San Francisco Bay Area Mommy Makeover Surgery
Mommy Makeover is simply a new marketing term for the combination of Tummy Tuck, Breast Surgery and Liposuction. These time-tested surgical procedures are the ones to which women most often turn to restore their bodies to what they enjoyed prior to their pregnancies. Women who are unhappy about the toll their pregnancies have taken on their bodies can readily identify with the term. Since most women find that exercise and dieting fall short in restoring the body to their pre-motherhood condition, women who are serious about finding a solution will turn to the ultimate fix. A woman’s self-esteem and self-image are often tied to her appearance, making sagging breasts and a loose, protruding tummy no small matter.
Exactly what body changes do pregnancies have upon the female body?
The breasts enlarge during pregnancy and endure further stretching with engorgement from milk throughout the breastfeeding phase. The skin stretches but often does not recover to its former integrity, because the elastin and the collagen fibers have been permanently altered. This stretching of the skin changes the shape of the breasts and can reduce the overall size. Patients often note that they wear a smaller bra size after their pregnancies than they did before their pregnancies.
Older mothers tend to suffer a larger impact from their pregnancies on their breasts and abdomen than younger mothers. Their skin tone is already compromised somewhat by the passage of time and the changes wrought by pregnancy and breastfeeding only add further insult.
Cosmetic surgery addresses these issues, restoring volume and youthful contours to the breasts and a firm, flatter profile to the abdomen. The procedure flowchart illustrates the problem areas a woman may have after her pregnancies are completed and how surgery can restore her figure in ways that no amount of dieting and exercise can ever achieve. This is a generalized illustration. An actual consultation is needed to customize a Mommy Makeover to meet the particular needs of each patient. Dr. Delgado performs Mommy Makeover surgeries at the Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center servicing San Francisco, Marin, Napa and Sonoma County.
MOMMY MAKEOVER BREAST SURGERY
As illustrated in the procedure flowcharts, the critical question is whether or not a woman is satisfied with her current breast volume. If she feels her volume is sufficient, a breast lift can work wonders, while avoiding the complications that can be involved with breast implants. If possible, it is always better to work with a woman’s natural breast tissue.
If the breast volume is inadequate, then breast implants are needed. The primary goal is for the woman to be happy with her breast volume and the use of saline or silicone breast implants may be necessary to achieve that status.
Often, increasing the breast volume with saline or silicone implants may solve a woman’s entire breast issues, as long as the nipple-areolar complex is pointing forward.
However, if the nipple-areolar complex is too low, or the nipples are pointing downward, a breast lift is indicated.
Breast Surgery is one of the two essential components of a Mommy Makeover. Breast Surgery may be simply Breast Augmentation, or it may be a Breast Lift (Mastopexy) or it may be a combination of Breast Augmentation and a Breast Lift.
MOMMY MAKEOVER TUMMY TUCK
Loose abdominal skin and a protruding abdomen are two things with which many women wrestle, especially after bearing children. Gone is the flat, taut abdomen of their youth. The breasts can be contained and enhanced with a myriad of patented padded or push-up bras, an overly ample abdomen is more difficult to hide. Elasticized body slimmers are uncomfortable, limited in what they can accomplish and definitely not the answer for intimate situations. A woman can find herself relegated to a closet full of loose, baggy clothing, which can be depressing.
What is the impact of pregnancy on the abdomen and torso?
The effect of a five to seven pound fetus carried in the abdomen is extensive stretching to the abdominal wall; with multiple pregnancies having an even more profound effect. The skin stretches to a point that permanent scars, commonly called stretch marks, occur. Even years after delivery, the skin remains loose and may even sag so much that an apron of loose skin exists. If a Caesarian Section has been performed, a ledge may have formed above the C-section incision. Not only has the skin been stretched, but the underlying abdominal wall has been stretched out as well, resulting in a permanent bulge of the abdomen.
A Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) is the treatment of choice for this condition. The Tummy Tuck procedure tightens the underlying muscular wall, which flattens the abdomen and pulls in the waist. Dr. Delgado specializes in an advanced waist tightening procedure that accentuates the waistline even further. This is an option for patients who wish to have as small a waist as possible. After the muscle wall is tightened, with Dr. Delgado’s Quill suture technique, the loose abdominal skin is superficially pulled downward and after the excess skin excised, the skin is sutured into position. This restores pre-pregnancy tightness to the abdomen.
Without changing its anatomical position, the belly button is then re-emerged through the tightened abdomen skin. This is where the skill of an experienced surgeon shines. A nice looking belly button is critical to a successful Tummy Tuck. The incision must be tucked inward, creating an inward belly button and the size must be just right. Dr. Delgado discusses this element of the surgery in detail with the patient pre-operatively. Dr. Delgado believes that a beautiful belly button is critical for a successful tummy tuck procedure.
