The concept of the ‘mummy makeover’ has been alive and well for some time in the US, with a growing number of women looking to restore their pre-pregnancy body through a combination of various cosmetic and surgical procedures. Mummy makeovers are now making waves in the UK, with the procedure on the rise as cosmetic surgery becomes more widely accepted. Mr Maisam Fazel, expert in the procedure, explains what happens during a mummy makeover, and what you should consider beforehand.
What is a mummy makeover?
A mummy makeover is actually a combination of several different procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, to reverse the changes which naturally occur in the body as a result of having a child. Typically, a mummy makeover consists of an abdominoplasty, liposuction on the flanks (the sides of the body between the rib and hip), and some form of cosmetic breast surgery. This is usually either a mastopexy (breast lift), breast augmentation, or both.
Why do people choose to have a mummy makeover?
The body undergoes considerable changes as a result of bearing children, and later raising children. These changes are most noticeable in the abdomen and the breasts. After pregnancy, certain muscles in the abdomen may separate, which results in a bulge that some women may find unsightly. This may also be combined with excess skin around the abdomen, and excess fat around the flanks. While exercise and diet can help with excess fat, the excess skin will usually not go away over time. Stretch marks, while natural, may also develop on the abdomen and around the flanks.
As a result of both pregnancy and breastfeeding, the breasts may sag somewhat and lose volume, a process called ptosis. Again, there is little that exercise can do to restore the breasts to their pre-pregnancy state.
Mummy makeovers are fully tailored to the individual woman, and many clinics offer a multi-disciplinary service, with packages offering not just the surgical procedures, but nutritional and exercise advice, and cosmetic treatments, taking a full holistic approach rather than simply offering treatment after treatment.
Who is suitable for a mummy makeover?
Patients who wish to undergo a mummy makeover should arrange for a consultation with a skilled and experienced surgeon, who is able to both assess the individual case and set realistic expectations for the procedures going forward. Mummy makeovers, while effective, will not be able to 100% restore the body to its original pre-pregnancy state, mostly because the patient will naturally age, meaning skin elasticity is lost. Therefore it is vital the surgeon manages expectations and explains the procedure in full, allowing the patient to make informed decisions and decide what is right for them.
When it comes to the actual procedure, it is always best to defer surgery for a few years after pregnancy and breastfeeding, to allow the individual to recover fully and return to a stable weight. They will also be able to build up muscle tone during this time. It is important that the patient understands this is a series of procedures, which means there is no ‘quick fix’ – a mummy makeover is a lengthy process with various stages to consider.
How is a mummy makeover performed?
Depending on a patient’s fitness and health, mummy makeovers can be performed either in one or several procedures. Frequently, a breast lift is performed, with or without augmentation, together with a simultaneous abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), or a mini tummy tuck, and liposuction. Where more extensive surgery is planned, the operation is broken down into smaller procedures, 3 months apart.
Depending on the individual’s needs, further procedures can be offered, including skin rejuvenating or other cosmetic/aesthetic treatments which seek to tighten the skin or combat the signs of ageing. Therefore there is no ‘one size fits all’ procedure, and the patient should make sure they go to an experienced medical professional who understands the various stages and procedures involved in a mummy makeover.
Are mummy makeovers a risk?
Any surgical procedure comes with risks, and the risks involved in mummy makeovers are similar to those of most major operations. Infection, bleeding, poor healing, scarring, and loss of sensation in the nipples are all risks to be mindful of – but it is important to note that risks across all procedures performed in the complete mummy makeover are very low.
Patients who have a healthy diet and lifestyle, who follow advice and respect the information given by their surgeon, should have minimal risk when it comes to surgery.
What is recovery like after a mummy makeover?
With various medical procedures being performed, it is normal to be worried about recovery, post-operative care and scarring after a mummy makeover. However, recovery time is similar to many other plastic surgery procedures, and most patients can expect 2-3 weeks of downtime after surgery, with no strenuous exercise or heavy lifting during this time.
Most patients don’t need painkillers after the first 4 or 5 days and are back to work on average 2 weeks after surgery. In the time immediately after the procedure, it is important to rest and heed any advice that your surgeon gives you regarding post-operative care such as wound cleaning.
Scarring is also normal after a mummy makeover, but a good surgeon will endeavour to minimise scarring with specific strategies and techniques. Your surgeon will explain the technique to you before the procedure, so you understand where the scarring will be and what the aesthetic results will look like.
It is important to carefully plan a mummy makeover with your surgeon, right through from the initial consultation to the procedure itself. Do not be afraid to ask questions, and be assured that with the right planning, a mummy makeover can be a very rewarding procedure. In my practice, I find that this procedure carries one of the highest satisfaction rates. For me the most rewarding feedback I had recently was when one of my patients said to me ‘I haven’t worn a bikini for 10 years and now I can!’