What is a Mummy Makeover?
Embrace a complete transformation with a Mummy Makeover, a curated set of cosmetic surgery procedures, tailored to help you rediscover your pre-baby body, after the significant physical effects of pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. This treatment is also beneficial for patients who have experienced considerable weight loss or for those seeking to address multiple areas in a single procedure.
Post-pregnancy, many women are left grappling with deflated, drooping breasts and stretched, loose abdominal skin, not to forget the separated abdominal muscles and fascia that no amount of exercise can rectify. Further compounding this issue, a weakened abdominal wall, accompanied by stubborn fat deposits, can lead to protrusions that remain unresponsive to regular exercise.
Acknowledging the loss of your body's original contours can be distressing. No fitness regimen can repair a torn fascia, reunite separated muscles, or eliminate loose skin. However, Mummy Makeover surgery can help counteract the repercussions of childbirth, relieving feelings of despair and frustration about your body's appearance.
For many mothers, this can be seen as a significant stride towards reclaiming their bodies and prioritising self-care, following months or even years dedicated to nurturing their children.
What procedures are in a Mummy Makeover?
Each Mummy Makeover surgery is meticulously tailored to the patient's specific requirements and typically contains the following procedures:
- A tummy tuck, often in conjunction with diastasis recti repair, aims to eliminate surplus skin and fat, tighten the abdomen, and mend separated muscles. This may also include a belly button lift.
- Breast enhancement is usually achieved via breast augmentation to replenish lost volume, and breast lift surgery to elevate drooping breasts. Some women opt for breast reduction to decrease the size of large breasts by removing skin and tissue. These procedures may also incorporate areola reduction or nipple surgery.
Your Mummy Makeover may also involve:
- Liposuction for body sculpting, which removes surplus fat.
- A Brazilian butt lift, with or without hip augmentation.
- A variety of vaginal rejuvenation procedures such as a perineoplasty to narrow the vaginal opening, vaginoplasty to tighten the inside of the vagina, and labiaplasty to refine the appearance of the labia minora.
- Laser skin resurfacing or injectables like anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers, to smooth wrinkles, fill in under-eye bags, and rejuvenate the face.
Considering the diversity of procedures and different surgical techniques, investing the time (and consultation fees) to engage with more than one board-certified plastic surgeon for a total Mummy Makeover can be highly beneficial.
Each plastic surgeon you engage should allocate time to discuss your concerns, suggest a tailored treatment plan, and provide a comprehensive price breakdown.
What are the Pros and Cons of a Mummy Makeover?
- Mummy Makeovers tackle multiple post-pregnancy issues in one comprehensive procedure, accompanied by a single recovery phase.
- The outcomes can be transformative, not only restoring your body to its pre-pregnancy form but frequently enhancing it further.
- Patients give a 95% satisfaction rating to the Mummy Makeover, with numerous reviewers expressing that they feel more like their old selves and have experienced a surge in self-confidence.
- Abdominoplasty (or tummy tuck) may eliminate or improve the appearance of stretch marks and C-section scars.
- Additionally, the treatment can help correct medical conditions such as diastasis recti (separation of abdominal muscles), hernias, alleviate back pain and urinary incontinence, which are common post-childbirth issues, as per recent studies.
- Patients who deemed their Mummy Makeover procedure as not worth the money, cite reasons such as a difficult recovery, substantial scarring, uneven liposuction, or asymmetrical breasts.
- Given that the process involves multiple procedures, most people require 2 to 4 weeks of downtime and up to 3 months to fully recuperate. This can be a daunting task for those with young children or for those who can not take time off work.
- Assistance will be required for daily activities, and lifting heavy objects (including young children) must be avoided during the initial week of recovery.
- Body sculpting procedures, like abdominoplasty and liposuction, do not stop future weight gain. Adhering to a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen is crucial to maintain your results.
- The procedure does result in scarring, including a low, hip-to-hip scar from the tummy tuck.
How much does a Mummy Makeover cost?
Average Cost: $19,300
Range: $9,700 - $40,500
The price of a Mummy Makeover depends on several key elements, including the intricacy of your procedure, your plastic surgeon's proficiency and expertise, and their operating location, among other crucial details.
As this falls under the category of elective cosmetic surgery, private health insurance and Medicare typically doesn't apply. However, if your procedure encompasses hernia repair or breast reduction, there might be a possibility for private health insurance to subsidise a part of those expenses.
Is a Mummy Makeover dangerous, what are the potential risks and side effects?
