Mummy makeovers are a collection of cosmetic surgical procedures performed together as a package—as one operation or a series of operations—with the aim of removing the unwanted effects of age, pregnancy and childbirth.

The most popular mummy makeovers include breast lift, breast augmentation or reduction, tummy tucks and liposuction. Anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers as well as other skin treatments can be added as nonsurgical treatments included in mummy makeover packages.

Fast Facts

  • Mummy makeovers are popular because they allow women to feel like their pre-pregnancy selves.
  • Ideally, to achieve the best results, only have a mummy makeover if your family is complete. Another pregnancy can negate the results of the procedure.
  • Mummy makeover procedures, especially the surgical procedures, will be performed under general anaesthesia.
  • It will be six months to a year before you experience the final outcome of your mummy makeover.

Mummy makeovers are growing in popularity worldwide. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), in 2010 there were nearly 112,000 tummy tucks, 90,000 breast lifts and 296,000 breast augmentations performed in the US. Compared to 2000, these numbers reflect an 85 percent growth in tummy tucks, 70 percent growth in breast lifts and a 39 percent increase in breast augmentation compared to 2000.

Reasons for choosing to have a mummy makeover

Mummy makeovers are popular because they allow women to feel like their pre-pregnancy selves. They can boost self-confidence by making women feel sexy, attractive and able to wear their favourite clothes again.

You are a good candidate for a mummy makeover if

  • You are more than six months past your last pregnancy.
  • You have tried through exercise and diet to lose pregnancy weight gain, but have not been able to regain your youthful shape.
  • You’re in good health and would like to enhance your post-pregnancy look.
  • Your weight has stabilised. It’s a good idea to be near your ideal body weight for some time before a mummy makeover. If you want to lose weight, do it before the makeover procedures. Surgeons recommend this because weight loss before a makeover helps the surgeon determine how much excess skin should be removed and how to best sculpt your body.
  • You are clear about what you expect from the makeover. It is important to be very specific about your wishes for your post-baby body and convey them clearly to your surgeon. This will help the surgeon make recommendations to achieve your goal.

Ideally, to achieve the best results, only have a mummy makeover if your family is complete. Another pregnancy can negate the results of the procedure.

Specifically, mummy makeovers can help with

  • Loose skin on the abdomen.
  • Deflated or sagging breasts.
  • Enlarged or stretched breasts.
  • Stubborn fat deposits that cannot be lost through diet and exercise.
  • Stretch marks.

When you feel ready, do your homework and find a surgeon who is board certified in surgery and has performed mummy makeovers many times before. You can also ask to see before and after photos of recent patients.

Things to consider once you’ve decided to have a mummy makeover

Mummy makeovers are a group of procedures that can be done in one go or as a series of operations.

The key decision is what to include in your own makeover.

The most common mummy makeover procedures include:

You may also want to include other procedures in your own makeover. The links above take you to detailed articles about each procedure, including possible risks and complications.

Once you have considered this at length and found out what each procedure involves, it is time to consult with a surgeon. Do your homework and go with a surgeon that is both qualified and experienced in the type of procedures you need.

You might want to get other opinions by visiting more than one surgeon.

What to expect

Your surgeon will use a marker to outline the locations of the incisions they will make on your body. Mummy makeover procedures, especially the surgical procedures, will be performed under general anaesthesia.

Because a mummy makeover is a set of procedures rather than one alone, the surgery can take between four and eight hours to complete. Sometimes your surgeon may find it necessary to space a series of operations weeks or months apart, rather than complete the entire range of procedures on the same day.

How many procedures are performed at once and in what order will depend on your surgeon. That said, mummy makeovers usually start with breast surgery—reduction, enhancement or breast lift—then follow with a tummy tuck and liposuction.

You will be required to stay overnight at the hospital at the very least.

There will be some pain and discomfort after surgery, and you will be given medication to control the pain. You will also be given a special elasticised garment to be worn during your recovery period. Instructions will be given about caring for surgical incisions and what you should and shouldn’t do during the recovery period.

You will have a post-operative appointment five to seven days after discharge from the hospital. Take your special garment with you. During this appointment your sutures will be removed if they are non-dissolvable. Your wounds will be checked and cleaned, and further instructions will be given for their care. Depending on how your wounds are healing, further appointments may be necessary.

Your surgeon will most likely see you again four to six weeks after the operation to assess your scars and any swelling you might still have. Expect post-operative clinical photos of your progress to be taken at this time. Dates for further follow up will depend on your progress.

It will be six months to a year before you experience the final outcome of your mummy makeover.

Before and after surgery

There are things you can do leading up to any kind of surgery to improve the experience and minimise risks and complications.

