mommy makeover patient

Real Patient Results

Pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding change the appearance of your body — sometimes dramatically. These changes can be difficult to reverse, even with the most rigorous diet and exercise program. While part of you is celebrating the new addition to your family, part of you may be mourning the loss of the body you used to know.

You are not alone. Many women now embrace plastic surgery as a way to restore the body they once had and continue their journey into motherhood with more confidence and self-esteem. For these women, we offer a special procedure called a mommy makeover.

Mommy Makeover Overview

The term “mommy makeover” has changed significantly in recent times. Traditionally, a mommy makeover was a tummy tuck and a breast implant augmentation, potentially with a breast lift. As the technology for body contouring procedures improved and our aesthetic ideals changed over time, mommy makeover surgery has also evolved.

Today, a mommy makeover is tailored individually toward each patient’s goals and needs. In some patients, the butt is a focus. For others, the breasts are a focus. And others focus mainly on the tummy (abdomen). In almost all patients, the goal is bringing a youthful appearance back to the torso and creating an hourglass shape.   

As a key opinion leader and physician trainer in Newport Beach and Upland, California, Dr. Matthew J. Nykiel can help you get back a body you love. Dr. Nykiel is one of the few plastic surgeons in Orange County and Southern California who offers multiple body contouring techniques, so you can receive a treatment that is expertly tailored to your unique body type and goals.

What Does a Mommy Makeover Include?

One of the reasons a mommy makeover is so impactful is its customizability. Each surgery is personalized, meaning we combine whichever procedures will have the greatest benefit for a specific patient. Many moms choose to focus on the breasts and abdomen, as they are significantly affected by childbearing, but the mommy makeover is not limited to those areas.

Some of the procedures commonly incorporated into a mommy makeover include:


Liposuction is one of the cornerstone procedures typically incorporated into a mommy makeover. Whether you desire a general “de-bulking” of fat or fine sculpting of musculature, few procedures excel at enhancing the body shape like liposuction. This safe and effective treatment can be done on nearly any part of the body and is the ultimate method of body contouring.

During liposuction, undesired areas of fat are removed from the body. The most common areas for liposuction are the thighs, hips, buttocks, abdomen, waist, flanks, upper back and upper arms

At Butts by Design, Dr. Nykiel offers multiple types of liposuction. Our preferred techniques include tumescent liposuction, MicroAire® power liposuction and VASER® ultrasonic liposuction. Dr. Nykiel is a key opinion leader for VASER® and also a trainer for surgeons and physicians.

Learn more about liposuction here.

Tummy Tuck

Pregnancy stretches the abdominal skin and tummy muscles to accommodate the growing baby. After pregnancy, the muscles and skin can become so stretched out that they do not return to their normal shape. The medical term for these conditions are diastasis recti and pannus, respectively. Many mothers find it impossible to get a flat stomach through diet and exercise alone.

The tummy tuck (also called an abdominoplasty) re-centers and tightens the abdominal muscles through a process called rectus plication. In addition, the tummy tuck removes excess tummy skin and tightens the skin that remains. A great tummy tuck also re-centers on the belly button. In our practice, we spend time reshaping the belly button into a round, youthful appearance.

A tummy tuck is frequently combined with liposuction of the waist and back to sculpt the torso at the same time as flattening the abdomen. That fat can then be used for fat transfer to the buttocks (Brazilian butt lift or BBL) or breasts for additional body shaping.

Learn more about the tummy tuck here.

Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is the second most common aesthetic procedure for a mommy makeover.

While breast volume increases during pregnancy and breastfeeding, it decreases after weaning. This may result in smaller breasts than the original size and give the breasts a deflated appearance.

With breast implants, we can restore volume back to the breasts, creating a fuller and more youthful bustline. Breast implants come in two main types — saline and silicone — and may be placed below the pectoral muscle (submuscular placement) or above the muscle (subglandular placement). Patients also have the choice of a variety of breast implant sizes and profiles.

Breast implants can be inserted via a number of incision techniques: inframammary fold (breast fold), areola, armpit (axilla) and belly button (umbilicus). The areola and inframammary fold incisions produce the most reliable, consistent results and lowest complication rates.

Breast Lift

Breast lifts, also known as mastopexy, are frequently combined with breast augmentations during a mommy makeover. The breast lift corrects sagging that can develop after aging and breastfeeding, while the breast augmentation corrects volume loss that can give the breasts a “deflated” appearance.

A simple way to think of breast sag is to think about the position of the nipple on the breast. As breast sag increases, the nipple moves lower on the breast and rotates to point toward your feet. A breast lift tightens the skin and moves the nipple back to the center of the breast.

The main drawback of the breast lift is the scars. A typical scar pattern for the breast lift is an upside “T” or anchor pattern. Fortunately, the scars are easily concealed in most swimsuits and lingerie, and many women feel they are a worthwhile trade-off for firmer, perkier, more youthful-looking breasts.

Brazilian Butt Lift

One of the more exciting techniques we’ve seen develop in plastic surgery is fat transfer. The ability to remove fat from a less desirable area and then move the fat to a more desirable location has made this one of the most powerful procedures in plastic surgery.

