Tummy Tuck after Pregnancy
After several pregnancies, many women are left with a little "pooch" that simply doesn't go away with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Because pregnancy often changes a woman's muscles and skin qualities, it can be frustrating to not be able to return to your pre-baby body.
At our cosmetic surgery practice in Edina, serving St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Minnetonka-area patients, we are seeing more and more mothers who want to regain their youthful, pre-pregnancy figure with a tummy tuck. If you are considering this procedure, you should know about the different options available, what makes a good candidate, and what to expect from the procedure.
The Post-Pregnancy Body
During pregnancy, the body undergoes several stages of hormonal changes. As the body responds to and prepares for the growing baby, the skin and muscle stretch and fat redistributes. Although overjoyed with a healthy baby, the affects of the pregnancy process itself tends to leave many women dissatisfied their bodies that now have unexpected fatty areas and saggy skin. Even the most diligent exercise programs post-partum can fail to address the bulges, loose skin, and decreased self-esteem.
This is why so many women undergo a tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) to tighten and smooth the abdominal skin and muscles. Most women have had multiple pregnancies, which can result in substantial muscle laxity and excess skin.
Tummy Tuck Candidates
Candidates are assessed based on individual concerns, body type, and health condition. Good overall health and a stable, ideal weight are important factors for tummy tuck candidates. Remember, a tummy tuck is not a substitute for a weight loss program. Appropriate diet and exercise will be needed to maintain the results and should be part of your long-term treatment plan.
If you plan to have more children, you should wait to have a tummy tuck until you are done having children. As part of the tummy tuck procedure, the abdominal muscles are tightened, and future pregnancies can separate those muscles.
A tummy tuck can take one to five hours, depending on the type of procedure that is right for you. A standard tummy tuck involves an incision from hip to hip, below the bikini line. Excess skin is removed, the muscles are tightened, and a new belly button is created. Liposuction may also be used for further body contouring.
A mini tummy tuck is a similar procedure, but it addresses sagging skin and fat below your belly button. The procedure involves less recovery time and a shorter scar because less skin is removed and the muscles are not tightened.
A consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon will determine which type of procedure will give you the best results.
You will need someone to drive you home after the tummy tuck surgery and stay with you for at least the first night. You will have stitches and a firm, elastic bandage to help with swelling. You should expect pain, discomfort, bruising, numbness, and tiredness. You will need to stay home to rest and recover for one to two weeks, avoiding strenuous activity for at least six weeks.
Learn More about Tummy Tucks
If you have had several children and now want a tighter, flatter tummy, contact our office to schedule a consultation. Dr. Gregory Mesna is experienced in performing different types of tummy tuck surgery and can deliver exceptional results to restore your appearance and self-confidence.