15 Questions to Make the Most of Your Mommy Makeover Consultation
Each year, more women are having mommy makeovers to rejuvenate and restore their bodies after pregnancy and childbirth. A mommy makeover can consist of two or more procedures, and can provide dramatic results. From eliminating a “mummy tummy” to getting pre-baby breasts back, a mommy makeover has many benefits. If you’re considering a mommy makeover, your first major step should be to book a consultation with a plastic surgeon. Your consultation is a chance to gather information about a plastic surgeon and his or her practice, as well as about the plastic surgery procedures you’re considering. Make sure you ask these 15 mommy makeover consultation questions to help you make an educated decision.
1. Are You Board Certified?
Board certification ensures that a plastic surgeon has been extensively trained and adheres to high standards of quality.
In order to obtain board certification, a plastic surgeon must complete 5 years of surgical training in addition to medical school. This extensive education not only allows them to develop superior technical skills, but to have a deeper understanding of the components that make plastic surgery aesthetically successful. Board certified surgeons have the experience to make precise judgements about balance and proportion. Just because someone is a plastic surgeon does not automatically mean they are board certified. Check this before you book a consultation.
2. Am I a Good Candidate for a Mommy Makeover?
An important part of your mommy makeover consultation will be determining your candidacy for surgery. Here are some of the things that will affect whether or you are ready.
- General Health. To be a good candidate for any kind of surgery, particularly multiple surgeries at once, you should be in good health. If you have any existing medical conditions or health concerns, these should be under control and properly managed.
- Lifestyle. The lifestyle choices you make every day can affect whether a mommy makeover is a good fit for you. You should be eating a healthy, nutritious diet to ensure that your body has what it needs to go through surgery and recovery. If you smoke, quit right away. It can be difficult, but it’s worth the effort. Smoking and surgery do not mix, as nicotine introduces a higher risk for complications.
- Attitude. You will need to have a healthy mental outlook in order to be a good candidate for plastic surgery. A positive attitude can also help you maintain your results long-term.
- Family Planning. Whether you plan to have children in the future may affect your candidacy for having a mommy makeover. It’s recommended that you wait until you have completed your final pregnancy before having one. You can still become pregnant and have children after getting a mommy makeover, but it’s likely that your results will be compromised.
You should wait several months after giving birth before you have a mommy makeover. Your body needs time to stabilize and recuperate from all the things that happen during pregnancy and childbirth. If you breastfeed and plan to include breast augmentation in your mommy makeover, wait until after you have weaned. Your plastic surgeon can advise you on how long you should wait to have surgery after you are done nursing.
3. Which Procedures Would You Recommend for Me?
Each mommy makeover is different, and should be tailored specifically to the person having it. Your plastic surgeon will physically examine you and discuss your goals and concerns with you in order to help you decide which procedures would be most beneficial.
Some of the most commonly requested mommy makeover procedures are a tummy tuck and liposuction. During a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, a plastic surgeon removes and tightens excess skin around the midsection. Liposuction is often included to help eliminate hard-to-lose fat that has accumulated around the abdomen and other problem areas. Combined, a tummy tuck and liposuction can help you get your waist back.
Another thing to consider as part of your mommy makeover is vaginal rejuvenation. Plenty of moms feel unhappy about the way their most intimate areas look and feel after childbirth. If you have experienced discomfort or dissatisfaction due to the size of your labia or distribution of fat in your pubic area, a surgeon can delicately reshape your vaginal tissues to restore function and help you feel more confident about every part of you.
Talk to your plastic surgeon about the different options for creating a mommy makeover plan that will address your own unique concerns.
4. What Will My Recovery Be Like?
Another very important thing to discuss at your consultation is what to expect during recovery. Depending on which procedures you plan to have, your timeline for recovery will vary. Make sure you clearly understand what kind of things you will experience during the different stages of your recuperation.
Ask for honest answers about how much pain and discomfort you’re likely to feel after surgery – and how long it might last. Talk about pain management and ask whether you’ll be prescribed pain medications. Find out what’s normal in terms of bruising, and what your incisions will look and feel like as they heal. Ask whether you’ll be required to use medical devices and products such as compression garments or surgical drains.