Mummy makeovers are generally considered safe when conducted by a proficient, board-certified plastic surgeon. Yet, each included procedure carries a certain degree of risk - risks that amplify when multiple procedures are combined and the surgery extends for longer durations.
During your consultation, when discussing your treatment plan, seek assurance that your surgery will not extend beyond six hours.
Tummy tuck surgery has the greatest chance for complications, with twice the incident rate of other cosmetic surgeries, 3% versus 1.5%, as indicated by a 2015 study in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal. Hematoma, a condition where blood accumulates under the skin, occurs the most out of all major complications.
Your surgeon should explain all potential risks and complications to you, along with their strategies to minimize and manage their effects.
- Infections can happen with any surgical procedure. Infection symptoms include pain, redness, and/or pus discharge.
- Thrombosis (blood clots) and, in rare instances, pulmonary thromboembolism (blood clots to the lungs) are also possible, and these can be very severe. The risk of blood clots is notably high for tummy tuck patients, though the exact reason is unclear. A 2018 study on blood clots across instances of outpatient cosmetic surgery, conducted over a decade, found that 58% (240) occurred among tummy tuck patients.
- During the initial 3 to 5 days of recovery, stay vigilant for symptoms like pain, swelling, or skin discolouration on your legs, which may indicate a blood clot. Other symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pains, or coughing up blood are all indications to seek immediate medical help.
- Your risk of developing a blood clot may remain elevated for up to 3 months. So if you have travelled for your surgery, it is advisable to wait at least a week before flying home. If possible, book a business-class ticket to allow frequent leg movement and walking on the plane, and consider wearing compression socks.
- Studies also highlight that the risk of complications from liposuction: blood clots, pulmonary complications, and infection, majorly increases when conducted with other procedures, particularly in older or overweight patients.
- If you are contemplating a BBL, be aware that this can be one of the riskiest surgical procedures when performed by the wrong surgeon. It is crucial to choose an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon who abides by the latest safety guidelines.
Once again, the best way to ensure your safety is by diligently selecting a well-reviewed, board-certified plastic surgeon who regularly performs these operations. During consultation, inquire about their complication rates, risk mitigation strategies, and their approach to handling complications, should they occur.
Is a Mummy Makeover worth it?
As previously indicated, Mummy Makeover surgery garners an exceedingly high satisfaction rating, the vast majority of patients who've shared their experiences and results affirm that the substantial investment and extensive recovery time were worth it.
A meticulously executed Mummy Makeover can be life-altering, with enduring results that can persist for well over a decade. Numerous patients reported that their bodies underwent a transformation that ingrained them with renewed self-confidence.
However, it is noteworthy that not all experiences are positive. Those who indicated it was not worth it, mentioned a protracted, uncomfortable recovery period and side effects such as scarring, asymmetry, and complications. It's crucial to select an accomplished and adept plastic surgeon who understands your objectives and can evaluate your suitability for the procedure. It is equally important to have realistic expectations about the recovery process, equipping yourself with a comprehensive understanding of what's involved and preparing accordingly.
Who is a good candidate for Mummy Makeover surgery?
The perfect candidates for a Mum Makeover are:
- In good all-around health.
- Within 10kg of their target body weight. BMI guidelines and limitations can differ among surgeons, so scheduling a consultation to discuss particular weight issues is recommended.
- At a stable weight. It's advisable not to plan this surgery too hastily post-childbirth, despite the allure. Patience, until you've completed your family planning and have ceased breastfeeding for at least six months, is key to preserving your surgical outcomes. This also enables your surgeon to accurately assess your body in its natural state.
- Non-smokers. The use of tobacco or vaping can hamper the healing process. If you're a smoker, your surgeon will likely advise you to quit at least two weeks prior to and three weeks after your surgery.
During your preliminary consultation, it's crucial to be transparent about your health status to minimise the potential risk of complications.
How to Prepare for a Mummy Makeover
A Mummy Makeover is a significant procedure, and pre-arranging several essentials can provide you with peace of mind and facilitate a smoother recovery.
Your surgeon's clinic will likely supply a checklist, possibly comprising the following components:
Pre-purchase recovery essentials
You should be given a list of recovery supplies to procure beforehand.
Necessities often consist of compression garments, stool softeners (to counter the constipation induced by pain medication), and any doctor-recommended supplements like arnica to minimise bruising.
If bandages, incision cleanliness supplies, and antibiotic ointments are not being provided, request a list to ensure you have them at home.
Loose outfits and button-down shirts that don't require overhead wear will make dressing easier - especially when raising your arms is painful - and they prevent uncomfortable friction against incisions.
