Getting your body back to normal after a pregnancy can be a tricky business. When it comes to stretch marks and loose skin, there is no real effective method of treatment other than the surgical option of an abdominoplasty, a.k.a. a tummy tuck. Your skin is capable of expanding to accommodate a gradual weight gain, but when you are pregnant, it must expand relatively quickly to accommodate the growth of the baby. Consequently, the deeper layers of skin may tear forming thin white lines across your stomach. You may become frustrated (to say the least), and many women experience a big blow to their self esteem. However, a tummy tuck can remove most stretch marks and tighten any loose skin. In fact, deciding to go for a tummy-tuck seems a reasonable course of action considering that 130, 000 tummy tucks were performed in the United States in 2005.
Before jumping onto the tummy tuck train, some important issues should be considered. A tummy tuck requires invasive surgery; therefore information on the matter should be gathered in order to determine whether or not it will truly benefit your life.
Tummy tucks can leave permanent scars
The surgery will leave a scar that runs from hip to hip, unless you have decided on a mini-tuck, in which case the scar will be about 6 inches long. A scar can take up to 9 months to fade, and until then, it will actually appear to worsen. However, the incision is made along natural creases in your skin, and is easily covered by underwear and bikinis.
Tummy tucks can cause problems with future pregnancies
Most surgeons will advise their patients to wait until after their last pregnancy before undergoing abdominal plastic surgery. The body’s expansion during a pregnancy can cause the stomach muscles to separate again; so if you are planning more than one child, it is best to put the tummy tuck on hold.
Tummy tucks are not magical
If you are unhappy with the look of your body, a tummy tuck can be a step in helping you to achieve your ideal figure. However, because of its highly invasive nature, you must be prepared to take good care of your brand new tummy. The recovery time can take up to 3 weeks. You must protect your stomach from the sun before going under the knife. Smokers will need to put away their lighters for 2 weeks before and after the surgery. Exercise can help speed up the healing process (although not immediately after the surgery). A healthy diet is important as well, but nothing too severe as your body needs the appropriate nutrition in order to properly heal.
Do some research
It is important to choose a surgeon who is properly qualified. Not only must he/she be board certified, but also certified by a reputable board. Start by looking into the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Also verify that your surgeon is qualified to perform several kinds of abdominal plastic surgery and not just tummy tucks.
If a full traditional tummy tuck seems too daunting, and/or too expensive, you could opt for a mini-tummy tuck. The surgery is less invasive, recovery time is shorter, and the scar is smaller. It is worth a consideration if you are unhappy with the post-pregnant state of your body.