Is a Mommy Makeover Safe? 

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Understanding the Benefits and Risks of Combining Body Contouring Procedures

A mommy makeover performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon can safely improve postpartum concerns, however, all surgeries carry risks that must be considered. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Smith to discuss your goals, health history, and the steps you can take to minimize these risks so you can determine if combining procedures into a mommy makeover is the right decision for you.

For many women, pregnancy and childbirth bring profound joy and fulfillment. However, they also often leave physical changes that can impact self-image and self-confidence. Drooping breasts, abdominal skin laxity, and stubborn fat deposits are common concerns. 

This has driven growing interest in “mommy makeover” procedures designed to rejuvenate the body after childbearing. But an important question arises: Are mommy makeovers safe?

Understanding both the benefits and potential risks is crucial when considering the safety profile of mommy makeovers. With proper precautions and an experienced plastic surgeon, these combined procedures can be very safe and effective. However, unrealistic expectations or failing to follow post-operative instructions can increase the chances of complications. 

By educating yourself and choosing your doctor carefully, you can maximize your chances of safely achieving your aesthetic goals.

What is a Mommy Makeover?

A Woman's Body Before Mommy Makeover

A mommy makeover is not a single procedure, but rather a combination of body contouring surgeries tailored to address a woman’s specific concerns after pregnancy and breastfeeding. The most common procedures requested for mommy makeover surgeries include:

  • Breast augmentation, breast lift, or breast reduction
  • Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)
  • Liposuction to refine areas such as the abdomen, hips, thighs or arms

The procedures included in a mommy makeover plan will depend on each patient’s unique aesthetic goals and physical needs. The customizable nature of a mommy makeover allows it to effectively address a wide range of post-pregnancy body concerns. However, this also means that recovery time and risks associated with surgery can vary widely. 

Schedule a personalized consultation with Dr. Smith today to discuss which combination of procedures can help you achieve your aesthetic goals after childbirth

What Are the General Risks and Safety Concerns?

Mommy makeover procedures provide dramatic improvements that non-surgical options simply cannot match. However, any surgery does come with risks. Being aware of the safety considerations and how to reduce risks is key. 

Some general risks include:

  • Infection: Uncontrolled infection is a risk with any surgery. Dr. Smith will prescribe antibiotics and provide wound care instructions to prevent infection.
  • Bleeding/hematoma: Bleeding or a hematoma (pooled blood) under the skin can cause dangerous complications if not addressed. We will monitor closely for any signs of hemorrhage or hematoma.
  • Blood clots: Clots in the legs or lungs (pulmonary embolism) can occur after surgery. Preventative measures include stopping certain medications, wearing compression garments, and getting up to walk soon after surgery.
  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia: Modern anesthesia is very safe, but carries rare risks of allergic reactions, breathing difficulties or heart arrhythmias. Our anesthesiologist will monitor you closely.
  • Unsatisfactory scarring: Scars are inevitable with any invasive procedure. Dr. Smith uses meticulous techniques to minimize scarring, but some patients may scar more than others. Following wound care instructions helps prevent hypertrophic or keloid scars.

What About Procedure-Specific Risks?

Beyond general surgical risks, the specific procedures involved in a mommy makeover carry some unique potential complications:

Surgery TypeRiskDescription
Tummy TuckSeromaFluid buildup under the skin often occurs after tummy tucks. Additional drainage and compression may be needed.
Delayed wound healingStomach tissue is prone to delayed healing. Your surgeon will carefully close incisions and monitor the sites.
Abdominal muscle detachmentVigorous activity too soon after surgery can cause abdominal muscles to detach. Post-op activity restrictions reduce this risk.
Breast SurgeryImplant leakage/rupture (with implants)Silicone or saline implant rupture is uncommon but can occur years later. Ruptured implants will require replacement.
Breast asymmetrySome asymmetry between breasts is unavoidable. Communicating desired results helps surgeons minimize asymmetry.
Loss of sensationNumbness or lost sensation in nipples or breast skin impacts some patients after breast surgery. Most sensation gradually returns.
LiposuctionContour irregularitiesSmall dents or bumps sometimes occur after liposuction. A skilled surgeon using proper technique minimizes this risk.
Lidocaine toxicityLarge volumes of lidocaine used in tumescent liposuction can cause toxic levels without careful monitoring. Your anesthesiologist will track levels.
Fluid imbalanceRemoving large fat volumes can cause fluid imbalance. IV hydration during surgery helps prevent this risk.

Dr. Smith will discuss the details of potential risks from any other procedures being considered for your mommy makeover plan. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. It’s always better to be fully informed rather than facing surprises later.

Get all your questions answered in a thorough preoperative consultation with Dr. Smith to fully understand the benefits and risks of your customized mommy makeover plan

How Can I Minimize My Risks With a Mommy Makeover?

