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Mommy Makeover: Understanding What It Is and Expected Results

Mommy Makeover: Understanding What It Is and Expected Results


What is a Mommy Makeover? 

A mommy makeover is a comprehensive surgical approach designed to address multiple areas of concern in women who have undergone pregnancy and childbirth. This transformative procedure typically combines various procedures such as breast enhancement, tummy tuck and liposuction to restore a more youthful and contoured appearance. 

Similar to liposuction, mommy makeover isn’t intended as a weight-loss solution, but rather targets specific areas of the body that may not respond effectively to diet and exercise alone after pregnancy. Common areas addressed by a mommy makeover include:  

  • Abdomen: To tighten loose skin and muscles resulting from pregnancy. 
  • Breasts: To address volume loss, sagging, or asymmetry caused by breastfeeding and hormonal changes. 
  • Flanks: To eliminate stubborn pockets of fat resistant to diet and exercise. 
  • Hips and thighs: To enhance overall body contour and achieve a more proportionate silhouette. 
  • Buttocks: To lift and reshape, restoring a youthful appearance. 
  • Arms: To reduce excess skin and fat, improving arm contour. 
  • Chin and neck: To eliminate excess fat and sagging skin, enhancing facial profile and contour. 

By combining these procedures, a mommy makeover offers women a comprehensive solution to reclaim their pre-pregnancy bodies and boost their self-confidence. 


Why is a Mommy Makeover done? 

This transformative procedure combines various surgical procedures to target multiple areas of concern, offering women a holistic solution to restore their pre-pregnancy body contours.

The primary goals of a mommy makeover include restoring abdominal firmness and contour, enhancing breast appearance, eliminating stubborn fat deposits, and addressing other specific concerns such as excess skin laxity in the arms or thighs. By customising the mommy makeover procedure to each individual’s needs, it aims to achieve natural-looking results and provide women with renewed self-assurance in their appearance.

What can you expect with a Mommy Makeover? 

Before your procedure 

Before undergoing a mommy makeover, thorough preparation is crucial. This typically begins with an initial consultation with your chosen cosmetic surgeon. During this consultation, you’ll discuss your specific goals, concerns and medical history. Your surgeon will assess your candidacy for the procedure and recommend a tailored treatment plan based on your individual needs. 

Following the consultation, you’ll receive detailed pre-operative instructions to ensure a smooth and successful procedure. These instructions may include dietary guidelines, lifestyle modifications, and any necessary pre-surgical tests or evaluations. It’s essential to follow these instructions carefully to optimise your safety and the effectiveness of the procedure. 

Additionally, before your mommy makeover, you’ll need to make arrangements for your recovery period. This may involve arranging for someone to assist you at home, stocking up on necessary supplies, and planning for time off work or other commitments. By taking these steps, you can help ensure a comfortable and stress-free recovery experience. 

During your procedure

The day of your mommy makeover will involve several steps as you undergo the planned cosmetic procedures. You’ll typically begin by arriving at the surgical facility, where you’ll be greeted by the medical team and prepared for surgery. This may involve changing into surgical attire and receiving pre-operative medications or anaesthesia to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. 

Once you’re ready, your cosmetic surgeon will begin performing the planned surgeries according to your personalised treatment plan. This may involve a combination of procedures such as breast augmentation or lift, tummy tuck, liposuction, or other body contouring techniques. Throughout the surgery, your medical team will closely monitor your vital signs and ensure your safety and well-being.  

After your procedure

After the procedures are completed, you’ll be taken to a recovery ward where you’ll be closely monitored as you awaken from anaesthesia. Depending on the extent of your surgeries, you may need to stay overnight in the surgical facility for observation and additional care. 

The recovery period following a mommy makeover is a crucial phase of the process. Immediately after surgery, you’ll experience some discomfort, swelling and bruising, which are normal and to be expected. Your surgeon will provide post-operative instructions to help manage these symptoms and promote optimal healing.   

During the initial days and weeks following your mommy makeover, it’s essential to take things easy and allow your body time to heal. You’ll need to avoid strenuous activities, lifting heavy objects, and bending or twisting your body excessively. Your surgeon may recommend wearing compression garments to minimise swelling and support your healing tissues. 

As your recovery progresses, you’ll gradually begin to see the results of your mommy makeover taking shape. However, it’s important to understand that full recovery and final results may take several months as swelling subsides, incisions heal, and your body adjusts to its new contours. 

