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Mommy Makeover

Women from Colorado Springs, Denver, and surrounding areas choose Mommy Makeover surgery to renew their bodies after pregnancy and childbirth. This personalized combination of plastic surgery procedures often includes a tummy tuck and breast surgery (breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction or a combination of these). Some women choose to add liposuction or another body contouring procedure, such as CoolSculpting®, after a Mommy Makeover for a more comprehensive result.

Dr. Wolfe, Dr. Steinwald, and Dr. Vath can provide you with honest, reliable information about Mommy Makeover surgery. To schedule a personal consultation, simply call (303) 278-2600 or request your consultation online.

Understanding Your Mommy Makeover

Each Mommy Makeover our surgeons perform is personalized to the unique needs and aesthetic goals of the patient. Most Mommy Makeovers include a combination of the following procedures:

Tummy Tuck

tummy tuckThe majority of Mommy Makeover procedures include abdominoplasty, often called a tummy tuck, which manages all 3 components of the abdominal wall: the muscles, fat and skin. Pregnancy or significant weight loss will create lax abdominal muscles which cause a rounded appearance to the tummy. These are tightened creating a flatter internal structure to the abdominal wall. The loose skin as well as any excess fat beneath the skin is removed in order to create a tight, contoured appearance. This procedure results in a scar from hip to hip that is low enough to hide under a two-piece swim suit. Our surgeons use an innovative no-drain abdominoplasty procedure for improved recovery.

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Breast Augmentation

breast implant

Breast Augmentation can be used to restore upper fullness in breasts that have deflated due to pregnancy, breast feeding, or weight loss. If a woman is an A or small B cup after having children or losing weight, often there is not enough breast volume to have created sagging and the need for a breast lift. In these situations, when the breasts reside above the breast creases, breast augmentation can be performed. It is generally advised that the implants are placed beneath the pectoralis muscles (see illustration) to achieve a more natural look with fewer complications. The incision options include the breast crease, periareolar, or axillary locations.

Breast Lift

breast liftFor women who have some sagging of the breast tissue below the breast creases, a breast lift(mastopexy) is necessary in order to restore a youthful, perky breast shape. Implants alone do not lift breasts. A lift will tighten the lower pole of the breasts to create a round undersurface and a perky, better contoured shape. This is accomplished by removing skin from the lower breast, shifting the breast upward with the areola and nipple attached, and rewrapping the skin around the lower breast in a tighter fashion (see illustration).


liposuctionLiposuction can be added to a Mommy Makeover in order to help contour areas that need not have skin excised. The most common regions that women choose to have liposuction along with their tummy tuck are the hips, flanks (love handles), back, outer thighs (saddlebags), and inner thighs (see illustration). Often, the liposuction requires no further scarring since the procedure can be performed through the same incision used for the abdominoplasty. At the Center for Cosmetic Surgery, approximately half of our Mommy Makeover patients opt to undergo some degree of liposuction.

Your Procedure

The duration of Mommy Makeover surgery varies depending upon the length of the tummy tuck (2 to 3 hours), type of breast surgery (breast augmentation takes 1 hour; breast lift takes 2 to 3 hours; breast reduction 2 to 3 hours), and choice for adjuvant liposuction (0.5 to 1.5 hours).

Mommy Makeover Recovery

The abdominoplasty is the rate limiting factor during the recovery from a Mommy Makeover. For most patients, the breast procedure is much easier to get through than the tummy tuck. In fact, after a Mommy Makeover, most women report that the breast discomfort is hardly noticeable. Although the tummy tuck can make for a tough first week, the recovery has become much easier than in the past because our surgeons do not use drains. The addition of some adjuvant liposuction generally does not add recovery time to the makeover.

Patients leave Apex Surgical Facility wearing a surgical bra and abdominal binder. These garments will help minimize swelling and offer support to the breasts and tummy for greater comfort during the initial stages of healing.

After a Mommy Makeover, patients are generally off of pain medication in 3 to 7 days. They are walking variable distances within the first week, but should avoid any activity causing a significant rise in blood pressure for the first couple of weeks, including physical work-outs. The first week is generally time for relaxation with some walking as tolerated. During the second week, many people go back to work if they have non-exertional jobs, but they still need to take it pretty easy. During the third week, people can start to pick up the intensity of their walks or even start a very light, low-impact cardio work-out. During the fourth week, patients should guide their activity based upon listening to their bodies. If something hurts, it is recommended to back off rather than push through it. The body will alert the mind well before any damage to the results can occur. It’s acceptable to increase work out intensity as it feels comfortable. By six weeks, scars are at maximum strength, but most people are well underway with their exercise regimens before the full six weeks.

