A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a very popular cosmetic surgery procedure for many reasons. However, it is particularly sought after by mothers who would like to reverse the effects that pregnancy has had on their figure. Unsurprisingly, pregnancy causes the stomach to swell considerably, straining the muscles and stretching the skin to accommodate your growing baby. However, once you’ve given birth there is no guarantee that either the muscles or skin will snap back to how they were before. In fact, the vast majority of moms find that their abdominal area never truly returns to its pre-pregnancy form, and instead, they are left with lax muscles, poor core strength, and loose skin that can cause them to feel self-conscious or even embarrassed about their ‘mommy tummy’. Fortunately, a tummy tuck can help.
A tummy tuck is a fairly straightforward cosmetic surgery procedure. Performed under general anesthetic, a tummy tuck focuses on both tightening the muscles that support the abdominal area and removing any excess skin to eliminate sagging. Muscle correction is particularly beneficial for those women who have experienced a problem called divarication during pregnancy. This is where the abdominal muscles have been under so much strain that they have separated down the middle. You can tell if this has happened to you by lying flat and pulling yourself up into a stomach crunch. If you experience a bulge down the center of your abdomen, it’s likely you have experienced divarication.
A tummy tuck can repair these muscles and remove excess overlying skin to create a smoother, firmer abdominal area.
One of the most common questions that our surgeons are asked at tummy tuck consultations is how long patients should wait after pregnancy before undergoing the procedure. While we fully understand that moms are keen to return to their pre-pregnancy shape as quickly as possible, a tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure and so there are some important factors to take into account before you can be approved as a candidate.
It’s crucial not to underestimate the physical toll that pregnancy and childbirth have on your body. Even after you feel fully recovered and back to normal, your body may still be healing internally for some weeks or months.
Not only will you not be able to breastfeed after having a general anesthetic or while you are taking pain medication, but many women are surprised to learn that the hormonal changes that can occur when they are breastfeeding can impact the overall result of their tummy tuck surgery. Ideally, it’s best to wait until you have finished nursing.
When you undergo surgery like a tummy tuck, you must have adequate time to rest and recover – something that is nearly impossible to do when you have a young baby at home. You won’t be able to lift them for up to 6 weeks while you recover, so you need to bear this in mind when planning your surgery. Unless you have somebody who can 100% commit to taking care of the needs of your little one around the clock while you recover, it’d be best to wait until they are a little older.
It may seem obvious, but it’s not a good idea to get a tummy tuck if you are planning on having more children in the future. Any subsequent pregnancy will reverse the positive outcome of your initial surgery, meaning that you will have to undergo a second tummy tuck in the future to try and achieve the same results.
We recommend that patients wait a minimum of 6 to 12 months before considering a tummy tuck procedure. We assess every patient on an individual basis. If you think that you are ready for a tummy tuck, please visit us at Restivo Plastic Surgery in Maui, HI. You can also call us at (808) 204-4800 to schedule a consultation appointment with our discreet and reassuring cosmetic surgery team.