If you haven’t watched my recent TikTok, then the title of this blogpost should have definitely given it away— I got a Mommy Makeover! If you’re not familiar, a “Mommy Makeover” is a combination of cosmetic surgery procedures that help women attain their pre-childbirth body or their ideal physique. My experience so far has inspired me to share the aspects of cosmetic surgeries that are important; most notably the mental health component. Through this candid conversation, I hope I’m able to help you map out the steps you can take to mentally and physically prepare for your cosmetic procedure.
As a mental health professional, what are your thoughts on plastic surgery?
I believe plastic surgery should only be reserved for a time when you’re in your best mental state. Despite how common it has become, it is still a personal decision that should not be taken lightly. While you’re in the process of researching and selecting your surgeon, you should also be conducting an assessment on your state of mental health. If thinking about how your current body looks causes feelings of depression, disgust, self-hate, or envy, you need to reconsider getting plastic surgery. Please understand that plastic surgery is NOT the answer for hating your body. You can’t be in a negative headspace prior to your procedure because it will have an impact on your physical and mental recovery. I had considered getting a Mommy Makeover for years. However I held off until I was absolutely certain of my reasoning for going forward with the procedure. For me that meant that my mental health was the best it had been in my entire adult life. Ultimately, your mental and emotional fortitude will determine how well your results turn out, and how successful you’ll be at maintaining your post-op care. If you don’t focus on your mental health, nothing will be good enough.
How did you decide on where to go for your procedures?
Do your research! This is a crucial step that you don’t want to underestimate. Essentially your life is in the hands of the doctor you choose, and you want to have the most competent, ethical, and experienced medical team. A helpful website to use is www.realself.com. I did extensive research, and had a personal reference that strengthened my confidence in my plastic surgeon, Dr. Bullocks of Heights Plastic Surgery. I ended up getting liposuction of the arms, stomach and chin. I also got a breast lift, with the liposuctioned fat being transferred to my breasts.
What are some must-have products for your post-op care kit?
As cliche as it may sound, you must TRUST THE PROCESS. Generally, the initial recovery phase takes anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months. Your individual experience may vary, but there are some common side effects that you can expect. I recommend these must-have items for your post-operative kit:
Other useful products to have in your kit include lymphatic drainage drops and bromelain supplements to help with drainage of your lymphatic system.
What can you do to battle post-surgery depression?
The first two weeks are the hardest, both mentally and physically. To avoid getting into a depressive mental state, you should plan ahead for assistance and rely on your support system to help you see through the most challenging periods of your recovery. Do not hesitate to ask for help when you need it. Your support system can consist of close friends, family members, or a recovery house where trained professionals provide round-the-clock postoperative care.
Be prepared to be out of work for at least a week. Eventually you’ll begin to gradually ease back into your regular routine, but don’t rush it! In the meantime, make plans to indulge in things you enjoy while you’re resting. Don’t forget to get as much natural light as possible.
Do I need to make any specific plans for my recovery?
You must give your body the opportunity to recover before resuming your normal physical activity. It’s important that you have all of the things you need beforehand, so you’re ready for what’s to come, like the swelling. Oh, the swelling! I’m currently in my third week of post-op recovery and I still have significant swelling.
After liposuction, it’s imperative that you keep your faja on 23/7 for the first three months. That’s right, you should only be out of your postoperative wear for a maximum of 1 hour each day. Be sure to plan accordingly. When it comes to maintaining your faja, you should make sure that you have an alternative device to use while your faja is being cleaned, like a waist trainer.
Compression. Compression. Compression. I cannot emphasize this enough. You’ve gotta make sure that your faja fits correctly. As time progresses and your swelling subsides, you will need to adjust your faja to ensure that it still fits snugly. If you’re not too keen on purchasing a new faja every few weeks, you can take yours to a tailor for adjustments.
You should also be mindful of what you’re eating. A high protein, low sodium diet is recommended. You want to avoid sodium because it can lead to swelling, which is precisely what you’re trying to avoid.
When it comes to breast augmentations, you should be conscious of the type of movements you make, especially in the first three months. Under no circumstances should you be jumping around before the girls get settled in. You should also manage your expectations when getting a fat transfer to your breasts. Don’t expect to gain more than a cup or so in size. Going for a second round is common if desired.
