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Introduction to Mommy Makeover

Motherhood brings untold joy and happiness in the life of every mother. Don’t you wish you could always say the same thing about what it does to your body? More often than not, the progression of pregnancy, breast-feeding, and childcare brings about significant changes to a woman’s physical appearance. This is due not only to physiological changes, but also to modifications of eating habits, exercise routines, and lifestyle alterations. A change in appearance can have profound effects on self-esteem and confidence. Exercise and diet will help, but only to an extent; some changes (such as stretched abdominal skin or sagging breasts) will not correct themselves, no matter what diet, and how much exercise.

Are you a mommy considering a surgical or non-surgical makeover in Toronto? Performed by board-certified plastic surgeon Lawrence Tong. MD, mommy makeovers are simply a combination of procedures that help to restore your appearance back to your pre-pregnancy appearance (or even better)! Any area of the face and body can be part of a Mommy Makeover.

Facial procedures may range from non-invasive BOTOX® Cosmetic and fillers, to surgical enhancement of the eyelids, face, or neck. The most common procedures on the body are breast enhancement, Tummy Tuck, and Liposuction of the torso and thighs.

Most Common Areas for Mommy Makeovers

The following is a helpful chart describing the most common areas, problems, and possible solutions in Mommy Makeovers.

Area Common problems Possible solutions
Volume loss
Weight and volume gain
Breast Augmentation
Breast Lift
Breast Reduction
Increased fat
Excess skin
Stretch marks
Loose muscles, bulging muscles
Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck
Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck
Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck
Outer thighs and inner thighs
Increased fat
Loose skin
Thigh Lift
Inner knees
Excess fat
Excess fat
Mid back
Excess fat (bra roll)
Fat under chin
Loose neck skin
Liposuction or Mini Neck Lift
Neck Lift
Frown lines, forehead lines, crow's feet
Smile lines, lines at corner of mouth
Loss of facial fat (gaunt appearance)
Thin lips and wrinkles around lip edges
Mild facial aging with descent Facial and neck aging with descent
BOTOX® Cosmetic and Soft tissue fillers
Soft tissue fillers or micro fat grafting
Soft tissue fillers or micro fat grafting
Soft tissue fillers or surgical
Mini Facelift
Excess upper lid skin, wrinkles
Bags under eyes, wrinkles
Upper Blepharoplasty
Tissue fillers or Lower Blepharoplasty

Special Considerations with Mommy Makeovers

Multiple Procedures

Multiple procedures can be performed simultaneously, but there is a limit to what should be done at once. If you have multiple areas of concern that cannot be addressed in one surgical session, Dr. Tong will assist you in choosing your procedures while making sure that they are performed in a safe, logical sequence. Your safety is our greatest priority.

Communication with your Children about your Surgery

If your children are old enough to understand, you may choose to tell them about your surgery. Try to tell them in straightforward and simple terms that you are having something done because of your choosing. Explain that this is something that you want, to make you feel good, and that you are restoring your body to how it was. Younger children should be prepared about your appearance during the healing phase. You may be concerned about the example you are setting for your children especially if you have daughters; make sure that they understand that plastic surgery is not something that needs to be done, in order to feel good about themselves.

Mommy Makeover Recovery

It is important that you have good support during recovery. You cannot continue to be ‘supermom’ after surgery. Arrange to have someone take over many of your duties while you heal. You have chosen to something for yourself; do it right. Obviously, the non-surgical procedures have the benefit of Minimal interruption to your busy schedule, and may be another option for you.

Popular Areas for Mommy Makeover: Body

Mommy Makeover: Breasts

Pregnancy with or without breast-feeding tends to cause volume loss and sagging. The volume loss is a result of the physiologic changes to the breast associated with pregnancy/breast-feeding. The sagging is related to the stretching that occurs as the breasts enlarge with pregnancy. Many women may also develop stretch marks of the breasts, an indication that the skin has been stretch beyond its limits and has damage to the dermis (the elastic layer of the skin). The most common operation for this area is Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift or Breast Augmentation with Breast Lift. Augmentation will correct volume loss and Breast Lift will correct sagging. If you have concerns about your breasts after pregnancy, read more about breast enhancement surgery.

Mommy Makeover: Abdomen (Tummy)

How the Abdomen Changes with Pregnancy

Pregnancy will stretch the abdominal skin. In many women, this results in stretch marks and loose skin after delivery. Stretching of the abdominal muscle wall during pregnancy often leaves a woman with lax abdominal muscles, even despite a significant post-delivery exercise program. Many women complain that the resultant abdominal appearance makes them look ‘3 months pregnant’. The weight gain associated with pregnancy can also worsen the appearance by causing more stretching of skin or leaving residual fat in the abdomen if not lost after pregnancy. The presence of a C- section scar may cause a fold of skin that flops over the scar.

Options for the Abdomen after Pregnancy

If you have the above-mentioned post-pregnancy concerns, as many women do in Toronto, Tummy Tuck is the best solution to solve these issues. It will remove excess skin, associated fat, stretch marks, C-section scars, and tighten the abdominal wall for a flat, trim and tight abdominal appearance.

For patients that are not affected by their pregnancy as significantly, Liposuction of the abdomen may be a good option for patients who have some excess fat deposit remaining in the abdominal region.