Throughout the recovery process, your cosmetic surgeon will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your progress and address any concerns or questions you may have. By following your surgeon’s guidance and allowing yourself adequate time to heal, you can achieve the best possible outcomes from your mommy makeover and enjoy the renewed confidence that comes with reclaiming your pre-pregnancy body.

Understanding the risks of a Mommy Makeover 

The decision to undergo a mommy makeover is a personal one, and understanding both the potential benefits and risks is crucial. During your consultation, your cosmetic surgeon will thoroughly explain the risks associated with the procedures involved. You’ll be asked to sign consent forms to ensure you fully understand the surgery and any potential complications. 

Potential Risks of Mommy Makeover Surgery:   

  • Bleeding and Infection: As with any surgery, there’s a risk of bleeding and infection. Your surgeon will take steps to minimize these risks, but being aware of them is important. 
  • Poor Wound Healing and Seroma Formation: Sometimes, wounds may heal poorly, or fluid collections (seromas) may develop under the skin. These can usually be treated, but it’s important to be aware of the possibility. 
  • Changes in Nipple Sensation: There’s a chance that nipple sensation may be altered after surgery, including temporary numbness or tingling.
  • Scarring: While the goal is minimal scarring, there’s always a possibility of unfavorable scarring. 
  • Skin Laxity and Fat Necrosis: Over time, skin may lose some elasticity, and there’s a small risk of fat necrosis (death of fat cells). 
  • Cardiovascular Complications: Serious complications like blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are rare but can occur with any surgery. 

Understanding these risks allows you to make an informed decision about whether a mommy makeover is right for you. You can find more detailed information on the risks associated with specific procedures like breast augmentation, breast lift, liposuction, and tummy tuck on respective procedure pages.

Recovery after a Mommy Makeover 

The recovery process following a mommy makeover is influenced by the number of procedures performed. While multiple surgeries are conducted during one procedure, resulting in a shorter overall recovery period compared to separate surgeries, the extent of your recovery depends on the complexity of your makeover. 

During the initial days post-surgery, you’ll likely experience discomfort and pain, managed with over-the-counter medication within a week. Bruising and swelling may persist for two to three weeks, with residual swelling potentially lasting up to six months. 

Plan for approximately two weeks off work initially, with additional time needed for physically demanding jobs. Rest is crucial during this period, and heavy lifting and vigorous exercise should be avoided for four to six weeks. Your surgeon will provide guidance on when you can safely resume activities. 

In the first few days of recovery, expect grogginess or nausea as anesthesia wears off. Pain and discomfort are most pronounced during this time, requiring rest and adherence to prescribed pain management. Swelling, bruising, and tenderness around treated areas are common, alleviated with compression garments and cold compresses as directed.

Upon returning home, if you encounter symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pains, or irregular heartbeats, seek prompt medical assistance. In the event of such complications, hospitalisation and further treatment may be necessary.

The results of a Mommy Makeover

The effects of a mommy makeover are noticeable right away, offering a smooth and toned abdomen that complements your body shape and weight. The enhancements from additional procedures like a breast lift or liposuction will continue to improve over the next few months as swelling subsides and the skin firms up. 

In general, a mommy makeover can significantly boost a woman’s confidence by addressing the physical transformations caused by pregnancy and childbirth, helping them feel more at ease and content with their post-pregnancy bodies. 

Liposuction: Understanding What It Is and Expected Results

Liposuction: Understanding What It Is and Expected Results


What is liposuction? 

Liposuction is a surgical procedure that uses suction to remove unwanted fat from specific areas of the body. It also helps shape these areas, which is a process called contouring. Liposuction has other names like liposculpture and body contouring.  

It is important to note that liposuction isn’t considered a weight-loss method but it can remove fat in areas of the body that don’t respond to diet and exercise. The common areas of your body that are targeted are your: 

  • Stomach. 
  • Thighs. 
  • Hips. 
  • Arms. 
  • Buttocks. 
  • Calves and ankles. 
  • Chest 
  • Back. 
  • Chin and neck.    

Why is liposuction done? 

Liposuction is a strategic approach to body contouring. It works by reducing the number of fat cells in your targeted area, sculpting the body to achieve a more desirable contour. The amount of fat removed is tailored to the unique area of your body, contributing to permanent shape changes as long as a consistent body weight is maintained. 

Following liposuction, your skin naturally adapts to the reshaped contours of the treated areas. Those with good skin tone and elasticity typically enjoy a smooth appearance. However, if your skin is thin and lacks elasticity, you might observe some looseness in the treated areas. 

