Mommy Makeover: How Will I Look 3 Weeks Later?

My 20th wedding anniversary is June 1st and we are going on a trip. What will I look like at that point (surgery May 9th), will my scars and swelling still be scary. This will be our first trip together in 12 years without the kids.

Doctor Answers 14

You may consider postponing...

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I wouldn’t recommend having a Mommy Makeover three weeks prior to an important event.It’s important to remember that the Mommy Makeover is one of the largest procedures performed in cosmetic surgery and recovery times are variable.
The healing process following this procedure may last for a year.Three weeks after surgery, most patients will have residual swelling and bruising.At this point, many patients will still experience pain and discomfort.In some cases, patients may still be wearing compression garments and have drains in place.
Patients aren’t allowed to participate in activities that involve heavy lifting and strenuous activities.This rules out many vacation activities.In addition, patients may not be able to get into a pool or Jacuzzi.
Although complications are, fortunately, not common with this procedure, they do occasionally occur and this could significantly disrupt your plans.
For all these reasons, it’s important to discuss your plans with your plastic surgeon.In this case, it may be better to delay your surgery until after your trip.

Mommy Makeover Recovery

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I would not recommend a Mommy Makeover 3 weeks before any special vacation as you describe. Although by 3 weeks you will be feeling quite well, you will not be 100%. You will look good but you will have swelling and your scars will still be red. Your overall stamina will still be recovering.

Leo Keegan, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Mommy Makeover

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3 weeks may be too soon in the healing process for you to plan and enjoy a trip. You will have some restrictions and physical limitations. I recommend my patients to refrain from strenuous activity, swimming, and exercise for atleast 6-8 weeks to prevent complications. It is normal for you to have some swelling and bruising 3 weeks post-surgery. I ask my patients to wear the abdominal binder and remain in a flexed position for 4 weeks to help minimize swelling and aid in the healing process. Incision lines will likely still be pink/red/purple at that point. It is very important that you follow the post-op care instructions of your surgeon to ensure the best results possible.

 On this site, I do my best to give advice without a physical examination but I want you to know that a physical examination by a certified physician is always the best way to get the most accurate information.  

Healing and Recovery Following a Mommy Makeover

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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.   

Healing after a  #tummytuck will require time. Some patients are out of bed and walking the night of surgery and every hour while awake. I allow my patients to return to work at one to two weeks with 14 days preferred.  However, no lifting or straining.  At three weeks, increased level of activity and full with no restrictions, at 6 weeks. Also some severe scars can be treated with re-excision, laser, kenalog/5-FU injections, creams, silicone strips and other methods to reduce and improve healing. Additionally, scar therapy with scar maturation products (e.g. BioCorneum or Embrace) are suggested for managing scars. However, we recommend you wait to use scar improving products until a few weeks following your surgery.
As I advise my patients, if your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause any superficial pain.
Some employers will modify a person’s job duties so they can back sooner, but without physical activity. Our office can provide our patients with a note stating they are not to engage in strenuous activity for a specified period of time. The note will not disclose what procedure they have underwent. Therefore, you may have to request a similar note from your surgeon if you are not independently employed. I recommend avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous #activity for six weeks following your surgery. With that said, it may help you plan your return to work accordingly.

As for heavy lifting and other #strenuous #activities, it should be avoided for until you have clearance from your surgeon. You may, however, do normal activities at any time if they cause no pain or #discomfort. Let your body tell you what you can or cannot do. Aerobic exercise will raise your blood pressure, which could cause late bleeding and harm your result. Once you begin exercising again, start gently and let your body tell you what it can tolerate. Don’t rush!!  If you have concerns about your healing, or pain that you question to be unusual, it is important to call your plastic surgeon to discuss these further asked to be examined.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Mommy Makeover

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You will be moving a little slower, but we have some patients drive here in a week, and are ready to go travel and their drains are still in so everyone is different and just stay healthy, be positive, follow the Dr. orders, and your healing should go well.  Four weeks is enough time to feel well barring something unusual.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Scars after a mommy makeover

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After 3 weeks, you may still be swollen and bruised.  However, it will most likely to be too bad so that you can go out and do most of your daily activities.

Mommy makeover, how will it look in three weeks?

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At just three weeks after your mommy makeover, you will still be healing.  You will still have some swelling, possibly some bruising, and the scar will just be starting to form.  However, you may actually look quite good at this stage.  I would be more concerned about avoiding heavy activities which could cause further swelling and/or bruising.  At this stage you will still note that you tire easily.  With regard to the trip use your judgment.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Take your time in recovering from surgery

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Three weeks is not enough in my opinion. As much as we plastic surgeons might like the idea of patients flying in for surgery in our clinics (makes us feel like we so good that people fly from all around the world just for US) and flying out soon thereafter, or having "short recovery" procedures, the reality is that surgery requires healing. You must allow yourself adequate time to heal and ideally, be available to be seen by your surgeon in the event you have any complications after surgery. I find that upcoming milestones/events are a BAD reason and time to do cosmetic surgery unless the event is at least 4-6 months away, to allow for healing, swelling resolution, strengthening, scar improvement, management of complications, and overall resolution of the surgical changes. It does not mean it is UNSAFE for you to travel or that your result will become compromised, but I have had patients completely ignore my instructions under the assumption they were doing so well and actually cause problems affecting their own final outcome.
Check directly with your surgeon regarding recommendations for travel. S/he is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, I hope.
Good luck and congratulations.

Tim Sayed, MD, MBA, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

3 weeks after a mommy makeover

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If all goes well, then you should be ok for you trip after this surgery.  There are too many variables to account for so be careful in your decision.  I would recommend that you either wait till after the trip or postpone the trip by another few weeks to be sure.  You have waited 12 years for this trip, another few weeks is not going to make a difference. Good luck.

Bhupesh Vasisht, MD
Voorhees Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Take it easy...3 weeks is not enough

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3 weeks is definitely pushing it. You will likely still be sore, swollen and maybe even bruised. In addition  sun exposure on your new healing wound is not great, and your activity will also be limited as well. If you can I would allow at least 6 weeks before going on a trip. I know this may sound depressing but  not only do I want you to get the best results with your surgery but also have he best time on your vacation. Hope this helps. Good Luck!!

Ritu Chopra, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 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.