Aesthetically, a large percentage of the swelling is gone by the end of a month, but a ridge of firmness can persist in the lower tummy and at the scar location which can take several months to totally flatten. There is not a great deal of swelling from breast surgery. However, there is some relaxation that happens over the first few months after a breast lift, breast augmentation, or combination of the two. As this relaxation occurs, upper fullness from implants will lessen a bit and lower breast tightening from a lift will round out to yield a more natural, attractive shape. But not to worry: immediately after surgery, your breasts will look great in clothes, a bra, a dress, or a swim suit.

Finally, precise, fine line scars are placed in the most inconspicuous location possible, but they take up to two years to fade completely. At the Center for Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Vath and Dr. Wolfe perform any scar revisions at no cost in the rare event it is helpful in achieving an improved, thinner, flatter scar appearance. The color of a scar is determined by the individual genetics of the patient and only time can allow for fading of this color. Scars creams and topical therapies such as silicone sheeting can help reduce the thickness of a hypertrophic or keloid scar, but actually offer no long-term benefit in normal scar appearance as compared to time.

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Just the Facts About Mommy Makeover Surgery

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about combining plastic surgery procedures. These 5 key facts should help you get past the hype.

1) FACT: Combining tummy and breast surgery has been proven safe.

Many studies have been performed that verify the safety and effectiveness of combining plastic surgery procedures, such as a Mommy Makeover. Given the appropriate health and candidacy of the patient, combining tummy tucks and breast surgery offers several advantages. You get a body transformation all at once with one anesthetic, one recovery, and a lower overall cost.

2) FACT: Breast and tummy procedures do not affect each other.

Tightening the tummy does not pull down on the breasts and lifting breasts does not pull up the tummy. The tummy and breasts are two completely separate anatomical areas of the body. The inframammary fold, or breast crease, delineates the upper portion of the abdomen from the lower region of the breasts. When the tummy is tucked, the breasts are not pulled down. Similarly, when the breasts are lifted and tightened, there is no effect on the abdomen.

3) FACT: Drains are not generally necessary with either tummy or breast procedures.

Except in rare circumstances, Dr. Vath and Dr. Wolfe do not employ drains with either breast surgery or tummy tucks.

Surgical drains are a source of discomfort and anxiety for many patients following a tummy tuck. In a traditional tummy tuck procedure, drains are used to prevent fluid accumulation in the open space created between the abdominal flap (skin and fat) and the muscle. Through the use of progressive tension sutures, Dr. Vath, Dr. Wolfe, and Dr. Steinwald can eliminate this space and securely advance the flap with tension distributed over a broader area. Patients cannot feel these sutures so they are not even aware of their presence. After a few months, they dissolve leaving no foreign material whatsoever in the body. This technique prevents seroma formation (fluid build-up) as there is no longer any space in which fluid can accumulate.

The no-drain tummy tuck makes recovery much easier in many ways, including:

  • No cumbersome management of tubes hanging from the body
  • No pain from drain sutures pulling on the skin
  • No fear and possible discomfort associated with their removal

Additionally, tension is spread out rather than being concentrated at the wound closure site. This decreases the risk of other complications such as a wide or hypertrophic (raised) scarring. Furthermore, Dr. Vath, Dr. Wolfe, and Dr. Steinwald believe that the absence of drainage tubes going through the skin after a tummy tuck reduces the risk of infection and the need for antibiotics.

4) FACT: Patients do not need to be at an ideal body weight.

Patients do not need to be an ideal body weight to be good candidates for a Mommy Makeover. A woman need not be ideal body weight to get great results from a Mommy Makeover. Although losing weight prior to having plastic surgery can allow for a more attractive transformation, not everyone can reach ideal body weight. The majority of any planned weight loss should be shed prior to surgery. But once you’ve maximized your efforts, or stabilized, plastic surgery can be considered to manage loose or deflated breasts, tummy rolls or skin laxity, and stretched, separated abdominal muscles. Some of the most gratified patients are somewhat overweight prior to undergoing breast and tummy surgery. At the Center for Cosmetic Surgery, we believe that success after cosmetic surgery is measured by a patient’s happiness with the aesthetic changes that can be safely accomplished – not the realization of some idealized, societal version of beauty.

5) FACT: Mommy Makeovers do not always require a hospital stay.

Outpatient Mommy Makeovers can be performed so patients can recover in the comfort of their own homes. Because a Mommy Makeover generally takes less than 6 hours to perform, most patients can return homes for their recoveries. This practice has been proven safe and allows for early walking and a more comfortable environment for the recovery.

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Keys to Attractive Results

Attractive Mommy Makeover results depend on several factors, including:

1) The tummy tuck scar is low on the abdomen and the belly button looks natural.

