type of plastic surgery procedure we’re performing.  Tummy tucks cover the abdomen, breast enhancement works with breasts, and facial rejuvenation to refresh your look.

Since physical changes to the abdomen and breasts commonly arise after women experience childbirth, mommy makeover is the name used to describe a combination breast and body contouring procedure to correct patients’ concerns for multiple areas at once. This also means that it’s not a procedure exclusively for mothers; it’s for all women. It’s for the 55-year-old single woman who lost significant weight and wants to get rid of excess skin and fat around the stomach and on her breasts. It’s for the 36-year-old mother of two who is finished having kids and wants her pooch, caused by weakened abdominal muscles, gone and larger breasts to fill out a bikini. It’s for the 60-year-old grandmother who has aged gracefully in the face but would like the rest of her body to exhibit the same youthfulness (but if she wanted to combine a face procedure she would be a better Grammy makeover candidate).

As your surgeon I can examine if you’re in good mental and physical health to undergo a mommy makeover. Age is factored into the equation to increase your safety as the patient and to decrease any unforeseen risks that arise with any cosmetic or reconstructive procedure. If those two check out then the only person who can answer the “am I too old?” question is you. Plastic surgery is about improving upon what you were already gifted with because it will make you feel better in the clothes you wear, appreciate the reflection in the mirror more, or simply increase your overall happiness. Having the mommy makeover results of your dreams could be just the gift you needed for yourself and no age or misconception of what’s appropriate or not according to society’s standards should get in the way.

Each month we feature a cosmetic procedure by offering special savings to our Atlanta-area patients. Two popular procedures included in the mommy makeover are featured for December and we encourage you to check out our plastic surgery specials page if you’re interested in exploring breast enhancement and body contouring procedures. We are here to help in any way we can so give Southern Plastic Surgery (SPS) a call at 770-622-9100 or get to know more about the SPS team during your consultation with me, Dr. David Whiteman, when the time is right for you.

How Much Recovery Time is Needed for Your Most Popular Plastic Surgery Procedures?

Once a patient has completed their plastic surgery procedure and had the chance to start the healing process, I always have them meet with me for a follow-up consultation to make sure they’re healing properly and are happy with their new plastic surgery results. In my nearly 22 years as a double-board certified plastic surgeon, there are two remarks I often hear when I have follow-up consultations with my patients:

“I didn’t think affordable plastic surgery existed.”

“I should have done this procedure a long time ago – the recovery time was better than I could have ever expected.”

This got me thinking that perhaps these misconceptions were because patients simply were not aware that the most popular plastic surgery procedures can produce positive, life-changing results without the need of breaking the bank or causing setbacks in their daily work and home routines. The first step to success is choosing a plastic surgeon who is board certified (means they have completed all requirements in their specialty according to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons). Next you’ll discuss your plastic surgery procedure of choice and start your journey to doing something that is gift all for yourself.  Each month I like to feature a facial plastic surgery, body contouring, breast enhancement or nonsurgical anti-aging procedure to offer extra savings for my patients.  This month we’re featuring tummy tucks and breast enhancement procedures. Each patient is unique and therefore there is no exact science to recovery time, but let’s take a look at the expected recovery time needed for this month’s featured procedures.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

Tummy tucks are one of the top body contouring procedures that are performed on their own or as a part of combination procedures like the mommy and Grammy makeover to restore their pre-baby/grandchildren bodies. The first week post-tummy tuck surgery is the time when patients will need the most help from their friends and family. We don’t want you to stress the newly contoured abdominal area so resting is crucial to let the body begin the healing process. Typically patients are able to return to work after 2 weeks and are advised to hold off on heavy lifting for 4-6 weeks.  We know many patients are anxious to get back into the gym, but exercise must be eased in to.  In the beginning I recommend that patients regularly walk to help keep the muscles active but anything more should not happen until the 3-6 week recovery mark.  As we continue to monitor your healing, this could certainly change, but following doctor’s orders and waiting until you’re cleared will only stand to benefit you and your tummy tuck results.

Breast Enhancement

This month patients can receive a FREE mini breast lift with a purchase of a breast augmentation.  These two procedures are great combination breast enhancement procedures to not only beneficial for increasing the size of the breasts but also to remove extra fat and skin to position breasts higher on the chest.  A bonus for combining procedures is that you reduce the overall amount of downtime.  It doesn’t seem like it would benefit a patient to have a breast augmentation in one procedure, then turn around and undergo a breast lift shortly thereafter.  If you combine up front, then you’ll combine the total time needed to recover.  If we look at each procedure separately, the recovery time is pretty similar for both a breast lift and breast augmentation. Depending on your comfort level and ability to heal, breast enhancement patients can generally expect to return to work in a few days to a week after their procedure. You’ll have to refrain from heavy lifting and any activity that could put strain on your chest, but it shouldn’t prohibit light activity. For the exercise-conscious, I like to recommend holding off until 2-3 weeks post-surgery before starting light exercises.  You’ll be able to gradually work up to more strenuous exercise, but don’t get ambitious until your surgeon says otherwise.

Knowing that my patients leave our office feeling truly happy with their plastic surgery results is what I strive to achieve on a daily basis. Only you can be your biggest advocate for your safety, so do your homework and make sure that you ask as many questions as you need to feel confident in your decision! We have several plastic surgery specials for November (including non-surgical hand rejuvenation) and invite you to reach out to our office at 770-622-9100 with any questions you have, or to schedule a consolation for any of the procedures we perform at Southern Plastic Surgery (SPS).  All of the SPS team hope you have a great month and get to spend loads of time with those you are most thankful for!