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Mytien Goldberg, MD, FACS

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Tummy Tuck: Vanquish That Stubborn Post-Baby Belly-Bulge

Posted August 01, 2013 in Tummy Tuck

Becoming a parent means making sacrifices, an inescapable fact of life. However, given today’s advances in cosmetic surgery, your figure doesn’t have to be one of those sacrifices. Among the most common changes a woman sees after giving birth is a tummy bulge that will not be budged by any amount of diet and exercise. For a woman who has worked hard to lose her pregnancy weight, this can be a very frustrating problem. Typically, it isn’t a weight problem at all, but a loosening of the abdominal muscles and skin due to stretching during pregnancy, issues that a tummy tuck can correct.

Many women who have given birth find that they are left with a belly bulge, even after diet and exercise has restored them to their pre-pregnancy weight. Many assume that post-baby fat deposits are the problem, but often, it is a more complicated issue. The abdominal wall, made up of muscles and connective tissues, is stretched during pregnancy, as is the abdominal skin. For some lucky women, the abdomen becomes tight and toned again on its own with healing.

However, for many women, muscles, connective tissue and abdominal skin do not return to their pre-pregnancy condition as readily. Women who have large babies or have had several pregnancies often experience more extensive weakening or stretching, producing a bulge that cannot be vanquished with diet and exercise. Fortunately, with a tummy tuck, the damage can be repaired, giving women with this problem the means to restore their pre-pregnancy figures.

A tummy tuck procedure, or abdominoplasty, is designed to firm and slim the abdominal area by correcting the underlying problems that are creating that stubborn bulge. Excess skin is removed, and if necessary, fat beneath the skin can be reduced and the muscles of the abdominal wall can be tightened, restoring a firmer, flatter and more youthful contour. Additionally, if there are stretch marks or scarring from a C-section present, these can often be removed or minimized.

To be a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery, a women should be in good overall health and at or near her ideal body weight. It is best if women wait to have the procedure done until after they have finished having children, since further pregnancies can undo improvements accomplished by the surgery. The procedure generally takes three to four hours and is done under general anesthesia. Recovery time is about six weeks for the average patient and significant activity limitations will be imposed during that time. However, once that period is over, patients are typically very pleased with the results, able to feel like themselves again with the return of that slim, trim waistline that disappeared with pregnancy.


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