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Mommy Makeover Before and After Photos

When I'm looking at mommy makeover before and after pictures, should I look at separate photos of tummy tucks, liposuction, and breast lifts (with or without breast augmentation)? Or should I ask to see examples of a total mommy makeover on a single woman (or several women)?

Mommy makeover before and after photos by Dr. Steve Teitelbaum

Mommy Makeover Photo: Dr. Steven Teitelbaum, Orange County Plastic Surgeon

Doctor Answers (50)

Before and After Plastic Surgery Photos

+7
Look at the belly button first. A belly button with visible scars, or a distorted, unnatural looking belly button is unattractive and a sign that says "I've had a tummy tuck" The ideal results look beautiful and natural. Visible scars around the belly button are unacceptable.

Look at both tummy tuck photos, breast augmentation / lift photos and mommy makeovers together. Some women will have both procedures together, others will stage the procedure.


Prospective patients have a host of issues to consider when evaluating pre-op and postop images of cosmetic surgery patients. An outspoken plastic surgeon who is known for some keen observations is often quoted as saying that "A photograph is merely reflected light". Another telling maxim regarding cosmetic surgery photography is "Almost anything can be made to look good from at least one angle." Both of these observations speak to the fact that while such photographs should ideally communicate the true nature of a surgical outcome, there are inherent limitations to the two-dimensional nature of photography.

Look for Consistency
For this reason, as a consumer you should insist on consistency in preoperative/postoperative photography. The positioning of the subject and the size or 'aspect ratio' in the photographs should remain consistent. If one photograph appears to be taken from five feet away and the other from eight feet away, there is no way to meaningfully interpret the 'transformation'. The lighting and color saturation in all of the images should also ideally be identical, or at least comparable. If the pre-op image is in shadow and the postop image is well-illuminated, there is no way to determine how much of the postoperative 'improvement' was provided by surgical technique and how much is just better lighting. A bright flash can conceal a whole host of flaws.
You should also insist on seeing images from multiple angles, as this is the only way to get some idea of the quality of a surgical result in three dimensions when reviewing two-dimensional photographs, and to confirm that it isn't just from one direction that the result looks acceptable. The photography set-up and photographic background should be consistent. Images taken in the pre-op area in front of a bare wall with an exposed electrical outlet and the patient's gown pulled up but hanging down into the image should not inspire much confidence. Body position and facial position should also be consistent. I have seen breast lift (mastopexy) before and after photographs in which the patient's arms were at her sides in the 'before' images, and then the arms were lifted above the head in the 'after' images. Raising the arms overhead produces an instant 'breast lift', so it is impossible to objectively assess the effect of surgery in photographs where body position is inconsistent.


When evaluating photographs, also keep in mind the fact that many examples you see of a particular procedure may not look like you. Part of what makes the practice of plastic surgery so interesting and rewarding for me is the fact that no two patients are exactly alike, and thus each patient requires a fresh and personalized approach. Rather than trying to dissect how a particular result relates to you personally, view it in terms of that patient's particular 'starting point', and whether or not the surgical enhancement is aesthetically pleasing and natural-appearing.
Don't limit your investigation to an examination of photographs. Review the content of a cosmetic surgeon's website thoroughly, and get a feeling for that doctor's individual approach and practice philosophy. Get a feel for whether the website is attempting to provide useful information or is just trying to sell you something. Determine if the priority is communicating the surgeon's aesthetic sensibility, or getting you approved for easy financing.
Also, another important source of information about a surgeon and a surgery practice can come from individuals who have experience as patient of that practice. At Michael Law MD, PA / Aesthetic Plastic Surgery we have many cosmetic surgery patients who are willing to speak to prospective patients about their surgical experience and their results. If you are favorably impressed when you meet the doctor in consultation, ask to speak to someone who has undergone a similar procedure, and if at all possible someone who has a similar 'starting point' or similar preoperative concerns.


Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Pictures you need to see

+6

I think seeing the procedures in total when evaluating a mommy makeover makes the best sense.  A surgeon who performs mommy makeovers regularly  should be able to show you representative work.  I also know many of colleagues cover the tummy tuck scar with bikinis on their website.  Ask them to show you pictures of the scars when you are at your consultation, it is important for you to see how their scars are positioned and their quality.

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

How to find yourself in a mommy makeover...

+6

I recommend finding patients that have similar breasts, and similar bodies. They do not have to be in the same patient. Also it is important to note the technique(s), and the surgeon that performed them. For the tummy, pay attention to scar placement, belly button appearance, and liposculpture results. For the breasts, look for scar placement, size, and degree of droop.

Jose M. Soler-Baillo, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

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Mommy makeover photos

+5

The more photos you can see of your surgeon-to-be's work, the better. So look at both individual surgeries and combination surgery photos. Find ones you like, and ones you don't like. Try to verbalize the features that stand out- for good or bad. Study the combination photos - do they look harmonious and attractive or (shudder) cut-and-paste? Try to find a surgeon who has both the technical skills and an artist's eye!

Thomas Fiala, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Mommy makeover photos doesn't reveal body type

+4

I believe that looking at pictures separately or together doesn't really matter. Pictures are deceiving because so much depends on your body type and where you start out.

For example, you may be looking at someone who only needed a breast lift because she has a lot of breast volume to begin with. However, you may not have much breast volume and may need an implant as well as a lift.

Pictures are good to get an idea of the scars involved with this surgery. Make a consultation with a plastic surgeon to get an idea of what you would need to accomplish your aesthetic goals.

Kari L. Colen, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

How best to evaluate Mommy Makeover photos?

+4

Hi there-

A well-done Mommy Makeover is more than the sum of its parts... When designed and executed by a proficient and experienced surgeon, the breast enhancement compliments the tummy and vice versa... everything looks like it belongs together and as though it was always meant to be that way.

In poor outcomes from mommy makeover procedures, the breasts may look better than before, and the tummy may look flatter, but when you look at the woman as a whole, things just don't look pretty or natural...

Most surgeons can perform the steps in a mommy makeover- successfully completing the operations... Fewer are able to reliably and consistently achieve lovely outcomes- the attractive feminine form requires talent.

It reminds me of my own attempts at recreating some of the amazing dishes I read about in culinary magazines or that I enjoyed in my travels... I can follow the recipe and complete the objective of cooking the dish, but it just doesn't look like it did in the restaurant... and almost never tastes as good as I remember it did when Chef KingofGastronomy made it.

So my advice is to look at the whole patient in the photo. You wouldn't be happy if your breasts look good when you cover up the rest of you, and your tummy looks good if you take a photo only of it, but then people see the two together they think you don't look so good...

Finally, it is very important to realize that while photos are accurate representations of what was accomplished at surgery, they do not convey the degree to which the patient's goals were met. The photo may look great to you, but not be what the patient wanted... or you may think it looks unappealing but in reality the surgeon achieved EXACTLY what the patient in the photo wanted... Photos don't say anything about the surgeon's ability to understand what the patient wanted and to deliver that outcome.

So while I think looking at photos is very important as a means of evaluating a surgeon's skill, I also strongly advise you to read patient testimonials (in order to understand how the surgeon's patients feel about them and how successfully they achieved the patient's goals), learn about the anesthesia provider, and also about the facility where your procedure will be performed.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

Mommy Makeover Before and After-Look For Results That Include Areas You Care Most About

+3

Thank you for your question. There are so many different types of procedures referred to as Mommy Makeover that it is key for you to view Before and After photos of Mommy Makeover that include the procedures that you want and need. Generally Mommy Makeover involves restoring your Breast and Tummy to a pre pregnancy appearance. There are many options:

  1. Breast- Implants alone, Implants plus Breast Lift, Breast Lift alone
  2. Tummy- Mini Tummy Tuck, Full tummy Tuck, Tummy Tuck plus Liposuction, liposuction alone

Once you understand your goals you can evaluate Before and After photos that Include the type of Mommy Makeover that you want to have.

