Recovery Series Vol.1: What to Expect Following a Mommy Makeover

by | Breast Reduction, Recovery Series

Previously, I wrote about the Mommy Makeover and what it entails. A mommy makeover is one of my most favourite surgeries as it provides amazing changes all at once. Mommy makeover patients are some of the most grateful and happy patients in my practise. A mommy makeover consists of a tummy tuck and a breast surgery. The nature of the breast surgery can vary but usually includes a breast lift, a breast augmentation, a breast augmentation with a breast lift or a breast reduction. The key to getting the best mommy makeover is to create a beautiful abdomen by placing the scar very low (below the bikini line) and making the belly button look very natural so no one can tell it was operated on. For the breasts it really comes to creating a beautiful shape that is youthful, perky and full. It also is important to get just the right size to match your body and your goals. This is an area that I spend a lot of time to customize the results for my patients.

Here are some of the common questions that I get when people see me for a mommy makeover:

Q: What is recovery like?

A: I would say that the first few days you may be moving a bit slow but that it won’t be too painful. The tummy is generally more uncomfortable than the breast surgery. I place a long acting local anaesthetic at the time of surgery. I then use a combination of medicines to get the most comfort with the least side effects. By one week, most people feel great and by two weeks most people want to get back to normal activities. As a guideline for returning to activities after a mommy makeover: walking the next day; light activity at 10-14 days; picking up small children after a couple of days; return to office work in 2 weeks (many take only 1 week); return to a heavy physical job or unrestricted weight training is 6 weeks; return to full abdominal stretches with Yoga (ie up-ward dog, cobra) 8 weeks. Keep in mind, I do want patients up and walking the first day after surgery. It minimizes potential complications.

Q. What kind of help will I need?

A: If you have small children, then having some support at home for the first few days is required. If your children are over 5 years, then likely just a day or so is possible, a bit more is even better. I suggest people get things done ahead of time so they don’t have to do it after surgery. This includes getting your prescriptions, preparing meals, and laundry, etc. If you have kids that need to be driven around to different activities, then find people to help with that. You can drive after coming off your medications but that may mean the first few days to one week that you need some help with that.

Q: Will there be a drain?

A: I often use a drain, but it is not guaranteed. Some surgeons always use them and some never do. I think that surgery needs to be customized to each individual, so that may vary. The drain is to minimize the fluid that collects, to prevent what is called a seroma. There are many things that I do during the surgery to minimize the chance a drain is needed, but sometimes I just think that it is worth placing one for a few days. It beats having to aspirate a seroma in the office. Many people worry about removal of the drain. I am not sure why so many people fear this. I use a tiny drop of local anaesthetic and take it out without any discomfort.

Q: Do I have to wear a binder or special garment?

A: The binder is placed at the time of surgery. It provides a bit of compression to minimize the chance of a seroma after your tummy tuck. It makes a flat, smooth surface if any liposuction is done or if the fat layer has been thinned, which is something I do on nearly all but the thinnest of patients. It also provides some support if we fix the separation between your rectus muscles (rectus diastasis repair) until it is strong enough on its own. The binders are generally well tolerated. Some patients love the supportive feeling. However, if at two weeks patients prefer, they can switch to Spanx or some equivalent.

Q: Is there bruising?

A: All surgeries produce some bruising. I take great care to make sure that there is as little blood loss as possible, and that the surgical field is completely dry prior to closure of the incision. With that said, for different reasons some people are prone to bruising. This usually settles in a week or two.

Q: When can I shower? Or go swimming?

A: Showering can be done a few days after surgery, depending on whether a drain was required and what type of dressing was used. At approximately 5 days after surgery is when most people can shower, some sooner. Some patients like a dry shampoo for the days they cannot shower. I do suggest waiting closer to 2 weeks for swimming to really allow incisions to seal over to prevent infection risk.

Q: Can I go out in public?

A: All your surgery will be well concealed with clothing. Other than the first few days when you are moving a little slow, people should not notice that you had anything done. For patients that are having a breast augmentation, many of my patients will start to wear a fuller padded bra weeks in advance of their surgery so that it is less noticeable afterwards.