While plastic surgery is never entirely without risks, the following key precautions can reduce your risks considerably:

  1. Choose your surgeon very carefully. Board-certified plastic surgeons with extensive body contouring experience like Dr. Darren M. Smith provides the safest outcomes. Ask to see many examples of his work.
  2. Get medical clearance from your primary doctor before surgery, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions. Your plastic surgeon can determine if you’re healthy enough for body contouring surgery.
  3. Discuss your expectations and desired results thoroughly at preoperative consultations. Good communication with your doctor influences safety.
  4. Have surgery at an accredited outpatient surgery center or hospital for safety and proper monitoring. Avoid offices lacking the proper credentials.
  5. Follow the pre and post-operative instructions faithfully. This includes stopping certain medications, arranging transportation home, and modifying activity per protocol.
  6. Maintain consistent follow-up care in the months after surgery. Communicate any unusual symptoms or complications promptly to your doctor.
  7. Adhere to all wound care instructions and wear any compression garments as directed to prevent complications and maximize healing.
  8. Avoid strenuous activity, vigorous exercise, heavy lifting, and sun exposure during your recovery period to prevent injury or scarring issues. Follow all activity restrictions.
  9. Stop smoking and avoid second-hand smoke. Smoking impairs wound healing and can lead to serious complications after plastic surgery.
  10. Balancing a busy life as a new mom makes surgery recovery challenging. Having reliable, experienced childcare help lined up before your mommy makeover can significantly reduce risks from over-activity. Don’t be afraid to ask for help so you can fully comply with post-op limits.

Does Age or Health Impact Mommy Makeover Safety?

A Woman with a fat stomach

Being in overall good health, at a stable weight, and not smoking reduces risks and improves mommy makeover outcomes at any age. However, there are some factors related to age and medical conditions that impact safety considerations:

Younger Women

Youth doesn’t eliminate surgical risks. However, young patients tend to recover from invasive surgery quicker. There are generally fewer age-related health concerns to factor in with young moms.

Older Women

Women choosing mommy makeover surgery in their 40’s or later still face age-related risks like delayed wound healing, implant rupture, or health complications under anesthesia. Overall good health can offset some of these concerns.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Medical issues like diabetes, autoimmune disorders, or heart disease increase mommy makeover risks. Your doctor will help determine if it’s safe to proceed based on your health history.

Previous Abdominal Surgery

Multiple cesarean deliveries or any prior stomach surgery increase tummy tuck complication risks. Scar tissue makes surgery technically more difficult.


Smoking severely impairs healing and substantially increases the risks of serious complications after any plastic surgery. Most surgeons mandate smoking cessation.

Realistic expectations are also key for women at any age. Plastic surgery has limits. Being open with your surgeon about your expectations and understanding results have a range can influence your safety and satisfaction.

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Smith to determine if a mommy makeover is right for you based on your age, health history, and aesthetic goals

Non-Surgical Options to Enhance Your Postpartum Body

Given the risks plastic surgery entails, it’s fair to question whether surgery is actually the best solution for concerns about your post-pregnancy body. Thankfully, you have options:

Diet and exerciseImproved nutrition and regular workouts can work wonders over time. Postpartum exercise programs help many moms feel fit again without surgery.
Therapeutic massageMassage techniques or devices like Endermologie can reduce the appearance of cellulite and loose skin with multiple treatments over weeks.
Infrared or radiofrequency skin tighteningNon-invasive skin tightening using infrared or RF energy is modestly effective for loose skin and wrinkles. Several sessions are needed.
Ultrasound fat eliminationFocused ultrasound can eliminate small fat pockets without surgery. The results are less dramatic than liposuction.
Laser treatmentsLaser therapy can mildly improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of stretch marks when applied in a series over time.
Dermal FillersDermal fillers inject volume into breast creases or sagging skin to provide subtle rejuvenation without surgery. The results can last for more than 1-2 years.

Customized combination of conservative therapies like diet, exercise, skin care, and strategic fillers or non-invasive treatments provides satisfactory improvement over a period of months. While dramatic surgical body transformation isn’t possible through these means, moderate enhancement and learning to feel confident in your own skin again is achievable. 

Considering non-surgical options first may provide the results you want without the risks of a mommy makeover. Dr. Smith can help you develop an effective, less invasive strategy catered to your needs.

Ready to Explore Your Options?

There’s no “one size fits all” answer about the safety of mommy makeovers. Much depends upon your specific procedures, health status, realistic expectations, and expert care by an accredited plastic surgeon. 

While surgical body contouring after pregnancy does come with substantial risks that cannot be ignored, for many women, the benefits outweigh the potential for complications when properly executed.

Ultimately, the choice involves balancing safety precautions with the profound emotional and psychological boost of feeling comfortable and confident in your skin again post-childbirth. Take your time researching options, never hesitate to get a second opinion, and choose a surgeon who resonates with your needs and goals. 

Don’t wait, contact Dr. Smith now to discuss your mommy makeover questions and start mapping out a plan tailored to your needs