Benefits of the Tummy Tuck Procedure after Pregnancy


Pregnant woman cradling her growing belly with her hands outdoors in the autumnFollowing childbirth, a tummy tuck (or Abdominoplasty) can enhance not only the visual appearance of your tummy, but studies have shown that there may be a functional improvement as well!

Aesthetic Benefits of a Tummy Tuck

Abdominoplasty restores your pre-pregnancy abdominal contour and in some cases you may even like your tummy more  than before you became pregnant! A Tummy Tuck targets:

  • A “pooch” of excess abdominal skin and fat
  •  A puffy, protruding and disfigured belly button
  • Separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti) leading to a puffy, protruding belly

A tummy tuck is not a way to lose weight. It provides optimal benefits when you are at or near your ideal body weight. Many moms feel motivated to lose baby weight following pregnancy, but  find that lingering fat and stretched skin on the abdomen is almost impossible to tighten up or shrink. In so many cases, crunches, running, weight lifting and pretty much any exercise you do won't have any effect on this type of sagging skin and separated muscles. A tummy tuck is a central  part of a mommy makeover because it targets these core issues.

Stretch marks are also very common following pregnancy. These marks form on your belly as the skin stretches rapidly to accommodate your developing baby. Because Abdominoplasty removes a section of lower abdominal skin, many of these stretch marks that are in that lower area will be permanently removed as well. Stretch marks that are located higher up on the tummy will be moved down and in many cases, will become much less noticeable.

Repairing Diastasis Recti

The rectus abdominis muscle overlies your abdomen and is the muscle group seen in the “six pack”. “Diastasis recti” is the condition which occurs when both the muscles and the envelope of tissue which holds them called “Fascia”, stretch to the point of separation, leaving a gap between the muscle segments. This gap is centered over the middle of your abdomen, so it may look puffy on either side and you may even be able to feel the gap with your fingers when laying on your back.  When the muscles separate, the tummy bulges out and any overlaying excess skin and fat will give an even more puffy appearance to the tummy, and even worse, you may even feel like you still look pregnant.

A post pregnancy tummy tuck  works because it repairs the separated muscles and removes puffy, excess skin and fat , leaving a firmer, more toned belly.

Reduction in Back Pain and Urinary Incontinence

Woman in a crop top and underwear with a tight belly and her hands on her hipsWhen the tummy muscles stretch out, they lose their ability to give strength to your core and you may experience lower back pain. It is this laxity that can cause less support for your back and surprisingly, even your bladder.

A 2018 study has replicated the results of other studies showing that tummy tucks can reduce back pain and urinary incontinence after pregnancy. It included 214 women undergoing tummy tuck surgery with repair of diastasis recti. Their average age was 42, and average number of deliveries was 2.5.

Before surgery:

  • 51 percent of respondents reported moderate to severe disability from back pain
  • 42.5 percent of respondents said that urinary incontinence was a "significant concern"

Significant improvement was reported 6 weeks and 6 months after abdominoplasty with muscle repair. In fact, at 6 months, just 9 percent of the women reported disabling back pain. Less than 2 percent of the women reported urinary incontinence was still a significant problem.

Correction of diastasis recti restores strength and stability to the abdomen, which may explain why so many women saw reductions in back pain and urinary incontinence. Visit Dr. John Corey to find out if these aesthetic and functional benefits of abdominoplasty will apply to you. A tummy tuck can transform the appearance of your belly, even if you aren't struggling with back pain or bladder control.

Restore Your Pre-Baby Tummy

Ready to find out if you are a good candidate for abdominoplasty in Scottsdale, AZ? Please arrange a consultation with experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. John Corey by calling 480-767-7700. We are proud to provide great results for patients from all over, including Phoenix, Gilbert, Mesa and Chandler.