Mummy Makeover Recovery – Tips & Post-op Recovery Timeline
A Mummy Makeover is one or more procedures aimed at helping women restore their pre-pregnancy body. A Mummy Makeover can typically include breast surgery, tummy tuck with muscle repair, and any number of other skin contouring required.
Recovery following Breast and/or Abdominal surgery varies from person to person and depends on the surgery you are having. However, you will need support at home for the first 2-3 weeks for tasks such as cooking and cleaning whilst your movement is restricted. You will be required to wear compression garments for approximately 8 weeks. Whilst you will experience swelling, bruising, and some pain, our specialist team of Surgeons, Anesthetists and Nurses will help to make your surgical journey as pleasant as possible.
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Keep reading to find out what to expect during mummy makeover recovery (day-by-day timeline) and learn some tips to recover faster after your surgery.
What is a mummy makeover?
A Mummy Makeover is a customised combination of cosmetic surgical procedures that aim to restore your pre-pregnancy body. It can include any number of the following;
- Breast surgery: Breast lift, Breast Augmentation (Implants), Breast Reduction, Fat Grafting to the Breast, or a combination of these.
- Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty): Traditional Tummy Tuck, ‘Mini’ Tummy Tuck, Fleur-De-Lis Tummy Tuck, Apronectomy.
- Face and Neck lift: Traditional (SMAS) Facelift, Neck lift, Cheek lift, Brow lift.
- Body lifts: Back Lift, Thigh Lift, Lower Body Lift, Arm Lift, Buttock Lift.
- Labiaplasty: Vaginal Rejuvenation.
- Body contouring: Liposuction and Fat Grafting.
In general, a tummy tuck and breast surgery are the essential parts of a mummy makeover. These are the two regions most affected by motherhood. The rest of the procedures can be thought of as add-ons.
Breast surgery can include a combination of procedures to make your breasts higher, smaller or fuller, perkier and more youthful.
A tummy tuck can help to remove excess abdominal skin and stubborn fat and will give you a flatter, tighter stomach. You may also benefit from muscle repair, removal of excess skin & stretch marks and a better looking belly button.
Depending on your anatomy and expectations, your plastic surgeon will advise you on what combination of surgery is best suited for you.
Mummy Makeover – Recovery timeline after surgery
The time for recovery after a mummy makeover varies significantly from person to person and depends not only on the procedures you get done but also on your body’s healing abilities.
In general, a mummy makeover is extensive surgery with a long recovery period. It can take up to 12 weeks before you make a full recovery. You will need to take some time off work. Furthermore, you will need to have someone help you around the house, especially during the first couple of weeks post-surgery. If you have little children, you should find someone to help you look after them during the first 2 weeks.
To know what you can expect we have broken down the recovery timeline into day by day and week by week sections to give you all the details you need;
Immediately After Mummy Makeover
A mummy makeover is done under general anaesthesia. This means that you will be put to sleep and monitoring closely by an experienced anaesthetist. Once the procedure is complete, you will be woken up and taken to the recovery room. Once you’re fully awake, you will be transferred to your hospital room where you will stay for a minimum of 2 nights.
The first few hours after your surgery should be painless as our team of Plastic Surgeons will use local anaesthetic during the procedure. You may feel tired and sometimes even a little sick.
As the anaesthetic wears off, you might start to feel some discomfort in your breasts and belly. Your anesthetist will prescribe you a number of different pain killers to reduce your pain both whilst in hospital and when you go home. While you are in hospital, the Nurses will administer the medications to you regularly.
You can generally start eating once you feel ready.
Since the mummy makeover is major surgery, you will be required to stay in hospital for a minimum of 2 nights following.
You might also have 2 or more drains coming out of your stomach and/or breasts. These drains help to remove excess fluid and blood from the surgical site. Your surgeon will discuss whether or not you will have drains with you prior to your surgery. If you do have drains, they will usually remain in for anywhere from 2-10 days. This means you may go home from hospital with the drains in. They are very simple to manage and our Nurses are always on call if you have any questions or concerns regarding these following discharge.
