Are Mini Tummy Tucks and Breast Lifts the Most Common Procedures After Pregnancy?

What are the most common procedures done for mothers?

Doctor Answers 10

Mini tummy tuck and breast lift

Thank you for your question. A tummy tuck (traditional or mini) and breast lifts are great procedures to combine as they address some of big changes that happen after pregnancy or weight changes. It is often referred to as a mommy makeover. It is a bigger procedure and may often require a night in the hospital. I would consult with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to discuss your options in more detail, review if there are any medical reasons to stage the procedure. If they deem you are healthy to have have the combined procedure, then you will only have one recovery.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Mommy Makeover

Moomy Makeover after pregnancies

Some plastic surgeons define a breast augmentation and lift (augmentation mastopexy) plus a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) as a mommy makeover. But, in my practice, each woman has a different idea of what it means to get her pre-baby body back and that is very individualized. Therefore, the price has a significant range.

Breast Lift and Augmentation (Augmentation Mastopexy) may be an ideal option for many moms
An increasingly attractive and popular option for breast enhancement, particularly in women who have been through pregnancy and lactation, is the combination of a vertical mastopexy (breast lift) with breast augmentation. This is the ideal breast surgery procedure for women seeking breast enhancement who have experienced breast volume 'deflation' following pregnancy and lactation (and for those with 'deflated' appearing breasts who have never been pregnant), and who have the desire for a fuller breast profile.

For many women, a tummy tuck alone can be defined as a mommy makeover.

Many moms that I see for tummy tucks are very fit and in good physical condition, but despite efforts to 'slim down' through diet and exercise, the middle third of their body just doesn't match their more slender upper and lower thirds. As with all aesthetic surgeries, I attempt to restore a sense of harmony and balance to a patients figure when I perform an abdominoplasty.

A tummy tuck is designed to accomplish two things:

Remove excess abdominal skin and fat
Tighten and flatten the abdominal wall muscles

The surgery is performed through a 'bikini-line incision' which, for a full tummy tuck, may extend from hipbone to hipbone. For patients that need only a 'mini-tummy tuck', the incision is usually somewhat smaller, extending just beyond the limits of the average C-section scar. The suprapubic incisions used for this operation are designed so that the resulting surgical scar is hidden by underwear or a bathing suit.

A full abdominoplasty requires the surgical creation of a new belly button. Creating the new belly button, which is called an umbilicoplasty, is a part of tummy tuck surgery that requires a great deal of attention and finesse on the part of the surgeon. My goal is to create a new belly button that, as much as possible, resembles a 'natural' belly button. Natural belly buttons do NOT look like a perfect circle, and circular umbilicoplasty scars are a tummy tuck dead giveaway.

My suggestion is to seek out plastic surgeons  referred by friends, family or medical professionals, do research online and then have a consultation with a few to determine who has an understanding of what you are hoping to acheive with experience doing just that. Most practices will be able to provide many before and after photographs and patients you can speak to about their surgical experience.  Never jump into surgery with haste. Take your time and think about what is really important to you and NEVER be pressured by practices enciuraging you to schedule surgery quickly, especially if there are specials or perks for scheduling sooner than later. Most plastic surgeons with satisfied patients and busy practices keep busy with referrals and do not need to offer specials or financing.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Most common procedures after pregnancy


The most common combination of procedures after a pregnancy are tummy tucks and breast lifts/breast augmentation.  Which tummy tuck is best for each individual patient depends on their body characteristic and their goals.  The regular tummy tuck procedure is more common than the mini tummy tuck procedure.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 166 reviews

Mommy makeover

Most common procedures requested after pregnancy are tummy tuck and breast augmentation procedures. Sometimes breast lifting may be necessary.

 In my opinion, the mini tummy talk is an  operation that  produces very limited results and is very rarely indicated. It involves a shorter incision but does not address the majority of the abdominal wall issues present for most patients who present consultation. For example, the area of skin excised is quite small. The abdominal wall musculature is addressed below the umbilicus leaving the upper number wall potentially lax. The appearance of the umbilicus is not necessarily addressed sufficiently.

For most patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results. Of course, there are downsides (including a longer scar and probably a longer recovery time) but for most patients the benefits outweigh the downsides. It is not unusual to see patients who've had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery.

It is important to work with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to obtain advice (based on good ethics and judgment) to  improve your chances of a successful outcome and minimize the need for further surgery.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Tummy tucks, breast lifts, and pregnancy

Pregnancy can produce some major changes in the body, especially in the breasts and abdomen.  In the breasts, it can result in simply a loss of volume which can be replaced with implants alone.  In other instances, the breasts may become huge and stay huge or lose all of the volume and become very droopy.  In those instances, breast lifts or even breast reductions may be more appropriate.

Pregnancy usually affects the entire abdomen and a full tummy tuck is usually more appropriate for repairing the ravages of pregnancy.  A full tummy tuck not only allows for the removal of excess skin and stretch marks, it also allows the surgeons to tighten up the loose stomach muscles that result from pregnancy.  While a full tummy tuck repairs the entire abdomen all the way up to the ribs, a mini-tummy tuck is far more limited.  It usually is only effective up to the belly button and does not address the tissue above the belly button.  Only a minimal amount of skin can be effectively removed with a mini-tummy tuck and only those muscles below the belly button can be tightened.  I find that most of my patients who might previously have been good candidates for a mini-tummy tuck (and these were rare) do better now using SlimLipo to tighten up minimal loose skin in the lower abdomen.