Preparing healthy freezer meals will also help lighten the load during the rest and healing period.
Arrange for childcare
It's crucial to steer clear of heavy lifting and excessive activity at least for the initial week post-surgery, so arranging childcare and pet care is essential, particularly if your children are young or pets are energetic.
Initiate nicotine avoidance
At least a month before surgery (preferably sooner), quit smoking, vaping, or any other nicotine replacement therapy, as these can heighten the risk of serious complications and delay your recovery.
This includes avoiding second-hand smoke. Nicotine can impede skin blood flow, causing skin necrosis (tissue death).
Examine your medications and supplements
Discuss your medications and supplements with the patient care coordinator. Certain decongestants, pain relievers, and prescribed medications may not be suitable pre-surgery, while others are acceptable.
Those with chronic pain on opioid regimens need to talk with their surgeon, general practitioner, and anaesthesiologist to make suitable amendments for the surgery and recovery.
For instance, regular users of Tramadol may need to modify their dosage. This doesn't imply you can't undergo surgery, but post-operative pain may be marginally more challenging to manage. Regular use of an opioid pain medication like Tramadol can somewhat desensitise you to its effects, possibly necessitating increased dosages or a switch to a different pain medication for managing surgical pain.
How long does Mummy Makeover surgery take?
Mummy Makeover surgery typically requires between 3 to 6 hours, depending on the number of different procedures, their intricacy, and the technique utilised by your surgeon.
There is a cap on the number of procedures most surgeons will conduct simultaneously, for the sake of patient safety. It's commonly advised that elective procedures shouldn't exceed 6 hours, and a comprehensive tummy tuck itself can take around 4 hours.
You'll also need to anticipate arriving roughly 2 hours early for preliminary processes and the administration of anesthesia. Post-surgery, count on a few hours in a recovery room for monitoring before being deemed fit to safely return home. Ensure that a reliable person is available to transport you to and from the facility, and stay with you at your home on the first night post-surgery, should you require any assistance.
What happens during a Mummy Makeover?
This outpatient procedure is undertaken in a hospital or your surgeon’s private operating facility. If it isn't conducted in a hospital, verify that your board-certified plastic surgeon's clinic is thoroughly accredited and they possess hospital privileges for quick access to emergency care, though this would be an exceptional occurrence.
Procedures of this duration are most often conducted under general anesthesia, ensuring that you're fully unconscious and intubated for its entirety. Alternatively, some surgeons may opt for deep IV sedation. Your anesthesiologist will be monitoring you throughout the operation to safeguard your well-being.
Once you're ready for surgery, your doctor and their medical team will adhere to the agreed-upon surgical plan.
- During a breast lift, the surgeon elevates and shapes the breast tissue, eliminating surplus skin and frequently repositioning the nipple and areola higher on the breast.
- Breast augmentation is typically achieved by placing silicone implants over the breast muscle. For those desiring a slight increase in breast size without a lift, your surgeon might opt for a fat transfer instead, extracting fat from one body area (like the abdomen or thighs) through liposuction and injecting it into your breasts. Some women may require a combination of augmentation and lift to achieve their desired enhancement.
- In a tummy tuck, the surgeon creates a hip-to-hip incision, retracting the skin and underlying abdominal fat to reveal the abdominal wall, they then restore and tighten your abdominal muscles, and eliminate extra skin and tissue. They might also mend a hernia or diastasis recti. In most instances, they'll relocate your belly button to a more natural position before suturing the incision.
- With liposuction, the surgeon introduces a slender, hollow tube known as a cannula via small incisions to suck out excess fat. Some energy-assisted liposuction also tightens skin, which assists in avoiding laxity and sagging once the fat has been removed.
- A surgeon specializing in vaginal rejuvenation can narrow the vagina's entrance with perineoplasty, or the vaginal canal and pelvic floor with vaginoplasty. They can also surgically rectify prolapse, a state where organs intrude into the vaginal canal.
- Some women also get a Brazilian butt lift, where surplus fat is extracted with liposuction and then transplanted into the buttocks, enhancing volume and reshaping contours.
Following the surgery, bandages or other surgical dressings may be placed on the incisions and secured with tape or elastic, underneath a surgical binder or compression gear.
You'll subsequently be transferred to a recovery area where your vital signs will be monitored as you regain consciousness.
While it's likely you'll be able to return home a few hours post-surgery, don't be taken aback if your surgeon suggests an overnight stay for additional monitoring. Given the magnitude of the procedure and several hours of surgery, it might be safer for you to leave the following day when your stable condition is assured. An overnight stay will raise your costs, but it's a worthwhile investment for your safety.
