Expert Doctor

Single Incision Mommy Makeover

Payman Danielpour, MD

Beverly Hills, CA

Single Incision Mommy Makeover

Single incision mommy makeover combines an abdominoplasty and a breast augmentation procedure in order to tighten the abdomen while enhancing the breasts during a single procedure. A single incision mommy makeover is usually performed on a female patient who is trying to regain her pre-pregnancy state. Ordinarily, these procedures would require three separate incisions but the single incision mommy makeover only requires one incision. This cosmetic procedure is performed entirely through the usual tummy tuck incision made in the lower abdomen below the underwear line. Through this single incision, the surgeon can also place the breast implants. Ultimately, the patient will come away with a flatter abdomen and breast implants without scars.

Am I a Good Candidate for a Single Incision Mommy Makeover?

A GOOD CANDIDATE for a single incision mommy makeover is:

  • A female patient who wants both a tummy tuck and breast augmentation
  • Women who have given birth and now have loose abdominal muscles
  • A patient healthy enough to have both procedures
  • Women who are unhappy with the size of their breasts and have excess tissue on the abdomen
  • Patients without significant breast ptosis or sagging
  • Women who don’t want scars on their breasts

The following patients are NOT GOOD CANDIDATES for a single incision mommy makeover:

  • Patients who also need a breast lift to achieve their ideal look
  • Patients with excess skin and fat on the upper abdomen
  • Patients with serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or other conditions that can impact healing
  • Women who plan to get pregnant again

How is Single Incision Mommy Makeover Performed?

A single incision mommy makeover may be performed under intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. The surgeon usually makes a horizontal incision, from one hip to the other, along the pubic hairline. The length and shape of this incision will be determined by the amount of excess skin. This is the usual incision made for an abdominoplasty but it also provides a means to create breast pockets. The abdominal skin will be lifted and liposuction may be used to remove excess fat deposits. The surgeon will tunnel up from the tummy tuck incision to the chest area. A long fiber optic retractor will be used to lift up the breast tissue from the chest wall. Two small incisions will be made inside, where the abdomen meets the chest, to create pockets for the implants above or below the pectoral muscle. Saline or silicone implants are introduced through the small access points with the help of a Keller Funnel. The Keller Funnel provides a no-touch technique meaning the implants are never touched in order to prevent infection. The access points are closed up from the inside. The surgeon uses sutures to tighten the abdominal muscles for better contour. Once the implants are in place and the abdominal muscles are tightened, the surgeon will pull the skin down and trim off the excess skin. Sutures, skin adhesives and/or clips will be used to close the incision.

Different Mommy Makeover Techniques

Women with excess tissue on their upper and lower abdomen, or those with ptosis of the breasts, may be better suited for a different type of mommy makeover. Surgeons can customize a mommy makeover to restore a patient’s pre-pregnancy state but this will involve additional incisions.

For upper and lower abdominal laxity, the surgeon may need to make an additional incision around the bellybutton. This will release the skin from the bellybutton area so the surgeon can pull the upper abdomen down. The surgeon then trims the excess skin, including the belly button hole, and sutures it tighter. A new hole will be made for the belly button and sutured together. The surgeon can place the implants through the tummy tuck incision if the breasts do not need a breast lift. If the breasts are saggy and need a lift, with or without implants, the surgeon will need to make incisions on the breasts.

The incision pattern and length will depend on the condition of the breasts and the patient’s goals. A mommy makeover is often performed with a buttock augmentation and/or vaginal rejuvenation.

What is the Cost of a Single Incision Mommy Makeover?

The average cost of a single incision mommy makeover is around $9000-$13,500. The price depends on the surgeon’s skills, geographic location of the procedure, type of anesthesia used and any facility fees. Furthermore, the cost can be significantly increased if it is combined with other cosmetic procedures.

