Your typical tummy tuck includes liposuction to the abdomen, removal of excess skin and often-times, abdominal wall tightening. It’s not always necessary but it’s important for the patient to be aware of this aspect of the procedure. The tummy tuck tightens the abdominal skin but the abdominal wall is a whole different animal.
When is abdominal wall tightening necessary
Here are some new words to learn! The abdominal wall is beneath the skin and is made up of fascia. The fascia is the abdominal wall covering that contains all of your organs. Sometimes after having kids, the abdominal wall fascia in the front stretches out around the six-pack muscles. These are the rectus abdominus muscles. When this area stretches during pregnancy and stays stretched, it’s called a rectus diastasis.
While the area contains muscles, the rectus muscles themselves don’t stretch or become weak. However, the left rectus muscle is moves further towards the left and the right rectus muscle is pushed more towards the right. The area in between the muscles is the rectus diastasis. Since the fascia stretches and not the muscles, doing crunches won’t “un-stretch” the fascia. Only a tummy tuck will fix this.
During the tummy tuck procedure, stitches tighten up the fascia to help flatten the tummy. So if you haven’t had kids or your abdominal wall recovered and you don’t have a rectus diastasis after pregnancy, you won’t need the abdominal wall tightening. It’s great if you don’t need it since this can be the most painful portion of the operation. Unfortunately, there’s no way to make your abdominal wall tighten after pregnancy with specific exercises. It either happens or it doesn’t. Cross your fingers you don’t need it!
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