An extra benefit of an abdominoplasty is that much, but not all, of the stretch marks are removed with the excision of the excess skin. The lower abdominal stretch marks are the ones primarily impacted; stretch marks on the upper abdomen and torso will remain. So, not only does the abdomen regain a firm, youthful profile, but with the removal of many of the stretch marks, the appearance of the skin is improved as well.
MOMMY MAKEOVER LIPOSUCTION
The final component of a Mommy Makeover is Liposuction. The Liposuction techniques vary. It could be Tumescent Liposuction, Ultrasonic Liposuction, Vaser Liposuction, or any combination of these. Liposuction is very useful for contouring the flanks and back areas and narrowing the waistline. You can see the difference this makes in a waistline in the before and after photos.
Put together, Breast Surgery, Tummy Tuck and Liposuction can be an extremely positive, life-altering experience for a woman, enhancing her self-image and self-esteem throughout her lifetime.
When combining a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty,) with a Breast Lift (Mastopexy,) Breast Lift with Breast Implants, or Breast Augmentation alone and Liposuction, this can represent more complications than any one procedure alone and these will be addressed in the next section.
Complications can occur with any surgery. An experienced surgeon will keep these to a minimum and will handle them conscientiously and with sound judgment.
As you look to choose a plastic surgeon, be mindful that Dr. Delgado will remain just as engaged, concerned and caring about your results after surgery has been completed, as he was prior to surgery and during the surgical procedure it self. Not only is he a perfectionist with his surgical technique, but, his commitment to his patients’ satisfaction extends way beyond the day of surgery.
The Mommy Makeover process is not without discomfort, although the Exparel targeted internal pain shots and oral pain medications are extremely helpful in maintaining an acceptable level. You are provided with a detailed booklet that will help you and your family prepare for your post-surgical recovery. It takes two weeks before you will really feel good again and be able to get around. At this point, you can resume driving and doing most of the things you normally do around the house. However, you should refrain from formal exercise for a full six weeks in order to allow for adequate healing and avoid a recurrence of pain and swelling.
As with any surgery, there are the risks of infection and bleeding, but they are rare. Unfortunately, incisions are a necessary part of a Mommy Makeover procedure. The incisions are hidden in the underwear, bra and swimsuit lines and they blend into your skin tone over time. (See the sections on Tummy Tuck and Breast Surgeries for more specifics on complications.)
A major complication of the procedure is to avoid blood clots, also known as thromboembolism. This is a life-threatening complication and at Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center, a number of proactive precautions are taken to prevent this from occurring. Dr. Delgado takes this most seriously.
As you look to choose a plastic surgeon for your surgery needs, be aware that the best choice is a physician who is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who is in good standing and certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Although these credentials do not promise a good outcome, they do assure that you will be working with the gold standard of the plastic surgery industry. For even further assurance that you are choosing the most qualified surgeon, look for members of the Aesthetics Society, ASAPS (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery). The Aesthetics Society requires extensive continuing education of its membership. This group of surgeons specializes in cosmetic surgery, such as tummy tuck, breast surgery and liposuction combinations.
Mommy Makeover patients are some of the happiest patients. The results from these procedures are positive and life changing. If you think that you would benefit from these procedures, Click Here to Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Delgado to discuss your situation. Dr. Delgado will take the time to hear your concerns and, with his extensive expertise and experience, present the best options for you and your budget to achieve your goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Mommy Makeover Surgery
1. What is a Mommy Makeover?
It is a rejuvenating reconstructive procedure for women who have completed childbearing. The goal of the procedure is to return the breasts, tummy and waistline to their pre-pregnancy appearance. In order to erase, or at least minimize, the impact of pregnancy on the body, this procedure usually includes breast surgery, a tummy tuck and liposuction.
2. Who is a good candidate?
The best candidates for the procedure are women who have completed their childbearing. It is unadvisable to have a tummy tuck before your desire to have children has completely passed. This is because a tummy tuck involves surgical tightening of the abdominal wall and removal of abdominal skin. After a tummy tuck, these structures no longer have the same stretching capabilities to accommodate a growing fetus. However, you can still have breast surgery and liposuction even if another pregnancy is in your future. Also, a tummy tuck can be done without tightening the abdominal wall, but the skin will stretch again.
3. What can I expect in my initial consultation?
In your initial consultation, you and Dr. Delgado will discuss your concerns and short and long-term goals. He will describe what the surgery encompasses. Dr. Delgado will then perform a physical examination, from which he will advise you as to which procedures are the best for your situation and where the incisions would be located. You will have the opportunity to review before and after photographs of his patients. He has an extensive library of before and after pictures. He may use computer imaging of your abdomen and waist to give you an approximate idea of the outcome you could expect as well as illustrate where the incisions would be placed. Once this is completed, a quote will be given and explained in detail.
