Tummy tuck surgery, or, to give it its medical name, “abdominoplasty,” is a cosmetic technique that removes fat and excess skin, restoring muscle strength and contoured aesthetics to your abdomen. It is particularly popular with women following pregnancy due to its ability to reinstitute core strength, and aesthetic shape. Like so many new mothers, we may find that we are too busy to address our own desires as we juggle the needs of our newborn. However, cosmetic procedures such as these can be a welcome restoration after months of selflessness and sacrifice.
During pregnancy, our bodies are stretched to the limit as we bring new life into the world. Our abdominal wall is a flexible, durable, three-dimensional structure that can, quite remarkably, accommodate a growing fetus. However, this can result in significant skin and abdominal wall distension and displacement, the effects of which can be prominent after birth. An abdominoplasty is a proven and significant resource to help postpartum bodies with excess abdominal tissue after dramatic weight loss. (1)
Contact one of Denver’s leading plastic surgery practices, ABS Institute, for a definitive answer to cosmetic abdominal problems! In the capable hands of double board-certified surgeon Dr. Zuhlke, MD, F.A.C.S, you will be sure to find the cosmetic solutions you’re looking for to restore your body confidence. Call (303) 708-8770 to speak to our trained staff about your tummy tuck procedure, and allow yourself the treat you’ve been waiting for! Book a personal consultation with one of our specialists, and take your first step toward restoring your contoured physique. After all, you deserve it!
About the Tummy Tuck
Perhaps surprisingly, aesthetic surgery to improve abdominal appearance began as early as the nineteenth century, with the earliest recorded procedure in 1890. (2) Since then, remarkable advances in cosmetic plastic surgical methods and practices have taken place. Not only have there been major advances in knowledge regarding abdominal augmentation, but there has also been a spike in this procedure’s popularity in recent years. According to the latest figures, abdominoplasty continues to be the fifth most popular cosmetic surgery in the United States, with an estimated 129,000 procedures conducted annually. (3)
I Miss My “Old” Body, What Can I Do?
As mothers, we make sacrifices. Before we have children, many of us strive to maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and provide ourselves with the things we need to live a healthy lifestyle. Similarly, while we are pregnant, we want what’s best for our growing baby, so we rest up, change our diets, and avoid certain substances to help our little ones grow strong and thrive. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, our need to look after ourselves is somewhat overshadowed by the importance of motherhood. Many women long to recapture the flat, well-toned physique they had before their pregnancy, but this can rarely be achieved by diet and exercise alone. That’s why an abdominoplasty is the perfect cosmetic solution to look after yourself and regain the physique you had!
Find out more about the benefits of a post-pregnancy tummy tuck by getting in touch with our Denver offices today! Fill out a convenient contact form, or, to speak to someone in person, call (303) 708-8770. We could very well have the answer you’re looking for!
Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
There are both medical and cosmetic reasons to choose a tummy tuck procedure after pregnancy.
- Reduces excess abdominal skin and fat
- Flattens abdominal silhouette
- Strengthens core abdominal muscles
- Restores aesthetic shape of the abdomen
- Corrects ventral hernia
- Can improve self-esteem and body image
- Can decrease back pain due to weakened abdominal muscles
- Can reduce stress urinary incontinence
- Can improve posture
- May lead to a more aesthetic clothing fit
Diastasis Recti and Pregnancy
Some key abdominal muscles can be displaced and can even separate during pregnancy. This is known medically as diastasis recti. It presents as a bulge in the abdomen, usually in the middle of the belly. The resulting lack of muscle tension can leave organs, the pelvic floor, and the back concerningly unsupported, leading to embarrassing conditions such as urinary stress incontinence. A tummy tuck procedure can address these issues by carefully resituating the abdominal musculature to strengthen and reestablish body congruence.
Candidates for a Tummy Tuck Procedure
Abdominoplasty is a safe, effective surgical procedure for both women and men. Generally, any physically healthy adult who cannot lose their stubborn abdominal fat through diet and exercise alone can get a tummy tuck. However, this procedure is particularly suited to women with postpartum bodies who want to flatten their tummy and regain muscle strength lost during pregnancy. Ideal candidates are:
- At/close to their ideal weight.
- Healthy and active.
- Eager to restore pre-pregnancy appearance.
- Have realistic expectations and goals.
For some patients, abdominoplasty may not be the ideal choice. If your body mass index (BMI) is over 30, if you are considering another pregnancy in the future, or if you’re actively trying to lose weight, you may consider a different procedure to reach your goals. Likewise, abdominoplasty should not be considered a “weight loss surgery,” as people close to their ideal weight at the time of their procedure are the best candidates. In addition, if you have a chronic heart condition or diabetes, this may put you at a higher risk for complications.
