Many women will notice changes to their tummies after having children and long for the return of their pre-pregnancy shape.
Thankfully, when diet and exercises are simply not enough, cosmetic surgery can help. There are two options for re-contouring the stomach; liposuction or an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), but how do you know which is the right one for you?
Ocean Clinic Marbella has produced a guide to help you decide…
What can happen to the stomach following pregnancy?
Carrying a child to full-term sees your abdomen inflate like a balloon, this stretches the skin and muscles and, unfortunately, they won’t always return to normal – the likelihood of this increases with each pregnancy.
Some of the issues you may face include:
· Stubborn belly fat
· Stretch marks
· C-section scars
· Crêpey skin
· Excess/loose skin (some women may be left with a hanging apron of loose skin and fatty tissue known medically as a panniculus)
· Stretched abdominal muscle
· Diastasis recti – separation of the left and right side of the abdominal muscle
Which conditions can be treated with liposuction?
If you have excess or hard-to-shift belly fat but otherwise good skin and muscle tone, this can be treated very effectively with liposuction.
Reduction in girth from liposuction may also make any stretch marks and scars less visible as the skin contracts on itself.
However, if you are suffering with lots of excess skin or stretched out muscles, liposuction will not be able to help.
If fat is removed without the repair of underlying muscle, the stomach will still follow the contour of the bulging Rectus Abdominis and the tummy will not be flat (usually the desired outcome).
Which conditions can be treated with a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck is a more extensive surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess abdominal skin and fatty tissue. The muscles of the abdominal wall are tightened from below the ribs to the pubic bone and, in the case of Diastasis recti, pulled together.
The skin is then pulled tight and reattached; this improves the appearance of crêpey skin, stretch marks and scars.
Unlike liposuction, abdominoplasty creates a flatter, firmer underlying muscle structure and prevents the tummy from bulging when sitting or bending, however it cannot be used to remove significant amounts of fat. Therefore, it is ideal if the problem is primarily loose skin with little fat.
What about if I have excess skin and fat?
If you are suffering with a combination of issues we can combine a tummy tuck with liposuction – in fact, here at Ocean Clinic Marbella we tend to include an element of lipo in all abdominoplasties because of the superior results that can be achieved.
Lipoabdominoplasty (also called a Brazilian tummy tuck) offers patients the opportunity to re-sculpt their silhouette. As well as the ability to remove larger amounts of excess fat, liposcultpure can be used to fine-tune the tummy’s appearance.
Any lumps and bumps can be smoothed out, and ‘love handles’ removed to create a neat, sculpted waist. Any stubborn fat around the belly button can also be treated, getting rid of that pouchy appearance for good and giving you the perfect flat tummy – whether you had one before pregnancy or not!
How do I know if my abdominal muscles need tightening or if it’s simply excess fat?
It can sometimes be difficult to tell if lax or separated muscles are playing a role in your stomach’s appearance. The best way to find out exactly what treatment you need is to come in for a consultation.
Ocean Clinic’s Head Surgeon Dr. Kaye is highly experienced in abdominal surgery and will be able to tell by feeling the muscle if there is laxity or separation. He will also be able to provide you with a bespoke quotation for the recommended treatment.