If your New Year’s resolution involves a flat tummy, you may think you can easily check it off the list with one little surgery. But abdominoplasty, popularly known as a ‘tummy tuck,’ is not a little surgery—and it’s not for everyone.
You’ve seen the headlines on popular magazines about celebrities who get back their ‘pre-baby body’ within about a month or so of giving birth. Maybe some of them may just be blessed with exceptionally elastic skin; or they have time to do 500 abdominal crunches per day, as well as the ability to say no to every source of refined sugar—even at 2 a.m. when that doughnut looks awfully good while the little one is nursing.
There is more than one way to flatten your tummy. Diet and exercise works for those who need to reduce fat in general. Liposuction removes fat cells from targeted areas. Noninvasive procedures freeze fat and cause it to disappear over time. But the only thing that addresses the abdominal muscles, fat and excess skin is abdominoplasty—a tummy tuck.
What do all those technical terms mean when it comes to our bodies and the procedures that can transform them? Although by no means an exhaustive list, the following may help decipher some alien terminology—and help you become more aware of your options.
It’s only slightly less annoying than ‘muffin top’ or ‘belly bulge.’ Those rolls of fat that form on the back and overhang bra straps can be stubborn and unsightly. But when diet and exercise fail, there are options for eliminating back fat.
Sometimes, we just want a do-over. And when it comes to our body, we can achieve something close with procedures that sculpt and transform shape and size.
If you’ve Zumba’d and kettle bell’d yourself down a few sizes and the mirror is still not offering the reflection you’d like to see, how about body sculpting with the help of cosmetic surgery? According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the demand for cosmetic surgery procedures increased almost 9 percent last year. And the most common areas of concern for female patients? In their practice at West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University, Drs. Terry Myckatyn and Marissa Tenenbaum hear “breast and tummies” most often. “The No. 1 complaint, after breast size or shape, would be the stomach,” says Tenenbaum. “Especially after childbirth, women notice a pouch, extra skin or stretch marks that appeared during pregnancy and did not improve afterward.”
After her pregnancies stretched out her abdomen, this patient was tired of being asked when she was due, and not fitting into regular clothes. Through an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), Dr. Michele Koo repaired the muscles, removing extra skin and recreated an ‘inny’ belly button. Liposuction to the patient’s waist and thighs also helped to give the entire trunk a smooth look and reduce her size to a 2 to 4.
Dr. Michelle Koo performed an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), repairing the stretched muscles for this patient who felt like she was ‘constantly pregnant’ after two C-sections. Before the operation, she was a size 14; after, she was a size 6.
Each year at this time, we try to update some of the confusing terms that have cropped up in advertising and physicians offices over the past year. Some trends have come and gone. Other procedures have been accumulating some effective data and are stronger than ever. What do all those technical terms mean when it comes to our bodies and the new procedures that can transform them? Although by no means an exhaustive list, the following may help decipher some alien terminology and help us be more aware of our options.
Some of us do hundreds of crunches at the gym, watch what we eat and go to Pilates class, yet we still can’t seem to get rid of that roll of fat that forms around the middle.
It’s often one of the first sacrifices a woman makes for her baby—the loss of a smooth, firm and unmarked abdomen. Stretch marks, clinically known as ‘striae,’ are a common badge of motherhood.
THE HEAD…Hair Replacement
A 47-year-old woman who weighed 230 pounds and was a size 22 underwent abdominoplasty and liposuction of her hips, waist and inner thighs, performed by Dr. Michele Koo. Five months after surgery, and with the aid of a healthier lifestyle, she weighed 155 pounds and was a size 8.
As wonderful as children are, pregnancy can play havoc with abdominal muscles and skin. When her family is complete, one of the most powerful rejuvenation procedures a woman can have is an abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck. “During pregnancy, there are many changes to the abdominal wall,” says plastic surgeon Dr. Judith Gurley. “The muscles can separate and may not come back together after pregnancy. When that is combined with stretch marks and stretched skin, a tummy tuck is a good option.” Not all women need the surgery. For women who have good elasticity and maintain muscle integrity, a little leftover baby fat can be contoured away with liposuction, but a good number of women will not be happy with the results of only doing liposuction.
Last month, we explored breast rejuvenation options available to women after giving birth. But the postpartum body can present a range of challenges. Another concern for many women is the “baby fat” that seems so hard to lose.
What can be done about that stubborn tummy ‘pooch’ that plagues so many women after childbirth or significant weight loss? When you’ve exercised and dieted for months—or even years—but still have a protruding tummy, is it time for surgery?
It’s a rare woman who always likes what she sees in the mirror. But it’s natural to feel good about ourselves when we believe we look our best. Several St. Louis medical professionals recently shared their perspective on changing appearances and changing lives. There are many ways to enhance appearance and boost self-confidence in the process.
We all want to make smart purchases and get the most for our money. And when we’re talking about investing thousands of dollars, the stakes are even higher, whether we’re shopping for cars, vacations or plastic surgery.
Each year at this time, we try to sort out all the confusing terms that have cropped up in advertising and physician offices over the past year. Some trends have come and gone. Other procedures have been accumulating some effective data and are stronger than ever. What do all those technical terms mean when it comes to our bodies and the new procedures that can transform them? Although by no means an exhaustive list, the following may help decipher some alien terminology and help us be more aware of our options.
For thousands of people, a flat tummy is the Holy Grail of fitness: legendary, sought-after and elusive. Especially after pregnancy, regaining the abs of our youth can seem like a fruitless pursuit. Yet we crunch, roll, flex and squeeze our mid-sections, believing that if we just work a bit harder or exercise differently, we can achieve our goal.