Elective cosmetic surgeries may seem like the magic cure for fixing anything you don’t like about your appearance – until you actually get a serious procedure done yourself. Then you discover the less-than-magical pain, swelling, and long recovery times. A mommy makeover is no exception; in fact, it can be quite invasive. Given that it usually involves several procedures, you’re essentially recovering from three or more surgeries at once. If you’re interested in getting one yourself from a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Schulman, it’s important to know what you’d be committing to – and what to expect afterward.
Choosing a reliable plastic surgeon isn’t the only thing you need to get right; you also need to have a solid game plan for your recovery. That’s where the tips below come in. They should help you not only learn what you’re getting into, but also how to prepare for the first few weeks post-op.
- Take it slow
Even though many of us love having excuses to not exercise, others may be tempted to push themselves after surgery and resume regular activities too soon. If you’ve just undergone a mommy makeover, you should wait at least two weeks before attempting even light cardio. You should be especially careful with lifting, since you could actually damage your tummy tuck scar by lifting heavy objects within the first month after surgery.
On the other hand, you should try to get in at least some light movement starting the day after surgery (such as walking to the bathroom) to reduce the risk of blood clots.
- Preparation is key
While it may seem obvious that you’ll want to get plenty of rest after the surgery, make sure you think about all the things you won’t want to do while you’re recovering – and take care of them beforehand. Stock up on groceries, set up a cozy recovery space that’s close to the bathroom, fill prescriptions (including surgery-related pain meds) the week before, and even put your phone charger next to your recovery spot so you won’t have to search for it.
- Be aware that everything will probably hurt for a while
If you’re getting a tummy tuck – which is usually part of a mommy makeover – be prepared for the discomfort. Sneezing, laughing, coughing, breathing deeply, and even passing gas can result in some serious pain for the first week after surgery, so get ready to spend several days staying very, very still.
- Set up a support network
The first few weeks post-op are not the time to be super-mommy, so don’t even try. There’s no benefit to powering through the pain; in fact, you might even re-open your wounds and risk infection if you push yourself too hard. Of course, if you aren’t in charge, that means that someone else (or several of them) will have to pick up the slack. Don’t be shy about asking for help!
- Stock the freezer
Having groceries is one thing, and turning them into actual meals is another. You don’t have to prepare and freeze every meal your family will require for the next two weeks; instead, throw together a bunch of main dishes that are easy to reheat and pair with some easy sides. That takes the burden of meal prep off of you and your family while you get through the toughest part of recovery.
- Watch what you eat the week before
Nobody expects you to turn into a health guru in preparation for a mommy makeover, but it may help your recovery if you eat less junk and focus on whole foods like meats, healthy fats, and fruits or veggies. In addition to that, it wouldn’t hurt to avoid foods that don’t agree with you the day before; you don’t want to be preoccupied with the consequences of last night’s Mexican dinner as you’re being taken back for surgery.
- Don’t freak out when you see the swelling
To give you an idea of just how much swelling some women experience, consider that it can take up to three months for it to fully disappear. If you feel disappointed in your results but it’s only been a few weeks, just be patient – your body probably needs more time to adjust. Just one of the procedures in a mommy makeover would be enough to produce a lot of swelling, and you just had three or more.
- Forget that scales and measuring tapes exist for two months
After getting a mommy makeover, you’ll probably be anxious to find out how your results are coming along – and one way to measure that is via the scale or measuring tape. For the first two months post-op, though, you won’t learn anything useful from them. Why? Because of swelling. If you’ve been waiting for weeks and you still don’t look like the “after” photos of other women, just wait a little while longer – chances are you’ll get there soon enough.
- Don’t expect to fit into your clothes
Sure, you had some fat and excess skin removed, but the swelling will hide your new proportions for quite a while. Get some extra comfy sweatpants and keep your favorite skinny jeans in the drawer until your body has the chance to recover from surgery.
- Take plenty of time off work
A mommy makeover involves multiple fairly invasive procedures, and you should respect your body’s need for an extended recovery period. You should take off work for at least two weeks. Three or four would really be best, though, since it takes up to two weeks for tummy tuck patients to even stand up straight.
Getting a mommy makeover isn’t exactly a walk in the park, but if you do it right, the results are worth it.
It takes more than just a great plastic surgeon to give you the results you want; it also takes some careful planning. If you choose the right doctor and have plenty of help, you’ll have a much better chance of achieving your cosmetic surgery goals.