Q & A: Mommy Makeover & Breast Augmentation

By: Dr. Mitchell Kaye

Advanced Cosmetic Surgery Center of Kentucky

Breast augmentation consistently ranks in patient satisfaction surveys as the most positive experience for plastic surgery patients. It is an operation that can positively change a woman’s body image almost overnight. It can produce a beautiful shape that you did not have before or restore something that was lost during your childbearing years.

During your consultation we discuss a number of things such as size and type of implants: saline or silicone, placement of implant and incision. These factors have been discussed in a previous article in Clarksville Family Magazine (January, 2015). A good plan and realistic goals will generally lead to good results, so communication is extremely important.

Q: If I have a breast augmentation and decide to have children in the future will I be able to breastfeed?

A: Breast augmentation should not prevent you from breastfeeding. You may need to consider where to place the incision. An aerolar incision would not be recommended if you are considering breastfeeding in the future. Placement of the implant behind the muscle should also be considered.

Q: Do I need someone to stay with me after surgery and how long do they need to help?

A: It is recommended that you to have a family member or friend stay with you for the first 24 hours after the procedure. Patients are generally given a number of anesthesia and pain medications during the procedure. For this reason it is good to have someone at home that can assist you. If you have small children, it may be necessary to have someone help you with the children for a few days.

In a way, tummy tuck or Lipoabdominoplasty is a procedure with a similar set of goals and profile to breast augmentation. You may have excess skin or fat around the middle that will not go away with proper exercise and diet. This is not a weight loss procedure.

The procedure starts with extensive liposuction of the belly and if necessary, the hips and flanks. After this is accomplished, the excess skin is then removed and the shape is contoured surgically. This approach is different than the older style of abdominoplasty which starts by loosening most of the skin of the belly first, then removing the excess. It is typical to perform little, if any, liposuction during that session to avoid causing problems with the blood supply of the abdominal skin and subsequent poor healing. In contrast, healing is much quicker with Lipoabdominoplasty, and post-operative problems and significant pain are much less common. Being able to perform liposuction and tummy tuck together saves time and money by avoiding a second procedure most of the time. We expect you to be up and walking the next day, resuming normal activities in 7 to 10 days and exercise in three weeks.

The “mommy makeover” is a term that covers the natural combination of these two procedures improving the shape and size of the breasts (augmentation and/or lifting), removing excess fat deposits (liposuction) and restoring a flat, tighter belly (lipoabdominoplasty). The specifics are tailored to the patient’s needs.

Q: Can a breast augmentation and tummy tuck be performed at the same time?

A: If the tummy tuck is a relatively small one, and the breast surgery is an augment and not a more complex lift/augment, then we usually perform these two procedures together on the same day. This has obvious advantages of one surgery, one recovery period and a lower cost since the operating room is used only once, albeit for a longer time. Longer and more complex combination cases are best performed in two operating sessions, although they can be done within a few days of each other to keep the overlapping recovery time down to a minimum.