How far in adavance should I start consulting with the plastic surgeons? How many surgeons should I plan to meet with? TIA
How Far In Advance Of Mommy Makeover To Start Consultations?
Doctor Answers 18
Mommy Makeover Planning Starts as Soon As You Think About It
I love this question because it tells me that you have already made up your mind to fix the things that bother you after pregnancy. That means you have made the first step. That one is the easiest. The second is finding the right surgeon. Lastly then it comes to paying for it. Here are some guidelines for you:
Research by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons has shown that on average women spend about five years thinking about getting a cosmetic procedure before they take the next step. That is followed by about ten to fifteen months of asking around about surgeons and researching them before calling for that first appointment. After those first consultations these patients moved quickly, in general getting the surgery scheduled about six to twelve weeks later. Are there reasons to wait? iI depends on what stage you are in based on this research. I tell my patients the following items:
1 You should not get breast surgery until at least three to four months after you are done breast feeding.
2 If you have toddlers at home you will not feel much like picking them up or putting them in a car seat for at least a week. Gauge your support network for that first week. If you only have your husband to help you for one day after surgery should you wait until the toddlers are older? Or get more help from your mom or your best friend?
3 Recovery is not that painful after the first few days for most women but some women are not off of narcotics for two weeks or more. Be prepared if that is you. Again judge your own pain threshold and act accordingly. Did it take weeks for you to get over your wisdom teeth extraction or just hours?
Use these guides to help you understand when to get ready for your Mommy Makeover
When to consult for a mommy makeover.
The answer to this question depends upon how far out you are from your last pregnancy, and whether you have met your weight goals prior to surgery. Results from a mommy makeover are highly dependent on the stability of your weight and changes in your breasts. You will want to be at a stable weight for at least 6 months. You will also want to be done breastfeeding and not lactating, and have noticed that your breasts have not changed in size or shape for at least 6 months. Once at this point, the recommendations for your mommy makeover can be made with much more certainty and prediction.
To decide upon a surgeon, the most reliable recommendations are usually from friends or family members who have experience with a plastic surgeon. I recommend seeing at least 3 Board Certified Plastic Surgeons. Your surgeon should take the time to listen to your goals, perform a thorough examination, and go over the details of surgery including the risks and expected recovery. You can find plastic surgeons located near you by using the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website (I've given the link below).
Mommy makeover consultation
Unless you know exactly who you want to perform your surgery and they have the time in their schedule, I suggest you take your time and not rush through this process. After all, it's important that you choose the right surgeon! Look for a plastic surgeon who is experienced, reputable and board certified. See if you have good rapport with them and trust them. Then, go with your instinct.
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Depends on you
Sometimes, the time between your consultation and actual surgery can take months depending on your surgeon's schedule. Even booking the initial consultation may be months ahead if they are busy.
However, before pursuing any surgery, you should be at an ideal stable weight and have stopped breastfeeding for at least 6 months.
Consultations prior to a mommy makeover
Mommy Makeover is a surgery, or surgeries that help a woman look and feel more like she did prior to pregnancies and childbirth. Typically, the procedure consists of a tummy tuck and some kind of surgery. Possibly a breast augmentation, a breast lift, or a lift and an augmentation together.
Some women elect to have post baby body concerns addressed in a single surgery, Others prefer to stage surgeries for various reasons. In many women, it reasonable to perform both breast lift and a tummy tuck in a single surgery.
Pricing for this surgery will vary significantly, based on the extent of a tummy tuck, and also based on the training and expertise of a plastic surgeon. The most expensive plastic surgeon may not always be the best, but the lowest priced surgeon will almost certainly be cutting corners that could impact your safety and / or results.
Look for lots of before and after photos of tummy tucks, breasts lifts and mommy makeovers. Scars around the belly button are a dead giveaway of a tummy tuck. There should NOT be visible scars around the belly button. Fullness in the upper abdomen is a result that would not be the ideal for most patients. Plastic surgeons who are unable to create natural looking belly buttons, or who rush through surgery without addressing upper abdominal fullness may charge lower prices than plastic surgeons who have the training, ability and interest in providing the very best possible result.
Check the credentials of your plastic surgeon including membership of ASPS and ASAPS. Check for surgical suite accreditation and ask who will be in the OR with you when you have your surgery. If you like the many photos you see, you feel like your surgeon has received excellent training and you like the surgeons philosophy, schedule a consultation. You need to feel like your surgeon listens to you and understands your goals. You need to feel a connection with staff members and you should never feel pressured into scheduling surgery. Prior to scheduling surgery, you should be able to speak to previous patients who have had the same surgery.
Regardless of how you decide who you see, ask yourself the following questions after your consultation appointment(s):
Is this surgeon qualified to perform the surgery I am considering?
Do I like this person? Will I enjoy seeing them over the course of my surgery and recovery?
Was my complete medical history taken and examined in detail?
Did this physician truly listen to me as I explained my thoughts about the improvement I am seeking?
Does this physician share my aesthetic sensibility? Do they understand me and are they able to provide exactly what I am looking for?
Was I provided with a thorough understanding of all options available (both surgical and non-surgical)?
Was I shown photographic examples of surgical outcomes that give me confidence?
Was the office staff professional, friendly and accommodating?
Was I pressured in any way to proceed with surgery?
Does this surgeon perform aesthetic surgery exclusively or is aesthetic surgery a small percentage of the pratice?
Listen to what your heart and your gut tell you when you are evaluating your consultation experience. Only move forward if you can do so with confidence about the experience you expect to have in a given plastic surgery practice, and about your ultimate outcome as a surgical patient.
