Andrea Markowitz, Ph.D.
June 15, 2010
Being pregnant stretches your abdominal muscles and skin and can leave an unsightly pouch and stretch marks—especially if you've had multiple pregnancies. If your skin's elasticity doesn't snap back after diet and exercise, you may want to consider having a tummy tuck.
What's a tummy tuck?
As described by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, tummy tucks (abdominoplasty) are a form of plastic surgery in which the surgeon removes excess fat and skin. Weakened or separated muscles can also usually be restored. The overall effect is a smoother, firmer abdominal profile.
Tummy tucks cannot remove or improve stretch marks unless they're located on the areas of excess skin that are excised—typically the area that's below the belly button.
Can a tummy tuck be helpful after a C-section?
Tummy tucks can eliminate scars in the lower part of the abdomen, including those that result from a Cesarean section. However, according to UKHealthCentre, the surgery for a post-pregnancy tummy tuck will leave its own scar, although it can placed discreetly so it's hidden by bathing costumes or underwear.
In a case study reported in Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, abdominoplasty was used successfully to treat a rare, potentially lethal soft-tissue infection called necrotizing fasciitis in two patients who'd recently had cesarean sections.
What if you want to have another baby?
Although it's safe to become pregnant after you've had a tummy tuck, being pregnant again will stretch your muscles and skin as before, and the effects of your tummy tuck will be reversed, according to UKHealthCentre. And if there's a possibility that you'll have more children, it's advisable to postpone your abdominoplasty until afterward.
What else should you know?
According to Cosmetic-plastic-surgery.info, you should wait a year after childbirth before having a tummy tuck procedure to give your body sufficient time to recover, and if you're breastfeeding, wait until after you've stopped.
For more information visit American Society of Plastic Surgeons, UKHealthCentre and Cosmetic-plastic-surgery.info.
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