Mommy Makeover Q&A: What Will My Mommy Makeover Recovery Time Be?

Question – How long is the down time during a mommy makeover recovery? How much pain will I be in after surgery?

What is recovery like with a mommy makeover? I have scheduled both a breast augmentation with lift and a tummy tuck and am pretty scared. I am worried that the pain will be unbearable.

I know medication will be provided but I do not want to be comatose. I have 2 small children and a wonderful husband that will be taking 100% care of all 3 of us but I also want to be coherent. Will I be alert and will I be in so much pain as to scare my children? I have had 2 c sections and the pain was completely bearable.

Answer – Both procedures, breast augmentation and tummy tuck, come with a certain degree of pain and discomfort; that said, every patient’s pain tolerance is different. Most patients feel “uncomfortable” for the first few days, but after about a week, begin to feel reasonably well. By the 2nd or 3rd week, you should be back to performing most of your normal, day-to-day activities.

Pain level and recovery time are two of the most commonly asked questions of my mommy makeover patients – it’s very important that you make the most of your early-recovery. Ample rest and low-to-no stress is key. Pain during recovery can also be a big part of that trepidation. The best place to start answering this question is to consider the surgical plans behind your personal transformation.

It’s important to know the details of each procedure in order to make the best decisions regarding your own mommy makeover. While each makeover is tailored to the individuals needs and goals of each and every patient, the surgery usually includes a breast enhancement and some body contouring procedures.

Most mommy makeovers include

  • breast augmentation and/or breast lift
  • liposuction
  • tummy tuck

With my patients, I discuss each procedure in depth, and make sure we talk about all aspects of the surgery AND recovery. This not only helps me get a sense of your aesthetic goals, but also set proper expectations for your recovery from mommy makeover surgery.

Breast Augmentation
When we talk about breast implants and breast lifts, we’ll discuss size, shape, and texture, as well as incision types, and placement. Some incisions are more invasive than others, but this generally depends on the type of implant you choose. Silicone implants require an inframammary incision. This is an incision along the natural crease under the breast. This is considered a more invasive incision. Another option is a periareolar incision, which is an incision around the areola.

Tummy Tuck & Liposuction
With a tummy tuck combined with liposuction, you’re looking at the same length of recovery period as you may have experienced with C section surgeries. With this surgery, however, recovery and level of pain depends on how much of the musculature needs to be repaired. Pregnancy causes the abdominal muscles to relax in order to facilitate expansion to carry a child. After childbirth, sometimes these muscles don’t regain their tone. In addition to getting rid of excess fat and skin, a big part of a tummy tuck is repairing these muscles. I generally discuss everything from mini tummy tucks to standard abdominoplasty with patients, based on what needs to happen to achieve their goals.

Mommy Makeover - Before & After

Before & After Mommy Makeover Surgery (3 months Post-Op) – This 5’4″, 122 lb mother of two underwent a breast augmentation with a periareolar “donut” mastopexy plus a full abdominoplasty with liposuction of the hips and love handles. Click here to view more photos of this patient.

Mommy Makeover Recovery Stages

The recovery time of a mommy makeover is significantly shorter than if you were to have the procedures separately. The following is a guide to the recovery process and what to expect. However, recovery time for this procedure will vary from patient to patient. It important to talk to your doctor about your recovery period and when you will be able to resume normal activity and exercise. It is often difficult for mothers to refrain from their day to day activities with their children, but ample rest following surgery can be the key to a speedy recovery.

Mommy Makeover Recovery – the hours following surgery

A mommy makeover procedure is performed on patients under general anesthesia so the patient is to be asleep during the entire process. In the hours following surgery, the anesthesia will start to wear away, and you will wake feeling tired and weak. When the doctor releases you from the hospital, it is important to have someone there to drive you home. An adult caregiver should be with you at all times for the first 24-48 hours following the surgery.

Mommy Makeover Recovery – Week 1-2

During the first couple of weeks following surgery a family member or loved one needs to be available for help with your day to day needs, including taking care of your children. You will be pretty sore; its important to clear your busy schedule and get plenty of rest. Somethings you should avoid include:

  • anything that would cause stress and physical or emotional discomfort.
  • physical activity besides short walks in the house (becoming active too quickly can increase the risk of a complication)
  • picking things up from the ground and any heavy lifting

Mommy Makeover Recovery – Week 3-5

During these weeks, you can start gradually resuming some of your day to day activities. You will begin to feel good again and will be able to move around more normally. You should still avoid any heavy lifting and only resume driving if you are off your pain medication. Refrain from exercise until your doctor releases you to do so.

Mommy Makeover Recovery – Week 6 and beyond

In week 6 of your mommy makeover recovery period, you will be able to resume full activity, including exercise. Although most of the tough recovery time is over, it is still important to take care of yourself. Attend all follow up appointments with your doctor to ensure your incisions are healing properly.

Last but not least…

Generally speaking, the more invasive the surgery is, the more downtime you’ll need to recover. The level of pain, however, is really unique to the patient’s personal threshold. Everyone responds to pain differently. When you mention that your c-sections were bearable, my hunch is that you will be fine! My only advice would be to consider bed rest for the first week. The best results are ensured through good care during initial recovery. Somewhere during the 2nd and 3rd weeks, the vast majority of patients are able to comfortably perform most light to moderate activities without worry.