After you are discharged from hospital following your mummy makeover you will be restricted with what you can do. Whilst you are never ‘bed ridden’, you will need approximately 1-2 weeks of resting from housework. During this time, you are encouraged to move around and take short walks. Walking helps promote blood circulation in your body and reduces the chance of blood clots forming.
If you are discharged from hospital with drains, you will be asked to send your daily drainage amounts to our Nurses each morning. The drains will be removed when there is a low volume of fluid coming from them in a 24 hour period. As you become more active, the drain output will increase slightly. Your first appointment in the clinic will be to have your drains removed, and our team of dedicated Nurses will let you know when the time is right for this to happen.
You should wear your compression garment and surgical bra during this time.
During the first 2 weeks you will notice your swelling will gradually increase. Some bruising will start to come up and then slowly reduce. You may also notice some dry blood on your dressings. These are all normal and not cause for concern. However, you at any point in your recovery you are concerned you can always contact us.
The swelling and bruising will typically peak during the second week after your mummy makeover before gradually changing to a light yellow colour and then fading.
You can start going back to work around 10-14 days after your mummy makeover, provided your job is not labour intensive. If you have a physical job, your Plastic Surgeon will be able to provide you with a more realistic time frame for returning to full duties.
You should keep wearing your compression abdominal garments and specialized bra throughout this period.
It is recommended to sleep on your back with your knees elevated for the first 2 weeks post-operatively to reduce swelling and pressure on the surgical site.
It is common during the first 2 weeks to be hunched over slightly. This is due to the tension on the skin of your abdomen. During this time frame, when you are feeling ready you should slowly start to straighten your stance and by 2 weeks your posture should be back to normal.
3 weeks post-surgery, your pain will have improved significantly. Pain medication should rarely be needed at this stage, if at all. The easing in pain and soreness will allow you to move around more freely, with minimal restriction. You can gradually return to your daily routines.
Sports and exercise are still forbidden at this stage. You should keep wearing your abdominal garment and sports bra and keep sleeping on your back till after 4 weeks of your mummy makeover. However, if you are finding it difficult to fall asleep due to this positioning, at 3 weeks you can resume a modified side sleeping position. Stomach sleeping should be avoided for 12 weeks.
After the 4th week, the swelling and bruising should start to resolve. You’ll start noticing the dramatic changes in your breasts and belly appearance, though final results can take up to 12 months to be seen.
After 6 weeks
Most patients achieve full recovery by the 6th week after their mummy makeover. If everything goes well, you can go back to exercising and resume all your sports activities. Be careful to avoid direct abdominal exercises such as sit ups and planks for 12 weeks to ensure your muscle repair is secure.
Your breast and abdominal scars will still be fresh and pink at this time. You will notice after 6-8 weeks your scars make start to become more red, pigmented and/or raised. After 8-12 weeks, your scars should start to fade and will continue to do so over your life. Our team of Dermal Therapists will see you between 8-12 weeks post-operatively to check your scars and see if we can introduce any additional scar treatments that may be required.
Some residual swelling is also to be expected and can take up to 12 months to completely resolve.
During the first 2-3 months after your mummy makeover, you should avoid tanning and excessive sunlight to the incision line as it can darken your scars.
7 Top Tips for Recovering After Mummy Makeover
The long recovery period might be worrying for some women. However, there are many tips to recover faster from your mummy makeover.
Check out these tips to make your mummy makeover recovery easier:
1. Be Prepared
You can write down a mummy makeover recovery checklist to have everything in order for when you’re recovering. It can include items related to:
- Purchasing any necessary supplies such as icepacks, comfort pillows etc.
- Preparing a place to rest and relax.
- Preparing entertainment for when you’re resting such as TV shows, movies, books etc.
- Having someone to help you around the house for tasks such as cooking and cleaning.
- Organising for someone to look after your kids, driving them to school and activities etc.
- Organising time off work.
2. Wear your compression garments
You will be provided with a compression bra and abdominal binder during your hospital stay. Once your drains are removed, our Nurses will fit you for a compression garment for your abdomen and provide you with an additional surgical bra. We recommend wearing these for most of time for the first 8 weeks. They help prevent seroma (fluid collection), hematoma (blood collection) and protect your wounds. Compression garments are essential to recover faster after your mummy makeover and will ensure you get the most out of your surgery without complications. Following the 8 week period, you will no longer need to wear an abdominal garment, though a sports bra is recommended for breast support.
