Mommy Makeover in New York City
Introduction to the Mommy Makeover
Becoming a mother is a beautiful experience, but giving life also results in significant wear and tear on your body. The physical transformation can be significant, and many women feel like they do not recognize their own bodies anymore. Women who want to feel more comfortable in their bodies again seek our NYC Mommy Makeover procedure to restore the body they miss. When you come into our boutique office in New York City, Dr. Chen will help you balance the joy of motherhood with regaining your sense of self.
What is a Mommy Makeover?
The “Mommy Makeover” is a complementary blend of plastic surgery procedures that can be performed to restore or improve a woman’s body after pregnancy. For many women, the joy of having children can be accompanied by a feeling of loss for their original pre-baby body. Most people realize that pregnancy changes a woman’s body for nine months, but for some women, the changes become permanent in predictable ways.
Who are the Best Candidates for a Mommy Makeover?
The best candidates for a Mommy Makeover are women who would like to restore their bodies after pregnancy and meet the following criteria:
- Close to or at their ideal body weight
- Finished with childbearing
- Has a positive outlook and realistic expectations
- In good medical health
What are the Benefits of a Mommy Makeover?
Although every Mommy Makeover is tailored specifically for you and your needs, we have seen our patients reap the following benefits:
- Increased confidence
- Removes stretch marks
- Replenishes your skin
- More youthful and fit appearance
- Feel more comfortable in your body
What’s the First Step?
The first step in getting a Mommy Makeover in New York City is to contact our office and set up a personal consultation. During this appointment, you will be able to meet with Dr. Chen and ask all of your questions. She will be able to learn about your aesthetic goals, discuss your best options, and provide you with a realistic plan.
Mommy Makeover for the Abdomen
During pregnancy, the abdomen is stretched to accommodate a growing new life, but when the skin is over-stretched the skin cannot snap back to its original form. The skin has three layers, the epidermis (outer layer), dermis (middle layer), and subcutaneous fat (inner layer). Once the dermis is damaged, it leaves marks called “striae.” The presence of striae, or stretch marks, is an indication that the overstretched skin has lost its elasticity, and no amount of exercise will cause the skin to revert to its original shape. Sometimes these stretch marks will become less noticeable over time, but they cannot be erased through creams or lotions.
In many women, the changes in the abdominal shape after pregnancy are not just limited to the skin. Often, women also develop an abdominal bulge because the rectus abdominis muscles are pulled apart. The separation of the rectus abdominis muscles is called a “rectus diastasis,” and is due to a thinning of the connective tissue. A rectus diastasis usually leads to the weakening of the abdominal muscles and can make it difficult to lift objects. It can also cause lower back pain, weakened pelvic alignment, and altered posture. Unfortunately, abdominal exercises do not improve the bulge; instead, the protrusion usually becomes worse when the abdominal muscles are tensed. To correct a rectus diastasis, the stiff wrapping around the muscles, called the “fascia,” are sutured or “plicated” during the abdominoplasty. The resulting internal corset also has the additional benefit of improving the patient’s waistline.
To remove the excess skin and eliminate the stretch marks, many women will choose to undergo an “abdominoplasty,” or tummy tuck. An abdominoplasty involves resecting the excess skin and striae from the lower abdomen, leaving a permanent scar that is located from hip to hip. During the abdominoplasty, the patient’s abdominal skin is elevated off of the abdominal wall. This makes it possible to sew together the gap between the abdominal muscles to improve the patient’s waistline. In addition, the patient’s belly button, or “umbilicus,” is isolated, and a new opening is created for the umbilicus to come out.
Before surgery, we advise our patients to bring a bikini bottom that they would like to wear so that we can try to design the scar within the borders of their clothing. If the patient’s body habitus allows it, the scar can be placed low enough to be hidden under their clothing. Furthermore, all scars eventually fade over the years, but some patients have a genetic tendency to scar very well so that their scars are difficult to see. Ultimately, however, patients who undergo an abdominoplasty are accepting a permanent scar in return for an improved shape.