A natural, attractive tummy has a funneling, tucked in belly button contour rather than a fake looking circular appearance at the tummy surface. After an abdominoplasty, the belly button plays a critical role in the normal, feminine appearance of a pretty tummy.

The scar must be low enough on the abdomen to remain hidden by most small bikini bottoms or undergarments. A scar that is too high or too low to be easily covered can greatly detract from the aesthetic benefits of a tummy tuck.

2) Breast contour is improved with a lift when necessary, and implants are used only to increase size and upper fullness.

Implants do not assist in lifting sagging breasts or creating a better breast shape. Implants achieve more upper fullness and larger breasts and can successfully restore an attractive fullness to small, deflated breasts that do not sag below the breast crease. When breast augmentation alone is performed when a lift is also needed, then ugly, misshaped breasts are the result. Therefore, it is critically important that a legitimate lifting procedure (breast lift) be performed when indicated and that implants be placed only for the goals of enhancing size and upper fullness.

3) Liposuction is added when desired by patients to reduce hip or love handle fullness.

Frequently, patients will choose to undergo some liposuction at the same time as their abdominoplasty. This is for fatty excesses in areas not addressed by the tummy tuck, such as the flanks (love handles), hips, outer thighs (saddlebags), inner thighs, and back. Since an abdominoplasty does not flatten out the sides of the body such as the hip and love handle areas, many people find it important to add some liposuction to these regions in order to get the most complete aesthetic result.

Liposuction is rarely needed in order to create the tightest, flattest tummy during an abdominoplasty. This is because fat is directly removed during the tummy tuck operation. Along with the muscle and skin tightening, this fat removal obviates the need to liposuction the tummy in order to achieve a flatter abdominal contour.

Why Choose Us

For Your Mommy Makeover

The best thing a Mommy Makeover patient can do to attain beautiful results is to choose a top-of-the-line surgeon. All three of our surgeons specialize in performing complex Mommy Makeover procedures and consistently provide attractive, natural-looking outcomes. We invite you to get to know us and see what sets us apart.

Keys to Choosing Your Mommy Makeover Surgeon

Review many impressive before-and-after photos.

There are two important reasons to spend time reviewing before-and-after pictures when considering plastic surgery. The first is to determine what procedure, if any, actually serves to improve your undesired appearance. The second is to distinguish which surgeon performs the best work.

There are many procedures discussed on the web and touted by the cosmetic surgery community and media as aesthetic dream-makers. Often, however, they are not. Be skeptical and use before-and-after pictures to determine which procedures will actually address your concerns. If an operation works well, there will be thousands of pictures demonstrating its success. If it’s hard to find good before-and-after pictures of a procedure used for the problem you’re trying to address, then it probably doesn’t exist. Remember to be honest with yourself about your appearance when evaluating web pictures. The mirror lies. We recommend that you take pictures of yourself and set them in front of your computer while you do your research. Make sure that the before photos look like you and then determine what procedures work. Just because the media or some web site states that fat injection to the buttocks will lift the butt, that doesn’t make it so.

Second, once you’ve identified the best operation for you, it’s easy to determine which surgeons achieve the most natural and attractive results. All people are hard-wired to appreciate natural attractiveness. Fortunately, it’s easy for you to identify who can meet your highest expectations simply by reviewing before-and-after photo galleries.

Find a surgeon who specializes in cosmetic plastic surgery.

Many plastic surgeons perform cosmetics surgery procedures such as Mommy Makeovers. But few specialize in the cosmetic, rather than reconstructive side of plastic surgery and dedicate their entire practice to aesthetic procedures. Because our surgeons practice cosmetic plastic surgery exclusively, they perform hundreds of Mommy Makeovers per year and can assure each patient that she will get the most beautiful aesthetic transformation possible.

Seek a surgeon who upholds the proper credentials.

Proper credentials for a Mommy Makeover surgeon include certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS). Learn more about selecting a surgeon here.

Ask if the surgeon uses only an accredited, state-of-the-art surgical facility.

Our surgeons perform Mommy Makeover procedures in our AAAHC certified Apex Surgical Facility in Golden, Colorado. Apex is owned and operated by our surgeons, and is used exclusively for aesthetic surgery patients. Anesthesia is used to ensure that you feel no discomfort and that your breathing is maintained and controlled for the duration of your procedure. We use only board certified anesthesiologists, including Dr. Joseph Carpenter, the medical director of Apex Surgical Facility.

Notice if, upon meeting the surgeon, you make a connection.

Perhaps the most important criterion for choosing a plastic surgeon is your intuitive sense of comfort with the physician as a person. Cosmetic surgery is an emotional and personal experience. After all of your research into credentials and before/after pictures, ultimately, you must feel good about trusting the plastic surgeon to care for you and your aesthetic results.

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