Written by Tianna Manon for Avima.com

A Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures and surgeries that help women address changes in their bodies that may have resulted from pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. It’s becoming increasingly popular and typically includes tummy tucks, liposuction, breast augmentations, lifts, vaginal rejuvenation and sometimes breast implants. It doesn’t have to center on the abdominal area though. The procedures reduce the appearance of sagging skin and even stretch marks.

Some women also make changes to their arms and legs if they feel these are necessary. But what sets the Mommy Makeover apart is that all of these procedures are done in one sitting. They are only spaced apart if necessary for health reasons.

According to the National Center for Biotechnical Information, these procedures can be done together because they have little to no effect on the healing of the body parts affected by other procedures done the same day. It started with surgeons combining abdominoplasty with intra-abdominal or gynecologic surgery. Originally, they wanted to ensure safety for the patient and it also allowed them to minimize complications. Soon surgeons began combining it with other procedures to alter the breasts and waists as well.

A Mommy Makeover shouldn’t replace healthy eating and exercises: “Even though fitness and weight control alone cannot help most women regain their youthful body shape after having children, it is important that a healthy diet and regular exercise is a part of your life. This combined with a Mommy Makeover procedure will ensure the best long-term outcome.”

What Should You Consider Beforehand?

Finding the right surgeon can take a little bit of time and prospective patients should consider shopping around and comparing opinions. It’s important to ask a lot of questions and share your ideas for what you want your body to look like. It’s also important to make sure enough time has passed so your body can be healed to undergo these procedures.

Dr. Jaime Perez, a plastic surgeon based at the Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa says it’s important to wait until your body has healed from recent childbirth before going under the knife. This can take about a year:

“It’s important to let the uterus return to its normal size after childbirth so that your body can be corrected in its normal state,” he said. And if patients are considering any procedures for the breast, he recommends waiting 6 months so they will return to normal size. “It’s important to look as much like you as possible. Get to your average healthy weight beforehand. It helps surgeons know exactly what to correct and how to do it.”

He said it’s also important to have realistic expectations. While surgeons can correct some issues, they can’t give you a new body and some features that you desire may not work for your body type, but your surgeon can help you find the right look.

For women who elect to have these procedures, they must be done having children as any further pregnancy, breastfeeding or childbirth can jeopardize the results.

What does it cost?

The cost of the procedures depends on number of factors: the fee for the surgeons, the facility, medication, testing and x-rays and how many procedures the patient is getting done. Surgeons who have more experience and skills in this field will charge more but you can also rely on their work.

Many plastic surgeons offer financing, helping patients afford the procedure.

Procedure & Recovery:

The procedures differ for each patient, depending on what work the woman wants done. Most procedures are roughly three to five hours under general anesthesia.

Patients go home the same day although there is growing evidence that inpatient surgery can help patients heal faster. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4537603/) For those who go home the same day, experts recommend having help around the house from a partner or family and friends. Immediately after surgery, patients are discouraged from doing any heavy lifting over 10 pounds and that includes babies and small children. Any heavy lifting beforehand can not only delay healing but even hurt the patient.

Because the patient sat through so many procedures at once they’re also more likely to be tired and in pain. This can be managed with pain medication, a cold compress and rest. It’s best to arrange for help around the home and with childcare for several weeks to give yourself proper time to heal fully. Surgeons say the full results won’t be visible for around a year as the body continues to heal and swelling is reduced.

Mommy Makeovers are growing quickly in popularity and it’s partially because of the ease in which they can be done. Surgeons can do all of the work patients need to their abdomen, breasts, waists and more in one sitting. However, it’s important that patients who elect for these procedures understand that while the work can give them a body that looks different immediately, it’s also important to eat well and exercise to maintain these results.