Considering A Tummy Tuck? Here’s What You Need To Know


Pregnancy is one of the most defining times in the lives of both expecting parents. Amidst the excitement of picking out names and clothes and nursery furniture, it is natural to experience a moderate amount of stress. You worry about eating right, staying healthy and maintaining a safe exercise routine. You worry about work, how your relationship will change, and whether or not you will be the parent you hope to be. It is also normal to be concerned with how your body will look once your bundle of joy is in your arms.

Many women are also concerned about how their bodies will change, especially how their tummy may look after being stretched to accommodate a growing baby. After carrying a baby for nine months, changes to your body are inevitable. The skin around your stomach may stretch and loosen and abdominal muscles may separate and weaken. While these are small prices to pay, it’s understandable that many women eventually seek to regain their pre-baby body.

While diet and exercise alone may help reduce fat in the midsection, no amount of sit-ups, crunches, or planking will eliminate excess skin or repair separated abdominal muscles. Fortunately, a tummy tuck will help achieve the tight and toned midsection desired.

Women who received a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, before they got pregnant are concerned with their results being completely undone by their pregnancy. Whether you have received a tummy tuck before pregnancy or you are thinking about a tummy tuck after the baby is born, Belcara Health’s Tummy Tuck Guide can provide you with more information on abdominoplasty in general.

I called my belly “Donut” because I could wad up all my post-baby stomach skin into something that resembled one (sans sprinkles). Despite my healthy eating habits and gym visits, I could not get that belly bulge to budge, even as my youngest hit his fifth birthday.

 In fact, I found that the more I worked out, the worse my stomach looked: Losing weight elsewhere on my body only made my pooch more pronounced. Add to this some separated stomach muscles from three pregnancies, and I was pretty disheartened at how my midsection looked. All this came to a head one sunny day after an especially great few weeks at the gym, when a checkout girl asked me when I was due.

Many of us struggle to achieve a flat stomach despite years of healthy eating and intensive gym sessions. Many women notice their stomach changes in appearance after pregnancy, although in some cases genetics play a large part. As with any kind of cosmetic surgery, if you’re considering a tummytuck in Essex, or anywhere else, it’s vital you choose a reputable provider and research the procedure beforehand so you know what to expect.

What is a Tummy Tuck?

As the NHS website explains a tummy tuck is another name for an abdominoplasty. This procedure changes the shape and appearance of the abdomen by taking away some of the fat and excess skin from the area. A partial tummy tuck involves the surgeon making a single incision and removing excess fat and skin and a full tummy tuck involves two incisions being made.

What Happens After a Tummy Tuck?

You will usually be required to stay in hospital for at least a day or two after surgery, and even when you return home, it’s important you remain well-rested and don’t attempt any strenuous activities. Your surgeon should provide you with a detailed care plan to ensure you know exactly what your limitations post-surgery are.

As a rule of thumb, it should be possible to partake in light activities after around 10-20 days of recovery, although more strenuous activities will not be possible for around six weeks. If you lead a particularly active life, it’s important you plan how you will cope during your recuperation. First of all, congratulations on your bundle of joy. If amidst the sleep deprivation and happiness you are considering a tummy tuck, consider these important factors first.

Immediately after pregnancy, your body is performing an invisible magic dance to restore the uterus to its normal size and location, produce milk to feed the baby and restore its usual hormonal cycles. You should allow yourself the time to completely recover from pregnancy and lose any extra weight you may have gained. Since vigorous exercise is not recommended immediately after giving birth, you may need to ease back into your exercise routine. Breastfeeding keeps your hormone levels higher than normal, your body will not completely return to its normal function until after you have stopped nursing. Also, you can’t undergo anesthesia and take medications while breastfeeding.

A tummy tuck is a surgery that requires its own recovery time, and you want to ensure that your body is as strong and healthy as possible for optimum results. The general consensus in the medical community is that a woman should wait a minimum of three months after having a baby before have a tummy tuck procedure.

While diet and exercise play an important role in getting your body back after pregnancy, a tummy tuck is an optimal choice for achieving optimal results in your midsection. For more information on tummy tucks or to discuss your post-pregnancy tummy tuck, call Belcara Health for a personalized consultation.

Pregnancy After Tummy Tuck

Life does not always go according to plan. It is important not to worry about your or your baby’s health if you have previously had a tummy tuck then get pregnant. Pregnancy and childbirth after a tummy tuck procedure are safe for both you and your baby. Your baby will have plenty of room to grow and thrive. That said, general recommendations are to wait until after you are finished having children before having a tummy tuck because a subsequent pregnancy can re-stretch the abdominal walls and skin, increasing the possibility of needing a follow-up procedure to restore the toned look you desire.

Everyone’s body is unique and responds differently. In most cases, women who become pregnant after a tummy tuck continue to enjoy the results of their surgery after their baby is born. Some women require a minor touch up, called a “mini tummy tuck” which is much less involved than a traditional tummy tuck, with a faster recovery time. Should you become pregnant after a tummy tuck, the best way to preserve your procedure results is to avoid gaining large amounts of weight during the pregnancy.

While diet and exercise play an important role in getting your body back after pregnancy, a tummy tuck is the only way to eliminate unwanted excess skin and tighten muscles in your midsection. For more information on tummy tucks or to discuss your post-pregnancy tummy tuck, call Belcara Health for a personalized consultation.

