Pregnancy and having children is an exciting and wonderful experience. We also often have women talk with us about the effects these processes can naturally have on the body. The areas commonly spoken of include the breasts and abdomen area, including abdominal muscle separation (diastasis recti).
The term ‘mummy makeover’ was one coined in the United States of America (‘mommy makeover’) and increasingly adopted in Australia with many people hearing the term and searching for more information about it.
What is a mummy makeover? A mummy makeover describes a combination of cosmetic surgery procedures performed together for those people who have concerns they would like to address, have seriously considered the implications of surgery, and have made an individual and informed decision. These procedures are: abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), breast reduction or breast augmentation, breast lift, breast augmentation with a lift, and liposuction. The particular combination of procedures performed will vary between individuals, with a tailored plan developed in consultation with Dr Avery to address your specific concerns.
Mummy makeovers are best performed once you have finished having children, and at least 12 months after your last child. Mummy makeover procedures can be performed before you have finished having children but the body may experience further changes, such as skin stretching, that reduces the cosmetic result of the previous operations.
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)
More commonly known as a “tummy tuck”, an abdominoplasty is the surgical removal of excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen. This abdominal correction can have additional benefits such as relieving back pain, improved strength during exercise, and improving bladder incontinence issues.
An abdominoplasty involves surgically removing the excess fat and skin from the abdomen, often along with tightening the separated abdominal muscles.
Depending on the positioning of the excess skin and the condition of the abdominal muscles, there are two main options for an abdominoplasty procedure:
A complete abdominoplasty involves creating an incision from one side of the hips to the other, below the underwear line. Another incision is made surrounding the navel to keep it in place as the skin is moved. The upper layers of skin and fat are then lifted up to expose the abdominal wall.
The stretched abdominal muscles are then sutured together with stitches to tighten the abdomen. Once the muscles of the abdominal wall have been repaired, the remaining skin layers are stretched down below the incision on the pubic line. The excess skin is removed and a new hole is made for the navel.
A mini tummy tuck is usually performed when the excess skin lies below the navel, therefore the navel remains in its original position and only one incision is made below the underwear line. There may still be some tightening of the abdominal muscles during a mini tummy tuck, but it will not be as extensive as that of a full tummy tuck.
The length of surgery for these tummy tuck procedures will depend on the amount of skin and tissue being removed and any additional procedures being performed. A mini tummy tuck usually takes between 1–2 hours, while a full tummy tuck can take between 3–4 hours. All of our abdominoplasty procedures take place in an accredited hospital, with appropriately trained support staff and anaesthetist.
All patients undergoing an abdominoplasty stay in hospital overnight from 1-4 nights to assist with their recovery. Depending on the complexity of the surgery and any additional procedures, you will need 2-4 weeks rest from work. In the case of a full tummy tuck, drainage tubes are often inserted below the main incision to allow the release of fluid.
These tubes, and any residual stitches will usually be removed prior to discharge from hospital. There will be some bruising and swelling, in addition to a feeling of muscle tightness due to the abdominal sutures, which generally subsides about 2-6 weeks after the surgery. You will be supplied with a special compression garment to wear for 6 weeks to provide support and reduce post-operative pain and swelling.
Scars from a tummy tuck can vary depending on whether or not the navel is relocated and how well your skin copes with scarring. The scar across the hip line should be hidden when wearing underwear or a swimsuit and will generally fade well with time.
Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, involves breast implants being inserted beneath the breasts to enlarge them. The implant type and size depends on factors such as how much bigger you want your breasts to be, your breast anatomy, skin thickness and elasticity, and body type.
There are two main shapes of implants – round or anatomical (tear drop). Tear drop implants are considered to more closely resemble the natural breast shape, and are more commonly used with people who have very little breast tissue.
The implants themselves are either filled with a silicone gel or a saline solution within a smooth or textured silicone shell. The texture and feel of silicone implants closely resembles that of a natural breast. Saline implants have the same salt concentration of the body and therefore pose fewer health risks, although people often say they do not feel as natural as silicone implants.
Not all breast augmentation procedures are the same. The techniques used in surgery will vary depending on:
- The amount and shape of existing breast tissue
- The size and type of implant
- The incision area
- Where the breast implant is being placed
There are three techniques for breast implant placement.
The implant is placed directly behind the glandular tissue but in front of the muscle.
The implant is placed partially behind the pectoralis muscle, with the lower part of the implant not covered by the muscle. Partial submuscular placement is performed using a ‘dual-plane’ technique to optimise the interaction between the breast tissue, chest muscle and implant. This technique aims to provide the benefits of being both under the chest muscle but also being in contact with the breast tissue to best influence its shape.
The implant is placed completely behind the pectoralis muscle and connective tissue. Complete submuscular coverage is generally used in reconstructive cases only.
During your consultation Dr Avery will talk with you about what the best implant placement technique is for you.
All of our breast augmentation procedures take place in an accredited hospital, with appropriately trained staff including the support staff and anaesthetist. A breast augmentation surgery generally takes between 1-2 hours, with a further 1-2 hours for recovery before you can go home. If you have undergone another procedure in your cosmetic mummy makeover, a longer stay in hospital might be necessary for your recovery. The full recovery period for a breast augmentation is usually around six weeks, with a gradual resumption of pre-operative activities.
There is not a surgery in existence that does not leave a scar, but a breast augmentation scar is very rarely a problem. Scar shape and size will depend on the size and type of the breast implant, although they generally fade to become minimally visible in a matter of months.
A breast lift (or mastopexy) is performed when the position of one or both breasts on the chest needs to be altered to address sagging and excess skin. A breast lift is performed by removing excess skin, reshaping the breast tissue, and tightening the remaining skin. Large areolae may also be reduced during a breast lift.
