Becoming a mother is a blessing and is certainly one of the greatest joys in life for countless women. Of course, pregnancy, labor, and breastfeeding can all take a huge toll on a woman’s body. Muscles and skin tissues expand; breasts lose volume and firmness; and the abdomen is left with sagging, loose skin.
Fortunately, a Mommy Makeover can address each area of concern at the same time. If you’re dreaming of getting your pre-pregnancy body back after having children, you’re probably well aware of the benefits a Mommy Makeover has to offer. Many women find it rewarding to restore their body to its youthful shape, with a toned abdomen and lifted, firm breasts.
However, some women hesitate to move forward with a Mommy Makeover due to concerns about the incisions and potential for scarring. The good news is that in the hands of a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon, Mommy Makeover incision scars can be made inconspicuous or even completely invisible. Here’s everything you need to know about Mommy Makeover incisions.
Common Mommy Makeover Procedures and Incisions
Mommy Makeovers are completely customizable based on your desired results. That’s why they often involve multiple procedures to best meet each patient’s unique goals. There are also multiple techniques for each procedure, some which result in smaller, less visible incision lines than others.
The most common Mommy Makeover procedures and incisions include the following elements.
During pregnancy, breasts tend to lose volume and symmetry. Many women seek out breast augmentation to address these problem areas by restoring the volume, firmness, and symmetry lost during pregnancy. There are four types of surgical incisions used for breast augmentation surgery:
- Inframammary incisions, which are the most commonly used technique, are created and hidden in the crease underneath the breasts.
- Periareolar incisions are made near the lower half of the areola, which aids in hiding the resulting scar.
- Transaxillary incisions are small and placed in the armpit, leaving no scarring on the breasts themselves.
- Trans-umbilical or “TUBA” incisions are made in the naval area with a tunnel upwards toward the breast for implant placement.
Our practice specializes in an innovative technique that delivers long-lasting, natural results with hidden incision lines in the under arm area so breasts remain scar-free.
Many women also opt to have a breast lift with or without breast augmentation. After pregnancy, a breast lift procedure helps to raise breast tissue higher on the chest and reshape the breasts to restore their pre-baby fullness. A breast lift can also tighten the tissue and remove any excess skin that results from pregnancy. A vertical or “lollipop" incision is most commonly used by experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons to minimize the appearance of scars during a breast lift.
A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, removes unwanted fat and skin and resculpts muscles and tissue to restore the body’s pre-pregnancy shape and create a smoother, flatter abdomen. Along with removing any excess skin during a Mommy Makeover procedure, many plastic surgeons also tighten abdominal muscles that have stretched during pregnancy.
There are multiple tummy tuck techniques, and each has its own advantages. Mommy Makeover patients can opt to have a conventional tummy tuck, a mini tummy tuck, a hybrid tummy tuck, or a fleur-de-lis. The best technique for you depends on your areas of concern and overall goals for your appearance.
Here’s how the incisions differ among tummy tuck techniques:
- Conventional Tummy Tuck: A conventional tummy tuck incision is a curved line across the abdomen that runs from hip to hip, and is typically placed about an inch or so below the navel.
- Mini/Partial Tummy Tuck: A mini tummy tuck requires a shorter, lower abdominal incision to correct isolated skin deposits below navel.
- Hybrid Tummy Tuck: A hybrid abdominoplasty, the most commonly performed at our practice, combines conventional and mini tummy tuck techniques to achieve optimal results: smoothing and full muscle tightening with only a low, short incision line shaped like a pentagon.
- Fleur-de-Lis: The fleur-de-lis, a great option for Mommy Makeover patients with horizontal excess skin, results in a vertical incision line to achieve more of an hourglass shape.
Once healed, a tummy tuck incision line around the belly button generally looks very natural. In most cases, an experienced plastic surgeon can perform a tummy tuck so the incision line is completely hidden beneath clothing—even when wearing something as revealing as a two-piece bathing suit and most lingerie!
Many of our Mommy Makeover patients also have liposuction, which sculpts the midsection (and many other areas!) by removing excess fat. Liponique, our unique approach to liposuction at Clevens Face and Body Specialists, combines different body sculpting and laser technologies to achieve the ideal results for your body.
The procedure can either be administered through a tummy tuck incision or through tiny incisions made in treated areas. Since the incisions from liposuction are so small, scarring is rarely a major concern for Mommy Makeover patients. Furthermore, these incisions are inconspicuous and fade over time, sometimes aided by treatments such as scar recovery gel and/or laser treatment.
Along with a breast augmentation, breast lift, tummy tuck, and liposuction, some women also choose to enhance their Mommy Makeover results by adding an arm lift or thigh lift too. During an arm lift, our breast and body specialists place an incision on the less visible inside area of the arm to camouflage its appearance. When performing a thigh lift, our surgeons place the incision line along the inner leg and groin crease to make any scars less visible.
Minimizing Incision Scars: The Difference a Specialist Surgeon Makes
While some visible scarring will likely occur after a Mommy Makeover at the locations of the incisions, these scars typically fade naturally over time. Incision placement and closure by an expert surgeon plays a significant role in minimizing the appearance of scars, which is why your choice of plastic surgeon is extremely important. Experienced plastic surgery specialists take great care to place incisions in areas you can conceal under clothing and swimwear.
Post-op scar management can also aid in achieving the least scarring possible. Our breast and body plastic surgeons use a medical-grade scar healing gel that’s highly effective at minimizing scars. For many of our patients, we also perform laser treatments on scars to significantly reduce their appearance after surgery.
In the expert hands of an experienced plastic surgery specialist, you can restore your pre-pregnancy body without worrying about visible scarring. Schedule your consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in cosmetic breast and body procedures to discuss your goals and address any concerns you have about Mommy Makeover incisions.