It’s been months (or years) since you had a baby. But looking in the mirror, you wouldn’t blame a stranger if they asked about your due date despite the fact that you’re hitting the gym several days a week and watching what you eat. You may have a condition called diastasis recti, colloquially called post-pregnancy belly pooch–a common problem that occurs when a woman’s abdominal muscles get separated during pregnancy. The solution could be a tummy tuck.
At St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery, abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is one of the most popular procedures among women who have finished having children. This is because, for most women, no amount of exercising can repair diastasis recti.
Tummy tuck surgery is primarily thought of as a procedure that removes the excess abdominal skin that may remain after pregnancy or major weight loss. But for many women–especially those with smaller builds or multiple pregnancies–a bulging tummy may remain whether or not they have excess skin. In some cases when the condition is minor, certain exercises may help tighten the abdominal muscles.
But most cases require surgery to improve the condition. It’s especially frustrating for women who lose the weight they gained during their pregnancy but may still look like they’re several months pregnant. The pressure caused by a growing baby results in stretched and thinned abdominal muscles, and they separate from the connective tissue that binds the abs together.
How does a tummy tuck help? During the procedure, the plastic surgeon closes the separation by stitching the muscles together, resulting in a slimmer waist. In most tummy tuck operations, the surgeon also removes a significant span of excess skin. Liposuction may also be used to remove pockets of fat and contour the results.
In these before-and-after photos of one of my patients, you can see the results that abdominoplasty can produce. I combined the tummy tuck with a breast lift and augmentation as part of a mommy makeover for the 42-year-old woman.
If you think postpartum diastasis recti is causing your bulging stomach, you can request a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons to determine if you may benefit from a tummy tuck. Or call us at (636) 530-6161 to schedule an appointment.