Will it Scar?

Most reputable providers, such as refresh cosmtic surgery, will allow you to ask any questions you may have about scarring and how it’s likely to affect the appearance of your abdomen after your recovery. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons offer a more in-depth explanation of the procedure and explain that though the surgery will leave scars, the appearance of these scars will vary between individuals.

If you are worried about scarring, raise your concerns with your surgeon. Your surgeon should advise you exactly where any scars will be and how well they will heal. He or she should also give you tips to help you ensure your scarring heals quickly and correctly, as well as telling you how to recognise any signs of infection or other problems.

Can I have liposuction instead of a tummy tuck?

It depends. If your pouch came about after multiple pregnancies, chances are that liposuction won’t do you any good. Liposuction takes away excess fat, but it doesn’t do anything for stretched out skin and split abdominal muscles (diastasis recti), which are the two most common problems after having children.

However, this answer is not true for every woman, especially those who have only had one child, so make sure you ask your plastic surgeon which procedure he or she recommends. Liposuction and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) have very different recovery periods, risks, and costs, but they also have very different results, so make sure that you understand which procedure is appropriate for you.

How long does a tummy tuck take?

A standard tummy tuck takes about 2-3 hours depending on how much tissue needs to be removed, and whether or not your abdominal muscles need to be repaired. It could take longer if you have any C-section hernias that need to be repaired at the same time.

What does a tummy tuck scar look like?

A tummy tuck scar curves down from one hip bone across the front of the lower abdomen to the other hip bone. A good surgeon will keep the scar low enough that it will usually be covered by your panties or bathing suit, so make sure you discuss this during your consultation. Having a tummy tuck is a trade-off. you will have a flat tummy for sure, but you will also have a permanent scar.

There is no way to perform a tummy tuck without a scar, so don’t waste your time or energy researching “scarless” procedures. Liposuction is the only alternative that would give you a smaller scar, but if you’ve been pregnant, chances are that liposuction won’t give you the results you’re after. Even though the scar is long, it fades to a very thin, and very inconspicuous, line after it’s fully healed.

How much does a tummy tuck hurt?

It depends on how extensive the procedure is.  If you’ve only had one baby, your abdominal muscles may still be in the center of your tummy where they are supposed to be.  If this is the case, your surgeon won’t have to repair them, and you’ll have a lot less pain.  Most of the time, however, the abdominal muscles do get separated during pregnancy, so it’s usually a necessary part of the operation.

The more stitches your surgeon has to use to repair your muscles, and the tighter he makes them, the more soreness you’ll have after the procedure. If he has to repair a hernia as well, there’s a chance that you may need to stay in the hospital overnight to get some of the really good pain medicine through an IV, but this situation is very rare. Usually, you’ll feel like you’ve had the toughest ab workout of your life, and you’ll be fine at home with a prescription for some good pain pills for about a week or so.

How long until I can stand up straight after a tummy tuck?

The first thing you’ll notice after your surgery is that your tummy feels too tight to stand up straight. You’ll have to walk around like a little old lady for about a week until everything stretches a little, so be patient and give it time.  Don’t force yourself to stand up straight.let your body guide you. Some of you will be standing straight in 3 days, and other will take 10-14 days to walk tall again.

Will I have drains after my tummy tuck?

Unfortunately, yes. Drains are a necessary part of tummy tuck surgery. There are some newer techniques available that claim to obviate the need for drains, but for the most part these techniques are still experimental. Without drains, the extra fluid from the surgery will accumulate in your nice tight tummy, and your surgeon will have to poke you with a big needle to get it out.

Fluid that collects like this is called a seroma, and it’s a real nuisance to deal with if it happens… this is why drains are necessary. Drains usually stay in for 1-2 weeks depending on how much fluid comes out, and although they do require some extra care and attention on your part, they are much less trouble than dealing with a seroma.

Do I have to wear a garment after my tummy tuck?

Only if you have liposuction at the same time. Most surgeons will perform some liposuction on your sides at the same time as a tummy tuck to flatten things out just a bit more, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to wear a garment. A garment will only help if you have major liposuction that involves a large area(s) like both of your flanks, your thighs, or your back.  If you have this much liposuction with your tummy tuck, a compression garment is definitely necessary for 4-6 weeks after the procedure.

How long do I need to take off work after my tummy tuck?

It depends on what you do for a living.  If you sit a desk all day, you can probably go back to work in 10-14 days. If you have a job where you are on your feet a lot, or if you are required to lift anything heavier than a phone book, you will need 3-4 weeks off work. The restriction on lifting is an important one that you have to remember for your home life too.

If you have other children, or pets, you will not be able to pick them up or carry them for a full 6 weeks. If you don’t follow the rules, you run the risk of popping some stitches on the inside and ruining your new tight tummy. If you can’t afford to take a full month off of work, find out if you are a candidate for a Rapid Recovery Tummy Tuck by clicking here!

When can I go back to the gym after my tummy tuck?

You can start back at the gym with light cardio workouts (stairmaster, elliptical trainer, treadmill, etc) after 2 weeks, and gradually advance your level of exertion over the following 2 weeks. You shouldn’t perform and resistance training (machines or free weights), or abdominal exercises, until 6 weeks after your surgery.

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