So, you’ve just had a baby — congratulations! But is your tummy still looking pregnant as the months go by? Are you struggling with a postpartum belly that won’t flatten and firm up, despite careful dieting and daily abdominal exercises? The reality is that for many women, tummy tuck surgery may be the only way to correct a postpartum belly. Here is what you need to know about tummy tuck surgery and how it can give you your pre-baby belly back.
How Pregnancy Affects the Abdomen
Pregnancy has permanent effects on your abdominal contour and appearance. One obvious example is how during pregnancy, the abdominal skin stretches quickly to extend around the growing baby, leaving stretch marks all across the lower abdomen. Also during pregnancy, the abdominal muscles are stretched out as the uterus grows. This can result in a condition called “diastasis recti”, where the muscles in the abdominal wall separate. Diastasis recti can cause a postpartum belly to continue to protrude for months and even years after childbirth, and it’s not something the body can mend on its own.
Flatten Your Postpartum Belly with a Tummy Tuck
The good news is, there is a way to get your pre-baby tummy back. Abdominoplasty, commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a cosmetic surgery procedure that can flatten and firm your abdomen. This surgery removes excess, stretched-out skin and repairs separated abdominal muscles to give you a smoother, firmer tummy. Here’s how it works.
Planning for a Tummy Tuck
Carefully timing your tummy tuck procedure will maximize the benefits. For a postpartum tummy tuck, you will need to wait at least six months after childbirth to ensure that your body is fully recovered from childbirth and you are at a stable body weight. You will also need to be done with breastfeeding before undergoing the procedure, as you will not be able to nurse during the time of your surgery recovery. Lastly, you should know that any future pregnancy will most likely reverse the results of your tummy tuck, so we strongly recommend that you wait to get your tummy tuck until after you have finished having children.
Preparing for a Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck is a major surgery, so in preparation for this procedure, you should be in good overall health and at a stable body weight. Physician clearance and some testing may be recommended in anticipation of a successful surgery and healthy recovery. You will need to arrange for time off work and assistance during recovery, especially with childcare and other household responsibilities.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
A tummy tuck is usually performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make an incision across your lower abdomen (just above the pubic area). Through this incision, the surgeon will tighten your abdominal muscles and remove any excess skin. The remaining skin will then be pulled taut, and the incision will be closed.
After Your Tummy Tuck
Most tummy tuck patients can go home and even walk around the same day as their surgery. A friend or family should be there to help care for you the first few days. Plan on approximately 10 to 14 days of downtime before you are ready to return to work. As your body heals, you can gradually reintroduce more physical activities. The final results of your tummy tuck will be visible once all the swelling has dissipated, which can take a few months.
Enjoying Your Tummy Tuck Results
Tummy tuck surgery can get rid of a post-baby belly pooch and give you back a flat, firm abdomen after pregnancy. Your loose, sagging, stretch-marked abdominal skin will be tight and even, and your previously protruding belly will be flattened and firmed. As you maintain a stable weight and healthy lifestyle (and avoid any future pregnancies), you can enjoy your tummy tuck results for years.
If you are considering a tummy tuck after pregnancy, contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Stephenie Poris. She will help you achieve the beautiful, natural-looking results you seek and restore your youthful, pre-baby belly contour. To book your appointment, call (407) 558-1616 or contact us online today.