What can you expect with liposuction? 

Before your procedure 

Before you have any surgery, your consultation with your cosmetic surgeon is all about figuring out what you want from the surgery and what liposuction can do for you. Your surgeon will check out the area that needs help, look at how healthy you are, and explain the whole procedure so you know what you’re getting into. 

They’ll take some pictures and talk to you about what you can realistically expect, the different ways to treat the area, and what might go wrong. This chat is your chance to ask any questions and share any worries you might have about the surgery. It’s an important time to make sure you’re on the same page with your surgeon before moving forward. 

During your procedure

Liposuction is done using tiny, nearly invisible cuts. The process involves putting in a slim tube called a cannula through these cuts, connected to a surgical vacuum. The cannula moves back and forth, gently freeing up excess fat, and the vacuum then removes the excess fat. 

After your procedure

After the procedure, your time at the clinic might be just a few hours, or your surgeon might suggest an overnight stay. 

As you recover, there will be small temporary drains under your skin to get rid of extra blood or fluid. You’ll be wearing a compression garment over the treated areas, helping to manage swelling and shape your skin to the new body contours. 

Your surgeon will remind you not to put too much pressure on the healing cuts and to avoid too much moving around during the initial weeks, being gentle with the treated area. 

You’ll get guidance on how to take care of the treated spot, and your surgeon will prescribe medicine to prevent infections. 

Understanding the risks of liposuction 

Starting on your liposuction journey is an exciting step, but being aware of potential risks is crucial, as with any surgery. Here are some risks to consider: 

  • Possible Skin Changes: There’s a chance your skin may appear somewhat bumpy or wavy after liposuction. This might occur if the fat removal isn’t entirely even or if your skin lacks stretchiness. 
  • Fluid Pockets: Occasionally, your body may form small fluid pockets under the skin, known as seromas. If they appear, a quick needle drainage might be necessary. It’s important to stay aware of any unexpected bumps that form. 
  • Numbness and Tingling: Feeling a bit numb in the treated areas after liposuction is normal, and the nearby nerves might be a bit sensitive. Usually, this is temporary, but it’s good to be aware that it’s part of the process. 
  • Infection Caution: While skin infections are rare, there’s a slim chance they could occur. Though not common, following your surgeon’s instructions closely helps minimise this risk. 

It’s crucial to understand these aspects before choosing to do liposuction. Understanding the potential risks ensures a smoother journey toward achieving your aesthetic goals. 

Recovery after liposuction 

After the surgery, you might notice quite a bit of swelling that can last for a few months, so the results will not be visible immediately. Most of the swelling will go down in about a month.  

During the first four to six weeks after the procedure, you’ll wear a compression garment. This helps reduce swelling and manage any discomfort, playing an essential role in your recovery. 

The results 

Once the swelling goes down, you’ll start seeing immediately the refined shape and body contours. When fat is taken out with liposuction, it doesn’t ‘grow back’. However, if you gain weight, the remaining fat cells in the treated area may get bigger. The results are long lasting as long as you maintain a stable weight. It’s important to note that although the results are permanent, your body will still naturally age after the procedure. 

Welcome to The Cosmetic Surgery Institute

Welcome to The Cosmetic Surgery Institute

Discover how we can help you achieve your aesthetic goals through the following sections

1. Exceptional Care by Renowned Experts

Led by Dr. Des Fernandes, a renowned board-certified plastic surgeon with over two decades of experience, The Cosmetic Surgery Institute was founded in 1989. Our commitment is to provide the highest quality care and a comprehensive range of plastic surgery procedures in a safe and supportive environment.

2. A Trusted and Respected Center

As one of South Africa’s most respected and trusted plastic surgery centres, we have gained recognition worldwide. Our participation in the prestigious ISAPS Fellowship program sets us apart, offering advanced clinical education in aesthetic surgery. We are proud to be the only clinic in South Africa involved in this program.

3. Personalised Approach for Optimal Results

At The Cosmetic Surgery Institute, our dedicated team of highly skilled plastic surgeons, nurses, and support staff provides personalized care and attention. We understand that each patient is unique, and we tailor their treatment plan to their specific needs and goals. Our wide range of surgical and non-surgical procedures ensures that we cater to diverse aesthetic requirements. Using the most advanced techniques and technologies, our surgeons strive to achieve optimal results.

