How painful is it after a mommy makeover?

I'm looking to get the mommy makeover with skin removal, tummy tuck & possible liposuction. I 've heard that it is painful, after the procedure. I've heard that liposuction sites hurt as well. I've had one doctor tell me that I don't need to be at my ideal weight before this surgery but one's office was very adamant and rude about going on and on about being at my ideal weight when I tried to make a consultation appointment; no consultation until ideal weight. What do I do? Wait or go for it?

Doctor Answers 15

Mommy makeover

Good questions!  Recovery, including pain, is different for every patient.  Most patients find the first few days to be the worst, but then gradually improve.  Narcotic pain medication is given to help control these symptoms, and advice on positioning and other non medicinal tools can help the patient through the worst of it.  As far as weight goes, there is a safe BMI (body mass index) that is used to help determine if a person is a candidate for elective surgery.  While it is always best to be at ideal weight, it is understood that not everyone can get there.  As long as your weight is stable, your have a healthy BMI, and a clear medical history you can be considered as a candidate for surgery.  I welcome a meeting with you to discuss your surgical goals.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

How painful is it after a mommy makeover?

I think it is best to prepare for a “recovery”  of 4 weeks after tummy tuck  surgery. Descriptions of recovery times shorter than this,  in my opinion, is over-promising. Of course, every patient's recovery experience is different; your plastic surgeon will be your best resource when it comes to returning to your specific occupation. He/she will know exactly how you are progressing ,whether or not you are experiencing any complications,  and exactly what type of activity you are returning to.


I do have another word of advice for you. Patients who are about to undergo tummy tuck surgery spend a lot of time thinking about the physical preparation for the procedure (for example weight loss issues) but do not spend a lot of time thinking about the emotional aspects. It is not uncommon for patients who undergo the procedure to experience severe “mood swings”. These emotions may range from depression ( “why did I do this to myself”) to elation  (which may lead to over activity). I think it is helpful to be aware that these emotional swings do occur postoperatively. 

Suggestions I have for patients undergoing this procedure: 1. Make sure you have a strong support system in place who have time/patience to take care of you. 2. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. 3. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies. 4. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work too early and let others take care of you (for a change). 5. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the emotional swings that you may experience. 6. Keep in mind the end result!

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

Pain Management after your Mommy Makeover

Pain varies per person and medication to control #discomfort will be provided. Healing will continue for 2-3 months for the early period. This includes some swelling, bruising, malposition, color differences. Sensation in the breasts may also be abnormal and scars will be evolve. Tingling, burning or shooting pains in the breasts will disappear with time and should not alarm you. It is simply a result of the regeneration of your sensory nerves. If these sensations cause pain, repeated, local self-massage per your surgeon's permission may help.

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.
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
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Mommy Makeover

Hi, tsamuel98

Thank you for your question.

Mommy makeover is a combination surgery, usually with breast augmentation/lift/reduction and tummy tuck.  It is a very common surgery for many moms to regain and improve their body after pregnancy.

Any surgery will have recovery time and some degree of pain.  Pain is something very subjective.  Some people have a very high pain threshold; some others have a low pain threshold and may require taking pain medication for a while.  Your surgeon can employ different surgical technique to help alleviate some of the pain as well.

In general, mommy makeover or any body contouring procedure should be performed on a good candidate.  A good candidate for surgery is someone 1) who is medically, emotionally, and socially optimized for the surgery, and 2) who has reached her goal weight.  I advised my patients to reach their "goal" weight, not necessarily the ideal weight.  I want to give the best result for my patients who can maintain their surgical outcome.  My priority for my patients is their safety and outcome.

Please consult a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss whether you are a good candidate for the procedure and to learn about the procedure.

Best regards.

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

How painful is mommy makeover?

Hi! The most painful part is the recovery from the tummy tuck. I recommend Exparel to all my patients.  This is a non-narcotic that is injected in to the muscle, operatively, and slow releases over 72 hours. From what my patients tell me it makes a world of difference in their recovery process. Also follow all of your surgeon's protocols for best results! 

As for your weight, I recommend my patients are within 10 lbs of their goal weight. This way I can give them better contouring. 

Good luck to you!

Brian K. Reedy, MD
Reading Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 144 reviews

Dr. Derby Sang

Thank you for your question.

Pain tolerance and use of meds are different in each patient. i suggest you to consult in person different PS so he/her can physically examine  you and go over your concerns.

best of luck.

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

It depends on your pain threshold but it is manageable in all situations

Mommy makeover usually consists of an abdominal procedure, either liposuction and/or abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Liposuction requires small incisions and there's no major cutting, so it is not that uncomfortable a procedure. A tummy tuck requires suturing the fascia over the muscles together and making an skin incision in the panty line from hip to hip. This requires pain medication for one-two weeks, usually hydrocodone. The breast part of a mommy makeover is either a breast augmentation and/ or lift. The lift just requires removing skin and is less uncomfortable. If a breast augmentation is done, in many cases, we're going under the breast muscle and this is more painful for the first few days. Hydrocodone is usually prescribed 1-2 weeks.

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

How painful is it after a mommy makeover?

This isn't a question we can give a specific answer to since patients vary in their pain tolerance and need for meds. Also we don't have any info regarding your ht/wt and BMI or the specifics of the planned surgery so can't comment on the weight loss question. Liposuction patients usually require pain meds for 3-7 days, under the mucle breast augment is 4-7 days and TT if muscle is repaired 5-10 days. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Mommy makeover – multiple procedures

You will get the best answer to your question by scheduling an in person consultation with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and discussing your unique situation and concerns. The surgeon would meet with you, examine you, physically feeling the tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history, and discussing the pros and cons of each operative procedure in person and what you can realistically expect. Then you can make an informed decision on which procedure(s) to start with according to your desires, recovery time necessary, your history and current health. Surgery after children is very rewarding for our patients. One of the most important factors is not only your health going into the procedure(s) but the support system you have available for your recovery time and the amount of time you can seriously devote to recovery. If you have three active children and only a few days where you can rely on assistance driving, taking care of housework and children and daily activities then staging the procedures may be your best option. If you have help for a good two weeks where you can really focus on you and your recovery and someone else is going to take care of the daily routine and responsibilities than it is not uncommon to do combined procedures for one surgery, one recovery. Patients that have the needed recovery time scheduled in advance usually recover faster as they don't have the added stress of knowing they are needed 4 days after a tummy tuck to be back to their normal routine. Take all of this into consideration with your surgeon when making this decision and get realistic answers to your concerns in advance will make the whole process easier. Congratulations on your decision!

Mark Schoemann, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Mommy Makeover pain

You are asking a very good question but one that is difficult to answer as pain tolerance is experienced differently for each patient.  Tummy Tuck procedure involves tightening the muscles of the abdomen which can be uncomfortable.  Liposuction of the tissues causes bruising which can make a patient very tender.  Patients experience pain differently and some can tolerate or manage it better than others. Taking the prescribed medications, the use of pain pumps, and staying active by walking can be beneficial for recovery.  As for the ideal weight question, I encourage patients that are actively exercising to continue until they plateau and are at a stable weight for six months.  We all want to achieve the best results for our patients which is why we encourage patients to work towards ideal weight.

Eric Schaffer, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 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.