Having a baby is one of life’s greatest gifts. However, pregnancy and breastfeeding can often cause significant changes to a woman’s body.

About Mommy Makeover

Pregnancy can result in loose abdominal skin that has lost its elasticity, as well as severe weakening of the abdominal wall muscles that leave these muscles widely separated. This is also known as diastasis recti. Unfortunately, dieting and routine exercise alone is often unable to fix the problem.

In addition, breastfeeding often leaves women with, deflated-looking breasts that sag or with breasts that are smaller than they were before they had children. Nursing can also stretch out the areolas (the darkly pigmented skin surrounding the nipples) and / or cause the nipples to descend and start to point towards the ground.

At Michaels Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, we understand that although having a baby is one of life’s milestones, it may not have been the best thing that has happened to your body. If you are a mother who is frustrated with your figure after having children, consider undergoing mommy makeover surgery in Bethesda or Fairfax with Joseph Michaels, MD, FACS. A mommy makeover can help you reclaim your pre-pregnancy body and make you look and feel more youthful and beautiful.

A mommy makeover is not a single cosmetic surgery procedure, but rather an umbrella term describing a combination of procedures used to correct the common cosmetic concerns that many mothers have as a result of pregnancy and breastfeeding. During your consultation, Dr. Michaels evaluates your anatomical needs and listens to your aesthetic concerns. Based on that information, he can tailor a mommy makeover treatment plan that is appropriate for your unique objectives.

Many mothers are most concerned with the look of their abdomen and breasts after having children. For this reason, a mommy makeover typically includes an abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”) to create a firm, flat abdominal profile (often restoring the look of “six-pack” abs) and breast surgery to improve the look of the breasts. The breast surgery may involve a mastopexy (breast lift) to raise the breast and nipple to a higher, more youthful-looking position on the chest wall; breast augmentation with saline or silicone implants to restore fullness to breasts that are lacking volume; or a combination of the two.

Aside from a tummy tuck and / or breast surgery, Dr. Michaels can include other cosmetic procedures to address aesthetic concerns in other areas of the body, such as liposuction to target stubborn fat deposits, Brazilian butt lift to provide patients with a rounder, perkier derrière, or BOTOX nonsurgical injectable treatment to smooth out facial wrinkles for a more youthful look throughout the face.


mommy makeoversThe details of your mommy makeover surgery, including the exact duration and if you will be required to stay overnight at a medical center, vary based on the complexity of your surgery and how many procedures are performed at the same time.

Mommy makeovers are always performed under general anesthesia, and they are typically performed on an inpatient basis requiring a one-night stay. (Some patients are suitable candidates for an outpatient procedure.) The length of surgery is between three and seven hours.

With a tummy tuck, Dr. Michaels positions a horizontal incision in the pubic area, extending from one hipbone to the other, where it can be easily concealed within the underwear or bikini line. He then elevates the skin off of the muscle layer to the level of the ribcage, exposing the weakened abdominal muscles. Dr. Michaels will then repair the separated abdominal muscles by strategically placing permanent internal sutures. He will also perform liposuction to remove unwanted fat from the abdomen and flanks, if necessary. He then removes the excess skin and closes the incision with stitches. He then creates another incision to reposition the navel so it is properly positioned on the new, flat abdominal contour. Dr. Michaels dresses the treated area with bandages and an overlying compression garment.

If you have chosen to have breast lift surgery as part of your mommy makeover, Dr. Michaels makes an incision around the outer circumference of the areola; if needed, he removes some of the areola skin to reduce the size of an overly large areola. He often needs to extend the incision down from the lower border of the areola to the breast’s natural fold to allow Dr. Michaels to remove any excess skin. Then, Dr. Michaels elevates the nipple to a more rejuvenated height. If an enhancement in breast size is desired, Dr. Michaels will insert a saline or silicone breast implant at this point to obtain the desired fullness. He will then reshape the breast mound, remove any excess skin and close the incisions with dissolvable stitches before dressing the treated area with bandages and placing an overlying surgical bra. For patients that require only breast augmentation, the incision is most commonly hidden in the natural breast fold.

Before & After Photos


Dr. Michaels will give you complete pre- and post-operative care instructions before the day of your mommy makeover surgery.

You will need to take about seven to 10 days off from work or your normal schedule. During this time, you should rest as much as possible and abstain from any strenuous activity, including heavy lifting (This includes carrying your children!). You will need to take short walks around the house periodically to ensure proper circulation in the lower extremities.

The treated area may be bruised, swollen, sore, tender or numb. You may also experience changes in nipple sensation as the nerves heal. These are all normal symptoms that should improve with time.

Quick Facts


3-7 hours (depending on the extent of the procedure)




Usually inpatient with one overnight stay; outpatient in select cases

Side effects

Temporary swelling, bruising, tightness, and some pain


Pain, bleeding, infection, asymmetry, damage to nerves (in rare cases), incomplete improvement


7-10 days: back at work. 1-2 weeks: light exercise only. 3 weeks: more strenuous activity allowed. 8-12 weeks: swelling resolves and patient can resume normal activity.

Duration of results


If you would like to learn more about the mommy makeover, click here or call (301) 468-5991 in Bethesda, Maryland or (703) 957-8610 in Fairfax, Virginia to schedule a consultation.