Mommy makeover is a combination of two or more surgeries to improve a woman’s post-pregnancy body. Examples of the most common procedures include tummy tuck to tighten the abdomen, some type of breast enhancement to correct the sagging or empty-looking upper breast pole, and liposuction of the abdomen and flanks.
To shed light on the issue, renowned body contouring plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley has shown some photo samples of his best mommy makeover results.
Patient no. 1 sought Dr. Smiley’s expertise to correct her barrel-shaped abdomen caused by previous pregnancies. Instead of just removing the excess fat, the celebrity plastic surgeon has also tightened the pair of vertical muscle running between the sternum and the pubis area.
With muscle repair, Dr. Smiley was able to create a corset-like effect, which has been further complemented by liposuction of the flanks. The idea was to create a smoother, more feminine curve between the hips and the waist.
To further achieve a more feminine waistline, the surgeon also created a new smaller navel.
Patient no. 2 received breast lift and tummy tuck, a common mommy makeover combo. She has been considered as a good candidate for breast lift alone approach (no implants) because her “starting” anatomy involved having a sufficient breast tissue coverage; hence, by simply transposing some of the lower pole tissue into the upper pole Dr. Smiley was able to create better mid and upper cleavage.
Like most patients of Dr. Smiley, she also had muscle repair during her tummy tuck. This is a critical step to eliminate the fullness of her anterior abdomen and to correct the barrel-shaped torso.
Patient no. 3 received tummy tuck complemented by liposuction of the flanks, navel repair, muscle plication/repair, and pubis lift. It is important to note that the mons pubis may sag due to pregnancy, weight fluctuation, or aging.
The idea of a simultaneous pubis lift is to create a smooth transition between the lower abdomen and the mons pubis. This is done by re-anchoring the mons into the deeper tissue before the hip-to-hip incision is closed with sutures.
Just like the rest of Dr. Smiley’s patients, her tummy tuck scar is positioned very low that it is concealed even by a scanty or low-cut underwear. With time, the scar is almost always expected to fade into the background.
Mommy makeover surgery is any combination of body contouring surgeries performed simultaneously to improve the post-pregnancy body of patients. Common combination procedures include tummy tuck with liposuction of flanks, tummy tuck with some type of breast enhancement, and breast lift with implants.
The results of body contouring surgeries are near permanent, provided that the patient manages her weight through regular exercise and superb diet. It is important to note that fad diets and pills almost always don’t work long term and so weight management should be a lifelong commitment, says leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley.
After muscle repair, precise skin removal, and liposuction along the flanks, this patient is ecstatic with the results.
To shed light on the issue, Dr. Smiley has recently posted several mommy makeover surgery pictures on his Snapchat.
One patient received tummy tuck to remove the redundant skin between her mid and lower abdomen. To further achieve a flatter contour, the underlying muscle between the sternum and below the navel was tightened with the use of internal permanent sutures known for their additional strength (compared with absorbable sutures).
To further achieve a more feminine silhouette—i.e., cinching effect on her waistline—she also received liposuction along her flanks. Dr. Smiley started off the surgery with this procedure so he could tighten and pull more skin during tummy tuck.
When looked closely, the “after” photo (taken six months postop) reveals some muscle definition, which contributes to the more athletic but still feminine appearance of the abdomen. Furthermore, the new navel looks smaller and more proportionate compared with the “before” photos.
Tummy tuck and breast lift give this patient a more feminine and more youthful physique.
The second sample of mommy makeover surgery pictures shows a patient who had tummy tuck and breast lift performed simultaneously. Due to her underlying anatomy—there is a great distance between the lowest rib and hip—Dr. Smiley was able to significantly “reshape the sides” or flanks, leading to the hourglass appearance of her body.
And as seen from the “after” photos, tummy tuck has given her a flatter tummy, a significant improvement from her previous barrel-shaped torso.
To further complement the cinching effect of tummy tuck, she also had a breast lift in which her actual breast tissue, not just the skin alone, was elevated and reshaped with the use of internal sutures. Aside from the perkier appearance, Dr. Smiley has also created better cleavage and additional upper pole fullness of the breast.