Recovery and Downtime

RECOVERY from a single incision mommy makeover is basically the same as a patient who has a traditional tummy tuck or breast augmentation. Since there is only one incision, and a shorter operation time, patients tend to heal faster. All patients are encouraged to take short walks around the house to decrease the risk of blood clots and help speed the recovery process. The wound will be covered with a bandage or gauze and a compression garment will cover the surgical areas to minimize swelling, support the breasts and aid in the retraction of the skin. This garment should be worn 24 hours a day for the first week but may be swapped for a support bra in the following weeks. Patients can expect swelling and bruising which should begin to subside within 10-14 days. Tightness in the chest is also common but is mainly due to the swelling. The implants may appear to sit high on the chest but they will settle into place during the healing phase. It can take several months for the implants to settle into a lower, permanent position.

Patients should avoid bending over, raising their arms above the shoulder, lifting heavy objects and doing anything that strains the incision site during the first few weeks of DOWNTIME. The sutures will be removed at a follow-up visit 10 to 14 days after surgery. After this time, patients can return to light duty work. However, it can take a full 6 weeks before the patient can resume exercising or heavy lifting.


Some of the results will be seen immediately while others are obscured by bruising and swelling. Patients may notice some improvement in the abdominal area depending on the amount of fat and skin that was removed. Patients with a significant amount of tissue removed will be able to see greater results than a patient who only had a minor amount of removal. The effects of the surgery will become more obvious as the swelling subsides over several weeks to months. Improvements may also be seen with lower abdominal stretchmarks since removal of the excess skin typically removes some of them. The results of breast augmentation can take some time since the implants need time to settle. It may take up to a full year for the complete results to become apparent. Since the entire procedure is performed through the usual tummy tuck incision, this scar will be hidden below the underwear line. Additionally, it can take a full year for this scar to settle down and fade from red to a pale color.

The results of a single incision mommy makeover are permanent. However, it is best for a woman to undergo a single incision mommy makeover after she is done having children. During pregnancy or weight gain, the muscles and tissue stretch considerably and this can void the effects of the surgery. Patients should uphold a healthy diet and regular exercise since weight fluctuations can affect the results. However, aging does result in a loss in fat volume and the skin will eventually become a bit lax.

Limitations of Single Incision Mommy Makeover

The limitations of a single incision mommy makeover include:

  • Only treats the lower abdomen and breasts which have good skin laxity
  • Patients with saggy breasts will not have satisfactory results without also having a breast lift
  • Patients who do not want a lengthy scar along the pubic region are limited from having the procedure
  • Patients who cannot take adequate time off for recovery are limited from having the procedure
  • Risks of Single Incision Mommy Makeover
  • The risks of single incision mommy makeover include:
  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Hematoma
  • Seroma
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Deep venous thrombosis (resulting in cardiac or pulmonary complications)
  • Infection
  • Persistent pain
  • Poor wound healing
  • Wound separating
  • Asymmetry
  • Fat necrosis
  • Contour irregularities
  • Scarring and/or scar widening
  • Implant wrinkling or rippling of the skin
  • Implant leakage or rupture
  • Recurrence of loose skin
  • Capsular contracture

While there is always a risk of capsular contracture with any implants, the process of eliminating the initial breast incision, and using the no-touch technique, aims to decrease that risk.

A Popular Choice Among Women

Patients who undergo a single incision mommy makeover have a shorter recovery time than a person who chooses to have a breast augmentation and tummy tuck procedure performed separately. Furthermore, the cost will be significantly cheaper to wrap both surgeries into one procedure because there will only be one facility and anesthesia cost rather than two. Since a single incision mommy makeover has a combined recovery time, and is more cost efficient, it has become a very popular choice among women who want to restore their body to its pre-pregnancy state. Not all patients are ideal for a single incision mommy makeover but they may be suited for a different type of mommy makeover procedure. Patients should consult with a board-certified doctor to see if they are a viable candidate for a single incision mommy makeover.

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Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team -SP

Based on an exclusive interview with Payman Danielpour MD, in Los Angeles, CA