Mommy Makeover in One Week and Im Scared! Is 6 Hours Too Long?

I am 28 & mom of 2(4 yr old & 6 month old). I had them both via c-section, so needless to say my stomach is a mess and my breasts sag to the bottom of my stomach. I've wanted this ever since I had my son. But I am so scared! I have good & bad days. Some days Im excited & others, I am terrified, like today. This is because when I spoke to my friend that is a nurse about my decision to get surgery, she told me an awful story about a friend who was 28 and died from PE after the very surgery. Help!

Doctor Answers 10


Significant changes occur in a women’s body following pregnancy.  These changes are often refractory to diet and exercise and ultimately impact self-esteem, self-confidence and self-image.  For these reasons patients are often excited to undergo mommy makeover surgery.

                Conversely, it’s not unusual for patients to be nervous prior to this procedure.  This is entirely normal when patients undergo a procedure of this magnitude.  It’s not unusual for this type of procedure to last for 4 to 6 hours.

                Patients with significant anxiety should schedule additional consultation time with their surgeon.  In many cases, additional information alleviates anxiety and makes this a more comfortable experience.  It’s important to remember that this procedure is associated with excellent clinical results and high levels of patient satisfaction. 



Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

About the Mommy Makeover Procedure

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.  

#Combined operations are often performed with our #Gynecology colleagues. Tubal ligation is a common post pregnancy procedure which is done at the time of many of the surgeries included with a #MommyMakeover. If you require a gynecologic operation or study (laparoscopy) and are considering a plastic surgery procedure, discuss these issues with your physician and board-certified plastic surgeon. Also, combining these #procedures may decrease anesthetics, costs, and recovery time.

In addition to a one-on-one consultations with a board certified Plastic Surgeon, patients always need to be seen by their primary care doctor prior to such procedures.  We screen every patient and their medical records for risks of blood clots (DVT) and then take appropriate measures.  MWL (massive weight loss patients of  75 lbs or more) tend to have poor skin elasticity and will frequently need additional tightening even afte 6 -12 months regardless of who or how their surgery is performed. This is simply the nature of such body tissues and the ability to heal with the lack or limited elasticity. 

Your procedures should be performed by a #PlasticSurgeon who is board-certified and has a great deal of experience specializing in cosmetic #surgery. You will then greatly improve your chances of getting the result you desire, and, without the need for a revision surgery. It is suggested that you look at before and after photos of the surgeons actual patients, and read patient reviews. Gathering all of this information will help you make a well-informed decision.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Anxiety before Mommy Makeover

It is very normal to be both excited and scared before any surgery and especially for a procedure that is elective in nature. Talk with your plastic surgeon about your anxiety and he/she may offer some mild sedative medication to help take the edge off and relax you before your procedure. The six hour time frame is not a problem for a mommy makeover procedure.

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

You should tolerate the surgery well.

Six hours for a "mommy makeover" is not unusual depending on the extent of the breast surgery and the extent of the tummy tuck. Neither procedure has much blood loss and since you are young, your recovery time from the surgery and anesthesia should not be too prolonged. Expect it to be about three weeks for your recovery from the tummy tuck and less from the breast surgery. Since your children a little, you will need some help for the first week in taking care of them. I usually have my patients up and walking the day after surgery and I have them take deep breaths and practice yawning in order to keep the lungs expanded. Both of these steps minimize the chance of developing blood clots in your legs or pneumonia.

Joseph M. Perlman, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

6 hours of cosmetic surgery is too long

I do not recommend 6 hours of general anesthesia for cosmetic surgery.  An abdominoplasty takes about 4 hours and a breast reduction takes about 4 hours.  I perform each of these procedures individually.  Sequential compression devices are used to prevent pulmonary embolism but it can still occur but is very rare.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 223 reviews

Concerned and Scared before Mommy Makeover Surgery...

Anxiety you are experiencing prior to surgery is quite common. Many moms have great concerns about undergoing elective plastic surgery and worry about returning safely to their families.  Many patients experience feelings of anxiety and/or guilt prior to the procedures.

Although every operation does carry risk, the  risk of major or fatal, conditions are  relatively small assuming that you are in good health, your procedures are being done by a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, the anesthesiology is provided by a well-trained/experienced individual, the procedure is  being performed in a fully accredited facility, and aftercare is handled correctly.

 Given the degree of anxiety, you may do well by meeting with your plastic surgeon again prior to surgery. Address specific questions/concerns.

 You may find the following words of advice I give my patients helpful to you:

1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself)  and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life   situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.

2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.

3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.

4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.

5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina  of your caretakers.

6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).

9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.

10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Worried about mommy makeover

It is entirely natural to be worried about an upcoming surgery.  Hopefully that same concern guided you to an experienced board certified plastic surgeon, and you are having your procedure in fully accredited facility.

It always seems that the closer the surgery comes, the more the butterflies outweigh the reasons you are having the surgery in the first place.  This is especially true for young mothers, who are concerned about having a problem when they have small children.

Postoperatively, you may be asked to walk frequently, stay well hydrated.

It is a great comfort to many patients to spend the first night after their procedure in an Aftercare facility where nurses can monitor the blood oxygen, vital signs, and provide the appropriate pain relief.


Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 177 reviews

Mommy Makeover is usually safe and effective.

Thank you for your question.

Yes, all surgery carries risks. Fortunately, the risk of fatal PE (although it possible) is a rare occurence.

You will need to speak with your plastic surgeon and make certain that appropriate prventative measures are taken.

As long as you are young, healthy and don't have specific risk factors for DVT, such as smoking, obesity, or taking birth control pills, the risks should be low.

To be sure, discuss this fully with your surgeon to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery. Also, follow your post op instructions judiciously.

I hope this helps

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 182 reviews

Butterflies about your Mommy Makeover

It is normal to be nervous before your surgery.  If you are healthy, then you should do very well.  Please make certain that your surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. In addition, make sure that your procedure is being performed in a fully accredited surgical facility/center.

It is very common for mommy makeovers to include both breast and tummy procedures and can last from 4-7 hours depending on what procedures need to be done.   Your surgeon will determine if you are  a good candidate for a combined procedure based on your health status (past medical history) and your physicial exam.   In addition, your surgeon will determine if an overnight stay at the hospital is warranted.   After surgery, your pain should be well managed with 1-2 oral pain pills every 4-6 hours.   All my mommy makeover patients are ambulating a few hours after surgery (of course walking flexed at their waist given the tummy tuck).   Most surgeons will likely recommend no heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 5-6 weeks.   So you will definitely need some help with the kids for about 1-2 weeks.   Every surgical plan is unique/different so I encourage you to direct these questions to your surgeon and his staff.   Mommy Makeovers are truly transforming procedures.  I'm sure you'll love your results!

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 210 reviews




It is very normal to have the concerns you are having now. If you’re doing things the right way you should have nothing to worry about. You need to make sure after your surgery even though you will be in pain to get up and walk around every 2-3 hours for 20 min to keep your blood circulating. A lot of patient’s don’t think its real surgery and it’s important to follow your PS post instructions.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 9 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.