There is a growing mommy makeover trend: Today’s patients are more well versed in plastic surgery that they are demanding for more natural and more proportionate results.
Mommy makeover surgery, which is basically a marketing term, refers to multiple surgery procedures that restore or at least improve the post-pregnancy bodies of patients. Leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley says the most common “combination surgery” involves tummy tuck and some type of breast enhancement.
Dr. Smiley, who regularly posts Snapchat videos to spread patient awareness and to share his knowledge with medical students and colleagues, has provided a list of mommy makeover trend that generally favors “subtle” and “realistic” results.
- Curvier and slender waist with tummy tuck
In the past, most patients simply wanted the removal of their apron-like skin that hangs from their abdomen. But nowadays, women are more fastidious in terms of cosmetic results—they want the “corset effect” on their waistline.
To achieve a curvier and more defined waistline, Dr. Smiley highlights the importance of suturing the pair of splayed abdominal muscle, which prior to pregnancy is lined up closely side-by-side.
But during pregnancy that causes the abdominal wall to expand, the fascia (connective tissue) holding it together becomes weak, leading to a gap that could even become palpable. This gap is also causing the barrel-shaped waist that used to have an hourglass figure.
For additional contouring effect, Dr. Smiley pulls and tightens the abdominal skin “centrally.” And if needed, he also performs liposuction of the flanks to achieve a more hourglass figure.
- Breast augmentation beyond size increase
Modern breast augmentation is focused not just on size increase, but also on the final shape and projection. The goal is to achieve the most natural results possible, which all boils down to implants settling in their most ideal position.
Due to the growing demand for natural and “realistic” breast augmentation results, it is now commonly performed together with breast lift. The idea is to achieve optimal breast shape so the “fullness” will look natural.
Dr. Smiley warns that failure to address pre-existing sagging or asymmetry can lead to surgical stigmata like “Snoopy deformity,” excessive lateral bulge, and bottomed-out appearance.
Aside from breast lift, other common ancillary procedures of implants include areola reduction and fat transfer.
- Fat transfer for a more feminine figure
Fat transfer has revolutionized the way surgeons perform body contouring surgery, particularly buttock augmentation.
The growing popularity of fat transfer is attributed to the refinements in the purification techniques, allowing surgeons to increase the survival rate to more than 70 percent. It is important to note that any amount that remains about three months after injection is expected to persist long term.
Fat transfer as a way to augment the buttock is also a powerful body contouring procedure. Because it involves liposuction (in order to harvest the “unwanted” fats), it can contour the waistline at the same time, which in turn results in a more hourglass figure.
Mommy makeover recovery tips all aim to keep the swelling, bruising, and pain to a minimum. Nonetheless, the “specifics” may differ from patient to patient due variables such as individual health, type of surgeries involved, and presence of risk factors (e.g., longer operative time and medical conditions).
Leading Los Angeles plastic surgery expert Dr. Tarick Smiley has shared his mommy makeover recovery tips that can help patients bounce back quick after their operation.
Photo Credit: Exparel website
(Note: All his patients are required to pass lab screening to ensure that they can handle mommy makeover surgery, which is basically a combination of two or more procedures that aim to reverse the effects of pregnancy. For most of his patients, some type of breast enhancement with tummy tuck is the most common “combo surgery.”)
Keeping the amount of postop pain is one of the critical factors that can guarantee a quick recovery. When patients feel no or very little pain, they breathe better and move with more ease, which then promote healing.
Dr. Smiley injects Exparel into the abdominal muscle right after tummy tuck surgery when the patient is still on the operating table. This drug contains bupivacaine, which causes temporary numbness in the area and so the patient relies less on oral painkillers, which may cause nausea, lethargy, and constipation.
Exparel can numb the injection site for up to four days, says the leading plastic surgeon.
Multiple surgeries typically entail a more challenging recovery as compared to “single operation.” Hence, it becomes more important than ever to have a competent adult who is committed to stay with the patient for at least 1-2 days after surgery.
