Preparation for mommy makeover surgery is critical to achieve optimal results and reduce risk of complications. The idea is to help the patient reach her highest normal range of health, says leading Inland Empire plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley.
Mommy makeover is considered a “large” surgery because it typically combines two or more procedures in one surgical setting. Common combo techniques include breast augmentation with lift, tummy tuck with some type of breast enhancement, and tummy tuck with liposuction of the flanks.
While any body contouring surgery entails being near one’s ideal weight, drastic weight loss in the month leading up to the operation is greatly discouraged because of the ensuing malnutrition, muscle loss, and possible dehydration (due to low calorie diet), which can all affect healing.
If the patient is overweight, weight loss should happen gradually (just 1-2 lbs. per week) and is started way ahead of the surgery.
Following superb diet months prior to surgery can also make a huge difference in healing. A good rule of thumb is to increase protein consumption (it should account for 15-25 percent of the total calorie intake) and avoid or at least limit processed carbs and foods high in refined sugar, sodium, and fats.
Some doctors recommend supplementation about a month before and after surgery to ensure that their patients are getting enough iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B12, and other micro-nutrients that play a critical role in healing.
Before taking any supplementation or herbal remedy, a prudent patient should always ask for her doctor’s permission first. It is important to note that some vitamins and supplements are known to increase bleeding or interfere with anesthesia or painkillers.
Aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anticoagulants, and some antidepressants can also increase bleeding and aggravate the amount of postop bruises. The general rule of thumb is to avoid them 2-3 weeks ahead of the surgery and about a week afterward.
Smoking also has detrimental effects on healing. Not only it increases the risk of bleeding, infection, and skin necrosis, it also makes smokers susceptible to heart disturbances and lung-related problems following a surgery. For this reason, complete cessation for a minimum of three weeks before and after surgery is critical.
Lab screening is another important aspect of preparation for mommy makeover. It is ideally performed not later than 10 days prior to surgery to ensure the patient has achieved her optimal health.
Microcannula liposuction is a body contouring procedure in which a stainless steel tube is used to remove the excess fat beneath the skin. It is important to note that in no way it can serve as a substitute for weight loss because it only targets the superficial fat and not the deeper visceral fat linked to obesity.
The only way to eliminate the deeper visceral fat is to lose weight, which can only be sustained through superb diet and regular exercise, as suggested by leading body contouring surgery expert Dr. Tarick Smiley.
Oftentimes, microcannulas are defined as having an outside diameter of 2.2 mm or sometimes even less. While they make the fat extraction process slightly longer compared to using larger cannulas, the benefits they offer far outweigh this minimal “caveat.”
Dr. Smiley explains the most notable benefits of microcannula liposuction:
Microcannula entails smaller round incisions, which in turn minimizes the risk of visible scarring. In fact, after 6-12 months the scars are barely noticeable even by the patients themselves (i.e., they have to stretch their skin and look very closely to see the faded white mark).
Larger cannulas, meanwhile, require bigger incisions that may increase the risk of noticeable scars. Furthermore, they cause more trauma around the skin of the incision site; this is tied to dark marks or postop inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
- Perceived shorter recovery
Because microcannula liposuction results in less trauma, most patients can expect shorter recovery—i.e., resumption of normal activities sooner than if larger cannulas were used.
Skin irregularities after liposuction are generally caused by over-correction. Fortunately, microcannula has drastically reduced such risk because it removes fats in smaller bits compared to larger cannulas. For this reason areas that require high precision—e.g., chin, neck, bra back roll, and knee-ankle region—will require this special instrument.
Body contouring surgery is a broad term for plastic surgery procedure that eliminates the excess skin and/or fat, which does not respond to further weight loss, diet, and exercise. Tummy tuck, liposuction, arm lift, and buttock lift are the most common examples, says Dr. Tarick Smaili who is the medical director of the prestigious California Surgical Institute.
To achieve optimal results, body contouring surgery is generally reserved for normal weight patients who understand the importance of healthy lifestyle.
Meanwhile, anyone who expects significant weight changes will have to wait until he reaches his or her ideal body mass index.
The list below explains the most popular body contouring surgeries.
Also referred to as abdominoplasty, the procedure typically results in a hip-to-hip scar to remove the apron-like skin and excess fat. But for additional contouring, some patients, particularly women, will have their abdominal muscle reshaped and tightened as well by internal sutures.
Internal sutures are important to maintain the planned shape and minimize the impact of “inadvertent” weight gain or pregnancy.
While the procedure removes the excess fat, it is only the superficial fat beneath the skin. For this reason, it is not a treatment for obesity, which is caused by excess visceral fats that are stored around “important” internal organs such as the intestines, liver, and pancreas.
The visceral fats are more metabolically active than superficial fats, thus in the event of weight loss they are the first to go. Some superficial fats, meanwhile, are more “stubborn” that they are difficult, if not impossible, to eliminate through regular exercise and proper diet alone.