4. Are there risks and complications?
As with all surgical procedures, there is the risk of complications and adverse events. The combination of procedures makes an extensive surgery that can take from six and eight hours to complete. In order to determine if you are a suitable candidate for these combined procedures, Dr. Delgado and the anesthesiologist conduct a detailed review of your medical history, lab values and, if indicated, EKG results. If a patient has certain risk factors, Dr. Delgado will split the procedures and stage them appropriately. Both Dr. Delgado and the anesthesiologist participate in this process to determine if you are physically and mentally able to proceed. The risks of this procedure are infection, bleeding, incision scarring and contour abnormalities. With the breasts, the risks are capsular contraction, deflation of implants (if they are used) and asymmetry, as well as the risk of blood clots or thromboembolism. Thromboembolism is a serious and potentially life threatening complication of plastic surgery and is a risk which is particularly associated with tummy tuck procedures. At Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center, we practice extensive precautions to prevent thromboembolisms from occurring.
5. How is the surgery performed?
It usually starts with the breast surgery. The breast surgery may be breast lift, or an augmentation, or a combination of a breast lift and augmentation. In some cases, it may be a breast reduction. The breast surgery is followed with a tummy tuck and liposuction. In most cases, a woman will require a full tummy tuck due to the degree of laxity of the skin and the abdominal wall. Liposuction is used to achieve a better contour of the waist area.
6. How do I prepare for surgery?
The primary preparation for surgery is reading Dr. Delgado’s 20-page handout on how to prepare for surgery. Some of the most important aspects are preparing your family and your house for your recovery. There will be lab tests to do and prescriptions to fill ahead of time. Dr. Delgado will provide you with a DVD that explains the procedure and features testimonials from some of his patients who have undergone the procedure. Dr. Delgado also encourages colon cleansing before surgery.
7. What can I expect after surgery?
Full recovery is about six weeks. In general, you should be up and walking the day after surgery, though not at your usual pace. By the end of the first week, you, should be up and walking around the house frequently, but not quite able to drive a car. It will take approximately two weeks before you are comfortable enough to drive a car. All of the sutures and drains will be out by that time. You may return to work after two to three weeks and resume your usual exercise routine at about six weeks. Due to the tummy tuck and the fact that you had multiple procedures done at one time, the recovery period is significant and can be fairly intense the first few days. The use of the Exparel pain injections and pain killers should effectively control your discomfort so that you can move about and sleep as needed.
8. Where are the incisions?
The breast incisions are along a lower portion of the edge of the areolar (pigmented nipple) area, if solely an augmentation is done. If it is a short-scar breast lift, it is a lollipop type of incision, which encircles the edge of the areola (pigmented nipple) area and also has a straight line incision from the bottom edge of the nipple down to the where the breast tissue meets the chest wall. Part of this vertical incision will be hidden in the fold under the breast. If it is a breast reduction, the incision may be a lollipop short scar, or with larger reductions, there will be the lollipop incision with the additional curved anchor incision hidden under the breast fold. The tummy tuck runs across the lower abdominal area, falling within the pubic hairline. Liposuction scars are very small and usually in areas hidden by clothing.
9. Will I have scars?
Although the incisions do leave scars and they will be reddish and very evident at first, they progressively fade to pink and then blend to your natural color. Dependent on the natural pigmentation of your skin, they may fade to be nearly invisible. Generally, the scars are fine lines. If they heal too widely, it is possible to revise them at a later time to be a fine line. Use of a silicone dressing on fully healed incisions may promote the formation of a flatter finer scar. Dr. Delgado has developed a scar management program to address all cosmetic surgery incisions. This is incorporated in his post-operative instructions.
The breast lift and reduction scars may be partly concealed under the breast it self, depending on the procedure performed. The breast augmentation scar is neatly concealed by its location along the pigmented border of the areola and part of the breast lift scar benefits from this location, as well. The tummy tuck scar is long, running from hipbone to hipbone, but it is low on the abdomen, falling within the pubic hairline and underneath the underwear and swimsuit coverage area. Liposuction scars are tiny and tend to become invisible with time.
10. When will I be able to return home?
A Mommy Makeover will require a 23-hour stay and you will need to stay at the Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center Recovery Center for one night. You may go home the following morning, after Dr. Delgado examines you and you are discharged to the care of a responsible adult.
11. How long is recovery?
Most of your early recovery is complete in approximately three weeks. After that time, you will be up and around as usual, ready to work and drive a car. At approximately six weeks, you will be and can resume your usual exercise regimen. However, with such a significant surgical procedure this time frame will vary.
12. How much does a Mommy Makeover cost?
The cost falls within a $15,000-$20,000 price range, depending on the extent of the surgery.