“The body says what words cannot.“ Martha Graham
Mummy makeover surgery is an umbrella term for procedures carried out by a plastic surgeon to counteract the lasting effects of pregnancy, post-pregnancy weight loss and breastfeeding on a woman’s body. It is a combination of surgeries involving the breast and abdomen but can also include other surgeries such as labiaplasty, liposuction and facial rejuvenation.
Mummy Makeover introduction
The skin and muscles of the anterior abdominal wall are stretched during pregnancy. In some women, this leaves loose and excess skin and fat which can cause difficulty with clothing and may look unattractive. The abdominal muscles also become stretched or separated, further adding to a lack of tone. Exercise and diet can help to reverse these abdominal wall changes to some extent but for many women, it is difficult to get back to the shape they once had. In these instances, surgery may be helpful to tighten the muscles and remove the excess skin.
The important thing to remember about abdominoplasty is that it is not about weight loss; it is about altering the skin and muscles producing a smoother, firmer look and feel. It is important to realise that obese patients often have excessive fatty tissue within the abdominal cavity, which is behind the abdominal muscles. This cannot be removed by a conventional tummy tuck operation. Combining the abdominoplasty with liposuction to the waistline can enhance its effectiveness for some women.
After pregnancy, breasts can develop sagging or stay a larger size or a smaller size. The breast augmentation and breast lift aim to deliver a firmer breast with better contouring and can either be done at once or in a staged fashion with the lift first and then the augmentation. A breast lift, also known as a mastopexy can be provided as a stand-alone procedure
Women who may be considering future pregnancies or planning to lose weight would be advised to postpone the mummy makeover. Breast feeding should also be completed for at least 6 months before any breast surgery is performed.
The great advantage of a mummy makeover procedure is that it addresses the negative spiral of decline that can be a powerful demotivator for achieving healthy eating and exercise habits. Many patients who attend for consultation will often tell the surgeon that were in very good physical shape prior to pregnancy and childbirth.
What is a Mummy Makeover?
Mummy makeover is a surgical procedure to restore the shape and appearance of a woman’s body after childbearing. The mummy makeover usually consists of breast augmentation and/or breast uplift as well as abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).
The exact nature of the procedure will vary from patient to patient since every woman will have a different body shape that changes in varied ways. Most importantly, women will have specific goals from a mummy makeover procedure.
Who is a good candidate for mummy makeover?
Mummy makeover is a highly individualized procedure. The following are common reasons why you may want to consider a mummy makeover:
- Pregnancy or weight fluctuations have left you with extra skin on your abdomen and abdominal muscle weakness
- You are bothered by the appearance of the abdomen and breasts
- Sweating, dermatitis and skin infections under the fold of excess skin
- Difficulty participating in sports
- Breast lacks firmness and are pendulous
- Self-consciousness due to the appearance of the body
Mummy makeover may be a good option for you if:
- You do not smoke as smoking slows down the healing process and increases the risk of serious complications during and after surgery
- Your weight is stable. If you are generally obese, this procedure is not appropriate for you
- You are physically healthy. You must be in relatively good physical shape to tolerate this procedure
- You are finished having children. The muscles that are repaired during an abdominoplasty can separate again during a future pregnancy. Pregnancy may stretch the breasts and reduce their volume, compromising surgery benefits
What are the complications of mummy makeover?
In general, mummy makeover is safe, and the results are entirely predictable, with an associated high degree of patient satisfaction. Nevertheless, no surgery is without risk. Some of the complications that can happen include slow healing, infection, bleeding, poor scarring, asymmetry, problems with the belly button, nipple or suture junction areas, pain, numbness or sensitivity in the skin, contour irregularities, seroma, clots in the legs and lungs and persistent puckering along the scar.
You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following Dr Mackenzie’s instructions before and after the surgery, especially with regard to when and how you should resume physical activity.
What are the possible procedures in mummy makeover?
- Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)
- Breast augmentation
- Mastopexy (breast lift)
- Breast reduction
- Fat transfer
- Caesarian scar revision
- Facial rejuvenation
Are there any reasons for a patient to not have mummy makeover?
Patients who are actively smoking or on blood-thinning medication such as aspirin and warfarin are at a high risk of complications such as bleeding or wound infections and delayed wound healing. It is advisable to not consume nicotine in any form for six weeks before any procedure and a similar time after. Medication such as aspirin or warfarin may need to be stopped (if this is not for an essential or life-threatening condition) at the appropriate time before surgery. This should be discussed with Dr Mackenzie or GP.
What can you expect during recovery?
It is vitally important that you follow all postoperative instructions provided by Dr Mackenzie. Dr Mackenzie will also provide detailed instructions about the normal symptoms you will experience and any potential signs of complications. It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.
Everyone recovers differently following a mummy makeover. You will be advised to gently mobilise carefully the first week or two. On average 3 weeks off work are needed. No heavy lifting or strenuous activity is allowed for 6 weeks. Some forms of exercise can be restarted at 4 weeks. Most exercise is restarted at 6 weeks. Driving is not allowed until you are safe to perform an emergency stop. Recovery can be longer is some cases particularly if combination procedures have been done. Individual procedures will have specific factors about their recovery as well (more details on their separate webpages).