How long does recovery take after a Mummy Makeover?
You should anticipate taking a minimum of 2 weeks off work post-mummy makeover, this could extend to 6 weeks, particularly if your occupation involves strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting.
Your recovery period will depend on the number and nature of the procedures you have undergone, so your surgeon should give a custom recovery estimate when they go through your treatment plan.
Below is a typical recovery timeline:
- In the first 2-week recovery phase, you'll be able to partake in light everyday activities.
- After the 3-week mark, you can reintroduce moderate exercise into your routine. By this time, the majority of your swelling and bruising should have dissipated.
- At the 6-week juncture, you'll be ready to resume intense exercise. It should also be safe for you to engage in heavy lifting by this point.
- You can expect to see your final results within 6 months, once all the swelling has fully disappeared.
- Scars will continue to lighten for 6-12 months post-surgery. For more information about when to initiate scar treatments, read further below.
Will a Mummy Makeover leave scars?
Any type of surgery will leave scars at the incision points, though plastic surgeons will try to position these scars such that they remain concealed beneath clothing, including swimwear. These scars will also gradually lighten over time.
There are scar treatments, including topical creams, that can help reduce the visibility of scars. Medical silicone scar treatments, available in the form of gels or bandages, can stop abnormal, hypertrophic scars, and keloids. When used on the incision area after it has scabbed and healed, these treatments act like your skin's moisture barrier, keeping the scar hydrated, and preventing permanent scarring.
Typically, scar treatment can begin around 1-month post-surgery, however, it is best to consult your doctor, as they may suggest even sooner.
How painful is Mummy Makeover surgery?
You will be unconscious from general anesthesia during the mummy makeover procedure, ensuring that you will not feel any pain or any other sensations.
Right after the surgery, pain relief will be administered via your IV to mitigate any discomfort.
Before you are discharged, your surgeon will prescribe medications to manage pain during your recovery period. If your mummy makeover includes a tummy tuck, you can expect to have some pain and discomfort, typically requiring prescribed pain relievers for the first week.
After the first 4 to 7 days, pain and discomfort should drop significantly, meaning you can swap to over-the-counter medications. Consult your doctor about which medications are most suitable, and steer clear of blood thinners like ibuprofen, as these can interfere with blood clotting.
Should you experience substantial pain during recovery, do not hesitate to contact your surgeon. Pain can take away energy required for healing, hence your doctor will want to ensure your comfort during recovery.
How long do Mummy Makeover results last?
The results of a mummy makeover should be long-lasting, staying for a decade-plus, provided you maintain a steady weight and lead a healthy lifestyle.
While breast implants are not forever and may require replacement at some point, They still should last 10 to 15 years.
Sources & Studies
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Keyes, GR, Singer, R, Iverson, RE & Nahai, F 2017, ‘Incidence and Predictors of Venous Thromboembolism in Abdominoplasty’, Aesthetic Surgery Journal, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 162–173, viewed 26 June 2023, <https://academic.oup.com/asj/article/38/2/162/4372243>.
Matarasso, A & Smith, DM 2015, ‘Combined Breast Surgery and Abdominoplasty’, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, vol. 135, no. 5, pp. 849e860e, viewed 26 June 2023, <https://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Abstract/2015/05000/Combined_Breast_Surgery_and_Abdominoplasty_.17.aspx>.
Puri, N & Talwar, A 2009, ‘The efficacy of silicone gel for the treatment of hypertrophic scars and keloids’, Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, vol. 2, no. 2, p. 104, viewed 26 June 2023, <https://journals.lww.com/jcas/Fulltext/2009/02020/The_Efficacy_of_Silicone_Gel_for_the_Treatment_of.8.aspx>.
Taylor, DA, Merten, SL, Sandercoe, GD, Gahankari, D, Ingram, SB, Moncrieff, NJ, Ho, K, Sellars, GD & Magnusson, MR 2018, ‘Abdominoplasty Improves Low Back Pain and Urinary Incontinence’, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, vol. 141, no. 3, pp. 637–645, viewed 26 June 2023, <https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29481394/>.
Winocour, J, Gupta, V, Ramirez, JR, Shack, RB, Grotting, JC & Higdon, KK 2015, ‘Abdominoplasty’, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, vol. 136, no. 5, pp. 597e606e, viewed 26 June 2023, <https://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Abstract/2015/11000/Abdominoplasty__Risk_Factors,_Complication_Rates,.9.aspx>.