How does a fat transfer work? During liposuction, the fat is gathered in a sterile collection container. The collected fat cells are separated from the liposuction fluid and then cleaned with antibiotics. The “washed” fat cells are then transferred into the butt or breasts to increase volume and improve shape. Fat cells that survive the transfer are permanent after six weeks.   

As liposuction is a common part of a mommy makeover, we can now utilize the fat removed from the liposuction to help augment the body’s shape. The Brazilian butt lift (abbreviated BBL) refers to liposuction with fat transfer to the butt. The BBL is not just one of the most requested procedures in cosmetic surgery, it is one of our specialties here at Butts By Design!

Learn more about Brazilian butt lift surgery here.

Butt Implant Augmentation

Butt implants are utilized when either there is not enough fat to volumize the butt, or the patient’s goals require a butt implant. A round butt implant is most common. This shape does a great job of improving the roundness of the butt and increasing butt projection and volume.

Butt implants are placed within the gluteus maximus muscle (also called intra-muscular placement). This camouflages the buttock implant both in appearance and feel. The buttock implants feel firm, similar to a fit butt.

There is a limit to butt implant sizes because you will sit on your butt. The most common size butt implant is 379cc, and usually the largest a “first round” butt implant can go is 450cc. Because buttock implants are denser than breast implants (which are soft and squishy to resemble natural breast tissue), a buttock implant will make BIGGER changes at a SMALLER implant size.

Learn more about butt implant augmentation here.

Labiaplasty and Vaginal Rejuvenation

The least discussed procedures associated with the mommy makeover are labiaplasty and vaginal rejuvenation. A labiaplasty reduces the size and length or “hang” of the labia minora. The increase in size and length can happen from the changes of pregnancy and childbirth.

Vaginal rejuvenation typically addresses the pubis and vulva as a whole. In general, this includes liposuction of the mons pubis to decrease any bulkiness or volume above the vagina. If the labia majora appears deflated, then fat transfer can be performed to help volumize the “lips.” These procedures restore a more youthful-appearing vulva and pubis, making them great additions to complete a mommy makeover. 

Can All of This Surgery Be Done at One Time?

The most common question asked with a mommy makeover is: can I do all of my procedures at once? The answer depends on your goals.

A mommy makeover typically involves two to four procedures. When we discuss what surgeries can or cannot be combined, we review it from two main viewports:

  1. Is it safe to combine these procedures?
  2. What will the recovery be?

For example, imagine you are considering a buttock implant augmentation and a breast implant augmentation. In this case, the procedures could not be performed together, because you would not be able to stay off both the butt implants and the breast implants at the same time.

This is one reason why all mommy makeovers are personalized. We will review your goals and discuss an appropriate timeline during your consultation.

Is a Mommy Makeover a Major Surgery?

Any surgery is a major surgery, even if it’s cosmetic. A mommy makeover is an outpatient procedure, meaning you go home after surgery under adult supervision. The surgery, on average, lasts four to six hours. A mommy makeover is considered a major cosmetic surgical procedure.

Are Mommy Makeovers Worth It?

In general, mommy makeover patients are extremely satisfied with their procedure(s). A RealSelf survey of patients who underwent mommy makeovers showed that 97% gave a “Worth It” rating.

We believe that satisfaction from any elective cosmetic procedure comes from three main things:

  1. Verbalizing your surgical and life goals
  2. Discussing realistic expectations
  3. Choosing a practice that matches your service experience goals

Verbalizing Your Goals

Your mommy makeover will include a number of different procedures based upon your body goals. We will also discuss your life goals because lasting results come from a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes, the goal is to achieve a fit shape. Plastic surgery may be utilized to reverse some of the effects of pregnancy, but fitness comes from diet and exercise. We believe it is essential to view your goals and the treatment plan from a holistic viewpoint.

Discussing Realistic Expectations

A “Worth It” outcome is also based on your expectations. When we say “realistic expectations,” we are not referring solely to the results. Realistic expectations also include a thorough discussion of the pre-operative requirements, post-operative recovery and long-term lifestyle guidance. These in-depth discussions take place during your consultation and pre-operative appointment.

Choosing a Practice

Finally, a “Worth It” rating for a mommy makeover depends on your experience. Not your experience of the surgery, results or post-operative healing, but rather your experience of “everything else” — how you were treated by the doctor, the office staff and the practice itself. You should feel welcomed in the practice, seen and heard by the office staff, and able to openly communicate with the doctor. You should enjoy coming into the office, because you deserve to have a POSITIVE experience.  

What Is the Recovery From a Mommy Makeover?

Recovery from plastic surgery involves different phases. An easy way to break it down is this:

  1. The initial post-operative recovery
  2. The healing from swelling

Post-operative recovery usually requires one to two weeks free from all responsibilities, including work, childcare and household duties. Full activity exercise should not resume until six to eight weeks after surgery, depending on your procedure(s).

