A Day in the Life of a Plastic Surgeon: Mommy Makeover

We see it everyday in our office: women who have had kids, and suddenly their bodies just don’t look the way they used to anymore. Childbearing takes a toll on a woman’s body, causing sagging breasts, protruding tummies, and fat rolls where none may have existed before. While a lot of moms have traditionally felt bad wanting to do something cosmetic for themselves, the tide has changed and many mothers realize that they don’t have to feel guilty for wanting to feel sexy and confident in their own skin. Due to this shifting mindset, the Mommy Makeover has become increasingly popular.

The term “Mommy Makeover” is really just a catch-all phrase that encompasses anything a woman decides she would like to have done cosmetically, post-childbirth.  Typically, it includes a tummy tuck (also known as abdominoplasty) and a breast lift, and sometimes a woman will add a breast augmentation, liposuction, and occasionally even labiaplasty.

For the Mommy Makeover I decided to document for this blog, Dr. Christian Prada and I headed to Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital in Creve Coeur, MO.

Dr. Christian Prada Rhonda Shrum

Please note, the images below do show an actual surgery and may contain material that some might find offensive.

 

This patient had an extended tummy tuck, breast lift, and breast augmentation. Below, her “before” photos are shown. Her 2 month “after” photos are at the end of the post.

Mommy Makeover Before

 

After the patient was safely anesthetized, Dr. Prada made markings for the breast procedures. This patient had considerable ptosis of the breast, or sagging, so Dr. Prada marked her for an anchor breast lift. The scars for this type of lift form what looks like an anchor shape on the woman’s breast: a circle around the nipple, a straight line down the front of the breast, and a slightly curved line hidden in the breast crease. This lift gives the surgeon the option to remove the most breast tissue, and will restore a youthful shape. There is some volume loss with this procedure so, like many women, the patient also opted for a silicone augmentation to restore that fullness.

Breast Lift Augmentation Marking

Marks were also placed on the abdomen for the tummy tuck. The tummy tuck scar placement is dependant upon how much loose skin a patient has. For an extended tummy tuck, the scar extends past the hipbone on each side, providing Dr. Prada a way to remove loose skin around the flanks as well as abdomen. 

Mommy Makeover Surgery

Dr. Prada began the procedure with the breast augmentation and lift. A detailed account of breast augmentation itself can be found here. In this photo, Dr. Prada and his nurse are preparing the pocket for the insertion of the implant sizer, which they inflated until a reasonable size was reached.

Dr. Prada Breast Implant Pocket

The right breast below has a sizer in place, the left does not.

Breast Implant Sizer

Once Dr. Prada had sizers in both sides, he sat the patient up in the OR, and made sure both breasts were symmetrical and at the volume he found flattering to the patient’s body size.

Breast Implant Sizing

At this point, Dr. Prada performed the actual lift, tightening the breast tissue around the sizers he had placed.

While the resulting breast lift scars resemble an anchor, the incisions themselves are keyhole shaped. This allowed Dr. Prada to remove and tighten excess skin, correct the breast place placement on the chest if needed, and reduce the size of the areola if needed as well.

Breast Lift Anchor Incision

When the excess skin was removed, Dr. Prada removed the sizers, put in the actual silicone implants, and began the closure.

At this point, Dr. Prada moved on to the tummy tuck portion of the surgery. Before he made the long abdominal incision, he made a new opening for the belly button.

Tummy Tuck New Navel Belly Button

In the clip below, he uses a Bovie, a surgical tool that utilizes high-frequency electric current, to cut the tissue along the pubic line.


During the tummy tuck, the skin is pulled downwards to create a smooth stomach. Dr. Prada “tailor-tacks” the skin to determine just how much he could safely stretch and cut off.

Tummy Tuck Skin Removal

Women who have had children usually need their stomach muscles repaired during a tummy tuck, as pregnancy will cause these muscles to stretch and tear. The technical term for this is abdominal diastasis, and it causes a “pouch” look to the abdomen. Permanent sutures were used to bring the edges of the rectus muscles back together.

Once the muscles were repaired, Dr. Prada closed the wound, leaving a very low incision that can generally be covered by underwear and bathing suits.

Tummy Tuck Incision

After surgery, the patient was taken to recovery, and discharged the next day. Because she had a tummy tuck, an Dr. Prada recommended an overnight stay in the hospital for safe monitoring. The tummy tuck is one of the most painful procedures we do, so pain medication is generally needed. Although walking is difficult, we advise all patients to walk the halls as much as possible before being discharged, as walking will help speed up recovery.

At two months, her scars are still healing, but you can see the incredible change in her body.

Mommy Makeover after photos

If you’re interested in learning more about Mommy Makeover procedures, feel free to ask us here, or call our office at 636-530-6161.

8 Responses to A Day in the Life of a Plastic Surgeon: Mommy Makeover

  • Rose Bess says:

    I would love to have the tummy tuck i had 2 kids later in life the rest of my body is decent but i have a lot of excess skin on my tummy,,, what does a tummy tuck usually cost… i had signed up when you were doing some testing of some sort earlier this year but did not get called… I would still be interested. I am 49 years old

    • Rhonda Shrum says:

      Hi Rose,

      We never have don’e any testing, but we’d love to have you come in for a consultation if you’re interested!

      Rhonda

  • Jennifer says:

    I would love to have breast again , after having twins in 2003 and than nursing them for 2 1/2 years, they look awful and sag down . Like most mom I just don’t like what I see . The cost is a big thing , and going something for myself would feel like taking away from kids . If ever there was a patient needed for test study or teaching with minimal cost would love it .

    • amirene says:

      I completely understand you! I so want to be sexy for my husband. & also would make myself more confident. I just feel so quilty when I almost decide to go through with the procedure(s). Am I being selfish? I should be adding this $$ to the kids college fund, pay off my home. I think as mothers we put our children & everything & everyone first. We shouldn’t feel bad to do nice things for ourselves. I believe in the long run- you will be happier than ever w your new bodicious body, the kids love seeing mom happy;) & Hubby loved you before, now you won’t be able to keep him off of you! Sounds like a win/win situation for all! Go on & indulge, a happy mom & wife= a happy life!!

  • Evelyn Flores says:

    along with the mommy makeover is it recommend to get fat transfer for the glutes on the same day?

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