Every year, over three million Americans suffer from postpartum depression. With this depression often comes low self-esteem. Dustin C. Derrick, MD is the head plastic surgeon at Cosmetic Surgery of DFW for Mommy Makeovers in Fort Worth, TX. His mission is to help each of his clients feel better about their bodies. Today, we’re sharing everything you can expect from a tummy tuck.
What Is a Mommy Makeover?
A mommy makeover is a series of body contouring procedures customized to give moms the opportunity to rejuvenate their bodies after pregnancy and nursing have taken their toll. For example, during pregnancy, skin loses elasticity and the muscles in your breasts and lower abdomen become lax. Stretch marks often form over the lower abdomen or breasts.
Which Options Are Right for Me?
The right treatments or procedures for you depend on which parts of your body you are self-conscious about. If you have significant excess fat deposits on your inner or outer thighs or upper arms, a thigh or arm lift is right for you. If you’re self-conscious about stretch marks, scar revision is right for you. These are some of our most commonly performed procedures:
Many new moms feel the need for a breast reduction after nursing. In the case of multiple pregnancies, our clients often get a breast lift to complement their breast reduction. However, despite your best efforts to pump your breasts evenly, you may find that you have lost more volume in one breast than the other. In this case, breast augmentation may be right for you to restore symmetry to your breasts. Depending on your age, weight and other factors, breast augmentation may be performed concurrently with a breast lift.
Brazilian Butt Lift
Many women become displeased with their proportions once their breasts enlarge from pregnancy. If you feel the lower half of your body is disproportionately small, a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) may be right for you. We will extract excess fat from trouble areas like your outer thighs or lower abdomen using S.A.F.E. Lipo techniques. Then, we will shape your buttocks with your own fat for safer, more authentic results.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a body contouring procedure that helps women get their bodies back after childbirth. It is performed while you are asleep under general anesthesia. Once you’re sedated, we will make an incision at the base of the skin covering your abdominal wall. If your abdominal wall has been stretched out, we will sew these muscles together.
Then, we will tighten the skin over your abdomen, trim off any excess, and close the incision with sutures. This procedure only takes two to three hours. However, if you’re getting it as part of a mommy makeover, expect to be under general anesthesia for three to eight hours.
What Type of Abdominoplasty Is Right for Me?
One of the most frequently asked questions we get about abdominoplasty is what type of abdominoplasty is right for me. Dr. Derrick will help you figure this out when you tell him about your concerns and goals. Here’s some food for thought:
Full abdominoplasty is ideal for women with concerns regarding their upper and lower abdomen. During this procedure, the abdominal wall above and below your navel will be tightened and the skin will be pulled down over the stomach.
Once the excess skin is removed, your navel will be repositioned and the incisions will be closed. While full abdominoplasty addresses small pockets of excess fat, liposuction may be necessary in situations of significant deposits of excess adipose tissue.
If you are satisfied with your abdomen above your navel, a mini-abdominoplasty is probably right for you. This procedure addresses the stubborn belly pooch between the navel and mons pubis.
Like a full abdominoplasty, this procedure will remove small excess fat deposits, remove excess skin and tighten the remaining skin. The primary difference is your abdominal wall above your navel will not be tightened.
An extended abdominoplasty is similar to a full abdominoplasty in that excess skin is removed above and below the navel. However, this procedure is a bit more extensive. It addresses unwanted skin on the hips and flanks, as well.
If you’re concerned about excess fat deposits on your hips or sides of your lower back, this is the perfect time to get liposuction. Similar to full abdominoplasty, your navel will be repositioned after this procedure.
How Can I Prepare for My Procedure?
Give Your Body a Breather
Pregnancy takes a toll on your body. Take some time to bond with your child and let your body recover from childbirth for at least six to 12 months before undergoing this procedure. During recovery, you will be unable to do any hard work or heavy lifting. Make sure you have someone to care for your baby during your recovery.
You should also keep in mind that you will be unable to nurse after undergoing general anesthesia and nursing may result in hormonal changes that can affect the results of your abdominoplasty.
Surround Yourself With a Strong Support System
After your mommy makeover, your primary focus should be on recovery so you can get back to your life. Make sure someone can be home with you to keep you as comfortable as possible. Prepare yourself a “recovery room” with water, antibiotics, analgesics, and activities to keep you engaged during your recovery. Have your pillows and throw already in place so you don’t have to worry about them when you get home.
