So many women complain of the same problem: a small bulge that lives right where the top of your pants hits. This hard-to-erase area requires surgical intervention, but it is fixable.
Usually the result of pregnancy (although aging and a lack of exercise can cause it too), as the muscles in the stomach become stretched out and apart and lose their strength, they separate and can even tear. “During pregnancy the stomach muscles can become stretched out (as can the skin) from bearing the extra weight, which forces them to separate,” says Pittsburgh plastic surgeon Leo McCafferty, MD.
Unlike some stomach-related issues that can be remedied with a variety of solutions, only one exists when it comes to muscles that have been disrupted: a tummy tuck. “You can work out and diet all you want, which will help to strengthen the muscles, but once they become separated, the tissue over them needs to be tightened and reestablished by suturing it back together,” says Scottsdale, AZ, plastic surgeon Steven Wiener, MD. During surgery, an incision is made down by the pubic bone and the muscles are tightened and pulled back together, like pulling a corset tight and closed. “It’s like cinching in the waistline to give a thinner frame and more of an hourglass look as opposed to a square one,” adds Dr. Wiener.
A tummy tuck is an invasive surgery and the recovery that it entails is a long one. It will take at least three weeks (if not more) before you’ll feel back to normal and able to resume your regular activities and exercise. It’s important to get up and walk around during the first few days after surgery to get your circulation going.
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