The Tummy Tuck

by | Nov 27, 2017 | Medical

 Women’s bodies undergo many changes following pregnancy, childbirth and nursing. Many of these changes can be improved though committed diet and exercise. After the gym there are other options to restoring your shape and contour. The most common is liposuction. Due to anatomic changes in the tissues forming the abdominal wall, some women require a different procedure that addresses the wrinkled, excess abdominal skin and the laxity of the abdominal wall itself. The procedure is called an abdominoplasty, or euphemistically a “tummy tuck.”
The problem arises during gestation when the abdominal wall and skin stretches to accommodate the growing fetus but then does not completely return to its normal condition after delivery. This is nature’s way of allowing room for the growing child. This expansion arises from hormonally induced softening of the abdominal tissues leading to the separation of the rectus muscles which softens and widens from pregnancy hormones. As a result, the muscles can remain permanently separated. This condition is called rectus diastasis. For this reason, no amount of exercise can completely return the lower abdomen to its former shape.
A “tummy tuck” tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall and removes the excess wrinkled skin and fat from the lower abdomen. This dramatically reduces the appearance of a protruding abdomen and restores a pleasing contour to the hips. The extent of the procedure is tailored to individual needs. Some women need only a small amount of tightening and tissue removal. For them, a modified procedure called a “mini abdominoplasty” is performed. This is less extensive surgery, and therefore has a shorter recovery period.
After multiple pregnancies I usually recommend a formal abdominoplasty combined with a small amount of liposuction. This procedure lasts between three to four hours. There is a fairly conspicuous scar and a more extensive recovery period. It may take as long as eight weeks to fully recover your normal energy and stamina. In considering this procedure, it is important to understand that there is an exchange of improved body contour and silhouette for a scar over the lower abdomen. The scar gradually fades over time. If you can accept the scar, then an abdominoplasty is a very satisfying procedure, particularly after having had several children.
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