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Are There Complications that Come with a Mommy Makeover?

The mommy makeover is one of the most popular operations performed by plastic surgeons. The procedure is a combination of cosmetic breast surgery, liposuction, and abdominoplasty. It has been designed to correct changes that occur normally with pregnancy.

Although the procedure is considered to be extremely safe, complications may occasionally occur. These include bleeding, hematoma formation, loss of tissue, wound breakdown, excess scarring, infection, asymmetry and numbness.

Several steps can be taken to minimize complications. These include utilizing an accredited outpatient surgical facility, a board-certified plastic surgeon and a board-certified anesthesiologist. Although, these steps won’t totally eliminate complications, they will hopefully decrease the incidents. 

Breast Augmentation through the Belly Button

The transumbilical approach to breast augmentation has advocates, but the vast majority of plastic surgeons prefer other surgical approaches. Surgeons, who prefer the transumbilical approach, feel that this procedure has a major advantage - less scarring. They believe that transumbilical incisions heal imperceptibly. They acknowledge that there’s a steep learning curve with this procedure and that there are potential problems with implant malposition. There’s no question that excellent results can be obtained with this procedure.

The majority of plastic surgeons prefer the transaxillary infra-mammary or peri areolar incisions. They feel that these incisions are associated with a decreased incidence of implant malposition. They also feel that scarring with these incisions is rarely a problem. 

They feel that the probability of implant malposition with transumbilical incisions is higher than the probability of adverse scarring with traditional breast augmentation incisions. 

It’s important to realize that surgeons have different comfort levels with different incisions.  They do their best work when they are able to use their preferred incision. Although good results can be obtained with transumbilical incisions there’s probably a good reason why the majority of plastic surgeons prefer traditional surgical approaches.   

Brachioplasty and Scarring

It’s not unusual for massive weight loss patients to develop redundant upper arm tissue. When this occurs it can represent a significant aesthetic deformity that can adversely impact self-esteem and self- image. When sag of this magnitude is present, the majority of patients require a full brachioplasty.

This procedure involves making an incision that extends from the axilla to the elbow. This approach removes excess skin in the vertical and transverse dimensions. Unfortunately, it’s virtually impossible to hide scars in this location. For this reason, brachioplasty patients are often dependent upon their wound healing characteristics for a good result. In other words, when wounds heal nicely, scars can be imperceptible; conversely, some patients will  have notable scars
The vast majority of patients tend to heal these incisions nicely, and the aesthetic results are excellent. Unfortunately, some patients form exuberant scar tissue, which can be very noticeable. When this situation occurs, these scars represent a significant aesthetic deformity which is difficult to hide. Under these circumstances, scar revision and long sleeve shirts may be the only options available for patients.
In the post-operative period, various maneuvers can minimize scarring. These include massage, topical creams, and silastic. If you’re considering this procedure it’s important to understand the potential for scarring and its irreversible nature. The majority of patients have excellent results, but occasionally patients are unhappy with scarring and request scar revision. 

Pain Management Following Mommy Makeover Surgery

The mommy makeover is one of the largest procedures performed in cosmetic surgery. This procedure has several components. These include breast augmentation, breast lift, abdominoplasty, and liposuction of the hips and thighs. The exact procedure performed in any particular case is dependent upon the specific needs of the individual patient.

Pain tolerance varies from patient to patient and is dependent upon a variety of factors. The vast majority of patients who have mommy makeover surgery describe their pain
as moderate. This pain is especially noticeable in the first 24 hours following surgery, but improves rapidly over the next week.

Patients are given narcotic pain relievers in the immediate postoperative period and switched to Tylenol 5 to 7 days postoperatively. It’s not unusual for patients to have pain, which is related to muscle spasm following this procedure. When this situation arises, muscle relaxants are extremely helpful as well.

If you’re concerned about postoperative pain management, it’s important to discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon. Your surgeon should be able to develop a plan that addresses your concerns. 

Sleeping After a Breast Augmentation Procedure

Following breast augmentation, there’s always the potential for breast implants to shift and every effort should be made to avoid this problem. In the post-operative period, we recommend that patients sleep on their back for four to six weeks following surgery.

Sleeping on the abdomen or side in the early post-operative period has the potential to cause shifting of breast implants and should therefore be avoided. Sleeping on the back is difficult for some patients and they often move to their side without knowing it. For these reasons, we recommend that patients sleep in a recliner.

After six weeks, we allow patients to resume all their normal activities without restrictions.

What Is Coolsculpting?

Coolsculpting represents a significant advance in the treatment of problem fat collections. The technique has been clinically proven and has FDA approval.

The procedure involves placing an applicator over the involved area. Suction is then applied, which draws the soft tissue into the device where it’s held in place. The skin and fat are then cooled in a controlled manner. Upon completion of treatment, the involved area is gently massaged to smooth contour irregularities that have been created by the device.

When single anatomic areas are treated, the procedure typically lasts about an hour. Depending on the magnitude of the problem, multiple treatments may be necessary.

Commonly treated areas include the abdomen, flanks, hips, bra strap area, inner thighs, outer thighs, saddle bags and banana rolls.

In the vast majority of patients who undergo coolsculpting the results are excellent. The procedure is very safe and there appears to be no long term problems associated with the procedure.

Unfortunately, the procedure isn't for everyone. Patients with large amounts of fat or loose skin may need more aggressive procedures. In this group, liposuction or skin resections may be more appropriate. It is important to remember that the best results occur when there’s appropriate patient selection and expectations are realistic.