5 Tips for Mommy Makeover Recovery
My team and I are honored to help in the transformation of women from all over North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina and beyond. Women come from all over, looking for the best plastic surgeon to help them feel like the best versions of themselves. Sometimes a Mommy Makeover is the solution. A Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures that targets the parts of us that change with pregnancy and breastfeeding — our breasts and bodies!
To have the smoothest Mommy Makeover recovery after surgery, it’s helpful to take some initial steps to plan out the procedure. First, you should find a reputable, board-certified plastic surgeon who understands your goals. Second, you should have a personal consultation with your surgeon. She will help you decide if a Mommy Makeover is right for you and if now is the right time. The consultation will also give you a solid understanding of what to expect during your Mommy Makeover recovery.
If you are reading this blog post, you are ahead of the curve. This may be a part of your before-surgery research process. Alternatively, you may be scheduled for surgery and trying to make sure you have all the loose ends tied up. Or let’s say you are resting in a recliner, recovering after your recent Tummy Tuck, Breast Lift, or Liposuction. Regardless of the scenario, here are my recommendations, mom to mom, and as a female plastic surgeon.
From preparing your body to your mind, this post is a great place to start. Read on to learn the 5 best ways to prepare for your Mommy Makeover recovery.
Mommy Makeover Recovery Tip #1: Manage Swelling and Discomfort
Whether you are having a Breast Lift, Breast Augmentation or Breast Reduction, swelling is not your friend. Same thing when it comes to Tummy Tuck, Liposuction or Labiaplasty. So, what’s the best way to reduce swelling and pain? Ice! Yes, it is that simple. Find some frozen gel packs or use a bag of frozen peas hidden in the back of the freezer. As long as it is cold, it gets the job done.
How long should you ice? At least for the first four days as long as you are awake, sometimes the first whole week. When you ice, you don’t want to apply the cold continuously in the same area. A good rule of thumb is 15-20 min on and 15 min off.
I recommend alternating locations as well. You can ice on top of your compression garments and clothing. Start by icing the top of your breasts, and then move to the sides when you give the top of your breasts a break. If you had Lipo with your Tummy Tuck, ice on the sides will really help that swelling go down. Take turns with the front of your belly and the sides.
Now, don’t worry, we give you pain medication too! We use a multimodal pain regimen at Tannan Plastic Surgery. This means we prescribe medication for you to take before your surgery date and time to prepare your body to need less narcotic pain medication after surgery.
You heard me right. We use a thoughtful mix of medications to limit the side effects of narcotic pain medications. This helps you recover faster after your mommy makeover and feel like yourself sooner. I answer any questions you have on medications in great detail when you come for your pre-op appt. We go over things like any allergies you have and how to time the medications to avoid an upset stomach.
Lastly, the compression garments we provide at the time of surgery are extremely helpful. These are designed to reduce swelling and guide your tissues to heal in the manner we intend during Mommy Makeover recovery. This means no peeking! Your all-female team at Tannan Plastic Surgery will show you when the time is right to take off your garment.
Follow these tips with applying ice, managing your medications and using compression garments to reduce swelling and discomfort. You’re off to a great start with your Mommy Makeover recovery!
Mommy Makeover Recovery Tip #2: Set Up Your Support Team
If you are planning to be the family chauffeur driving around town a few days after your Mommy Makeover, think again! We recommend you wait until after you stop taking pain pills and you can safely check your blind spot before you start driving. For most women, this is 1-2 weeks after a Tummy Tuck or breast surgery with mesh. When we do Breast Augmentation, Breast Reduction, or Breast Lift without mesh, most women can drive safely 1 week after surgery. Liposuction to the arms or legs takes 1-2 weeks after surgery before you feel comfortable driving.
As moms, we are used to doing it all. We certainly put that pressure on ourselves. You know, that “wonder-woman” or “superwoman” analogy. While it is an admirable quality, unfortunately it cuts both ways. You feel like you have to live up to that standard, too. Well, let me tell you, there is the risk of messing up your surgery results if you do too much too fast after your plastic surgery procedure.
This is why it is so crucial to prepare your support team in advance. Either agree to let some of the household chores (like dusting and vacuuming) have a 2-week hiatus or assign that chore to a partner or older child. Have someone on babysitting and diaper duty for tiny tots and general childcare for the older kids.
If you are trying to keep some of your tween and teen kids from knowing about your surgical details, be sure to let me know so I can help you troubleshoot that situation. And lastly, do some meal prep in advance if you are the main cook in the family. Meal preparation or cooking will be difficult for 10-14 days after a Tummy Tuck and 7-10 days after a Breast Augmentation.