3. Keep Walking
Walking after your mummy makeover (and most major surgeries) is usually highly recommended after the second day. When you walk, the blood flow improves in your whole body. This helps prevent blood clots from forming and ensures better and faster healing of your tummy tuck and breast wounds. Short walks around the house are recommended for the first week, then you can slowly build this up as you feel more comfortable.
4. Use Cold Compresses
Cold compresses are great to deal with swelling after your mummy makeover. They are most effective for reducing swelling and bruising in the first 48 hours, though can have great analgesic properties long beyond that. Apply cold soaked towels or wrapped ice packs around the swollen areas of your body to decrease their swelling. Make sure you use clean towels and do not apply ice directly to your skin. Ensure you dry your dressings if they become wet. Cold compresses and icepacks can help you recover faster after your surgery.
5. Sleep on your back
After your mummy makeover, you will be asked to sleep on your back for up to 4 weeks. You can’t sleep on your side or on your belly after your surgery. Elevating the head of your bed and using multiple pillows to support your knees can help you sleep more comfortably after your mummy makeover. During the first 8 weeks, you will need to keep wearing your compression garments when sleeping too.
6. Maintain A Healthy Diet
A healthy and balanced diet is essential after any surgery, especially cosmetic ones. Your body needs a lot of vitamins and nutrients to heal itself and rebuild new tissue. Maintain a balanced diet full of vegetables, fruits, fibres and proteins to give your body and immunity a boost. You also need to stay hydrated. Water is crucial for metabolism and wound healing, so try to keep a water bottle around you all the time.
7. Don’t Smoke
Smoking can ruin your tummy tuck results. It can ruin your breast augmentation results. It can ruin any cosmetic surgery you decide to get. Smoking disrupts blood flow and prevents your wounds from healing.
This is why our surgeons recommend that you stop smoking at least 4 weeks before your mummy makeover and at least 4 weeks after it. If you can stop smoking for good, that would be even better. It will help maintain your mummy makeover results and make them last longer.
Mummy Makeover Recovery FAQs – Questions about Recovering
What is the fastest way to recover from a mummy makeover?
- There’s no magical way to speed up recovery after your mummy makeover. By following the tips we provided, you can make your recovery period smoother and you can recover at a slightly faster rate.
How long does it take to heal from Mummy Makeover?
- In general, it takes around 12 weeks to recover from a mummy makeover. This can be longer or shorter depending on many factors. Complete healing and scar maturing will continue for the result of your life, though the largest changes will occur in the first 12 months.
How painful is recovery from Mummy Makeover?
- A mummy makeover is an invasive surgery that involves multiple body sites. The amount of pain you have will depend on how extensive your makeover was, what surgery you had and your experience with pain. Your experienced Anaesthetist will prescribe you with analgesia to help reduce the expected discomfort. In addition; ice packs, compression garments and rest will all help to make the discomfort bearable.
- You should expect pain for up to 2 weeks post-operatively. This pain will gradually reduce over and beyond this time frame. By week 3, most patients are back to normal activities with some occasional discomfort persisting for 12 weeks.
Do you regret your mummy makeover?
- Whilst the recovery process in long, once healing is complete almost all the women who get a mummy makeover feel rejuvenated and extremely satisfied with their transformation. It’s rare for a woman to regret her mummy makeover when it’s done by an experienced plastic surgeon.
How long before swelling goes down after tummy tuck?
- Swelling after your tummy tuck can take up to 12 months to subside. The majority of the swelling will be gone by 8 weeks.
Can I sleep on my side after a mummy makeover?
- You should sleep on your back for at least 1 month after your mummy makeover. You can use pillows under your head and on your side to support yourself.
Medical Sources & References for Further Reading
- ASPS Blog on What you need to know about your tummy tuck recovery
- ASPS Cosmetic Procedures on Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
- Mayo Clinic Test and Procedures on Tummy tuck
- ASPS Blog on Breast augmentation recovery – what you need to know
- ASPS Blog on ASPS Blog on Breast augmentation recovery – what you need to know
- Radiance by WebMD Reference on Breast Reduction Surgery
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