Alamo City Moms is partnering with Alamo Plastic Surgery to bring readers information on cosmetic surgery options. This is a sponsored post.
To be truthful, in my 20s I thought cosmetic surgery existed only for very vain people. Then I had kids…
Even though I exercise and eat healthy foods, my body is not what it was in my early 20s. I love my children and am grateful I was able to carry healthy babies (our bodies are so amazing!), but I didn’t feel like my body was my own anymore. Things weren’t where they used to be, and I didn’t recognize parts of myself. Often, I’d blame myself and fall into the “what if” trap: What if I just lost 10 more pounds? What if I tried that new cream on Amazon everyone swears by? What if…?
In my time working at Alamo Plastic Surgery, I can tell you that nothing you do will get rid of those stretch marks on your stomach, the excess skin around your hips, or your sagging, deflated breasts. The body changes so much during pregnancy and childbirth, and some things just don’t go back to the way they were. If you suffer from the same “what if” cycle I did, are not blessed with the genetics of a supermodel, and child-bearing has taken a toll on your body, a Mommy Makeover may be your perfect solution.
What is a “Mommy Makeover”?
“Mommy Makeover” can be a mix of procedures including a breast lift or breast augmentation, liposuction, tummy tuck, fat injections (butt and/or breasts), and even vaginal rejuvenation. The most common “Mommy Makeover” combination is a breast lift with a tummy tuck and liposuction. Many patients find that the results are incredible and, with the right surgeon, often life-changing.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, more than 550,000 people had breast augmentation, breast lift, or tummy tuck surgery in 2018. After childbirth, many women have a sagging pouch of stretched skin on their stomach (called redundant skin), and diastasis recti (abdominal separation of the left and right belly muscles, which allows your stomach to stick out). Diastasis recti does not improve with diet or exercise. However, it can usually be fixed during a tummy tuck, which can help you get rid of that outward pooch and perhaps even help narrow your waistline.
7 Tips for a Mommy Makeover
Think you might like to consider a combination of procedures for your own “Mommy Makeover”? There are some basics to consider before moving ahead.
1. Research plastic surgeons.
- This is major surgery, and you want to make sure it’s done right the first time.
- Choose two to three plastic surgeons in your area and schedule consultations. Your list of candidates should be based on a variety of sources, such as websites, online reviews, referrals (from friends or your OB-GYN), and before/after photos. Confirm the physician is experienced with good results in the specific procedures you are interested in. Board certification in plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is a great starting point for checking credentials.
- Check consultation fees. Make sure to ask if the consultation is complimentary. Some may have a small fee to hold your appointment and to cover the doctor’s time. Although the fees can add up, it is worth the peace of mind to know you’ve picked the surgeon best suited to meet your needs.
2. Learn whether you are a good candidate for a Mommy Makeover.
- A good candidate for a Mommy Makeover has reached a stable weight, preferably near her ideal or goal weight. This means you’re done having babies and are no longer breastfeeding or still adjusting from post-childbirth body changes.
- Avoid nicotine! Smoking (nicotine, specifically) can dramatically inhibit wound healing and increase the risk of infection. Dr. Albright at Alamo Plastic Surgery recommends being nicotine-free for at least six weeks before and six weeks after surgery, for this combination of surgeries.
- You should be finished having children. As you know, your body changes after pregnancy and your results may change afterward also.
- Keep in mind that a Mommy Makeover is a cosmetic and purely elective process so you should be healthy enough for general anesthesia.
3. Communicate your goals.
- For your belly: Is there a stubborn area of fat in your mid- or lower torso? Did your belly button move, change shape, or realign during pregnancy? What about your mons (tissue over the pubic bone)?
- For your breasts: Post-childbirth breasts may need volume but can also be “lifted.” Think about your ideal breast appearance: Do you want round full tops of the breasts, even when you’re naked, or do you prefer a more natural shape? Do you like your nipple or areola size, or would you prefer less nipple projection or a smaller areola?
- Bring photos of what you want your results to look like (models in swimsuits, naked, etc). These can be on your phone and don’t have to be printed.
- Make sure you spend time discussing your goals in detail at the consultation. The plastic surgeon should be able to guide you toward procedures that will help achieve these goals or at least tell you why a goal may not be achievable. The surgeon should spend time tailoring the surgery to fit your needs.
4. Ask questions.
- Has the plastic surgeon experienced complications with the surgery? What are they?
- If there are complications, how are they handled and what costs could be incurred? For example, following a tummy tuck often the scar along the sides (dog ears) may need to be removed. Is this covered?
- Where is the operation performed? Although it can be done safely, you may want to think twice about surgeons performing major procedures in their office. Unfortunately, complications are sometimes ignored or dismissed at an office without proper treatment capabilities, versus at a surgical center or hospital, where complications are monitored and may need to be reported to the state. Surgery at a hospital or surgical center may also ensure additional medical support if it becomes necessary.
5. Follow recovery guidelines.
- Although not exactly the same as a C-section, a Mommy Makeover usually requires two weeks of minimal lifting (less than 20 pounds) or reaching and/or pulling. Every surgeon is different with their recovery protocol, so don’t be afraid to ask.
- In a way, planning for a Mommy Makeover recovery is similar to planning for a new baby. Post-surgery, you might find it helpful to have extra hands around the house, consider food prep/frozen meals, and have a plan for childcare. But, the two weeks of recovery will fly by and you will have the rest of your life to enjoy the benefits.
- The plastic surgeon will likely also recommend that you wear compression garments and recovery bras after surgery.
6. Consider your budget.
- Typically a Mommy Makeover in San Antonio costs between $8,000–$12,000 (including all fees).
- Most plastic surgery procedures offer free financing for a year. Alamo Plastic Surgery offers a financing option for up to three years (~$297/month).
- Make sure you know what costs are included in the plastic surgeon’s quote (e.g., surgeon’s fee, surgery facility costs, anesthesia fees, implants, post-surgery garments, medical testing, and insurance for complications).
- There can be significant cost savings when combining multiple procedures at once versus splitting them up. Having a lower cost and only one recovery period are the main reasons to get a Mommy Makeover. If you can tackle all your preferred areas at once, you may save money in the long run. For reference, splitting up the procedures can look like this: a tummy tuck in San Antonio costs between $4,200–$8,000 (liposuction is the main contribution), breast augmentation in San Antonio ranges from $3,800–$5,200, and liposuction in San Antonio spans $3,000–$5,800.
7. Do it now!
- We often hear that patients wish they had scheduled the surgery sooner. Many find that it is life-changing. If you think of surgery as an investment, the sooner you do it, the longer you will have to enjoy it!
Interested in seeing the results of these procedures? Visit the Alamo Plastic Surgery website to check out before and after photos. Please note that the content of the Alamo Plastic Surgery website is not under the control of Alamo City Moms and will contain images of the procedures mentioned in this post.