After surgery, patients will typically have drains for 1-3 weeks. Patients should be able to walk immediately after surgery. Depending on how much extra skin and fat is removed, however, and how tight the plication is, patients may need to walk hunched over to allow their skin and fascia to stretch before they can stand up straight again. Sometimes, patients will feel numbness in their abdominal skin, but sensation usually returns after several months.
Mommy Makeover for the Breasts
After pregnancy, a woman’s breasts will engorge with milk to allow for breastfeeding, or “lactation.” Again, this stretching of the skin during lactation can cause permanent changes. When the skin is over-stretched it cannot snap back to its original form. The skin has three layers, the epidermis (outer layer), dermis (middle layer), and subcutaneous fat (inner layer). Once the dermis is damaged, it leaves marks called “striae.” The presence of striae, or stretch marks, is an indication that the overstretched skin has lost its elasticity. Sometimes these stretch marks will lighten over time, but they cannot be erased through creams or lotions.
When breastfeeding stops, the breasts will shrink as the milk ducts dry up, a process that is called “involution.” If the dermis of the skin is damaged, the remaining breast tissue will droop to the bottom of the breast while the top of the breast appears flat and empty. The appearance of sagging breasts is called breast “ptosis.” Depending on the patient’s body and preferences, there are multiple ways to correct ptosis from post-pregnancy breast involution.
How Breast Augmentation is used in a Mommy Makeover
After a woman has completed breastfeeding, her breasts may seem smaller than they did while she was nursing. When the milk ducts are no longer filled with milk, the breast tissue itself will appear to shrink. Furthermore, if the breast skin has overstretched, the top portion of the breast may appear empty with skin flat against the chest wall. Women who would like larger breasts and would also like to fill the superior pole of their breast may opt for breast augmentation to make their breasts appear fuller.
Breast augmentation involves the placement of either saline or silicone breast implants to increase the size of the breasts. Saline implants are filled with salt water, and usually feel firmer to the touch. Silicone breast implants typically feel softer but should be monitored with breast MRIs every 2-3 years. Either way, the breast implants can be placed under the pectoralis muscle or on top of the muscle, but under the breast tissue.
To determine the appropriate breast implant size, a patient should bring in a soft supportive bra with no inserts. We will have different size breast implants for you to try on over your breast and in your bra. Some women will also want to try on their clothes over the implant. You will try on many different size implants until you reach a size that you feel is too small and a size that is too big. This is the range of breast implant sizes that you feel is right for you. Every woman has a different idea of how she wants her breasts to appear. In addition, every bra company has a different sizing system so that a C cup in one company may be equivalent to a B cup in another company. Thus, the best way to determine the right size for you is to try different implants on for size yourself. It is also helpful for you to bring in photos of breasts that look like the breasts that you want.
The breast implants are usually placed through one of two scars. For patients with very small breasts, the best scar is usually a periareolar scar, which is a small curvilinear scar that is placed along the edge of the “areola,” or the dark circle in the middle of your breast. Women with small breasts usually have small areolas with sharp borders, so that their scars are well camouflaged when placed at the border. For patients with larger breasts, a periareolar or an inframammary scar can work well. This is a scar placed at the bottom edge of the breast border. Since the weight of larger breasts causes them to fall below the bottom border of the breast, or the “inframammary fold,” a scar at the inframammary fold is often well-concealed.
After a breast augmentation, patients usually do not need drains. There are dressings on the incisions, which remain in place for at least 48-72 hours. After the dressings are removed, the patient can shower. Sometimes, we will give patients an elastic band to push the implants down for shaping. Many patients can return to work in 1-2 weeks. Patients should avoid heavy lifting for 6-8 weeks. The breasts will be swollen initially, but the swelling subsides and the breasts settle over several months.