Occasionally, it is more ideal to stay for a few days in a licensed recovery facility, which is staffed by specially trained medical professionals who will monitor the patient’s health before she is able to return home to recover.
It is important to note that for 2-3 weeks, the patient’s main focus should be her recovery. For this reason, she needs someone to take care of her small children and do all the daily chores until she has recovered fully to do all these tasks without compromising her healing.
Dr. Smiley provides all his patients with a list of supplies they will need for their recovery. This can range from ready-to-eat foods, bottled water, pain medications, to compression garments
Recovery from mommy makeover surgery—a combination of body contouring procedures that can reverse the effects of pregnancy—may vary greatly from patient to patient. Nonetheless, patients are generally advised to avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for six weeks to prevent healing problems.
Leading Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley says most of the pain will come from muscle repair performed during tummy tuck, a surgery that contours the frontal and lateral aspect of the waist. The discomfort from breast enhancement such as breast lift and augmentation, meanwhile, is much easier to control.
To minimize the postop pain resulting from tummy tuck, which in turn can promote healing, Dr. Smiley says he always injects Exparel into the abdominal muscle at the very end of his surgery. The effects of this numbing medication can last for up to four days, allowing his patients to reduce their use of narcotics or even avoid them altogether.
In the first few days postop, Dr. Smiley recommends his patients to arrange for help at home so they can focus on their recovery instead of stressing over routine chores like childcare, cooking, driving kids, etc. Simply put, they need all the help they can get during the initial healing phase.
Taking care of small children (under the age of 2) at home is particularly discouraged during the initial healing stage. For this reason, mommy makeover really requires advanced planning for a more convenient recovery.
Patients should also expect lethargy that can last 4-6 weeks and so they may need to sleep more; additionally, they may lack the energy to do their usual activities, he adds.
In general, young patients bounce back sooner than older patients, although recovery from mommy makeover surgery still boils down to individual healing. For this reason, the celebrity plastic surgeon requires lab screening to ensure that they are healthy enough to handle the surgery and the ensuing recovery.
When going back to “desk” work, Dr. Smiley typically recommends 1-2 weeks off; however, some patients file for a longer leave or choose to work part time until they regain their preoperative energy level, which can take up to six weeks.
The topic involving mommy makeover safety protocols is quite extensive and “hifalutin” and so leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley has only focused on the most important issues, which he has explained on his recent Snapchat videos.
The celebrity plastic surgeon regularly posts videos and images involving different plastic surgery procedures on his Snapchat account and other social media platforms as a way to help raise patient awareness and safety.
(Note: Mommy makeover is a combination of body contouring surgeries that reverse the effects of pregnancy. Arguably, the most common “combo procedure” is tummy tuck with some type of breast enhancement, or liposuction.)
Dr. Smiley, a board-certified plastic surgeon who has performed thousands of mommy makeover surgeries, says the first step to ensure patient safety is to conduct lab screening.
The extent or “specifics” of lab screening may depend on the medical history of the patient; hence, no one should hide or omit any part of this critical information to avoid complications or less than optimal results.
Dr. Smiley says that after passing his lab screening, his board-certified anesthesiologist also conducts his own physical exam to further ascertain that the patients are healthy enough to sustain the surgery and its ensuing recovery.
To further ensure mommy makeover safety, he oversees his four surgery center facilities, all of which have been fully accredited by state health regulators. Accreditation means that they adhere to the strictest patient safety standards; are staffed by licensed medical practitioners; and follow the guidelines to prevent infection and contamination.
Even the ventilation systems of his four accredited facilities are designed to curb air-borne pathogens, says Dr. Smiley.
One of the challenges of mommy makeover or any multiple surgeries procedure is the increased bleeding. Hence, Dr. Smiley may use an equipment called Cell Saver, which is particularly helpful in large volume liposuction.
Cell Saver collects the red blood cells from the fluids removed during liposuction so these can be re-infused into the patients and thus no significant blood loss has occurred. Ultimately, they experience quicker recovery and avoid lethargy and dizziness, which usually follow after a multiple plastic surgery procedure.