Q: What are the risks?

A: There are risks with all surgeries from the biggest case to the smallest. I spend a lot of time going over the common and severe problems that could arise during the consultation. I feel very strongly that my patients are well informed, so that they can make the right decision for them; so that they can help prevent problems from arising; and, if there are any problems that they understood how they came about. With that said complications are very rare.Some common concerns could include bruising or bleeding, poor scar or cosmesis, slow healing, and tenderness. These are usually easily dealt with. Any concerns about the appearance can be touched-up. Touch-ups are usually easy to do and take a good result and make it excellent. More severe things could include blood clots, heart or stroke concerns or anaesthetic concerns. These are extremely uncommon even in frail sick patients. For healthy patients that are seeking cosmetic surgery the risks are much lower still and rarely seen. With that said, the only way to not take on risk is to not have surgery at all. Specific risks to the different breast surgeries vary a bit and are discussed in detail when I see patients in consultation.

If you are interested in learning more or having a private consultation please click here or telephone 905-849-4282.

Dr Rodger Shortt strives to be the best plastic surgeon in breast surgery, tummy tuck surgery and mommy makeover procedures. He is committed to providing high quality patient care and achieving excellent results. He is considered one of the top plastic surgeons and one of the few plastic surgeons in Canada that has the top rating of five stars in Realself, Rate MD, and Ontario Doctor review. Dr Rodger Shortt is a specialist plastic surgeon who graduated from Queen’s Medical School in 2004 and became certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 2009. He received further sub-specialty fellowship training with international plastic surgeons in micro-vascular breast reconstruction, cosmetic plastic surgery, and body contouring after bariatric (gastric banding) surgery, significant weight loss or post-pregnancy.


Dr. Shortt preformed a gynecomastia gland removal on me

Dr. Shortt preformed a gynecomastia gland removal on me, I am 20 years old and have been dealing with gynecomastia my whole life, it has caused me alot of pain and discomfort. I am very athletic and fitness is my passion, having these glands affected how I looked cosmetically as well. I was recommended by my doctor to have Dr. Shortt as my surgeon, and I am so happy I was recommended to him. Throughout the process getting ready for my surgery he was extremely knowledgeable and professional providing all the information I needed to know. His staff were very helpful as well and I sent several emails asking questions and always got a reply right away. The surgery itself went really well and I was surprised that there was very little pain following the surgery, I didn’t really need any painkillers. He removed both glands which happened to be quite large from my chest. I saw Dr Shortt for follow up appointments for the first 3 weeks after, we were both extremely happy with how I was healing and the results. In fact, I am blown away by how much better I look, there is no scar at all and no soreness and discomfort like I had before I got the surgery done. I’m impressed, and I haven’t even healed fully yet since I am only 3 weeks out, I am looking forward to the final results because it’s only going to get better from here. This was a life changing surgery for me, I am so pleased I was able to get the opportunity to have such a great surgeon perform it. If you are a male that is looking for a good surgeon to perform this type of surgery, I am confident that you will be beyond happy with what Dr. Shortt can do, I know I was. Thank you.

I highly recommend dr. Shortt, he is very honest.

I highly recommend dr. Shortt, he is very honest. I had a consultation for my son to do his nose he explained everything to us thoroughly and spend enough time with us and answered all our questions.

I had sought a breast reduction to ease the back and neck pain

I had sought a breast reduction to ease the back and neck pain I had endured for years. I had met a few other plastic surgeons over a year period. I had never been comfortable or confident enough to make the decision to have surgery…not until I met with Dr Shortt. I had been afraid of surgery and never felt convinced it was worth it. After my consultation with Dr Shortt , I was excited about how he could help. He made me feel very comfortable. During the initial examination we also spoke about the large deposits of skin and fat under my arms – a constant source of embarrassment and discomfort. I had not worn anything sleeveless in years as they spilled out. He spoke to me about “auxiliary breast tissue removal”. I was thrilled there was something that could be done and both surgeries could be performed together When explaining what the procedure would entail and the recovery time, he spoke with me not at me. He acknowledged my fears and concerns. All my questions had been answered and I knew that surgery was the right decision and he was the right surgeon for me! ( I was so excited about the prospect now that I shared with my daughter now amazing he was – she had also meet other plastic surgeons for implants for herself – she met him and was also so impressed – she had her surgery performed by him as well!) The surgery went well. At all the follow up appointments, he was always timely. You would think being exposed and examined would be uncomfortable, but is wasn’t. He is such a professional and put you at such ease with him that I never had the chance to feel uncomfortable He would exam the areas and scars and instruct how to best take care of them. He shared in my joy and excitement for the difference this had made! I feel better and look better I also want to mention what an amazing team he has as well. Everyone I came into contact with at his office were amazing! I can’t come up with one thing that I feel he could have improved on. Without any hesitation I would, and do, recommend him!