These procedures include:

  • Breast augmentation
  • Liposuction
  • Tummy tucks
  • Facelifts

4. Non-Surgical Options for a Refreshed Appearance

In addition to surgical procedures, we offer non-surgical treatments such as Botox and fillers. These treatments provide patients with a more youthful and refreshed appearance without undergoing surgery. Our experts carefully administer these procedures to ensure natural-looking results.

5. Transparent Pricing and Financing Options

We understand that the decision to undergo plastic surgery is significant, both emotionally and financially. To make our treatments more accessible, many of our surgeons offer various financing options. Additionally, our detailed accounts provide transparency, ensuring that patients have a clear understanding of the costs that were involved in their procure.

In conclusion, The Cosmetic Surgery Institute is the trusted and respected plastic surgery centre you’ve been looking for in South Africa. Our experienced and compassionate professionals are dedicated to helping you achieve your aesthetic goals. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and embark on your transformative journey.

Contact us now to begin your transformative journey.

Latest Updates in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Latest Updates in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Plastic and reconstructive surgery is a field that is always on the move, with new techniques and technologies being developed to improve patient outcomes. In this blog post, we’ll talk about some of the latest updates in plastic and reconstructive surgery and how they can help you.

1. 3D Printing

One of the most significant recent developments in plastic and reconstructive surgery is the use of 3D printing technology. Surgeons can now use 3D printers to create custom implants, prosthetics, and surgical guides for complex procedures. In South Africa, this technology has been used to create customized prosthetic limbs for amputees, as well as personalized cranial implants for patients with traumatic brain injuries.

 2. Non-Surgical Fat Reduction

Non-surgical fat reduction techniques are also becoming more popular. Procedures such as CoolSculpting, SculpSure, and Kybella, which use various methods like cooling, laser, or injection to destroy fat cells, are now available in South Africa. These non-invasive techniques can be used to treat areas like the thighs, abdomen, and chin, and are less painful than traditional liposuction.

 3. Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing is another popular technique used to treat wrinkles, age spots, and other skin imperfections. In South Africa, different types of lasers are now available that can be used to target specific skin concerns, like pigmentation or scarring.

4. Advanced Wound Care

Advanced wound care techniques have also revolutionised the treatment of burns and other traumatic injuries. In South Africa, surgeons now use a combination of skin grafts, tissue expanders, and wound dressings to promote healing and prevent infection. New wound dressings that contain growth factors and other agents that promote healing are also available in the country.

5. Virtual Consults

Finally, virtual consultations and telemedicine have made it easier for patients in South Africa to seek plastic and reconstructive surgery. With these technologies, patients can now consult with plastic surgeons remotely and receive treatment recommendations without having to travel. Telemedicine has also been useful in ensuring continuity of care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In conclusion, plastic and reconstructive surgery is a constantly evolving field with new techniques and technologies being developed to improve patient outcomes. 3D printing, non-surgical fat reduction techniques, laser skin resurfacing, advanced wound care, and virtual consultations are some of the latest developments in plastic and reconstructive surgery that are also available in South Africa. It is important to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for individual needs.

Breast Implants: Forever and Always

Breast Implants: Forever and Always

Dr. Nerina Wilkinson: Plastic Surgeon

Meet Sandy one of my  patients who had a breast augmentation procedure 12 years ago:   She firstly didn’t know that implants don’t last a lifetime, she has a capsular leak (how did that happen?), she has no money for this (would medical aid cover this?) And what alternative procedures could she undergo that she could afford 

Since the first breast augmentation in the early 1960’s – breast augmentation surgery  remains one of the most common surgical procedures performed today .Patients are having breast augmentation surgery at a much younger age,  often in their 20”s.  Many patients therefore ,  are after 10 -15 years of “wearing” these implants faced with the decision on what next… either due to definite signs of breast implant rupture or concern over whether their implants may rupture in the future. 

How long do breast implants last?

The reality is that silicone breast implants are not forever and most patients never considered this fact when they initially  decided to have the breast augmentation surgery. The longer you have had a  breast implant , the higher  the chance that the implant could rupture . I often explain to my patients when they are considering breast implants that they would need to change the implants after 10 – 15 years even though many companies would like us to believe that the implant should last a life time. I simplify the scenario by comparing the breast  implants to  a pair of shoes. We would definitely not be wearing the same pair of shoes , every day, for 15 years. The wear and tear on the shoes would make them prone to failure and one would not want to wait for the day that the heal or stap breaks off . Besides the imminent failure we would possibly also want the newer technology / brand/ style of shoe of the time. 

