The Mommy Makeover is one of the most appealing cosmetic surgeries for women who’ve finished having kids. While our plastic surgeons personalize this combination surgery for each patient, it typically includes a tummy tuck and a breast procedure. Liposuction on an area or two is also often included in the surgical plan. It’s important to know what to expect from your Mommy Makeover recovery time so you can plan accordingly and have realistic expectations.
Schedule Your Surgery With Recovery In Mind
At a minimum, 2 areas of your body will be in healing mode during your recovery. The good news is breast surgery and liposuction most likely won’t add extra time to your mommy makeover recovery, as the tummy tuck is the most intense part of this procedure.
With recovery in mind, it is important to pick a surgery date that accounts for your lifestyle, work, travel, and family needs. Think about the activities you cherish. If you enjoy skiing, do not pick a winter surgery time. Choose a date at least 8 to 10 weeks before a big vacation or event. You will want to be fully healed and energized for the event. Below is an example of the type of results a Mommy Makeover can create.
Mommy Makeover Recovery Week-by-Week Timeline
While experiences vary, Mommy Makeover recovery time generally proceeds as follows:
Week 1 is the most extreme part of recovery—your body has just been through a lot of sudden changes. Don’t expect to do anything except sleep, eat, get up for bathroom breaks, and take small jaunts in your home to keep your blood moving. Walking slightly hunched over is normal during the first week. Your focus should be on resting rather than completing tasks. Have your partner, friends, or caregivers handle grocery shopping, meals, household chores, and other tasks.
Yay, you made it to Week 2, and you’re likely feeling much more like your regular self. By now, most patients are weaned off pain medication and cleared to drive. While you should still take it easy, you are probably ready to go back to work after 2 weeks of recovery if your job isn’t physically strenuous. You may also take slow, short walks outside.
Week 3 can be a mixed bag. Remember, everyone heals at their own pace. Some patients experience added energy and reduced swelling, while others may heal more slowly. If you’re a very active person, you may feel frustrated with wanting to get back to “normal,” but your body still needs to take it easy and heal. That said, many patients can increase their activity during this phase of recovery.
By week 4, the abdominal binder is worn intermittently, if at all. Swelling is reduced, and energy generally increases. Bruising from liposuction should be gone by now. Light cardio exercise is safe—but listen to your body and back off if pain occurs. Congrats, you can probably fit back into tighter, pre-surgery clothing. Travel for work may be resumed.
Weeks 5 and 6
You are in the home stretch of your Mommy Makeover recovery and beginning to enjoy your results! Exercise restrictions are fully lifted—although more intense exercise and weight lifting might have to wait until week 8—and most patients feel “back to normal” emotionally and physically. Incisions are closed, bright pink, and free from steri-strip tape.
These are average healing times and milestones for most Mommy Makeover patients. Here are a few other issues to keep in mind:
- Pre-existing conditions can cause prolonged healing.
- Every experience will be slightly different from another.
- Always check with your surgeon before resuming physical activity.
- Remember to be patient during the Mommy Makeover recovery process; while it can seem long, healing is always temporary.
Expect Some Discomfort
Tummy tuck and liposuction are the most uncomfortable parts of any Mommy Makeover recovery. Here’s an idea of what to expect:
- Tummy tuck: Abdominal muscle pain can be intense after a tummy tuck as the surgeon tightens those muscles with surgical sutures from top to bottom. It feels like the aftermath of a strenuous abdominal workout mixed with fatigue from anesthesia.
- Liposuction: Pain from liposuction is more of a tender soreness. The liposuction cannula enters in and out of the targeted area several hundred times, causing trauma to the underlying skin and fat tissue. The body’s natural healing response is to swell and bruise, which causes more tenderness.
Help for Pain
Patients are armed with tried and true oral medications to ease their Mommy Makeover recovery. EXPAREL®, a long-lasting, non-narcotic pain medication that is injected into the muscles and tissue during surgery, is often added to the tummy tuck procedure to prevent severe muscle soreness. Patients who add EXPAREL to their plan report a 50% reduction in the need for narcotic pain medication. Our surgeons can use a drainless tummy tuck technique, which also reduces discomfort during recovery. Read more in this blog post.
Mommy Makeover patients are given garments to wear post-surgery. A 3-panel Velcro binder is worn around the waist and hips to minimize abdominal swelling for up to 4 weeks after surgery. Breast support is also needed. A comfortable, stretchy sports bra that fastens in the front is worn for up to 3 weeks post-op. While these garments are not fashionable, you will appreciate the comfort and support they provide!
Women interested in a Mommy Makeover come to us from Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, and throughout the greater Denver area. To talk about your procedure options and Mommy Makeover recovery, schedule a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons using our online form or give us a call at
(303) 278-2600. For inspiration, visit our patients’ Mommy Makeover before-and-after photos.
Kari White, Patient Counselor