Mommy Makeover By Jim Lowe, MD on August 15, 2016


Who are the best candidates for surgery?

The best candidates for mommy makeovers (tummy tuck with breast enhancement) are individuals looking for improvement, not perfection, in the appearance of their central body and breast.  These procedures are not performed as a weight loss program, but can help jump start a healthy life style. Many areas of fat and skin excess are resistant to diet and exercise and respond best to surgical treatments.  It is important to note that tummy tucks with breast enhancement are not without risks and limits should be placed to minimize these risks. 

What are the trade-offs for mommy makeovers?

There is always a trade off with these procedures such as scaring, contour irregularities, and recovery. Realistic expectations, good health, and social stability are important for a patient considering tummy tuck with breast enhancement (mommy makeover).  Some patients want a completely flat abdomen with large breast and others only a small improvement.  In most cases, it is best for patients to remove as much skin and fat as possible to ensure a lasting result. Some patients prefer limited incisions that they can conceal in the panty line, bra, or under a bathing suit. The best option depends on the patient’s anatomy, preference, and desires. A frank discussion with a board certified plastics surgeon helps patients chose the best option. 

What should I do with my breasts?

Most patients considering a mommy makeover have no problem deciding on a tummy tuck but breast enhancement is altogether different.  The main question to be answered, is do you want your breasts bigger, smaller, less droopy, or all of the above? Patients will often choose to undergo a breast lift (mastopexy), breast lift with breast implants, or breast implants alone.  One of the most important decisions in breast enhancement is choosing size.  A variety of techniques are available to assist patients with breast size: computer analysis, manufacture protocols, sizing bras, surgeon experience, and photographs.  Some patients elect to go smaller because large breasts or implants may result in drooping over time. A consultation with your plastic surgeon will help you decide what type of breast enhancement that is right for you

What about a breast lift?

Many patients undergoing breast enhancement do not need a breast lift while others do not need breast implants.  Patients who have had major weight changes, breast fed, or are over 40 years of age may be candidates for breast implants with breast lift (mastopexy) to address sagging with  loss of volume and shape.  In most cases, the need for breast lift is obvious, but in other cases it may not be clear. Patients with droopy breast who are happy with their breast size may not need an implant at all.  Patients with significant droopiness (ptosis), particularly patients needing implant exchange, may require more than one surgical procedure.    

When and where should I have surgery?

One of the most important decisions for patients considering a mommy makeover is when and where.   Surgery can be performed at a hospital with overnight stay or surgical facility with home care.  The main benefit of a hospital is overnight pain management and care.   Most mommy makeovers are best performed in an outpatient setting with patients going home the same day after a period of recovery.  After surgery patients usually require assistance at home for several days, feel better in a week, and fully recovery within several months.  Patients are asked to limit activity for 4-6 weeks, and wear a support garments, day and night, for several weeks.  Most patients require small drains for a limited time to decrease fluid collections and control swelling.  Most patients return to work after several weeks with limited restrictions.  Patients report swelling, numbness, scarring, and pain for several months after mommy makeovers.

What about patient safety?

The safety of a mommy makeover is most dependent on your surgeon and surgical facility. Tummy tucks with breast enhancement are elective operations reserved for patients in good health in an outpatient setting. Dr. Lowe is a real plastic surgeon, who performs real surgery, in a real surgical center.  As a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) he is required to follow guidelines designed to ensure the best patient safety and outcomes.  Dr. Lowe proudly performs cosmetic surgery only in accredited hospitals and surgical facilities. Most of his patients undergo surgery at his fully certified in-office operating suite.  For further information about safety and credentials go to: or

Should I wait and think about my options?

Mommy makeover surgery is an important lifelong decision.  The surgery carries both risks and benefits. Revisions are sometimes needed even in the best surgeon’s hands. Patients require a limited period of recovery along with body and breast support and maintenance.  Patient should choose a board certified plastic surgeon that they feel comfortable, takes time, reviews risks, puts safety first, and trust.  One of the most important issues is patient care and follow-up.  Patients are encouraged to talk about their plans in advance with physicians, family members, and significant others. Patients should have realistic expectations regarding the surgery, recovery, long term care, and results. Mommy makeovers can often be the right thing for the right person, particularly in patients who want to restore their breast and body after childbirth.

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James B. Lowe, MD, FACS

Lowe Plastic Surgery

Dr. Lowe is a triple board-certified surgeon with over 20 years of experience providing comprehensive cosmetic and reconstructive care. He is affiliated with several prestigious organizations:

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons 
  • American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
  • American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • Fellow, American Association of Plastic Surgeons
  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons 
  • American Society for Surgery of the Hand 

Schedule your consultation by contacting us online or calling us at (405) 942-4300.

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