ABDOMINOPLASTY

The ravages of child bearing may exact a significant toll on the abdomen. The magnitude of change may vary from mild to severe. It is most appropriate for an active woman who has completed childbearing to seek surgical correction.

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The ravages of childbearing may exact a significant toll on the abdomen in some women. This is independent of their general state of fitness but is more common after successive pregnancies, multiple births, or very large pregnancies. The magnitude of change may cover a spectrum from mild to severe. This is characterized by a combination of skin stretching, spreading apart of the muscle columns with pot belly protrusion, and redistribution of fat to the lower belly. Hysterectomy scars may add further to the degree of deformity. Once established, such changes are irreversible by exercise or diet. Adding further insult, they weaken the abdominal wall making efforts at exercise toning ineffective. This is particularly debilitating in the busy and athletic years following childbirth. It is most appropriate for an active woman who has completed her childbearing to seek surgical correction.

Although abdominoplasty is considered cosmetic surgery by health insurance plans, successful outcomes will have practical functional benefits as well as making a major improvement in appearance.

Just as the damaged abdomen varies from one patient to another, the type of surgical correction will vary as well. The term "tummy tuck"; which is commonly used to describe such procedures is a great oversimplification. Only in the least affected abdomens can a simple "suck and tuck"; make any improvement. The combination of severely stretched skin plus muscle separation requires a complete redraping of the abdominal skin as well as repair of the separated rectus muscles to restore their centered alignment. Such skin redraping makes it necessary to bring the belly button out through a new opening in the now downward lifted skin. This of course must be positioned correctly. The surgery should be performed in the safety of a hospital operating room and mandates a careful postoperative healing course supervised by your surgeon.

A successful result can restore both the youthful appearance of the abdomen as well as improve its muscular function.



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