Having children is the most noble and rewarding thing you’ve ever accomplished, but it did a number on your body. Even if you were fit and trim before you had kids, pregnancy and childbearing can transform your body — and not in a good way.
If you’re like many moms, you’ve done your best to lose the pudge around your middle by dieting and exercising, only to find that the saggy skin, fat, and muscles are stubborn and resistant.
That’s when you need next-level help in the form of a tummy tuck. Technically called abdominoplasty, this surgical procedure is a mom’s best friend when it comes to reclaiming her prepregnancy belly.
And there’s no one more qualified in or around McLean, Virginia, or Rockville, Maryland, to eliminate that mommy pooch than Frederick H. Watkins, MD. He has many years of plastic surgery experience and is loved and trusted for his surgical skill, artistic eye, and personable demeanor. Here’s what Dr. Watkins wants you to know about tummy tucks for mothers.
How childbearing creates a mommy pooch
After pregnancy and childbirth, you’ll likely experience several physical changes that make your body almost unrecognizable. Among those transformations is the dreaded stomach droop commonly known as the mommy pooch. The main culprits behind your sagging tummy are weakened abdominal muscles, excess skin, and fat deposits.
Exercise and a healthy diet can help you whittle down the fat and tone your muscles, but hormonal changes that affect your metabolism may make it tougher than you remember. And excess skin is another matter altogether.
How a tummy tuck gets rid of your mommy pooch
Dr. Watkins starts with a thorough physical examination and an in-depth conversation about your lifestyle, aesthetic goals, and expectations, which helps him make the right recommendations for you.
If you’re a good candidate for a tummy tuck, he creates a surgical plan to address your unique anatomy. During the procedure, he makes an incision along your lower abdomen from hip bone to hip bone — don’t worry, it’s below your bikini line. Then he removes excess skin and fat from the area and tightens your underlying abdominal muscles with sutures. Sometimes, he may use liposuction to remove additional fat from the area.
If your abdominal issues are minor, you might opt for a mini tummy tuck that uses shorter incisions and has a faster recovery time.
Things to consider before scheduling a tummy tuck
If a tummy tuck sounds like it’s just what you need, we’re here to help you navigate the journey. But before you go down that road, take some time to understand what's involved and whether it's the right decision for you. Here are some things Dr. Watkins would like you to consider before deciding on a tummy tuck procedure:
Your overall health
Before any surgery, it's crucial to evaluate your overall physical health. You should be in good general health and free from chronic illness or conditions that could increase your risk of complications during surgery.
A tummy tuck isn’t a substitute for weight loss. Dr. Watkins recommends that you be at or near your ideal weight before undergoing the procedure to ensure better results and fewer risks during and after surgery.
It's important to have realistic expectations about the outcome of your tummy tuck. While the surgery can improve your appearance and self-confidence, it's not a magic cure-all for all body image issues.
The procedure itself
A tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure that involves anesthesia, incisions, and a recovery period. Dr. Watkins discusses the details of the procedure and explains the potential risks and complications so you’re fully prepared and informed.
The recovery period after a tummy tuck can be lengthy and require significant downtime and rest. You'll need to follow Dr. Watkins’ instructions carefully and avoid strenuous activity until you've fully healed. If you have young children in your care and you need to lift them, it’s best to delay your tummy tuck until your daily activities are less physically demanding.
Future family plans
A tummy tuck is a great way to get rid of your mommy pooch, but if you get pregnant again, you’ll undo the results. That’s why Dr. Watkins recommends waiting until you’re sure your family is complete before getting an abdominoplasty.
Consider a mommy makeover
The tummy tuck is one element of Dr. Watkins’ mommy makeover — a trio of procedures that address mothers’ most common complaints: breasts and bellies.
Depending on your needs and goals, Dr. Watkins performs a combination of a breast lift, breast augmentation, and abdominoplasty, to trim your waistline, reposition your areolae, eliminate your drooping stomach, diminish your stretch marks, and give you perkier breasts.
Contact us at Frederick H. Watkins, MD, today to learn more about our mommy makeover by calling our friendly team at either location or booking online.