How Breast Lift is used in a Mommy Makeover
After breastfeeding, some women may realize that their breasts have reverted to their original size but their breasts are in the wrong place. They may be happy with their breast size, but their breasts need to be lifted so that the breast tissue is higher on the chest wall. The dermis of the skin is damaged, and the breast skin has stretched irreversibly. The remaining breast tissue has fallen to the bottom of the breast while the top of the breast appears flat and empty. When a woman does not want larger breasts but just wants her breasts to be lifted, she needs a “mastopexy.”
Depending on the degree of breast lift needed, a mastopexy will involve removing excess skin and moving the nipple-areola complex (NAC) higher on the breast mound. For breasts that only need a very minimal lift, the scar will only be around the areola. This type of lift is called a Benelli-style mastopexy, and it tends to flatten the breast. Most mastopexies require more skin reduction. When the nipple is pointed straight down or the breast tissue itself needs to be repositioned higher on the chest wall, for example, there will need to be a scar around the areola and a vertical scar from the areola to the inframammary fold. This lollipop-shaped scar will create a more conical breast that appears more youthful and perky.
After a mastopexy, drains are occasionally needed if a large amount of tissue has been moved around. There are dressings on the incisions, which remain in place for at least 48-72 hours. After the dressings are removed, the patient can shower. Many patients can return to work in 1-2 weeks. Patients should avoid heavy lifting for 6-8 weeks. The breasts will be swollen initially, but the swelling subsides and the breasts settle over several months.
Breast Lift + Implants In a Mommy Makeover
Sometimes, the patient feels that her breasts have become too small after breastfeeding, but the skin has stretched so much that her breast tissue is left hanging at the bottom of her breast. In these cases, the patient may need a breast implant (described above) and a breast lift (also described above). This can be a complex procedure sometimes is best staged over two separate operations.
Breast Reduction in a Mommy Makeover
For some women, breast engorgement from lactation leaves them with larger breasts even after involution. That is, even after they stop breastfeeding, their breasts still feel large and uncomfortable. Their large breasts, or “macromastia,” leads to lower and upper back pain, shoulder grooving from their bra straps, headaches, neck aches, arm pain, and even rashes under the breasts, or “intertrigo.” For women who want smaller breasts, the solution is a breast reduction, or “reduction mammoplasty.”
A breast reduction involves removing excess breast tissue and skin and repositioning the breast tissue and nipple-areola complex higher on the chest wall. The patient will have a lollipop scar that consists of a scar around the areola and a vertical scar from the areola to the inframammary fold. Often, a breast reduction will make a woman look like she has lost weight, even if only a small amount of breast tissue has been resected. It will also make her breasts look younger and perkier.
After a breast reduction, drains are sometimes needed. There are dressings on the incisions, which remain in place for at least 48-72 hours. After the dressings are removed, the patient can shower. Many patients can return to work in 1-2 weeks. Patients should avoid heavy lifting for 6-8 weeks. The breasts will be swollen initially, but the swelling subsides and the breasts settle over several months.
Liposuction in a Mommy Makeover
Liposuction is an adjunct procedure that can finesse the result of many breast and body procedures involved in a mommy makeover. Most commonly performed with an abdominoplasty or a breast reduction, liposuction can smooth out the final contours to remove additional unwanted fat accumulated during pregnancy. During liposuction, warmed tumescent fluid is infused into the patient’s fat to liquefy it and minimize bleeding. After tumescence, the liquefied fat is aspirated and removed. Small 3-4 mm incisions are made for the insertion of the liposuction cannulas. The incisions are usually placed in areas where they may be camouflaged, such as in the groin crease, the belly button, or previous scars. Liposuction is performed to sculpt the body to the desired shape.
Liposuction does not involve any skin resection. If a woman has excess skin due to overstretching from pregnancy, liposuction will not solve her problem and may even make it worse. For example, if she has excess overhanging skin and stretch marks on her abdomen, liposuction may make it look like she has even more overhanging skin after the fat is suctioned out. Thus, for post-pregnancy body contouring, liposuction is often best used as an adjunct procedure.
