Tummy Tuck vs Mommy Makeover

Raja Mohan Plastic Surgeon | Facial Plastic Surgery Irving, TX

Dr. Mohan is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he majored in mathematics. MIT is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the United States. He became interested in plastic surgery in his final year of undergraduate studies and performed a prestigious research fellowship at... more

If you’ve been researching plastic surgery, you’ve probably seen the terms ‘tummy tuck’ and ‘mommy makeover.’ Both can transform your shape, but what’s the difference between them and which is better? It depends on your situation and goals.

Tummy Tuck Overview

A traditional tummy tuck is a plastic surgery procedure to flatten and reshape the abdomen. It’s a popular procedure for people who have had children or lost a lot of weight. In these situations, the stomach muscles may weaken. Also, you may have extra skin and fat hanging on your belly that diet and exercise won’t eliminate. This procedure snips away the extra skin and fat and tightens the stomach muscles, so your belly is tight and flat again.

The incision for a traditional tummy tuck is made from one hip to the other and around your belly button. Fat is taken out before skin is cut and tightened from the belly button and below. Another option is a mini-tummy tuck. If you have a small amount of fat and loose skin between the belly button and pubic bone, this could be the right choice. A mini-tummy tuck won’t tighten loose skin above your belly button, and it also won’t remove stretch marks in that region.

This option is ideal for someone with a small amount of bulging and laxity. The incision is made in the upper zone of the pubic area, and it’s shorter than that for the regular tummy tuck.

Mommy Makeover Overview

A mommy makeover consists of several procedures that focus not just on the belly but also the legs, buttocks, and breasts. Extra fat, stretch marks, and excess skin also can be reduced with a mommy makeover. The goal of a mommy makeover is to help women who have been pregnant get their younger bodies back. These procedures can include cosmetic surgery, non-surgical methods, or a mixture.

Mommy makeovers are popular because pregnancy can be rough on a woman’s body. She may face problems such as drooping breasts, flabby skin and belly, and extra fat. These issues can devastate one’s self-esteem. Diet and exercise help, but they may not be enough to restore her body to how it was.

A mommy makeover allows you to look like yourself again. Clothes fit better, your figure comes back, and self-confidence improves. A mommy makeover can consist of many procedures, and it’s customized to your goals and needs. The most common procedures in a mommy makeover are:

Women who opt for mommy makeovers also may have a facelift, fat transfer, or body contouring. When to have a mommy makeover is an important decision. These are the most critical factors to consider:

  • You should be completely recovered from childbirth.
  • If you want breast augmentation, it’s a good idea to wait a few months after breastfeeding to let your breasts return to their standard size.
  • Some non-surgical options, including injectables, may not be advisable if you are breastfeeding.
  • It's best to wait until you have your last child before you have a breast lift or tummy tuck. If you have another child, you may undo the improvements from your mommy makeover.
  • If you have a mommy makeover that includes a tummy tuck and breast augmentation, you shouldn’t lift anything heavier than 10 lbs for the first month after your surgery. You’ll probably need help to care for young children during this time.

Recovery Time For Tummy Tuck And Mommy Makeover

A critical difference between the two is recovery time. For a tummy tuck, it can take up to a few months. But your recovery time can vary according to your age, health, tummy tuck type, and other factors.

For a mommy makeover, your recovery could take a few weeks or months. It varies based on your health and age and because mommy makeovers can consist of different procedures. If you choose breast augmentation, tummy tuck, and liposuction, your recovery could take several months. But if you select less invasive procedures, you could recover in a few weeks. 

Differences Between Tummy Tuck and Mommy Makeover

As noted above, a tummy tuck is one procedure and a mommy makeover has several procedures. Also, another major difference is your end goal. If you’re mostly concerned with your abdomen, a tummy tuck may be ideal for you; the procedure will remove extra skin and fat left from your pregnancy. A mommy makeover, on the other hand, is a comprehensive approach to retooling your body after your childbearing days are behind you.

Which procedure is best for you depends on what you want. If you want to focus on your belly, choose the tummy tuck. But if you want to address other problem areas, such as your breasts, the mommy makeover may be the perfect choice. Most mommy makeovers combine several procedures into one surgery, so it’s more cost-effective, and you get your recovery over all at once.

Whichever you choose, please make sure you have planned for your recovery. You’ll need to be off work for at least a week or two. Ask your family or friends to help you watch your children, prepare meals, shop, and keep up with chores around the home.