Women’s bodies are amazing—they conceive and grow new life, changing dramatically to nurture as they make room for babies and prepare for birth. Weight gain and stretching are part of the process, but after the bundle(s) of joy, it’s also natural to feel self-conscious about the sagging skin and fat deposits that are left behind.
At Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery, we understand the desire to reclaim your pre-baby body, and we’re here to help!
A flat, toned belly before pregnancy is extremely difficult to reclaim afterward. Through weight loss, exercise and healthy eating, your body might be trim and fit but still have that protruding belly or loose skin—no matter how many crunches or core reps!
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty surgery, could be the right fix. The procedure eliminates excess skin and fat around the stomach and tightens abdominal muscles that have loosened due to childbearing, rapid weight loss, or lack of activity combined with age. The result is a flatter, younger-looking belly.
Making the decision to undergo tummy tuck surgery should not be taken lightly; it’s a major surgery that includes tightening muscles. The recovery time is long, it can be painful, and a large incision scar is almost always unavoidable.
If you’re considering a tummy tuck, you should be able to answer “yes” to all the following.
Checklist for Tummy Tuck Candidates:
- You have loose or sagging skin on your abdomen
- Your weight is stable and does not fluctuate over time
- You do not plan on having any more children in the future
- You can take about two weeks off from work to recover
If you have a child after tummy tuck surgery, there are no adverse health effects for you or the child, but it will reverse the results of the abdominoplasty.
If you answered “no” to one or more of the above bullet points, there might be other options to create that flat belly you desire. Perhaps you have extra fat, but your abdominal muscles and skin are still tight. Maybe you are still planning your family or are uncomfortable with the idea of the tummy tuck scar. In these cases, liposuction may be a great option. Liposuction is literally the removal of body fat through suction.
The recovery time and scarring are minimal, and it can be performed on other areas of the body, including the thighs and buttocks. But liposuction is effective only if your skin is tight enough to contract back once the fat is removed. Otherwise, the result could look uneven or lumpy.
It’s important to have this procedure performed by an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to achieve a natural shape—not just a thinner profile.
Checklist for Liposuction Candidates:
- You might still decide to have children
- Your belly does not have loose skin, just extra fat
- Your muscles are still tight
- You don’t want to or are unable to take two weeks off for recovery
- You don’t want a scar
Liposuction + Tummy Tuck
If you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck, you may want to consider having liposuction too. While combining the two procedures is deemed to be controversial by some practitioners, the plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston have been performing them safely and concurrently for decades.
We use a method that minimizes the opening of the abdominal wall, creating just enough room for the “tuck” and allowing control over how the liposuction procedure shapes the torso. The result is the ideal sculpted look that many patients want.
For younger patients with tighter skin that know they don’t want surgery, SculpSure may be a terrific, option. Two 25-minute sessions give patients optimum results, which are most effective on small, stubborn fat deposits.
Patients are asked to take Tylenol before coming in for the procedure. Once in the treatment room, special applicators are attached to the body, pinpointing problem areas. Lasers then heat up and cool down throughout the cycle, destroying existing fat cells which your body then eliminates.
Most patients find the procedure tolerable, but if there’s any extra discomfort, the surgeon will send a cold blast through the applicator to ease the feeling in that area. After the procedure, patients should massage the area for ten minutes twice per day and drink plenty of water. Patients can go back to the gym or the office the same day—life is not interrupted.
Many patients start to see results as early as six weeks following treatment as the body begins to eliminate the destroyed fat cells; optimal results are usually seen at twelve weeks, and the results are permanent.
Checklist for SculpSure Candidates:
- You are at a healthy weight
- You exercise frequently but still have a stubborn “pooch” on your belly or “love handles”
- You don’t need or expect the results that liposuction can achieve
- You don’t want surgery
If you’re unhappy with the look of your belly area, come to your consultation with an open mind. The consultation phase is the most critical part of your surgical journey.
Austin-Weston’s experienced doctors will examine, assess and recommend the best procedure for your body so that you can achieve the look you want. Our surgeons perform 300 tummy tuck procedures each year, and the results are beautiful — check out the before and after pictures on our website.
If you live in the Northern Virginia or Washington DC area and are ready to reclaim your confidence, contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation at (703) 854-9841 or submit a form online to request an appointment
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