Your plastic surgeon can help you get an idea of what life will be like in the hours, days and weeks after your mommy makeover surgery.
Get as much information as you can about activity restrictions you’ll face during recovery. You need to know how long you should take off work and what you’ll need help with, from meal preparation to child care.
5. What Should I Do to Prepare for Surgery?
Ask your plastic surgeon to give you some tips on getting ready for your mommy makeover. Aside from all the things you may need to do to ensure you’re physically ready for surgery, there are other preparations you’ll have to make. Finish up projects at work before your makeover, and recruit help from friends or family to fill in for you as needed.
6. Do You Have before and after Photos I Can See?
Looking at before and after photos of past mommy makeover patients is a key element of having a plastic surgery consultation. This is your opportunity to see real results a plastic surgeon has produced with your own eyes. Still, looks can be deceiving and it’s very important to know what you’re looking for.
- Angle: Ideally, you should be able to see at least two sets of before and after shots for each patient: a front view and a side view. The subject should be posed in the same way in each set of photos.
- Lighting. Lighting creates optical illusions, so the only way to get an objective look at plastic surgery results is if the before and after photos were taken in the same or very similar lighting. The type of lighting and the angle the light is coming from can make a big difference in how something looks.
- Body type. Look for people who start out with bodies that look most similar to yours. Before and after photos with people who have roughly the same body type and dimensions as you give you a better idea of what you might look like post-surgery.
- Procedures done. Since each mommy makeover is different, make sure you know exactly which procedures a person had done as you assess their before and after photo..
- Editing or retouching. Always be wary of photos that appear to have been digitally manipulated to make “after” shots look better or “before” shots look worse.
7. Can I Speak to past Patients or Have Access to Patient Testimonials?
Check websites such as RealSelf.com and take a look around the plastic surgeon’s own site for testimonials, particularly from other mommy makeover patients.
You (hopefully) already researched your plastic surgeon a bit before you booked a consultation with him or her. If not, get going. Look at reviews, ratings and testimonials to help you get an idea of the reputation this plastic surgeon has built. At your consultation, you can ask if there are past mommy makeover patients who would be willing to speak with you about their experience.
8. Are You Easy to Reach?
If you have concerns in the days leading up to your surgery or at any point during your recovery, you will want to be able to get in touch with your plastic surgeon or the staff at the practice easily. Find out what the office hours are and whether you’ll have the support of staff members when you’re at home recovering. Will you be able to contact someone after hours? What things kinds of concerns should you call about?
You can also ask whether you’ll see your plastic surgeon or a different staff member at any follow-up appointments. You should feel like all of your questions are welcomed, and that your surgical team will be available to you during your recuperation. The support of and access to your plastic surgeon should not end as soon as you are out of surgery.
9. Do You Use an Accredited Operating Facility?
Ask whether a plastic surgeon uses an accredited operating facility for all surgeries. This is important for multiple reasons.
- Protocols will be in place in case of unexpected disasters or emergencies, such as extreme weather or a fire.
- Anesthesia is always administered by a licensed anesthesiologist.
- Care and treatment plans are continually reviewed and updated, to ensure the best practices are being followed.
- All medications and supplies will be up to date.
- Quality standards for everything from food to safety precautions are extremely high.
- Accredited facilities carefully monitor and record every detail of each surgery and report to the medical board and the health department.
10. How Long Have You Been Doing Mommy Makeovers?
Find out not just how long your plastic surgeon has been in practice, but how long he or she has been doing mommy makeovers in particular. Someone who is experienced will have done these procedures on several different people with different body types and different aesthetic preferences. This helps a plastic surgeon to create desirable outcomes for individuals, rather than viewing a mommy makeover as a “one-size-fits-all” procedure.
11. How Often Do You Do Mommy Makeovers?
Even if someone has been doing mommy makeovers for several years, they may only do one or two of them each year. It’s best to work with a plastic surgeon who consistently does mommy makeovers. It should be something they are very comfortable doing, and they should have a very thorough and nuanced understanding of what can be achieved by each procedure that may be involved.