Healing from swelling progresses in its own phases. Swelling increases over the first week, then slowly decreases from weeks two to six. At six weeks, the remaining swelling begins rapidly decreasing until week 12. In general, 80% of swelling resolves by three months. The remaining 20% of swelling resolves over the first year.

With this timeline in mind, we recommend planning surgery at least three months ahead of any major life event (vacation, reunion, wedding, etc).    

When Can You Drive After a Mommy Makeover?

Most patients are able to drive one to two weeks after mommy makeover surgery.

How Painful Is a Mommy Makeover?

Most patients rate the pain from a mommy makeover as mild to moderate, and some describe it as less painful than a C-section. We place a large emphasis on appropriate pain control and thus created a revolutionary comprehensive pain treatment plan.

We start pain medications before we begin surgery, which is shown to improve pain control after surgery significantly. For tummy tuck procedures, we will utilize a non-opioid pain medication called Exparel to numb ( the surgical areas. The numb feeling lasts for approximately three to five days.

After surgery, we implement a multifaceted pain regimen based on decreasing inflammation, nerve signaled pain (neuropathic pain), muscular pain and general discomfort. While the exact medications may change based on your specific surgery and medical history, in general, we utilize:

  • Gabapentin (brand name Neurontin) – treats nerve pain
  • Diazepam (Valium) – treats muscular pain
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex) – treats inflammation and cellular signaling pain
  • Hydrocone (Norco) – treats general pain and discomfort
  • Tylenol – treats cellular signaling pain

The majority of our patients transition to Tylenol and Ibuprofen by seven days after surgery. Few patients require prescription pain control after this point.

How Much Do You Have to Weigh to Get a Mommy Makeover?

The goal of a mommy makeover is body sculpting, not weight loss or obesity treatment. You should be close (ideally within 15 pounds) or at your goal weight before undergoing the procedure. Our BMI limit is 32 or less.

Lasting results come from a long-term commitment to diet and exercise. We recommend that building a muscular base or muscle tone should start before surgery and continue after the post-operative healing phase. Not only does this make the aesthetic outcome the best it can be, it also helps you lead your fittest and healthiest life. 

How Long Does a Mommy Makeover Last?

A mommy makeover is a permanent procedure. However, all elective cosmetic results are dependent on a healthy lifestyle and minimizing sun (UV) damage. A healthy lifestyle involves a balanced diet and regular exercise.

How Can I Maximize My Mommy Makeover Results?

A mommy makeover dramatically changes your body shape. While the results are considered permanent, you must have realistic expectations, and you must be an active participant in keeping your results looking their best. This begins during your consultation with transparent discussions of your goals, current lifestyle and anticipated post-procedure lifestyle. After surgery, it continues with leading a healthy lifestyle.

Body contouring involves moving and re-shaping your fat stores, tightening your skin and sometimes repairing your muscles. All of these improvements can change over time if your weight fluctuates. We advise all patients that they must commit to a healthy lifestyle if they want to see the full potential of plastic surgery.

A balanced diet and regular exercise are imperative to maximizing the results of your mommy makeover and maintaining those results long-term. We recommend seeking the expertise of a dietician, a personal trainer and your primary care doctor to help you develop a routine that works for you. This may be a significant investment, but you are investing in yourself, and you are worth it!

How Much Does a Mommy Makeover Cost?

The price of a mommy makeover varies based on the specific procedures performed. In general, a mommy makeover ranges from $15,000 to $30,000. The price is typically the sum of the cost of the individual surgical procedures. However, a price reduction is provided when combining multiple procedures.

For example:

Tummy Tuck with Breast Lift and Augmentation:

$10,000 + $10,000 = $20,000 – $500 (Combo Reduction) = $19,500

Does Insurance Pay for a Mommy Makeover?

A mommy makeover is an elective cosmetic procedure. Medical health insurance does not typically cover elective cosmetic procedures, and our office does not accept health insurance as a form of payment.

Can You Finance a Mommy Makeover?

A mommy makeover is a significant commitment. You need to commit to your goals, the surgery, the healing and the recovery. In addition, a mommy makeover requires a significant financial commitment.

To help create a manageable budget for our mommy makeover, our office works with reputable finance companies that specialize in medical financing. PatientFi, Alphaeon and CareCredit are the most common financing companies. We also accept cash and most major credit cards. We do not accept personal checks. 

Schedule a Mommy Makeover Consultation at Butts By Design

Are you ready to take the next step in enhancing your figure with a mommy makeover? Dr. Matthew J. Nykiel is a board-certified plastic surgeon with fellowship training in cosmetic surgery. During your consultation, he will:

(1) Review your goals, (2) Perform an exam, (3) Discuss your treatment options, (4) Review the recovery process and anticipated healing timeline, (5) Review the risks and complications, (6) Review the impact of lifestyle on surgery results, (7) Discuss strategies for making the most of your mommy makeover, for life.

In-person consultations are available at our offices in Newport Beach and Upland, CA. For patients outside these areas, Dr. Nykiel offers digital virtual consultations. Call Butts by Design today to learn more: 949-416-0038.