Health Issues And Abdominoplasty
Health Issues And Abdominoplasty
Many women who had one or multiple pregnancies are confronted with a strange occurrence. Months after giving birth, the appearance of their tummy still looks like they are still pregnant. Even after losing most or all of the baby weight, the belly is still protruding and lacks firmness. This can happen even if the woman has a regular physical exercise routine and a good, healthy diet. So why is this?
The appearance of the tummy can be affected by many factors. Among them is diastasis recti, which is a condition of the muscles on the abdominal wall that gets separated during pregnancy due to the growth of the uterus. The condition is more likely to occur if you had multiple pregnancies or just one with a baby that weighed more than average at birth.
In this article, we will discuss diastasis recti and other health issues and how they can be corrected with the help of abdominoplasty.
Pregnancy and the appearance of the tummy
During pregnancy, there are many different changes that occur. Among these changes are the thinning and stretching and also the separation of the muscles on the abdominal wall. This condition occurs because the uterus needs more space to extend. The abdominal muscles are on each side of the median line of the abdomen. They are long muscles with vertical fibers. When these muscles are toned and the patient has little fat tissue on the tummy, they look like the six pack most of us dream of.
Theory says that diastasis recti gets fixed naturally in the first few weeks after pregnancy. But the reality is a bit different and turns out that many of these women are left with muscles that are still separated months after giving birth. In other words, the separated muscles of the abdominal wall prevent you from having a firm and flat tummy even if you lost the baby weight and you are keeping fit.
Studies show that the incidence rate of diastasis recti is higher in women who get pregnant after 35 and also for women who have twins or more babies. At the same time, the chances are higher for diastasis recti to occur at a second or ulterior pregnancy, especially if the muscles get distended after the birth of the first child. Another risk factor is the large weight of the baby.
Diastasis recti doesn’t trigger a health issue per se, but because the abdominal muscles have an important role in keeping the back straight, complications such as hernia, back pain, and even constipation can occur.
If you suspect you are confronted with this condition, it is easy to check whether this is true or not. There is a simple test that can be performed at home. Lie on your back with your legs flexed and your soles on the ground. Take one hand and put it on the back of your head and easily lift your head with the chin towards the sternum. Then move the fingers from the other hand in a perpendicular position along the abdomen. You can start from the belly button and move them on a median line down towards the pelvic area. In the abdominal wall, muscles are separated, your fingers will notice a gap at some point. If this gap is larger than 2 cm, chances are you are suffering from diastasis recti.
If this is the case, you should schedule a consultation with your doctor to discuss treatment methods.
Abdominoplasty to correct diastasis recti
If your diagnosis of diastasis recti is confirmed by your doctor or plastic surgeon, the most suitable treatment plan is the tummy tuck.
Keep in mind that while some physical exercises might be recommended in this particular case, classic physical exercises that aim to improve the area of the tummy can make the gap between the muscles even more considerable. For example, you should avoid exercises that involve lifting the shoulders of the back from the mattress. Even some Pilates and yoga movements can accentuate diastasis recti, as well as weightlifting and even lifting your kids up. Wearing a girdle after giving birth can help with diastasis recti in a certain measure, but only if used in the first few months.
The good news is that diastasis recti can be treated with the help with plastic surgery, even if childbirth occurred a long time ago.
When the tummy tuck surgery is performed, the plastic surgeon will make an incision on the lower part of the abdomen and lift the skin and subcutaneous fat from the muscles and up to the ribs. This will give the surgeon access to the abdominal muscles that he will bring together on the median line and connect with sutures. During this surgery, the plastic surgeon can also correct umbilical hernia, if the patient has it. The excess of skin and fat tissue is then re-draped over the abdominal muscles and the incisions are sutured. After the surgery, the patient will enjoy having a flat and firm tummy and will also be able to perform physical exercises to keep the tummy toned.
The results of abdominoplasty are permanent, and this means that the muscles that were strengthened during the procedure won’t get distended again unless an ulterior pregnancy occurs. The general recommendation of the plastic surgeon is to undergo a tummy tuck surgery only after you know your family is complete and you don’t want to have any more children. Just like any other surgery, an ulterior pregnancy or considerable weight fluctuations can alter the aesthetic results because in many cases these are the factors that caused the unsightly appearance of the body in the first place.
When the abdominal muscles are distended or not toned, the whole body posture can be affected. The abdominal muscles are a part of the core of the body that keeps the upright position and also performs many other functions. This is the reason why it is important to keep these muscles in shape and correct the appearance of the tummy.
Why get a tummy tuck to improve health issues?
With age, the appearance of the belly changes. The skin loses its elasticity and the muscles relax. The entire abdominal wall collapses and the fat starts to accumulate in this area. Moreover, with age, weight changes, pregnancy or obesity, the abdominal wall is damaged.
Back pain caused by intense pressure on the muscles of the lumbar region may appear. In obese people, skin infections can occur in the skin folds that cover the pubic area partly or completely. For people who have experienced these changes in weight, it is often difficult to feel good in a body that no longer looks the same, even with normal weight. In people who are overweight or obese, physical exercise and dieting usually deliver a slight improvement in the appearance of the body and strengthen some muscles. But often, the results are not up to their expectations. In this case, it is the tummy tuck surgery that can help the patient get rid of the health issues associated with having excess skin sagging on the lower part of the abdomen or diastasis recti. The procedure can significantly increase the quality of life for patients with different health issues associated with an unsightly appearance of the tummy.
During pregnancy or after a considerable weight loss, the patient can be confronted with health issues that are directly related to these factors. For example, diastasis recti is a condition that affects the muscles of the abdominal wall. During pregnancy, due to the overgrowth of the uterus, the muscles of the abdominal wall get separated, causing an unsightly appearance of the tummy. Women suffering from diastasis recti might look like they are still pregnant months after giving birth. While wearing a girdle after giving birth and specific physical exercises can improve the condition, in a vast majority of cases it is only with the help of plastic surgery that the patient will get a firm and flat tummy once again.
During the tummy tuck surgery, the plastic surgeon will strengthen the loose abdominal muscles and bring them together on a median line using sutures. The results achieved are permanent and the appearance of the tummy can be sustained for long if the patient doesn’t have an ulterior pregnancy and avoids weight fluctuations.
For patients confronted with health issues caused by the skin folds left behind after massive weight loss, the tummy tuck surgery is also a good solution.