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.

Feel good, look great!