Mommy Makeover: Thighs

How the Thighs Change with Pregnancy

The weight gain of pregnancy can leave fat deposits on the inner and outer thighs. Despite being able lose all pregnancy weight, areas of fat deposit on the thighs can still be significant, despite adequate to diet and exercise.

Options for the Thighs after Pregnancy

Liposuction is the best way to achieve targeted reduction of fatty deposits. Read more about Liposuction of the thighs and inner knees.

Sometimes, that weight gain and loss associated are so significant that loose skin becomes a problem with the inner thighs. In these cases, Liposuction alone may not suffice. A procedure to remove some skin may be warranted; a Thigh Lift combines Liposuction with skin removal to reduce size and tighten skin simultaneously.

Mommy Makeover: Backs and Flanks (waistline)

How the Waistline And Back changes with Pregnancy

The flank is the area just at, and above the hip bone, extending along the lower back in the area of the waistline. Excess fat (related to pregnancy or just regular weight gain) in this area is the cause of ‘muffin top’ or ‘love handles’.

The mid back comprises the area at the level of the bra strap and slightly below. Fat in this area due to pregnancy or ordinary weight gain causes a roll of fat just below the bra and an associated unsightly fold. Dr. Tong has coined this as the ‘bra roll’.

Options for Treating the Flank and Midback after Pregnancy

Both the flanks and bra roll areas can be very effectively treated with Liposuction. Read more about Liposuction of the flanks and Liposuction of the midback.

Popular Areas for Mommy Makeovers: Face

Mommy Makeovers: Non-Surgical Facial Enhancements

Mommy makeover patients are usually younger to middle aged, and typically have mild to moderate signs of facial aging. Non-surgical facial enhancements are often all that are needed to make her look fabulous and feel great. The major advantage of these procedures is that there is no downtime or very little downtime.

BOTOX® Cosmetic for Moms

Do you notice the frown lines between the eyebrows getting deeper? Do you have crow’s-feet that have become suddenly more noticeable? Are you seeing more forehead lines? BOTOX® Cosmetic is a very effective method for treating these areas without resorting to surgery. Botulinum toxin (BOTOX® Cosmetic) injection is the most commonly performed cosmetic procedure in the world, and with good reason: BOTOX® Cosmetic works well and it is safe when administered by a trained medical professional. The procedure itself only takes a few minutes, the results are consistently good, and it lasts for four months or more at a time. There is no downtime with the procedure. You can have it done over the lunch hour and get back to your day. Note that BOTOX® injections should not be used if you are breast-feeding or pregnant. Read more about BOTOX® Cosmetic for wrinkles.

Tissue Fillers and Collagen for Moms

Tissue fillers are used to ‘fill in’ lines, or to ‘plump up’ areas that have either lost volume or call for augmentation. Tissue fillers work on a temporary basis, usually lasting between 6-12 months at a time. They are extremely popular because they can achieve an immediate and significant improvement, without the need for operative anesthesia, downtime, or recovery time. The following areas are very popular:

  • Nasolabial folds: the ‘smile lines’ can be made less deep or even eliminated, creating a smoother more youthful appearance.
  • Corners of the mouth: line at the corners of the mouth can begin to become deep and turned downwards with age. Tissue fillers can help to soften the line and elevate the corners of the mouth.
  • Lips: thin lips may be plumped-up again, giving a sexier, full look. Dr. Tong will make sure that your result is natural looking as this procedure can look obvious when done poorly.
  • Lip lines: lines around the lips can be made to be less prominent be placing the filler at the edge of the lip between the red and white skin, and along the lines themselves.
  • Cheeks: deflated and descended cheeks can be augmented and lifted with tissue fillers. It takes skill and experience to fill the cheeks naturally, without asymmetry, lumps, or “overdoing it”.
  • Lower lid eye bags: buy placing a small amount of filler in very precise locations around the edge of the eye bags, the area is smoothed out and camouflaged very nicely, reducing the tired or worn-out look. This area is one of the most technically difficult areas to inject. Dr. Tong has seen many patients who have come to him after an unsatisfactory result done elsewhere.
  • Upper lids: Hollowness of the upper lids from aging can be treated by placing volume in the upper lid to rejuvenate the gaunt appearance that can occur with age.
  • Frown lines: although usually best treated with BOTOX® Cosmetic, the frown lines between the eyebrows can be very deep, requiring more than just BOTOX® freezing the muscle. An injectable tissue filler such as RADIESSE®, JUVÉDERM® or Perlane can be used to fill out the depression for a better result than with BOTOX® injections only.

There are many tissue fillers out there, and the multitude of information can be confusing. Dr. Tong will guide you in choosing which product should be used for your particular areas, in order to match you particular needs.

Mommy Makeovers: Surgical Facial Enhancement

For moms looking for more comprehensive facial enhancements, the most common surgical facial procedures are: (Click on each link to read more about each particular procedure)

Mommy Makeover at a Glance

What the procedure does
A combination of body or facial procedures tailored to restore your pre-pregnancy appearance
Duration of the result
Years to permanent
Length of time to perform the procedure
Depends on area(s)
Type of anesthetic most commonly used
IV sedation or general anesthesia, local anesthesia for smaller areas (depends on specific procedure)
Length of time off of work
Varies according to specific procedure(s)
Time to get back to exercise
2 weeks heavy exercise
Pitfalls your Plastic Surgeon should avoid
  • Trying to do too much at one surgery