Change is inevitable. Over time, our bodies change, often in ways we're not happy about. While we recognize that a life well-lived may include some reminders left behind as hallmarks on our bodies, we don't always welcome them as "battle scars" well-earned. One of those may be a protruding or loose/sagging abdomen. This may come about for a variety of reasons, including the obvious reasons like pregnancy, fluctuating weight, or a prior surgery, but also simply due to the passage of time or heredity. Exercise and weight control may or may not help us to achieve our goals of a flatter, well-toned tummy.
For one of our patients, this was exactly the case.
Ashley, a lovely young wife and mother, came to see Dr. English at the age of twenty-eight. Four years before, at the age of twenty-four, Ashley had given birth to her first child, a lovely girl. Within 19 months, and with barely enough time to heal from her first pregnancy, Ashley and her husband celebrated the birth of handsome twin boys via Caesarean section. Despite her happiness with her beautiful young family, Ashley was dismayed at the effects of pregnancy on her body: her belly was ravaged by her back-to-back pregnancies. At the time she gave birth to her boys at 35 weeks, her belly actually measured at 54 weeks! Once she had healed from her c-section, Ashley hit the gym to lose the extra baby weight and hopefully tone her tummy.
Ashley quickly discovered that the stretching of her belly during pregnancy to a 54-week measurement was simply too large to bounce back. While she lost the baby weight, she was unable to lose fat and excess skin from her abdomen. In addition to excess sagging skin, Ashley discovered that she had a 4-inch diastasis, a gap in her abdominal muscles that did not close up after pregnancy. This diastasis weakened Ashley's abdominal core, resulting in abdominal discomfort and low back pain. The result was a tummy that pouched out unattractively and uncomfortably and was difficult to camouflage in her clothes. Much to her chagrin, no amount of exercise could eliminate the excess skin or heal the damage to her abdominal muscles.
This realization was disheartening. Ashley needed another solution: cosmetic surgery in the form of abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, along with diastasis repair.
The purpose of having a tummy tuck is to remove excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen and tighten the underlying muscles as needed. This procedure can correct bulging due to abnormal stretching of the abdominal muscles and excess skin or fat, as Ashley had experienced. It can also remove the panniculus, that "apron" of skin and/or fat that may hang over the lower abdomen. The extent of surgery depends on the amount of skin and fat as well as the laxity of the abdominal muscles. Symptoms such as low back pain, skin rashes, extended stretch marks, and abdominal discomfort may be relieved as a result of the procedure.
In Ashley’s case, her four-inch diastasis was completely repaired and nine inches of skin were removed from her belly during her tummy tuck surgery. To her amazement and delight, Ashley’s belly no longer protrudes and all the excess skin is gone, leaving her with a slimmer profile, a flatter tummy, and a restoration of her pre-baby body, her confidence, and her health.
Does Ashley's story sound familiar? If you have excess skin and/or fat in your abdominal area that is untouched by dieting or exercise, let us help you take that final step in returning to that flatter, toned tummy you've been striving for. Call our office today at (501) 227-9556 to schedule your tummy tuck consultation with Dr. English at English Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Center in Little Rock, AR and start your own journey of restoration and the slimmer profile you desire.
Find additional information about tummy tuck surgery here.
See before/after images of some of Dr. English's tummy tuck patients here.
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