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Mommy makeover before and after photos

+3

Dear,

I appreciate your frustration. Let me start by breaking the nomenclature down.

The initial point, is to be clear over what procedures you are referring to when discussing a "Mommy Make-Over", it can be a number of combinations.

The term is generic with respect to what it implies. That is, it refers to a combination of procedures that address improving the physical changes to certain areas of the woman's body that occur after having children. These can be different to each patient.

Some of the issues can be skin laxity, stretch marks, loss of breast volume, as well as, areas of persistent fullness (such as flanks, thighs, etc.) due to the natural weight gain that occurs during pregnancy.

Often, some procedures can be combined (such as a breast augment, with an abdominoplasty) as long as they can be performed together safely for that particular individual.

Some procedures are more involved, and may require an extended recovery period, as well as, have more associated risks. In such cases, we often decide to perform the procedures separately (staged).

Once you identify the areas you want treated -- then look at the before and after images that apply to that particular procedure. Some surgeons place their b/after images on the world wide web, others prefer to be more private with their patients pictures available for viewing in the office at the time of the consultation.

Also some offices offer past patient contact information so you can have a detailed discussion with someone who has experienced what you are considering. Personally I think this is also very useful, often the personal story can be very helpful.

As far as choosing your surgeon, I think it is a combination of pictures, personality, and how well your questions are addressed.

I hope this helped, and best wishes.

Sergio P. Maggi, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

See my videos - Photos are very important

+3

When evaluating a surgeon's work, you should look through their photo gallery - even at procedures you are not considering. Pay attention to the technical details of the photos to make certain they are representing the same regions of the body, and that size changes are not due changes in perspective with different photographic technique. Be sure the surgeon shows you a standard set of views on all photos to avoid the possibility of only being shown just the "good" views. Although it is OK to see isolated procedures (not every patient wants a full makeover - some just want breast enhancement, etc..) you should also view full body makeovers. Multiple combined procedures take more surgical time and could potentially suffer from fatigue. It is nice to know your surgeon actually has experience in the procedure combinations they are offering you and that their techniques are the same (and results as good) as for isolated procedures.

I've been spending some time animating educational procedural overlays on top of my patients before-and-after photos as I feel it is a valuable tool in seeing the actual changes which occurred. Setting up a morph transition requires the photographic alignment between the before and the after photo be very accurate, so this particular detail has an interest for me.

Best regards,

Dr.B

Michael A. Bogdan, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Combination Photos That Show The Entire Surgical Field Along With Each Of The Areas Of Treatment Have Several Advantages

+2

It’s very important to view pre and postoperative pictures before proceeding with any type of cosmetic surgery.  The mommy makeover is a special situation where multiple procedures are performed in combination.  Most plastic surgeons take pre and postoperative photos that show the procedures separately and in combination.  Each type of evaluation has specific benefits.
Combination photos that show the entire surgical field along with each of the individual areas of treatment have several advantages.  Obviously, this allows evaluation of the individual surgical procedures simultaneously.  It also offers an opportunity to evaluate the harmony, proportion, and balance produced by this type of combination.  This approach is necessary to understand how the synergy between individual procedures affects the overall aesthetic result.
There’s only one problem with this approach, with multiple procedures it’s hard to find photos of someone who looks exactly like you preoperatively.  They may have your breast deformity, but their abdomen may look very different than yours.
For this reason, photos of individual procedures may also be important.  Mixing and matching photos of the various components of the mommy makeover can still be very helpful.  Unfortunately, it will not give information regarding the interaction between these procedures and how it affects synergy.
It’s important to evaluate pre and postoperative photos before proceeding with any cosmetic surgical procedure.  Before proceeding with a mommy makeover, make sure you meet with a board-certified plastic surgeon and see his or her photos.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.