Note: This content was co-created with Criswell & Criswell Plastic Surgery
Talk to any new Charlotte mom and she’ll tell you three things about motherhood:
- It’s tough.
- It’s rewarding.
- It completely changed my body.
Between pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding, the process of becoming a mother takes a toll on women’s bodies. And with the high demands that come with caring for a child, it’s not easy to bounce back.
That’s where the mommy makeover comes in.
So what exactly does that entail, and let’s be honest, how much does it cost? The experts at Criswell & Criswell Plastic Surgery shared with us the most requested treatments and services for moms – both non-invasive and cosmetic surgery options. From pain to recovery time, they gave us the full run-down.
We even got to talk to a mom who went through it all, and spoiler alert: she looks fantastic.
Breast lift and/or augmentation
Often times after pregnancy women’s breasts will deflate or droop. Between pregnancy and breastfeeding, they go through a lot. For moms who are happy with the size of their breasts but just want their old perkiness back, you can opt for just a breast lift. If they’ve become deflated looking, you can go for implants.
Some women are looking for both fullness and lift, in which case combining a lift and an implant (mastopexy augmentation) is a great option.
Tummy tucks are one of the most common procedures done at Criswell & Criswell. Also known as abdominoplasty, tummy tucks can treat loose skin, separated abdominal muscles, and excess abdominal fat. Plus, it can easily be combined with other mommy makeover procedures so you can knock it all out at once.
Most of us have heard of this fat removal procedure but it’s amazing what it can do. Surgeons use this popular technique to reduce fat in the thighs, back, abdomen, arms, buttocks, chest, hips, face and neck – basically, anywhere that you have fat.
It’s no surprise that after pushing out a tiny human being, your vagina might not spring back to its old self, ya know? Vaginal rejuvenation helps restore the natural anatomy of the vagina and can help tighten the vaginal entrance. Both surgical and nonsurgical options are available to help repair tearing or scarring that occurred during childbirth.
Popular non-surgical options include:
- SculpSure – non-invasive fat reduction
- DiVa – laser vaginal rejuvenation
- Halo or BBL – laser facial rejuvenation
The nice thing is that the services are completely customizable so moms can pick and choose the areas they want to focus on. Plus, they can decide what fits best in their budget.
Some people hear the words ‘plastic surgery’ and think to themselves “I would never do that.” Dot McCollum was one of those people.
Until she had her two boys.
“After I had them, I took a year and half to lose over 100 lbs.” says Dot. With lots of hard work, Dot managed to get the weight off (go girl) and kept it off for over 3 years. But she still wasn’t comfortable with her body.
“I had loose skin around my middle, which was really uncomfortable and my breasts had deflated,” she recalls. That was when she and her husband decided to look into cosmetic surgery options.
Dot, who lives in Winston-Salem, found Criswell & Criswell online and decided to make the road trip for a consultation. She had such a good experience that she ended up scheduling her surgery before she left that day.
Here’s what Dot ended up having done:
- Breast lift
- Breast implants
- Tummy tuck
We had a lot of questions for Dot and the doctors at Criswell & Criswell about pain, recovery and expected results.
So how painful is it really?
What the doctors say: The typical surgical mommy makeover is breast, belly and some liposuction. While discomfort after surgery is certainly expected, there have been major advancements that have really improved the overall recovery process.
Dot’s experience: Compared to childbirth without an epidural? Not nearly as painful! With careful administration of prescribed pain medication it was manageable.
How long does it take to recover?
What the doctors say: Depending on the type of work, expect to be out for about 2 weeks. Typically, patients can return to normal activity by week 3 – they can walk on a treadmill, ride a stationary bike. And they are cleared for all activity at 6 weeks. Keep in mind, everyone’s body is very different.
Dot’s experience: I had childcare assistance for up to two weeks post op and after that, I was ok to proceed mom-ing on my own. It got a little bit better every single day.
What kind of results can I expect?
What the doctors say: For a breast lift, with or without an implant, women can expect their breasts to be restored to a fuller, more youthful position.
For a tummy tuck, we retighten the abdominal muscles. This brings in the waist and makes the tummy flat again.
As far as results go, Dot’s pretty much speak for themselves.
Dot’s experience: It is the best thing I have ever done for myself. My clothes fit so much better. I never wore a bikini in my life until two summers ago. I could not be happier. I would 100% do it again.
For those who don’t want to or don’t need to do surgery, there are also options that don’t include surgery. Here are some of the popular mommy makeover options:
This non-invasive fat reduction procedure is great for moms who may not be interested in a tummy tuck or liposuction but still have unwanted fat in specific areas.
How it works: SculpSure uses hyperthermic laser treatments to target excessive fat on the body. In the weeks that follow, the fat cells are absorbed and naturally flushed from the body, leaving the treated area flatter and firmer.
How long it takes: About 25 minutes
Recovery time needed: None
Discomfort level: Minimal to moderate. Continuous contact cooling is used to keep the patient comfortable.
Expected results: Visible results can be seen in as little as 6 weeks with optimal results occurring at 12 weeks.
How it works: diVa laser vaginal rejuvenation uses hybrid fractional laser technology to restore vaginal health and tightness lost after childbirth.
How long it takes: 3-5 minutes
Recovery time needed: Patients can resume normal activities 24-48 hours after the procedure.
Discomfort level: Minimal to none. A numbing gel is applied beforehand.
Expected results: diVa improves all of the following: urinary leakage (during coughing, sneezing, exercise, etc.), painful intercourse, painful exercise, difficulty with orgasm, vaginal dryness & vaginal laxity.
Having a baby can zap the life out of a mother’s skin. This laser treatment helps improve skin offering a reduction of fine lines and appearance of pores. It can also brighten your skin tone.
How it works: Halo is a laser treatment that combines deep dermal rejuvenation with epidermal renewal. The combination is what leads to that youthful glow.
How long it takes: About 45 min.
Recovery time needed: You’ll be able to resume most activities within 24 hours
Discomfort level: Minimal. They use a topical anesthetic and integrating cooling technology to make you as comfortable as possible.
Expected results: After 3 or 4 days, your skin will begin to peel and slowly expose your new skin beneath.
Forever Young BBL Photofacial
This treatment was studied at Stanford University back in 2012 and they found that it can actually alter the molecular structure of the skin. Insanely cool.
How it works: BBL delivers broadband light energy to the skin. It’s often used in conjunction with the Halo laser treatment.
How long it takes: About 30 min.
Recovery time: None
Discomfort level: Very minimal
Expected results: Tightens skin, improves pigmentation (age spots, sun spots), acne, rosacea, and vascular spots.
Ready to make some positive changes in 2018?
Schedule a free consultation here and make it happen.
(This content was co-created with Criswell & Criswell Plastic Surgery.)