What should I not be doing during the recovery phase?
You should not exercise for the first six weeks of recovery. You also shouldn’t raise your heart rate for the first several weeks (make sure you consult with your doctor).
Any other advice or tips to support a timely recovery phase?
Proper rest is a vital component of your recovery. When you’re sleeping, make sure your body is propped up (unless you had surgery on your back –in that case you should definitely adhere to your doctor’s instructions). Sleeping on an incline is important because laying flat on your back after a 360-Lipo can cause swelling and a pooling of fluids, which is very uncomfortable.
Be prepared for prolonged soreness. You can stay ahead of the pain by taking your prescribed pain medications before you feel the pain or sleeping. From my experience, the first three to five days are the most challenging days to sleep because of the swelling and general discomfort of being in your compression garments.
Start getting your lymphatic massages immediately (ideally within 24 hours of your surgery). I recommend getting three to seven massages within that first week, and eventually tapering down in the quantity as the weeks go by. If you’re in the Houston area, I recommend Plush Kulture for your post-op contouring. Be as consistent as possible with your massages, whether you’re doing them by yourself or with the assistance of someone else. At the minimum, you should try to get a weekly professional massage during your recovery phase. You should begin dry brushing after two weeks. At this point in your recovery your incision sites should be healed enough to help with drainage.
Once again, you have to trust the process. You may be nervous or feel like things won’t turn out the way you wish, but there’s so much swelling in the first few weeks. It’s possible for you to experience regret, but don’t let it cause you to doubt yourself.
What are some other questions you have about plastic surgery? Are you considering getting a Mommy Makeover? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you!
18 Day Post-Operation Update
I’d like to start off by thanking everyone that’s reached out in the past week. Not only do I appreciate the messages of support, but I appreciate how candid some of you have been in sharing your thoughts or concerns about going through with cosmetic procedures.
I wrote this blog with the intention of sharing my experience, including the not-so-pretty aspects of cosmetic surgeries. At the time that I’m writing this, it’s been 18 days since I had my procedure, and I’m back to provide a post-op update.
Recently, I developed seromas when my drains were removed. For those of you that aren’t familiar with what a seroma is, it’s a collection of fluid that builds up under the surface of the skin after a surgical procedure, typically at the incision sight. Since the seromas formed, I’ve been applying extra compression in those areas by using sanitary pads and a wrap. I’m really hoping that they won’t need to be drained again, but it’s a possibility. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated. There’s still a lot of swelling everywhere, and I really don’t expect to see the final results until after 6-12 weeks. That sounds like a long time, but I continue to trust the process and stick to my recovery regimen as closely as possible. This includes getting my regular lymphatic massages, and monitoring the food I consume to ensure that they’re low in sodium. I’m still not cleared to work out for three months, but I do look forward to getting back into my frequent walks when I take the boys to school.
6 Week Update
Whoop we are at 6 weeks! I am still so happy with Dr. Bullocks work. But I did start getting lazy with my faja after week 4. I absolutely hated wearing it all day. So I went down to just nights for a few weeks but then I saw this TikTok and knew I had to get back on the faja train. We will see how long I last this time lol.
During my six week postop appointment, Dr. Bullock advised me to return back to working out very slowly. Giving It 25% effort each week until I felt 100%. I definitely want to take my time to avoid losing the gains from my fat transfer. he also injected some Kenalog into keloids I had developed over my scars. Will keep you updated if it hypo pigments which is a possible side effect when injecting steroids into melanin rich skin.
All and all, I am very happy with the results except I should’ve listened to the doctor and not gotten an arm light. It did nothing for me in my opinion. I just have really big muscle there.
Dr. Bullock was impressed with the shape we were able to achieve without a tummy tuck. ( I definitely advocate Lipo versus a tummy tuck if you don’t have anything loose skin or hanging over your panty line). I would definitely do this again if I had to. Almost forgot, he cleared me for travel so we are all set for our trip to Italy tomorrow! I plan on doing some post sculpting/cavitation/skin tightening when I come back from vacation for some extra snatched-ness before my beach vacay.
Ciao for now besties!