Here’s how to prepare for your mummy makeover:

  • Try to achieve your desired weight. Exercising at least 30 minutes each day will help to achieve this. Combining 15 minutes of interval training and 15 minutes of resistance training into your exercise routine will help you lose weight faster. Also try working different body parts each day of the week.
  • Eat healthily. Good nutrition, balanced meals, a lot of liquids and portion control will help you reach your desired weight goals.
  • Cut down on alcohol consumption to less than two or three drinks a week.
  • If you smoke, quit. You must stop smoking at least six weeks before the procedure. Read the Costhetics article on Smoking and Surgery to understand why this is critical. You may be asked to take a urine test to confirm you are off tobacco completely.
  • Arrange a no-fail support system to get you through the full post-surgical recovery period. Involve your family members in your makeover decision and get their full support. While recovering you will need people to look after your children and help with their schedules. You will need help with shopping, cooking and running the household. So have a plan in place before the surgery. Some surgeons will refuse to perform a mummy makeover if you cannot establish a way to take care of yourself and your kids without compromising your health and the results of surgery.
  • Plan well for your surgery and the recovery period. Before you have surgery, make sure that you have thought of everything—shopping, clothes, food and medications—you will need to stay at home during the recovery process. The more extensive the procedures involved, the more downtime you need to plan for. Most mummy makeover patients need help with housework and childcare for at least a week after the procedure and some help in the next two weeks.
  • Prepare for surgery and read up. Make sure you know how to prepare for each different type of procedure involved in your mummy makeover, such as tummy tuck, breast lift, breast augmentation, breast reduction and liposuction.

In preparation for the surgery you may be asked to have blood tests or x-rays and to undergo a medical evaluation. Be open about your health and lifestyle habits, including any use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco, at your initial consultation. Be honest about your medical history, and list all the medications you take, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal supplements.

You may have to take certain medications or make adjustments to current medications in order to prepare for the operation. You should also avoid anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, and herbal supplements as they may increase the risk of bleeding during surgery.

There are a number of things you can do following any surgery. In addition to following the general steps that can speed up the healing process, there are important things you must do to ensure the success following your makeover operation. These include:

  • Get plenty of rest and some help around the house – You will need help with childcare and around the house chores during the first weeks following surgery. Plenty of rest and a stress-free environment are essential during the first few days, because that is when your body will be resting and recuperating. After a few weeks of rest you will probably be ready to return to normal activities. At this time you can start light exercise and begin to help around the house. Most of your recovery will take place in the first three weeks after surgery. Your recovery should be complete in four to six weeks.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting and intense exercise for at least a month after surgery. Take care to also avoid circumstances that would subject your surgical incisions to abrasion, excessive force or motion during the healing period.
  • Follow post-operative instructions closely. You will be given detailed postoperative instructions that may run to many pages or be accompanied by a DVD. Follow these instructions as closely as possible, because any deviation may result in less than ideal results from your mummy makeover or lead to undesirable complications.
  • Contact your surgeon if something unusual occurs. Keep emergency contact numbers for your surgeon and hospital throughout the recovery period. In particular, seek medical attention if you encounter any of the following:

Shortness of breath, unusual heartbeats or chest pains.

Unusual swelling, redness, bleeding, pain, or a persistent discharge from the surgical wounds.

You feel ill, feverish or generally unwell.

You develop a persistent rash.

In case of any of the above, you may need to be hospitalised for additional treatment or observation.

Possible risks and complications

As with any surgical procedure there are risks involved in a mummy makeover. You should be fully aware of these before you elect to have the procedure.

Familiarise yourself with the list of complications that could arise as a result of any surgery.

The best way to reduce risk is to see a fully qualified surgeon with formal training in the surgeries involved in a mummy makeover and who has performed these procedures many times.

Specific complications that may occur after a mummy makeover include:

  • Scarring Scar tissue formation depends on many factors, including poor surgical technique, a genetic predisposition to scarring and the way your body responds during healing. Infections, wound breakdown or tension on the wound can also lead to scarring.

These days, surgeons make limited incisions with cosmetic procedures and can conceal many incisions within the natural folds of the body.

Some people are more prone to scarring than others. If you know you scar easily, talk to your surgeon beforehand. Strategies can be used to minimise your scars. If excessive scar tissue forms, your surgeon can discuss and help you decide on scar treatments.

  • Uneven appearance Your body symmetry may be affected and appear lopsided as a result of breast implants not positioned at the same level. Asymmetry can also result when fat removal during liposuction is not done evenly.
  • Damage to internal organs Organ damage, such as a perforated intestine, is a potential risk with liposuction. While damage is relatively rare, it requires immediate medical attention and emergency surgery.

For more information on risks and complications check out the specific procedure articles on our site including tummy tuck, breast lift, breast augmentation, breast reduction and liposuction.

Studies of combined procedures have shown that combining elective breast surgery with tummy tucks (abdominoplasty) does not significantly increase either major or minor complications and is as safe as individual procedures.

Just as you would discuss potential benefits before surgery, it is always advisable to ask your surgeon to address the potential risks as they apply to you.

Rough costs involved

The cost of a mummy makeover will depend on how many procedures you want and what they are. Once that is decided, costs will vary depending on the surgeon, the facilities used and the exact procedures. Your surgeon will help you estimate potential costs after an initial consultation.

Depending on the procedures chosen, you can expect surgeon’s fees for a mummy makeover to cost between $5,000 and $20,000 (AUD). You’ll need to add the assistant surgeon’s fees, anaesthetist’s fee, hospital facilities and the cost of follow up visits to this figure.

You should expect the costs to be higher if you are having combined procedures at the same time.

This information is correct as of 2019.

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