Arrange for Transportation
You can’t drive for 24 hours after being under general anesthesia. Thus, you’ll need to arrange a ride to and from our office. Remember, you also can’t drive for 24 hours after taking certain analgesics. Making sure you have reliable transportation ensures you’ll have more time to relax and recover quickly.
Don’t Take Aspirin
Avoid taking aspirin, Motrin, vitamin E supplements, MAOIs, and certain herbal supplements. These can thin your blood and you should avoid them for at least two weeks prior to your procedure. During your initial consultation, bring a list of all dietary supplements and over-the-counter and prescription medications you’re taking. We will advise you on which, if any, drugs will affect the outcome of your tummy tuck.
What Happens After My Procedure?
Immerse Yourself in Healthy Relaxation Activities
Depending on the procedures you choose for your mommy makeover, you should spend one to three weeks focusing on your comfort and relaxation. Whether this is writing music, creating wire sculptures or re-reading your favorite book, focus on yourself. We know how hard this is for moms to do. But you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first. Don’t try to get back to work too early. You deserve a couple of weeks off.
Freeze High-Protein Meals
Make things a bit easier by freezing several portions of healthy, high-protein meals in advance of your procedure. Then you won’t feel any pressure to cook for yourself, and you’ll love just having to throw a meal in the oven rather than prepping, cooking and cleaning the kitchen for the first few days after your procedure.
Eat Plenty of Fiber
Between the general anesthesia and prescription analgesics, you may find yourself backed up after your tummy tuck. This is perfectly normal and many women choose to take laxatives to remain regular. However, we recommend you consume a diet rich in fiber. Legumes and beans are a great way to get lots of fiber and protein in one meal and they freeze and reheat well. Your doctor can recommend a licensed nutritionist to help you plan healthy, easy meals.
Am I a Good Candidate?
If you are dissatisfied with the appearance of your stomach, you’re probably a good candidate for a tummy tuck. During your initial consultation, Dr. Derrick will review your medical history, assess your current health and evaluate your goals to determine if this is the best procedure for you. In the meantime, here are some things to consider:
Are You Done Having Children?
Abdominoplasty is usually performed on women who are done having children. There is no health risk if you become pregnant following your tummy tuck. But pregnancy can negate the results by tearing the abdominal walls or leading to excess fat deposits in the lower abdominal region. We recommend waiting until you’re finished having children so the results of the procedure are permanent.
Are You at a Healthy, Stable Weight?
Being a mom is hard. You probably have to juggle at least one job and taking care of the household in addition to raising your child. Many new moms find they gain more weight after their pregnancy because they have less time to prep and cook healthy meals and work out. Make sure you’re within 30 pounds of your ideal weight and can remain at a healthy weight before deciding to get a tummy tuck.
This procedure removes excess skin and tightens it. However, significant weight gain can cause the skin to stretch out again. Subsequent significant weight loss can lead to new excess skin. Remember, abdominoplasty is a body contouring procedure rather than a weight loss procedure. It’s not designed to help you lose weight.
Is Your Skin Relatively Elastic?
Pinch your skin away from your body. Does it “snap” back quickly? If so, you’re probably a good candidate for this procedure. We will remove excess skin and tighten loose skin. However, this procedure is best for women who have fairly elastic skin. During your initial consultation, Dr. Derrick will assess your excess fat deposits and the elasticity of your skin to determine if you are an ideal candidate for this procedure.
Do You Smoke?
Among the 600 ingredients in a cigarette is a chemical compound called nicotine. This chemical is also found in e-liquid, nicotine gum, dip and other products. To be a good candidate for abdominoplasty, you must abstain from nicotine for at least two weeks prior to and following your procedure.
We recommend you quit for at least six weeks before and after your procedure. Nicotine raises your blood pressure, which can adversely affect your procedure. Talk to your general health practitioner if you need help finding resources in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to help you quit.
Get Your Tight, Toned Tummy Back Today
If you have any questions about your mommy makeover, including a tummy tuck, schedule a consultation with Dustin C. Derrick, MD at Cosmetic Surgery of Fort Worth TX today. He can help you determine the best type of abdominoplasty for you as well as which complementary procedures will achieve your goals most effectively.