Different techniques may be used depending on whether the level of breast sagging (or ptosis) is minor, moderate or severe. The four common breast lift techniques are:
The least invasive, this technique involves removing a crescent-shaped area of skin from above the areola. The crescent technique is usually recommended for patients with smaller breasts or minor breast sagging.
A circular incision is made around the edge of the areola and a second larger incision around the first. In addition to providing a slight lift, the circumareolar (or “doughnut”) technique can be used to reduce areola size. This technique is appropriate for patients with smaller breasts or minor breast sagging.
Two incisions are made extending around the areola and down the midline of the breast, to achieve a significant lift. This technique is appropriate for patients with larger breasts and moderate to severe breast sagging.
The most common and most invasive, this technique involves three incisions which extend around the areola, down the midline of the breast, and across the lower crease of the breast. This technique is appropriate for patients with larger breasts and severe breast sagging. The scar produced is similar to that seen with a breast reduction.
All of our breast lift procedures take place in an accredited hospital, with appropriately trained staff including the support staff and anaesthetist An uncomplicated breast lift with no additional procedures will usually last 2–3 hours, with another 1–2 hours for recovery before the you can go home. Some people will stay in hospital overnight following surgery. If you have undergone another procedure in your mummy makeover, 1-2 overnight stays in hospital may be required post-surgery to aid with recovery.
Scarring from a breast lift will depend on the surgical technique used and any additional procedures performed during the cosmetic mummy makeover. Most scars will generally fade to thin white lines in a matter of months, depending on your skin type.
Mummy Makeover FAQs
A breast lift with implants (or augmentation mastopexy) can be performed when the position of one or both breasts on the chest needs to be altered and an increase in breast volume is required, due to deflation or simply not having developed a significant breast. Combining a breast lift with a breast augmentation restores a fuller, contoured shape to the breast by removing excess skin, repositioning the areola and increasing breast volume using implants.
The surgery for a breast lift with implants involves removing excess skin, inserting an implant, reshaping the breast tissue, and tightening the remaining skin. Large areolae may also be reduced during a breast lift.
The procedure followed in each breast lift and augmentation surgery depends on several variables including:
- The amount and shape of existing breast tissue
- The size and type of implant
- The incision area
- Where the breast implant is being placed
There are three techniques for breast implant placement during the procedure, as discussed in the breast augmentation section: subglandular placement (overs), partial submuscular placement (partial unders), complete submuscular placement (full unders).
Taking all variables into account, Dr Avery will help you determine the best implant placement technique for you during your consultation.
All of our breast lift with implants procedures take place in an accredited hospital, with appropriately trained staff including the support staff and anaesthetist. Generally, a breast lift with implants procedure can take anywhere between 1–3 hours, with another 1–2 hours in recovery before going home the same day. If you have undergone another procedure in addition to the breast lift with implants, such as liposuction or a tummy tuck, one or two nights in hospital may be required post-surgery to aid with recovery. You will be given a special compression garment to wear while you recover, which will assist with pain and swelling. The graded return to normal activities mirrors that of breast augmentation, with a full return to normal activities at around six weeks.
Liposuction (also known as lipoplasty) involves the selective removal of fat deposits from the body. It can be performed on areas such as the abdomen, hips, thighs, back, arms, and neck.
Traditional liposuction involves creating a small incision where needed, then fluid is injected to numb the area and break down the fat to be removed. This fluid, along with the excess fat tissue is then removed via suction through a small, thin tube called a cannula.
Liposuction takes place in an accredited hospital, with appropriately trained staff including the support staff and anaesthetist. The length of liposuction surgery will depend on how many areas of the body are being treated and whether any additional procedures are being performed. An uncomplicated liposuction procedure will generally last 1–2 hours per area treated.
There will be some bruising and swelling after liposuction, which generally subsides about 2 weeks after the surgery. During recovery, you will be given a special compression garment or elastic bandages for 4–6 weeks to provide support to the area and reduce post-operative pain and swelling. You can return to work and normal activities within 3 days to 2 weeks after surgery, depending on the complexity of the procedure and the physicality of your work.
Scarring can vary depending on the amount of fat being removed and skin quality. Fortunately, the incisions made during liposuction are very small and any scars are often minimally visible.
Whatever combination of surgery you choose for your mummy makeover, it is important that you take your time with your recovery. Let friends and loved ones look after you, and follow your post-operative instructions. Don’t overdo it, wait for clearance from Dr Avery before undertaking all strenuous exercise and work. Get enough sleep and follow the individualised pain management plan customised for you by Dr Avery. The Avery Plastic Surgery team is available for you throughout your surgical journey. We will do our best to find times for your consultation and surgery that also fits in with your busy life as a mum, and the support you will need during your recovery. If you have any questions or concerns about your cosmetic mummy makeover or recovery, we are all here to support you.
Dr Avery will design a customised surgical plan for your mummy makeover, in consultation with you. This plan will determine the overall cost of your personalised cosmetic mummy makeover.
The best way to determine what your mummy makeover will cost is by having a consultation with Dr Avery. During your consultation, Dr Avery will talk with you about what you would like to achieve and what procedures might help you reach your goals.
You can book a consultation with Dr Avery by telephoning our administration staff or by clicking on the ‘book a consultation’ button below. We look forward to hearing from you. A consultation with Dr Avery costs $250, with a $100 deposit taken at the time of booking, which confirms your appointment and blocks out that time for you in Dr Avery’s calendar.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. Dr Avery is a member of the two leading professional associations for plastic surgeons in Australia, ASAPS and ASPS. Their websites provide additional information regarding plastic surgery in Australia that you might find useful, please visit ASAPS and ASPS.