Your experience with the consultation process is a good indication of what you are likely to receive as a surgical patient in any practice. If the process is well-organized and enjoyable, the staff is respectful and efficient, and the physician takes adequate time to understand your individual needs and communicates effectively, then you have a very high likelihood of being treated in a similar fashion if you become a surgical patient of that practice. If the process is disorganized or rushed, if the staff is discourteous or unprofessional, or if the physician does not give you confidence that your needs will be met, then don't expect things to get any better once you are a surgical patient.
You must be absolutely certain that your plastic surgeon's aesthetic sensibility matches your aesthetic goals. I have a very particular aesthetic vision, and I do not pretend to be the plastic surgeon for everybody. I strive to produce surgical results that are natural-appearing, results that do not advertise a trip to the operating room. For example, I do not perform breast augmentation for patients that are seeking an overly large and distinctly `done' breast appearance. And I have a particular distaste for cheek implants, as I think they rarely produce natural-appearing cheek contours, and instead prefer to enhance facial volume by means of structural fat grafting. Make sure that your plastic surgeon's philosophy and preferred approaches are consistent with the goals that you have in mind.
Adequate communication is obviously invaluable, and you should be able to communicate clearly and easily not only with your doctor, but also with your doctor's staff. Over the course of preparing for and recovering from aesthetic surgery, your doctor's staff will have an important and active role. Make sure that your interaction with the staff gives you confidence that you will receive the care and attention that you expect, and deserve, postoperatively.
Verify that major surgical procedures are performed in an accredited surgery center and that anesthesia care is provided by board-certified M.D. anesthesiologists.
Be confident enough to ask some `difficult' questions. Feel empowered to ask any physician questions like: What are your complication and reoperation rates for this procedure? Has a cosmetic surgery that you performed ever resulted in a lawsuit? Have you had any serious complications and unplanned hospitalizations after cosmetic surgery? Have you ever been disciplined by a state medical board? I am never offended by these kinds of questions, and no competent and qualified surgeon should be. In my opinion it is actually the savvy prospective cosmetic surgery patient who does this kind of `due diligence'.
Take your time evaluating before and after images. When a staff member discovered our images posted on another site without our agreement we were mortified. Yes, this can happen. When viewing photos in the office notice whether or not all the photos are taken with the same background, same lighting and with the same (at least 3) positions. Ask for information including patient's age, and how long after surgery photo was taken. Most importantly, ask, did you perform this surgery? Did you perform this as the primarly plastic surgeon? Has this photo been retouched?
There is no denying the fact that 'before and after' images are the most powerful and effective means for a surgeon to communicate their aesthetic sensibility. They give the prospective patient an immediate sense of what that surgeon envisions as a favorable postoperative result, and thus allow an individual to make a relatively quick decision as to whether or not that surgical practice is one that they should investigate further.
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.
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.
You are trusting a plastic surgeon with your health and well being, and also to make a permanent change in your body. take your time doing your research.
Mommy Makeover consultations
If you are thinking about a Mommy Makeover, then it is time to start talking to a plastic surgeon. Make sure you talk to at least 2, if not 3 board certified plastic surgeons who perform body contouring procedures. Do not be surprised if you get 2 or 3 totally different opinions on the best approach for you.
It has been stated; "if you want 10 different opinions, then talk to 10 different plastic surgeons!"
Start Mommy Makeover Consultations Early
There is no set answer to this question; it really depends on the patient and their surgical goals. I typically advise patients to meet with two or three plastic surgeons and take time getting to know them during consultation as it is very important for a patient to feel comfortable with his or her prospective surgeon. Once you find a board certified plastic surgeon whom you are comfortable with, it can take up to four to six weeks before you can schedule your surgery depending on the surgeon’s availability.
Another consideration is recovery time. A mommy makeover often includes liposuction, tummy tuck, and a cosmetic breast procedure. Since this procedure is tailored to the individual patient’s needs, every mommy makeover is different. The extent of procedures you have performed will determine your post-surgical recovery time. Therefore, I can’t tell you exactly how far in advance you should schedule your surgery, but if you have an idea of when you would like to have the procedure performed or if you’re hoping to recover by a certain time, allow at least a month or two beforehand for the consultation process.
Timing for mommy makeover consultations.
Best time to start the process is when you are finished having children, your weight has returned to "normal", you are leading a healthy lifestyle and you are ready to explore options to restore your body to its pre pregnancy state. This is usually 3-6 months after you have stopped nursing and you have incorporated core strengthening and conditioning into your daily routine. Pregnancy always stretches out your 7 abdomenal muscles so getting them back into their best shape with core strengthening is key before deciding whether your rectus muscles need to be sutured together. Often patients can restore 90-95% core muscle strength after normal pregnancies and ultimateloy do not need any muscle work at the time of abdomenal reshaping. It is probably good to get 1-3 consultations so that you better understand who will provide you with full informed consent, offer you options, perform safe surgery and take excellent postoperative care of you.
Plastic surgery consultations before mommy makeover
You should consult with several board certified plastic surgeons (American Board of Plastic Surgery) before making your decision. Choose a plastic surgeon that you are comfortable with and one who takes the time to explain all the risks and complications thoroughly. You should be in good overall health and close to your goal weight before considering this type of plastic surgery. Also be sure the facility where the procedure is performed is fully accredited.
I would start looking several weeks to months before you actually plan on having the procedure performed. Also look at as many before and after photos as possible.
A good reference is the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website for more information on qualified surgeons near you.
Planning for a mommy makeover
There is no specific time frame to begin your consultations but the earlier the better is always good advice since it will allow you to plan your schedule and give you the flexibility to see more doctors, loose weight if you need to, get medical clearence if indicated, etc. I think 3 months is far enough ahead of time that you should be safe. See as many doctors as you feel comfortable. I would recommend at least 2-3. Make sure you check on their user reviews, credentials, and before and after photos.
All the best,
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.