Causes of protruding tummy despite exercise and diet
Causes of protruding tummy despite exercise and diet
Exercising daily and eating right doesn’t unfortunately mean that your body will necessarily look fit and firm. There is this myth that only people who are overweight and obese resort to plastic surgery, but the reality is quite the opposite. It can be very disappointing to invest time and efforts into exercising and eating healthy and balanced and still see that the appearance of the tummy is protruding and not very firm. This is the reason why many patients with an unsightly appearance of the tummy seek the plastic surgeon’s advice only after trying hard to get a firm tummy at the gym and with diet.
There are different causes of a protruding tummy despite the person being committed to a daily exercise regimen and diets. In this article we will discuss these causes and how can plastic surgery help, especially the tummy tuck.
Causes of protruding tummy
- Diastasis recti (loose abdominal muscles)
Have you given birth years ago and people on the street still ask you when you are due? This is not uncommon, and studies show that up to 30% of women who gave birth suffer from a condition called diastasis recti. This is the separation of the abdominal muscles that can be noticed after giving birth, even if it occurs during pregnancy. The distance between the left and right abdominal muscles is increased due to the growing uterus during pregnancy. For some women, these muscles get back to their shape within months following childbirth. However, there are situations when these muscles don’t get back in shape. If this is the case, the tummy will stay protruding, the belly button might stick out, and when lying on the back, a visible gap could be noticed in the abdomen.
According to research, there are certain factors that favor the occurrence of diastasis recti, and these are having a C-section, twin pregnancy, pregnancies over 35 years old, and even performing certain physical exercises that are to be avoided for patients with diastasis recti.
Women can easily find out if they are suffering from this condition even in the comfort of their own homes. To see if you have abdominal muscles that have separated, you need to lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet on the ground. Keep your head slightly up. The fingers of one hand should go perpendicularly on the abdomen, and you must follow the median line starting over the belly button and towards the pubic area. If the fingers reach a gap, this means that the abdominal muscles have separated and diastasis recti is present.
If you were wondering why you didn’t know about diastasis recti before if it is such a common condition, you should know that many women don’t. It is not a painful condition, and chances are if the gap is under 2 cm, you won’t have any discomforts associated with it. However, if the gap between the muscles is big, you can have back pain, gastrointestinal issues, and the abdomen might look protruding and look like you are pregnant, even if you have lost all the baby weight that you put on during pregnancy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how much you exercise or diet because your abdomen won’t get firm again, not unless you get plastic surgery. Moreover, you should know that doing certain physical exercises can separate the muscles even more, and hernias can occur because the linea alba is an area with a low resistance and increased pressure in the abdomen that occurs during exercising that will put even more tension on the dehiscence area.
A viable and long-term solution to correct diastasis recti is the repositioning of the abdominal muscles on the median line and their suturing together. This is a common practice performed during a tummy tuck
- Umbilical hernia
Another reason why your abdomen might not look perfectly flat and firm is that you are confronted with an umbilical hernia. This hernia can occur as a result of an increase in the abdominal pressure in patients who are obese or pregnant, or for people who lift weights or suffer from chronic coughing or constipation.
Most people realize they might have umbilical hernia when they are confronted with pain during the effort, but in many cases, this type of hernia will not have other symptoms aside from a slight local discomfort. You should keep in mind that a umbilical hernia won’t vanish on its own and it needs medical attention as in time it will increase its size progressively and the discomfort level will be more intense as well. The treatment for umbilical hernia is also surgical, and the condition can be easily corrected during a tummy tuck.
Protruding tummy after pregnancy and the tummy tuck
The tummy tuck is one of the plastic surgery procedures used to correct the imperfections of the abdominal wall left behind after pregnancy and childbirth. The tummy tuck can be performed alone or in combination with other plastic surgery procedures such as liposuction to contour the body furthermore.
It is common for many women to find it difficult (if not completely impossible) to get back to their pre-pregnancy body after childbirth. Some will find it difficult to lose the baby weight, and others will still struggle with a protruding tummy even after getting back to a normal weight. There are different causes of protruding tummy despite the patient’s effort to keep fit and eat right. The tummy tuck is an optimal solution that could take care of multiple issues in just one operation.
With the tummy tuck, the patient can get rid of the excess skin on the abdominal wall and also strengthen the loose abdominal muscles and correct umbilical hernia.
How is the tummy tuck performed?
There are many surgical plans that can be followed when performing a tummy tuck. Depending on the severity of the sagginess and the location of the skin folds, the patient might need a mini tummy tuck, a complete tummy tuck, or an extended tummy tuck. A new and modern procedure that is performed on patients who want to achieve an hourglass silhouette is the hourglass tummy tuck. The main steps of the tummy tuck are:
Just like any other surgical procedure, the first step is to make the patient ready for the procedure. This means the administration of anesthesia so the patient can feel no pain and discomfort during the procedure. Because the tummy tuck can take quite a few hours, the plastic surgeon often recommends general anesthesia to be used.
After the patient is under the effects of the general anesthesia, the plastic surgeon will make an incision. The incision is made on the suprapubic area. If you gave birth through a C-section, chances are the incision of the tummy tuck will be performed in the same area and you will only be left with the scars of the tummy tuck as the C-section scar will be removed together with the excess skin. The incision is as lengthy as required to eliminate the excess skin. This means that for some patients it can be from hip bone to hip bone and for others, it can even go over the hip bone if skin folds are present on the flanks as well.
– Correcting imperfections
After the incision is made, the plastic surgeon will correct the causes of protruding tummy such as umbilical hernia and diastasis recti. The loose abdominal muscles will be brought together with sutures for a permanent result.
– Re-draping the skin
After eliminating the gap between the muscles, the skin that was detached from the muscles and lifted up to the rib cage is now lowered over the abdomen and re-draped. The excess skin is eliminated.
– Suturing the incisions
The incisions are sutured and dressings are applied on the surgical wounds. A girdle might be put on and the patient is advised to wear it for at least a few weeks, if not months.
There are different causes of protruding tummy even for patients who perform physical exercises and keep balanced and healthy diets. In this article, we have mentioned diastasis recti and umbilical hernia that can often occur during pregnancy and hence affect quite a number of women who gave birth.
Correcting these imperfections is easy when resorting to plastic surgery, namely abdominoplasty. When this procedure is performed, the plastic surgeon will correct these imperfections and also eliminate the excess of skin tissue that is saggy on the lower part of the tummy.