Therefore my advice to patients is to rather replace the implants before they actually start to leak. When the implant is intact the implant replacement if often a simple procedure with a fast recovery as the original space can be used for the new implant. If however the implant has ruptured then the surgery becomes more complicated. 

What if my breast implant ruptures?

In the past rupture (where there may be a hole in the shell of the implant) was a common problem seen by many plastic surgeons.

However modern implants are much less likely to do this as the quality of the outer shell of the implants has improved and the inner gel is more cohesive (i.e. silicone particles stick to each other like a set jelly). 

In the unfortunate situation of a silicone implant rupture: the majority of cases we find that the silicone gel will remain within the capsule (or fibrous tissue) that the body forms around the prosthesis over time. In some patients this capsule may thicken and tighten around the implant to cause “capsular contracture”. In severe cases this can cause pain and hardening of the breasts 

Often patients may undergo routine breast cancer screening and we may find that the implants have ruptured but that patients are totally asymptomatic.

Occasionally silicone gel may spread outside the capsule into the surrounding tissues and lymph nodes where it can create lumps that patients can palpate under their arms. 

It is however important to remember that even in the event of silicone leakage: an Independent review by MHRA has concluded that medical grade silicone is totally safe. It is important to remember that silicone is frequently used in the body in many other ways such as wrapping silicone around cardiac pacemakers. Therefore if you are having any symptoms of implant leakage, no need to panic. You have time to make a decision on how you would like to proceed. 

Breast augmentation surgery is a cosmetic surgery procedure and therefore most medical aids would not cover a ruptured breast implants. Patients need to therefore at the time of their primary breast augmentation surgery realize that they will possibly encounter later costs when planning on replacement in the future. 

Many implant companies have “implant replacement policies”. However first one needs to prove that the implant ruptured due to a definitive implant defect, and often 20 years later that specific implant company may not be trading anymore. 

What are the surgical options if my breast implants have ruptured?

A defective implant needs to be removed with the complete capsule that the body formed around the implant. 

There are then 3 options: for replacement:

  1. after removal of the implant do nothing. This is often the case in older patients who are post-menopausal. They would often have naturally increased their own breast size and are happy to have smaller breasts during this period. 
  2. Replace the implant with a new implant. If however the patient developed a high grade of capsular contracture i.e. hardening of the surrounding breast tissues, the new implant should be relocated to a new position i.e. in front or behind the muscle to prevent the possibly of a recurrence of the capsular contracture. 
  3. Fat transfer. In patients who do not want to replace their silicone implants but who still would like to retain some volume, then fat transfer would be the procedure of choice. Your own body fat can be harvested from one area of the body and injected into the breast to improve the shape.  The advantage of Autogenous fat grafts over breast implants is the lack of complications associated with the implantation of a foreign material.

Women who desire a large, firm or round breast may not be appropriate candidate for autogenous fat transplant as fat grafts result in a more natural looking appearance. Similarly, fat grafts to the breasts are not a viable option for women lacking significant sources of donor fat for liposuction i.e., very thin, as the volume required is very high.

Lipofilling can realistically only achieve a natural, small 100cc volume breast augmentation.

Be sure of your implant history:

If you have had breast augmentation surgery it is important to have the implant history for you and your surgeon to make educated decisions on your breast implant health and future planning. 

I find many patients in my practice walking into my rooms on Jimmy Choo shoes clutching a Gucci bag.

However, whenever I ask these patients, what implants they are “wearing” very few are able to give me this information!

Your surgeon should have provided you with documentation and your implant ID card after your breast augmentation surgery. This card will supply you with details of the make, size, surgery date and batch number. It is important to always keep this card in a safe place for future references. If you no longer have this information, contact your surgeon who should be able to provide you with these details.

How should I monitor my breast implants to prevent problems?

I suggest to all my patients that it is sufficient that they see their plastic surgeon once a year. Self-examination is highly recommended and an immediate consultation is necessary if their breasts change in size or shape or develop lumps.

The longer a woman has breast implants, the more likely she is to experience local complications or adverse reactions. Woman need to monitor their breasts for the rest of their lives. 


Beautifully shaped and size breasts definitely make a women look and feel womanly, sensual and confident. For this reason breast augmentation surgery has been one of the fastest growing procedures and extensive research and advances have been made to continuously improve the quality of the implants As doctors and patients we should therefore continuously stay up to date on the newest technology . Think about it: was there anything wrong with your last cellular phone? Possibly not, but you still chose to upgrade to the next version… 

breast implants