What to Expect on the Day of Mommy Makeover
On the day of your Mommy Makeover, you will be greeted by a nurse, meet your anesthesiologist, and see Dr. Chen. The anesthesiologist will administer general anesthesia for surgery.
Every patient receiving a Mommy Makeover will have a different experience depending on which procedures they are receiving. For more information about the surgeries themselves, please ask Dr. Chen to explain the process during your consultation.
Mommy Makeover Recovery
Your recovery time will depend largely on your body’s recovery rate and the procedures that are part of your mommy makeover. Typically, the more procedures that you have performed, the longer you can expect your recovery period to be. You will be swollen and bruised at the beginning, and it takes a couple of days for the anesthesia to completely leave your system. Most patients should expect to take at least two weeks off of work to focus on healing and recovery. Many people feel fairly normal at about one month, but it is important to take things easy even when you feel good because complete wound healing takes 6-8 weeks in a normal healthy person. For this reason, patients should avoid strenuous exercise or heavy lifting over 5 pounds for 6-8 weeks after surgery.
We like to advise our patients to remember that the recovery time of a Mommy Makeover is not a quick one, and will take time, so please try to be patient during your recovery.
Why Choose Dr. Chen for a Mommy Makeover
Dr. Constance Chen is a board-certified plastic surgeon and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Chen has special expertise in using innovative, natural techniques to optimize medical and cosmetic outcomes for women. She understands that even though you love being a mother, you want to feel comfortable in your body. Dr. Chen is known for listening closely to each patient’s concerns because she knows that every woman has different priorities that are right for her.
How Much Does Mommy Makeover Cost in NYC?
The cost of a Mommy Makeover in NYC will vary depending on the surgical plan. The best way to get the most accurate cost will be to book a consultation so that a treatment plan can be developed. After a custom plan is created for you, the office staff will be able to give you an estimate of the costs and answer any questions you may have.
Schedule Your Consultation
When you are ready for a Mommy Makeover in NYC, please contact our office to schedule your consultation with Dr. Chen. She is and will be happy to meet with you to help you get the body you want.REACH OUT TO US
Mommy Makeover FAQs
Is a Mommy Makeover painful?
During the actual surgery, you will be under general anesthesia administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist will be comfortable during your procedure. Dr. Chen is a firm believer in Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) so she may prepare you with medication before surgery, request special types of anesthesia for you during surgery, and administer regional blocks during surgery to minimize postoperative pain and nausea. She will also prescribe postoperative pain medication to make your recovery as comfortable as possible. You will experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort during the first stage of your recovery, but this will subside over time.
How many appointments will I need?
Many of the procedures in a Mommy Makeover can be performed on the same day. Depending on the extent of surgery and your underlying health, however, sometimes it is safest to break up procedures into multiple stages. Dr. Chen will be able to provide you with an accurate timeline when you come in for your consultation.
How long until I see results?
The visibility of your results all depends on which procedures you get, however, most patients can see a change in their body’s appearance immediately. As the swelling and bruising subside, your body will settle down over time so that the full results will be seen at 6 months to a year.
Can I combine a Mommy Makeover with other procedures?
A typical Mommy Makeover is a combination of several procedures to help a woman get back to their pre-pregnancy shape. Some of our Mommy Makeover patients do like to combine surgical procedures with additional outpatient aesthetic procedures.
What are the risks associated with a Mommy Makeover?
The risks of Mommy Makeover surgery can include, but are not limited to:
- Anesthesia risks
- Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)
- Breast implant illness (BII)
- Capsular contracture
- Contour deformity
- Deep venous thrombosis
- Delayed wound healing
- Fat embolization
- Fat necrosis
- Implant leak
- Inability to breastfeed
- Loss of nipple sensation
- Persistent pain
- Poor healing of incisions
- Recurrent looseness of skin
- Unfavorable scarring