Do I make a good candidate for a Mommy makeover? I also want a fat transfer to sculpt my buttocks to be more attractive. (photo)

I'm a 38 yr old mom of 3, delivered by C-section. I do work out and drink lots of water and watch what and how much I eat. I am getting down on myself because although I feel better, I'm not really looking any differently. I am overall happy with being plus size, but I need some tweaking and smoothing. Oh! That scar on my abdomen is where I had my gallbladder removed several years ago. I'm ready for the tough answers. Honesty is best. Thanks.

Doctor Answers 7

Belt lipectomy may be a better choice than abdominoplasty alone in high BMI patients as part of a mommy makeover.

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I think you would definitely benefit from mommy makeover surgery. One issue is the redundant skin of the back. A belt lipectomy might be a better choice for you as opposed to liposuction of the back any more conventional abdominoplasty.

Honesty and weight loss are the only options here.

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I am really sorry but I would not operate as you are considerably overweight.  This increases the risk of surgery including the often deadly deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.  There are also limits as to the results can be achieved with so much fatty tissue beneath the skin and within the abdomen behind the stretched out muscular fascia.

Not what you wanted to hear but this is what I tell my patients struggling with weight:

1). Always eat breakfast and do it within 1/2 hour of waking up. This jump starts your metabolic furnace and so you "run" at a higher level throughout the day burning more calories. I have an egg, 100% wheat toast and steam flashed spinach or any other high anti oxidant food. Steam flashing in a covered pan with a small amount of water unlocks the antioxidants.

2). Never eat after 7 PM. These calories are not burned and are converted for deep storage (fat).

3). Eat vegetables in place of complex carbohydrates. The amount of energy in carbs is very high so avoid sweets, breads, pastas, and chips, crackers.. Replace with broccoli, spinach, etc.

4). Do not consume diet foods or drinks. The artificial sweeteners (aspartame,sucralose,saccharin) are worse than sugar, they cause insulin resistance causing a profound effect on sugar levels with conversion to fat. This is not widely known but it will be as studies are supported this. Use Stevia (often times with erythritol), a natural sweetener instead.

5). Take a brisk walk or do something active for the 15 minutes after each meal.

6). It's a simple equation: What you are = What you eat minus What you do. In this equation the most important is what you eat. It is much easier not to eat that 500 calorie piece of cake than to try and burn it (about one and a half hour of hard working out for most). Exercise is important for cardiovascular and bone health, but how many people have you seen at the gym who seem to remain overweight despite working out all the time.

7). You will be hungry when losing weight. Learn to enjoy being hungry knowing that you are burning your own sugars and fats.

Notice how these are lifestyle changes, not some new fad diet. If you are struggling with what to eat, I would recommend looking into the Mediterranean type foods. If you follow through, you will look and feel so much better!

Mommy Makeover preparation

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Thanks for sharing your question about Mommy makeover and for sharing your photos.

It takes tremendous courage to share your feelings and photos with this community, but ultimately it helps to elevate the discussion about aesthetic surgery and help all of us patients and doctors make the best choices.

With regard to your readiness for surgery an in person exam is very important and would help define what is possible and what degree of loose skin is present.  Your scar on the abdomen from prior gallbladder surgery presents problems for a tummy-tuck as it will likely affect the blood flow and healing to the skin in that area, alternative incisions may be possible but it is difficult to know for sure without examining you.

In general the patients that are good candidates for mommy makeover surgery are healthy and close to their ideal weight relative to their frame.  In my practice most patients need to have a BMI  (body mass index) of around 26 or less to realize the results they expect.  Try and address where you may be on the BMI scale and see if you can imagine a target goal rate for your weight and BMI and then discuss with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area.  

Best Wishes

Steven M. Camp, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

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Thank you for your question and photos. To be honest I would consider a medical weight loss procedure first to help lose weight before considering any body contouring procedure. I have performed liposuction on larger BMI patients to help them look better in clothing but loose skin is the downside. I general won't perform a tummy tuck on someone with a BMI over 32. Each surgeon will have their own criteria for surgical candidates but remember this is for your safety as higher BMI patients have more complications during and after surgery. Best of luck

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The Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures to bring a woman’s body back to the way she looked prior to pregnancy. Most commonly some variation of a #TummyTuck and #BreastSurgery are performed. Additional procedures can include liposuction, umbilical hernia repair.  The most common #breastprocedures include #mastopexy or #breastlift, #breastaugmentation, or #breastreduction. It is best to undergo #MommyMakeover procedures when your weight has been stable for at least one year.

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You should start with an in person consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your goals.  Patients should be at a stable weight before having surgery.  If you are happy with where you are weight wise, then you could consider contouring, but every pound you lose before surgery is better than anything you lose after.  The gall bladder scar will create problems for a tummy tuck, but this is better evaluated in person.  

Safety first

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If you can get your weight as low as possible the risks of healing from a tummy tuck will go down significantly. You would need to be down to a healthy weight and BMI before having a cosmetic procedure to insure a safe outcome. Good luck!

Dean Vistnes.
Vistnes Plastic Surgery
San Fancisco Bay Area

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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.