In essence, a lower body lift encompasses three procedures performed in one surgical setup: buttock lift, outer thigh lift, and tummy tuck. With combo procedures, patients may enjoy potential savings and one recovery time.
The vast majority of lower body lift is performed in massive weight loss patients due to the severity of their redundant skin and sagging tissue.
While it comes in different scar variations, a good surgeon will make every effort to place them within the armpit and/or on the inner arm to hide the scars. For additional contouring, some patients may need liposuction as well.
While the standard technique results in a horizontal scar across where the bra band lies, some patients who have lateral fat rolls might be more suitable for the vertical incision technique in which the scar starts below the armpit down to the hip.
Brazilian butt lift surgeons must augment and reshape their patients’ “behind” using excess fat sourced from another area of their body. But to achieve near permanent results, the injected fats or grafts must form a new blood supply, according to California Surgical Institute website.
A Brazilian butt lift combines two procedures to reshape one’s buttocks: liposuction as a way to harvest the fats, which is then followed by re-injection of grafts.
As with any body contouring surgery, a Brazilian butt lift requires technical skills and “eye for detail” to achieve natural-looking results that can last a lifetime.
The list below explains the qualifications you should look for in your plastic surgeon.
- Right board certifications
While there are countless professional-sounding boards, only consult with someone who is a member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, which makes him uniquely qualified to perform your surgery.
Take note that ABPS members have completed their education from an accredited medical school; have completed at least two years of supervised residency in plastic surgery; have completed three years of general surgery; have passed the rigorous board exam, which they have to take every 10 years; and have at least two years of professional practice.
Cosmetic plastic surgery is believed to be more “art” than exact science. For this reason, the experience of Brazilian butt lift surgeons plays a crucial role because it gives them the opportunity to hone their artistic skills.
The general rule of thumb is to choose someone who has been doing the surgery regularly for a minimum of five years.
Your doctor’s core values, or guiding principles, should be mainly focused on patient safety. Meanwhile, avoid “arrogant” surgeons who often downplay the risks and are likely to use over-aggressive surgical maneuvers—e.g., removing too much fat in one day, injecting too much fat that the pressure leads to low survival rate, etc.
Also, any surgeon who prioritizes patient safety only performs his surgeries in accredited surgical facilities or hospitals; always works with licensed anesthesiologists and qualified staff; and provides the best aftercare to help achieve impressive results from Brazilian butt lift.
Your doctor’s before-and-after photos will reveal a lot about his skills in creating a curvier, natural-looking result. Keep in mind that impressive contours can be achieved if a surgeon takes into account his patient’s overall anatomy, particularly her pre-existing butt shape, bone structure, waist-to-hip ratio, and height.
As a type of body contouring surgery, liposuction removes “unwanted” fat using suction through a slender, blunt-tipped tube called cannula. While small round cuts in the skin are made to access the fatty tissue, within a year they will most likely fade into imperceptible white “dots.”
The success of liposuction depends on several factors, which include the surgeon’s skills, patient’s weight and health condition, skin quality, and motives and expectations.
Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smaili shares his liposuction preparation tips that help his patients achieve impressive results and at the same time avoid complications.
- Achieve your goal weight. The general rule of thumb is to be within 15-20 percent of your ideal weight before any body contouring surgery is attempted. Nevertheless, it remains important that you are able to keep it long term through regular exercise and superb diet.
Even after achieving your goal weight, sometimes it makes sense to wait for at least six months before you undergo a body contouring procedure to make sure that you will not experience weight fluctuations that will affect the surgery’s results.
- Preparation for “good” blood. The general rule of thumb is to avoid blood thinners such as aspirin and ibuprofen for 10-14 days prior to surgery. The same rule also applies to a variety of nutritional and herbal supplements such as green tea, maidenhair tree, ginseng, and high-dose vitamin E.
- Superb diet. Some surgeons recommend a low-sodium diet a week prior to surgery to minimize postop swelling and bruising, while others are more focused on increasing their patients’ fruit and vegetables intake.
Despite some differences in preoperative diet, the consensus is to eat a small amount of [lean] protein at each meal because it plays a crucial role in tissue repair.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol for at least three weeks. Tobacco products are particularly deleterious to your healing as the nicotine leads to poor blood circulation and increased risk of infection and skin necrosis (death of tissue).
Alcohol, meanwhile, affects how your liver metabolizes medications and is known to increased postop bruising and cause longer recovery.
- Prepare your skin. While there is no truly proven treatments which can change the inherent quality of skin, it remains helpful to avoid skin irritants (used in skin resurfacing treatments), sunbathing, and tanning booths at least three weeks prior to liposuction.
- Organize your house. Purchasing your supplies (e.g., postop drugs, dressing, loose clothing, easy-to-prepare meal), cleaning your home, and making simple arrangements days prior to surgery can go a long way toward a comfortable recovery.