After having children, most women will find it hard to physically “bounce back”. Unlike many celebrities who appear to magically transform in a matter of months, many women don’t have a full time training regime or a team of experts on call to rebuild their post partum bodies. In Australia multiple cosmetic procedures addressing areas most affected by birth and ageing process known as the “Mummy Makeover” has gained great popularity. The procedures promise impoved appearance of the breasts, trunk and abdomen, often the places women are most self-conscious about. Rescu. Cosmetic Surgery expert Ricky Allen, speaks to leaders in their field about what this makeover involves and if it is right for you.
The combination of surgeries to improve the appearance of a woman’s breasts, trunk and abdomen are called a mummy makeover because these are the areas most affected by giving birth. A woman’s abdominal muscles separate in the midline to allow the baby to grow and the breasts droop and deflate once breastfeeding stops. Unfortunately these problems cannot be fixed by exercising. These women often have hernias as well, sometimes not apparent until they are in surgery, which can also be repaired at the same time. The mummy makeover surgery should not be undertaken unless the woman has finished having her children as further childbirth would compromise the result.
Both Dr. Anh Nguyen from WA. and Dr. Kourosh Tavakoli from NSW. specialist plastic surgeons, believe that this procedure enhances a woman’s self- confidence more than any other procedure they perform, in fact their patients call it life changing.
Dr. Nguyen even has older women, who after much research and many years of body anxiety, have finally come in for a mummy makeover. In fact her oldest patient is 70. The average age for women having mummy makeovers is getting older as women have their children later in life. The technology has really advanced since Dr. Tavakoli started performing this procedure and the results are even better. Complications are also much less common now because of the technological advances as well as much shorter operating times. Dr. Tavakoli uses a special new dressing called Prevena incision management system which has even made a real difference to the healing time. It has also eliminated the need for post operative drains. Most sutures are now dissolving for this procedure.
One of the best reasons for having the full mummy makeover rather than the breast and abdominal work separately is as Dr. Nguyen explains, because she can really make the breast and abdomen look as good as one another and the body totally balanced and natural. This is very important especially because after the first surgery, the area which was not touched appears to actually look worse to the patient.
Not all patients will need a full abdominoplasty, they may only need a mini according to Dr.Nguyen which is why it is so important that this procedure is individualized, not one procedure fits all so it is really important that you only see an experienced surgeon for your mummy makeover. Make sure you get to see lots of their before and afters and if possible speak to former patients.
Sometimes the abdominoplasty can have a side benefit in that it can fix back ache especially in the lower back which has occurred because of lack of support from strong stomach muscles. The cessation of back pain usually occurs by week four which is something that the patient did not even realize could occur. The skin tightening non- surgical treatments do not work on correcting a post baby abdominal problem as they are not able to rejoin the muscles. Some patients may need liposuction as well, for midriff sculpting or the abdomen as well as the abdominoplasty. The same with the breasts, which may require augments through to breast reduction and lift.
The recovery time is around six weeks. Both doctors make sure that their patients are in good health before they undergo the procedure as theatre time is usually at least four hours and they should not be smoking because even though this procedure has a cute name it is a serious surgery. Dr Tavakoli has a physiotherapist who works with the patients during the recovery process as well. This is to help get them back into normal activity as well as graduated exercise programmes which the physiotherapist devises with them. The patients often benefit from LED treatments to the wounds to help with healing which can be suggested by the doctor. Dr.Tavakoli is also adamant that patients stay in hospital for on average three days and if possible then move to a post operative facility for another couple of days so they are child free therefore avoiding heavy activity such as picking up children or any housework for that first week.
Dr. Nguyen has staff available to support her patients through the whole recovery process so they do not feel anxious at any time. As the recovery process is quite long she feel this is very important. When the patient is able to feel comfortable wearing a swimsuit and even more fashionable clothes again after the surgery she really starts to view the world differently and even her walk becomes more confident said Dr. Nguyen. She recently held a fashion parade for charity featuring all of her patients as models, many who had had a mummy makeover. When these women came to see her pre surgery they had very little confidence in their appearance while post mummy makeover they were modelling.
Dr. Ahn Nguyen www.dranh.com.au
Dr. Kourosh Tavakoli www.drtavakoli.com.au
I Love my Kids but I Want my Body Back
Rrp.$71.87 AUD, Available on Amazon and Booktopia
This recently published book is an excellent research tool for learning more about mummy makeovers. It is written by specialist plastic surgeon Dr. Malcolm Linsell. He sees patients in Rockhampton, Melbourne and Double Bay. During his years of practice he has performed many mummy makeovers and this book follows 10 patients as they undertake a mummy makeover journey. They describe how and why they decided to have the surgery right though to how it has positively changed their lives afterwards. It is not a normal dry cosmetic surgery book and once you start reading it you will find it not just interesting but educational as each woman interviewed has such a different story to tell and answers many of the questions you wanted to know.
Ageless beauty is an art and Ricky Allen is our curator. Australia’s leading voice in her field, Ricky has a degree in psychology and nursing (specialising in cosmetic enhancement), is a qualified paramedical aesthetician, and will share invaluable insight on the best and safest procedures for our face and body. You can find her at Aesthetic Reconstructions.