Edwin C. Pound, III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Mini Tummy and Breast Surgery

Some form of tummy tuck and breast surgery after pregnancy is a so called mommy makeover and is very commonly performed. I cannot say what is the most common because each patient is different. One woman may need a breast lift while another breast implants and a full tummy tuck.

Richard Linderman, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Each mother is different, as are the required plastic surgery mommy makeover options.

Just as "mommy makeover" can mean one of several kinds of breast surgery plus one of several different tummy tucks, and may include liposuction or other surgical choices, each woman has different changes in her body for which specifically-tailored operations are recommended.

Many women require only breast implants to restore (and occasionally increase) breast volume lost after pregnancy and breast feeding one or more children. Others will require breast lifts, and I believe that most aesthetically-pleasing breast lifts are usually achieved by full Wise-pattern mastopexy (anchor lift). Other types of modified lifts are possible, but all too often women who are best served by a full lift are "talked-into" a modified, vertical, lollipop, or Benelli (donut) lift by an over-enthusiastic plastic surgeon who seems to try to make every woman who needs a lift "fit"into a certain kind of operation.  Better to tailor the operation to the exact anatomic needs of the woman's breasts rather than to take the "one operation fits all" approach. The Wise pattern allows tailoring of the breast skin in vertical AND horizontal dimensions, whereas the vertical lift tightens in one dimension only! Crescent lifts are essentially worthless since they achieve no more than a millimeter or two of lift, and often allow an unscrupulous doctor to charge for a "breast lift" when this is simply the incision used for the augmentation!

As other have stated, implants do NOT lift breasts, but they can fill loose skin and give the appearance of more lower pole breast volume and a less saggy skin brassiere. But if a lift is needed, there will be more incisions and more scars to achieve a higher, tighter, more "perky" look. If there is still inadequate breast size after lift, lift plus implants can yield a pleasing improvement.

Over half of women can achieve their breast goals with implants alone; the remainder require a lift, or a lift plus implants.

For the abdomen, mini tummy tucks are VERY rare for the post-pregnancy tummy. Much more common are full "standard" tummy tucks (with muscle tightening from breast bone to pubic bone), or even extended tummy tucks where the incision extends more to the side of the hips to tighten loose skin here as well. Liposuction of the hips or thighs is added when necessary or desirable! But mini tummy tucks usually leave a very unattractive loose bulge in the upper abdomen that a full tummy tuck minimizes. Mini-tucks are designed to appeal to those women who don't want the expense and scar of a full tummy tuck--and then ask questions on RealSelf about dog ears, bad results, and residual loose skin. Just say NO!

So, after writing all of that, I have to say that I agree most with Dr. Rand, who wrote a much more succinct answer. Bottom line: if your family is complete and you are thinking about a mommy makeover, see one or more ABPS-certified plastic surgeons and ask to see lots of breast and abdominal surgery before and after photos. Get your questions answered, and don't expect that you will get more for less. Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Mommy Makeover

The two areas that are most often treated after pregnancy are the breasts and the abdomen. Several different procedures are available for each area. I customize the "mommy makeover" to address each individual woman' needs and desires.

Pregnancy may make the breasts larger or smaller and cause sagging. A breast reduction will decrease the size and lift the breasts. Implants ( augmentation mammaplasty ) will replace lost volume. Implants can be combined with an uplift ( mastopexy ). Over the years, I have found very few women are satisfied with the results of uplift only. Uplift and implant can be performed at the same time.

In evaluating a woman's tummy after pregnancy, I look at the skin, the fat and the muscles and determine how much damage has occurred to each structure. If the problem is fat alone, traditional liposuction my be enough. If there is minimal skin laxity with fatty accumulation, SmartLipo can be used to remove the fat and tighten the skin. If there is excess skin or loose muscles a tummy tuck would be necessary. Mini tucks only remove 2-4 inches of skin below the belly button and do not tighten the muscles above the belly button. Most women need more than  a mini.

Be sure that you consult with an experienced surgeon who can offer all of the options. If the surgeon is not qualified to offer every option, you make get a less than ideal result.


Richard L. Dolsky MD

Cosmetic Surgery Of Philadelphia

Richard L. Dolsky, MD (retired)
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Mommy Makeovers

The most common cosmetic surgical procedures after childbirth are abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and breast augmentation, sometimes with a breast lift. This is typically what people are referring to when they discuss mommy makeovers. Breast lifts alone and mini tummy tucks are often not enough to correct all the damage. Other procedures can also be complementary such as liposuction to smooth out the hips and lower back.

The best way to learn which procedures will do what for you it to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area. They are uniquely qualified  to help in these areas.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Mini tummy tucks are very rare, breast lifts are very common

Properly selected, based on anatomy after pregnancy, hardly anybody is a great miniTT candidate because it is rare to have ALL the damage from stretching confined to below the belly button.  That is the only area addressed by a mini and if the upper abdomen is at all lax, doing just a mini can actually make the overall abdomen look worse than doing nothing at all.  In my experience, about 95+% of post pregnancy abdomens need full TTs.

Breast lifts and implants (remember that implants don't lift you, they just make you a bigger version of what you already are) are exceedingly common.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 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.