It is a common problem for all women--getting your body back after having a baby or multiple babies! It is a wonderful event bringing a new little person into the world but not always as exciting to look in the mirror post pregnancy. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help get your pre-baby body back but there are some circumstances where additional help is needed. That is where The Center for Cosmetic Surgery of Austin-Weston in Northern Virginia comes in. With over 75 years of combined experience, our experienced plastic surgeons can help provide a solution to reclaim your body, especially your midsection, and get you feeling better about what you see in the mirror!
The Changes of the Post-Pregnancy Body
Pregnancy brings on all sorts of new changes for a women’s body. The fluctuation of hormones, weight gain and general “surface changes” that happen when carrying around your special cargo can take its toll in several areas. One of the most obvious hard hit areas during pregnancy is the tummy or abdominal area. Due to an expanding waistline, especially with a pregnancy involving multiple babies, pregnancy can cause the abdominal wall, muscles, and tissues to break down each time a woman is pregnant. This weakens those areas making it harder to “snap back” to their original form when once the pregnancy is over. When diet and exercise can no longer help, tummy tuck surgery is usually considered to help remove excess fat, tighten and tone the abdominal muscles, and create a smooth, firmer look.
Let’s explore the 7 tips and/or reasons why you should consider a tummy tuck procedure in Northern VA:
7 Tips For a Tighter Tummy
1) Likely Candidates
Changes to the structure or appearance of the abdominal region are typically due to weight gain and weight loss, and for women, pregnancy is usually the main culprit. Pregnancy can leave behind excess skin, stretch marks, and weakened abdominal muscles. In most cases, the loose skin and stubborn “pooch” that simply won’t go away is what frustrates most women. In addition, a condition called Diastasis Recti can occur where the left and right side of the abdominal wall don’t reconnect after normal separation during pregnancy. Women with this condition are left with a “gap” down the middle of the abdominal area of 2 cm or more. No amount of sit ups or exercises will close this gap, therefore a tummy tuck procedure could be considered to fix the condition. It is recommended that women be at or near their goal weight.
2) Best Time to Consider This Procedure
Our Northern Virginia plastic surgeons recommend, for obvious reasons, to consider a tummy tuck procedure when you are done being pregnant or having children. With every pregnancy the changes the body endures can change the “look” of any plastic surgery procedure performed prior to pregnancy, especially in the abdominal area. Typically, it is also recommended to wait 6 months after your last pregnancy before considering a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty and to be at your optimal weight goal before having this procedure.
3) Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
The battle with post pregnancy, for most women, is loose, sagging skin in the stomach area as well as the appearance of stretch marks left behind. The abdominal muscles are also weakened due to being stretched to accommodate a growing baby or babies! In some instances, it is not possible to strengthen the abdominal muscles with exercise, or remove the “pooch” appearance with a healthy diet, therefore, a tummy tuck procedure can be the answer to correct and improve these issues.
4) What Kind of Tummy Tuck?
At your consultation appointment with one of our plastic surgeons, it can be determined how much reconstruction of the abdominal area is needed to get you the best end result. Every patient varies on how much fatty tissue or excess skin needs to be removed in order to tighten the abdomen.
There are a number of abdominoplasty techniques to satisfy every patient, ranging from a full (or traditional tummy tuck), where the incision spans from hip to hip, to a less invasive approach if just a moderate amount of loose skin exists. Regardless of the type of technique, the incision is usually made below the belly button above the pubic area. The excess skin and fat tissue is then removed through the incision. Liposuction is used to help remove any remaining fat deposits present, and the abdominal muscles are then tightened. The belly button may also be repositioned (for patients where an excess amount of loose skin was removed) so that everything looks proportionate.
If you had a previous C-section with your pregnancies, then that incision area can be reused to minimize scarring. It is also important to note that some patients carry their weight and have loose skin above the belly button. In these cases, patients may also be candidates for a reverse tummy tuck. This is when fat and loose skin are removed from the upper abdominal area through an incision that is made just under the breast fold.
5) Moms With That Stubborn “Pooch”
That frustrating pooch! Many new moms are able to lose this on their own, but some will carry it for a long time. A common question asked is if a mini tummy tuck can be performed. A mini tummy tuck is able to be considered when the patient has minimal loose skin or excess fatty tissue needed for removal in order to contour and change the overall appearance of the lower abdominal area. The lower abdominal scar is typically less with a mini tummy tuck and there is no scar around the belly button. A mini tummy tuck typically requires less downtime and a quicker recovery. It can eliminate that stubborn pooch quickly and leave a flat, toned tummy as a result.
6) Getting Back That Pre-Pregnancy Shape!
Typical tummy tuck recovery is about 2 weeks, but this varies by individual depending on what type of tummy tuck you had. You can usually resume normal activities at 3 - 4 weeks once you have been cleared by the doctor. Lifting heavy objects or doing extensive exercising should be avoided until you are fully recovered. The abdominal area will be slightly bruised and swollen for the first few days following a tummy tuck procedure. This initial swelling will go down after the first couple of weeks, but the body will continue to take shape while it heals for months after. We know moms are always on the go. The key is to heal slowly and effectively and maintain a healthy lifestyle so that optimal results can be attained.
7) Amazing End Results!
One of the most common post pregnancy procedures performed for Northern VA women is a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty. It can help you achieve the pre-baby body you once had, or for some, an even better body than before! Tighter abdominal muscles and a contoured lower abdominal area are the end results with this cosmetic procedure so you can get back to liking what you see in the mirror.
Body contouring with a tummy tuck or even a mini tummy tuck can help you get reshape your body after pregnancy. Women who struggle with looking “back to normal” after having children can look to the help of this cosmetic procedure done by one of our experienced plastic surgeons at the Austin-Weston Center of Cosmetic Surgery in Northern Virginia. Call our cosmetic surgical center or set up your tummy tuck consultation appointment today.