Board certified plastic surgeon Gary D. Breslow, MD of The Breslow Center for Plastic Surgery in Paramus, New Jersey explains how mommy makeover surgery is performed, and the techniques he suggests to minimize the appearance of scars (transcription below).
Hi, it’s Dr. Breslow, I’d like to talk to you a little bit about mommy makeover surgery and recovery. Generally, a mommy makeover will consist of a few different operations – either a breast lift or a breast lift with an implant placement, and a tummy tuck. Obviously, these procedures can be interchangeable. Generally, they’re performed simultaneously so that patients can have one recovery, which is very beneficial.
Breast Lift Surgery – With or Without Implants?
Mommy makeover is an excellent operation for women who go through body changes after childbirth. The decision to have it with or without an implant is entirely up to the patient. The benefit of the operation and goals are to provide the best breast contour that you possibly can. Sometimes with an implant, if the woman would like more upper fullness – fullness up higher on their chest, then the implant might be a better option than just the lift alone. Both can be excellent operations.
Depending on how deflated your breast is after nursing and the changes caused by pregnancy, it may be determined that you need to have an increase or change of your overall breast shape, with incisions that usually go around your nipple and down the front surface of your breast. Those constitute the lift.
It’s almost impossible to avoid having a lift if you have a very deflated skin envelope or hanging glandular tissue, which happens after pregnancy. What will determine if you need an implant or not is if you’re happy with your breast shape when you just lift it as it is on your chest to a more elevated position. If you’re happy with that volume, then you may not really want to have an implant, and that’s definitely a viable option.
There are plenty of things we can do to improve the scars post-operatively with scar management programs, including silicone sheeting, which is a sort of silicone band-aid that generally goes on top of the scars that we start at about two weeks’ time, as well as arnica and bromelain, which are homeopathic medicines that theoretically can help with scarring, as well as scar massage.
After the scar matures, at about eight months to a year, if there’s really a problem with the scarring we can also consider other, non-invasive treatments like laser resurfacing, and also Intense Pulse Light (IPL), which helps to get some of the pigment out of the scar. For the tummy tuck scar, it’s very very low, hidden in your lowest garment, and usually goes from hip to hip in order to get rid of all that lower abdominal excess skin that occurs after your belly gets stretched from the uterus for caring for the baby during pregnancy.
Mommy Makeover Benefits
The real benefit of the mommy makeover is, especially with the tummy tuck, that it addresses areas that you really can’t improve and return to your pre-baby physique, even with time going to the gym. That excess tissue and stretch that you’ve had to accommodate that uterus just doesn’t bounce back the same as it did, especially after multiple pregnancies or in your late thirties or even in your forties – your skin doesn’t bounce back as well as it does if you had your babies for example in your early twenties or mid-twenties.
This is entirely dependent on your genetics, how your body responds after pregnancy, and how your body is going to end up looking after you’ve had your babies and you’ve worked on getting all that weight off that you gained during your pregnancy.
I hope this information was helpful, and I look forward to the opportunity to meet you for a full consultation.