I selected Dr Shortt based on his credentials and experience

At 51 years of age and many, many years of pain, I sought out a Surgeon who would perform for me an OHIP covered Breast Reduction and after a great deal of research, I selected Dr Shortt based on his credentials and experience. Reviewing his past surgery accomplishments, I soon wanted the “Mommy Makeover”. At my first appointment, I was pleasantly surprised by the Dr Shortt’s demeanor. He was found to be very approachable and empathetic. He took the time to explain everything that I needed to know and also answered all of my questions without making it seem a burden. He went through step by step what I would go through during and after my surgery. As a very self-conscious person, he was able to make me feel very comfortable being fully exposed and was professional every step of the way. His Support Staff are all so very courteous and professional. As far as the surgery itself, I would have to say I think that not only is he an excellent Surgeon, he is a Sculptor. I am extremely pleased with the results. The few people that I have shown my stomach and newly formed belly button are astounded at the results. Currently I am 9 weeks post op and feel wonderful and able to go back to the gym. Dr Shortt being a Perfectionist wants another 6mth appt to ensure that I remain am as happy as I am today and that the scarring is as minimal as possible. He has changed my life and I am very grateful. I would and have recommended him to several people already.

I am currently 5 weeks post op and am extremely pleased with my results

I am currently 5 weeks post op and am extremely pleased with my results so far and Dr.Shortt told me if I’m happy with the results so far, wait until I’m finally healed. Dr Shortt is an amazing doctor, his bedside manner is impeccable and at every step of the way he made me feel comfortable and you could tell he genuinely really cared. He took his time to listen to me and my concerns and reassured me he would do his very best, and the results so far are amazing, I am extremely happy and feel amazing. With any big surgery it can be scarey and nervous but Dr.Shortt is very knowledgeable and most of the time had already answered all my questions I had for him and he put me at ease. His staff are amazing to work with too, especially Joanne. Thank you guys, from my very first consult to today you have made this whole experience absolutely amazing. I would highly recommend you definitely go see Dr.Shortt his professionalism and the fact that he actually treats you like a person first shows he really cares.

I am very pleased with the excellent work of Dr. Rodger Shortt

I am very pleased with the excellent work of Dr. Rodger Shortt. His expertise and great manners helped me a lot through the difficult times and multiple operations I went through. As a cancer breast patient, I had two mastectomies for my right and left breasts. Dr. Short joined the surgeon on my second mastectomy and started his wonderful work of inserting the breast tissue expanders. I visited Dr. Shortt’s clinic several times to inject the saline into the breast expanders. During these visits, I appreciated the staff pleasant attitudes and Dr. Shortt recommendations. At the last stage of the process, Dr. Shortt removed the breast expanders and inserted the breast implants and he reconstructed my nipples from my breast skin. I am very pleased with the wonderful job Dr. Shortt has completed. I highly recommend Dr. Shortt and wish him every success with all the patients.

I am so very grateful for all the hard work he did

About 8 years ago I had a lumpectomy leaving my breasts very unbalanced. It has made super uncomfortable about my appearance especially in a bathing suite. Dr. Shortt did an amazing job fixing this. I am so very grateful for all the hard work he did. My girls look like twins instead of cousins. Also, his staff is excellent and caring. I am so happy and recommend him to anyone who needs a good Plastic Surgeon who listens and get the best possible results for his patient.

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Feel and look better than ever before.