12. What Kind of Implants Would You Recommend for Me and Why?
- Many women also have breast enhancement procedures during their mommy makeover. A breast lift can combat sagging and restore a more youthful look, while breast implants can restore lost volume and create a shapelier silhouette. If you are thinking about breast augmentation as part of your mommy makeover, be sure your plastic surgeon explains the many breast implant options to you. Not only will you need to choose the right type of implants, you’ll have to make decisions regarding implant placement, incision placement and other.
- Silicone vs Saline: The first decision you’ll probably make when it comes to breast implants is whether to choose silicone or saline. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, silicone implants are often more expensive than saline, but tend to look and feel more like natural breast tissue.
- Size. Implant sizing is fairly complicated. The ideal size implants for you depends on the breast tissue you already have, the dimensions of your chest and your body proportions. It also depends greatly on what your personal preferences are.
Your plastic surgeon can help you understand how a particular size of implants might look on you.
- Shape: Traditionally, breast implants were only available in one shape: round. While some women prefer the round implant, many find that anatomically shaped implants (sometimes called teardrop implants) give them a more authentic-looking result.
- Implant Placement: The two most common placement methods for breast implants are submuscular and subglandular placement. Submuscular refers to the implants being placed under the pectoral muscles. Subglandular is when the implants are placed above the muscles and below the breast glands. Submuscular placement is often chosen for women with little existing breasts tissue as it helps to mask the appearance of implants in the chest.
- Incision Placement: Typically, there are three options for the placement of breast augmentation incisions. They are, in order of popularity: inframammary, periareolar and transaxillary. Inframammary incisions are made at the crease below the breast. Periareolar incisions are made along the bottom of the areola and transaxillary incisions are made in the armpit. Incision placement is generally chosen based on the type of implant being inserted.
The implants you and your plastic surgeon ultimately decide on will be dictated by what works best with your anatomy, lifestyle and aesthetic preferences.
- Profile: You’ll also get to choose from different implant profiles. The profile of an implant determines how far it will project out from your chest. The types of implant profiles, in order of least to most projection, are: moderate, moderate plus, high profile and ultra-high profile. The most commonly requested profile type is moderate plus.
- Smooth vs Textured: Both silicone and saline implants come in smooth and textured varieties. Textured implants have a rough surface that adheres to the surrounding tissue, whereas smooth implants do not. Your plastic surgeon can help you figure out whether smooth or textured implants are right for you.
13. What Will the Scars Be Like?
A skilled plastic surgeon will take great care to place incisions in the most inconspicuous places possible.
Many people are apprehensive about having plastic surgery because they worry about the scars. Talk about this at your consultation. Your plastic surgeon can tell you exactly where your incisions will be and how long they will be. Your incisions may heal differently depending on things such as your skin type and how well you care for them during your recovery. Ask for tips on tending to your incisions after surgery and for minimizing the appearance of your scars over time.
14. Do I Need Muscle Repair?
Many mothers suffer from diastasis recti, a condition where the abdominal muscles become separated after being stretched out during pregnancy. These muscles can be stitched together during a tummy tuck to help restore the appearance of your abdomen. Symptoms of diastasis recti include:
- A hanging or pouch-like appearance to the belly
- Urinary incontinence
- A protruding belly button
- Hip and back pain
Your plastic surgeon can help you determine whether you actually have separated abdominal muscles. If so, repairing them can become part of your mommy makeover plan.
Some facts about diastasis recti:
- Women over 35 are more likely to develop diastasis recti from pregnancy.
- Women who have had multiples (twins, triplets, etc.) are more likely to experience separation of the abdominal muscles.
- Women who have had several pregnancies are more susceptible to diastasis recti.
15. Do You Offer Medical Spa Procedures?
Since the goal of a mommy makeover is to restore and enhance your beauty, many women choose to have one or more medical spa treatments to complement theirs. Motherhood, lifestyle choices and the natural aging process can all take a toll on your face. If you have concerns about signs of aging on your face, ask your plastic surgeon about treatments that can help.
BOTOX® is a popular option for women having mommy makeovers. It temporarily relaxes certain facial muscles that cause lines to form. BOTOX® can be used for both preventative and maintenance purposes. For women who are unhappy with their skin due to the effects of sun damage or acne scars, laser skin resurfacing can help to reveal a smoother, more youthful face.