How Do I Speak to my Kids About my Surgery?

I am a mother of 2, about to have a mommy makeover. My son is 6 and my daughter is 10. I don't know how to tell them about my procedure. My daughter is old enough to acknowledge the physical changes, and since she's starting the training bra phase, I know mommy's new breasts will be very interesting to her. Have you ever had patients share how they handled this?

Doctor Answers 7

How Do I Speak to my Kids About my Surgery?

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The most important thing to discuss with the children is the fact you will be having surgery and be sore afterwards so activities with the children will be limited for a while, but reassure them that you will be safe, they will be cared for while you are recovering, and within a short while you will be back to taking care of them. That is what will worry them the most. The 6 year old is to young to really care about the details. Be forthcoming but limited in details with your daughter initially but answer all her questions fully. Also emphasize that our bodies and what we do to take care of them are private (unless you want all the other kids' mothers to know what your surgery was).

Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Discussing Mommy Makeover Surgery with my Kids?

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In preparation  to respond to your question I just asked a mother of 2 in my office how she discussed her aesthetic surgery with her children. Her response was:  “honesty is the best policy”.  Although your children of age 6 and 10 may be too young to and understand/care about the details of the plan procedures,  I think that they will likely appreciate a basic explanation of what you are planning,  what to expect after surgery, that you may need a little kid-free time and how they might make themselves useful during your recovery period.

Given that you are about to undergo major surgery, some additional words of advice may be helpful to you:

A few words of advice may be helpful:

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.
I hope this helps.

Feel free to tell your children about your Mommy Makeover surgery

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Most of my patients undergoing this, or pretty much any other cosmetic surgery, will, in fact, tell their children that they are having a "Mommy surgery" and, as mentioned, be short on details.  Your children WILL tell everyone about it, so the less detail they know, probably the better.  But certainly they need to know that you will be "resting a lot" and they even like that they can be helpful to Mom while she is recuperating.

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What to tell the kids about surgery.

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While it is best to speak honestly with children about the fact that you're having surgery, at the ages of 6 and 10, it is not necessary to give the intimate details.  Most children just want to be reassured that Mom is going to be home in no time and that she is going to be fine- a little sore, but just fine.  It's best to keep the conversation on the level of the ages of the children with reassurance that Mom will take some time to recover but will eventually look and feel better than ever!

Honesty with family members and children about plastic surgery

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I have always felt that most children are quite capable of dealing with their parents' surgeries... provided they are dealt with honestly.

This is of course a very personal decision, and parents must consider that children will repeat what they are told in school, so the choice of words used can be important.

It is also usually advisable to be candid with immediate family members about the nature of plastic surgery.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Kids and Mommy Makeover

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Honesty is the best policy but I would be short on details.  Basically you tell them your body has changed with aging and the pregnancies and you are putting things back the way they were.  After the procedure they may ask for and you can give them more details but you will be surprised how little they care once given a simplified answer.



Robert Kearney, MD, FACS
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Information to kids always gives good results/la informacion de la operacion a los niños siempre es deseable

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please always tell the truth to kids in order they keep always feeled protected by an adult at home, this will bring security to both patients and family preceseally about time at hospital

digale siempre la verdad a los niños en casa para que se sientan protegidos por el o la adulta que permanecera en casa con ellos , sobre todo el factor tiempo en el hospital esto les dara seguridad a ellos

Ramon Navarro, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon

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.