Our team of highly skilled professionals is here to help you feel at ease and ready for your transformation! Before you schedule your surgical procedure, one of our experienced healthcare providers will meet with you in an individual consultation. At this time, we will ask you to provide some important medical history information, including any prior surgeries and pregnancies. We will assess your abdomen visually, noting the amount of excess skin you wish to have removed and may take photos to document the changes once your surgery is complete. At this time, please come prepared with questions about the procedure and we will be happy to answer them. Once the consultation is complete, and you are deemed a good candidate, we will schedule your surgery date with Dr. Zuhlke for your tummy tuck procedure.
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Preparation for a Tummy Tuck
Patients should have a clear understanding of what should occur before, during, and after their tummy tuck procedure. Prior to your appointment, we may give you written directions about how best to prepare for an abdominoplasty. These may include the following:
- Seek testing or a medical evaluation
- Adjust/stop taking certain medications
- Begin taking certain medications
- Stop smoking completely
- Avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs
- Arrange for a trusted person to drop off/pick you up
Tummy Tuck Procedures
Full Tummy Tuck
The full tummy tuck is the most common tummy tuck procedure. This technique successfully hides incision scarring in the bikini line. Dr. Zuhlke makes a small incision from hip to hip to access stubborn abdominal fat just below the skin’s surface. He liposuctions away this tissue, and repairs your diastasis recti muscle, if necessary. After this, he gently pulls the skin taut over your newly flattened abdomen. Finally, he trims away the excess skin and sutures the incision.
Mini Tummy Tuck
This approach removes small to moderate amounts of unwanted skin around the midsection. A mini tummy tuck can address trouble spots under the belly button that are not as severe. Dr. Zuhlke removes a smaller amount of fat from the lower abdomen and tightens loose muscles. The less invasive nature of this option leaves minimal scarring that you can conceal under a bikini.
Extended Tummy Tuck
An extended tummy tuck is a great choice for people who have lost a significant amount of weight. The main thing that sets this procedure apart from a full tummy tuck is the amount of skin removed. Patients usually find recovery extended tummy tuck is longer and more involved than a full tummy tuck, but very much worth the effort!
Before your procedure, our experienced staff will address your aesthetic and medical needs and work with you to choose the best procedure for your individual requirements.
Your Recovery & Results
We recommend scheduling two weeks off from work to recover from your tummy tuck procedure. In most cases, you will be fitted with a postoperative drain for a few days after surgery. We will give you instructions on how to maintain this and when we will remove it. In the meantime, you should take good care of yourself. Rest well, avoid strenuous activities for the next six weeks, and no heavy lifting or reaching, please! During the first week, it may help to get somebody to assist you with your daily tasks. You will experience swelling, tenderness, and bruising, but this is temporary and will subside in the following weeks. If you are experiencing discomfort, you may take pre-approved oral pain relievers.
After roughly eight weeks, you will be fully healed and bear witness to your abdominal transformation!
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Our philosophy at ABS Institute is to provide the highest standard of treatment so you receive the best results. We provide our services to you on a personal basis, so each patient will have different financial considerations. For further information about your procedure, and its individualized costs, please call our Denver offices at (303) 708-8770. We are waiting to help you get the body you deserve!
Is a tummy tuck a weight-loss surgery?
Abdominoplasty is not weight-loss surgery. Although you may lose some weight as a result of the procedure, good candidates are at or close to their ideal weight at the time of treatment. For patients with a body mass index of over 30, a liposuction procedure may be a cosmetic solution for specific areas of hard-to-lose fat. For more drastic weight-loss measures, patients should consider bariatric surgery such as the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass.
Can I get a tummy tuck immediately after I have given birth?
Although it is possible to get a tummy tuck immediately after birth, you may want to consider waiting. Most board-certified plastic surgeons recommend waiting six months to a year before getting an abdominoplasty procedure to address post-pregnancy excess skin and fat.
Can I get a tummy tuck if I’m overweight?
People considering a tummy tuck should discuss their weight with their surgeon before treatment. Generally speaking, a tummy tuck is not recommended for people with a BMI over 30.
- Regan, J.-P., & Casaubon, J. T. (2020). Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck). PubMed; StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK431058/
- Rosenfield, L. K., & Davis, C. R. (2019). Evidence-Based Abdominoplasty Review With Body Contouring Algorithm. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, 39(6), 643–661. https://doi.org/10.1093/asj/sjz013
- Branford, O. (2018). Abdominoplasty procedure. Journal of Aesthetic Nursing, 7(10), 542–545. https://doi.org/10.12968/joan.2018.7.10.542