You need to have realistic expectations of your body during recovery. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone. If you try to do it all, something will have to give. And that something could be your final plastic surgery result. If you’re not sure how to set up your support team for a smooth Mommy Makeover recovery, ask your board-certified plastic surgeon.
Mommy Makeover Recovery Tip #3: Make Healthy Choices
For the best Mommy Makeover recovery, make good choices when it comes to your health. After surgery is not the time to try and eat less and lose weight. Your body needs some extra protein and calories in the first several weeks to heal all the surgical areas. Nourish your body with healthy food options rich in nutrients, protein and antioxidants. That said, before you reach for supplements from a natural medicine store, please check with your board-certified plastic surgeon. Some ingredients, like turmeric, are not recommended in the immediate post-op period.
Smoking and vaping are a 100% no-go after surgery. If you smoked before, chances are high that I asked you to quit. And I definitely do not recommend starting back up right after surgery. Smoking can cause wound healing problems that can really cause a bumpy road in your recovery. Don’t even try. If you are having a hard time quitting or feeling the urge, call your doctor and work on getting set up with some of the oral medications to help you stay off the nicotine.
Exercise is a wonderful thing for general mental and physical well-being. Definitely work out normally until the big surgery day. After that though, do not start up your exercise regimen until you get full clearance from your plastic surgeon. You could pull some stitches or cause early swelling and fluid buildup if you try and do too much too soon. Again, check with your doctor about the timing and activities in your workout regimen.
Mommy Makeover Recovery Tip #4: Know Your Recovery Timeline
The best way to know what to expect during Mommy Makeover recovery is to have a frank conversation with your doctor. Mommy Makeover can include a variety of procedures, and each type affects the recovery timeline in different ways. When we do a Tummy Tuck or Liposuction, you can expect swelling and bruising to be pretty visible the first two weeks. Breast implants under the muscle could have swelling for up to 3 months and can take 6 or 9 months to settle or “drop and fluff.”
It is very common to have 3 weeks of belly bloating immediately after general anesthesia procedures. At Tannan Plastic Surgery, all Mommy Makeover procedures are done under general anesthesia for your safety and comfort. The gases in your abdomen plus the narcotic medications we give you during and after surgery lead to slower digestion for a couple of weeks. This is temporary! Do not worry. Remember, surgery recovery is a process and results take time to reveal. While some parts of surgery have immediate visible results, the beautiful details take time to really reveal themselves.
Mommy Makeover Recovery Tip #5: Stay POSITIVE!
You are going to feel all the feels during your Mommy Makeover recovery. These feelings show up differently for different people. You may regret the breast implant size or feel like you should have gone smaller if you had a breast reduction.
Have faith in yourself. Trust that you have picked the best plastic surgeon who is the right fit for you. Know that you have clearly stated your goals and your doctor reflected them back to you. I’ve said that before and firmly believe it bears repeating! This is a time of transition. Plus, you are nowhere near your final result. Have patience, trust the process and temper any worries with a sense of trust in yourself and your support team.
You earned this. Close your eyes and think about what you would tell your best girlfriend after her surgery. How would you support her when she is feeling down about the recovery time and the desire to get back to her normal routine? Imagine how you would cheer her on and remind her that this is definitely worth it. Now let that love and support wash over you and be your own biggest cheerleader. We are here for you, with outstretched arms on the sidelines, ready to carry you into the future best version of you!
Have Questions about your Mommy Makeover Recovery?
After all the guidance we’ve shared in this post, do you have questions about Mommy Makeover recovery? That is normal! If you just had surgery, please contact your board-certified plastic surgeon about any medical concerns. At Tannan Plastic Surgery, the after-hours answering service will connect you with your surgical team for any urgent matters. Please call, any time of day or night. We are here for you.
On the other hand, if you are doing research about Mommy Makeover recovery, be sure to check out other posts in my blog. For example, I share week-by-week guides for Tummy Tuck recovery and Breast Surgery recovery. We discuss what exercises you may start at what time. I recommend what best post-surgery bra to order. The blog is full of great intel!
Research is a great idea, but it is not the same as an in-person conversation. To have a proper evaluation of your unique medical history, personal goals and needs, you should see a board-certified plastic surgeon to be sure. During the consultation, we size you for breast implants or figure out if you need a Breast Lift or Breast Reduction. I go over the pros and cons of saline vs silicone gummy bear breast implants. You might have questions about areas we can treat with Liposuction. We also figure out the right time for surgery as we go over your work schedule and support crew.
If you want more information, then a consultation is the best place to start. In the meantime, enjoy my blog. Real people like you inspired the questions that I answer here. I look forward to meeting you and helping you prepare for your Mommy Makeover!
Are you ready for your Mommy Makeover? Call (919) 797-0996 now to schedule a consultation with Dr. Tannan.