As women go through pregnancy, their bodies will no doubt go through quite a few changes. Once their families are complete, they often look at their bodies and see the physical toll pregnancy has taken. It’s common to have everything from loose skin, to stretched out abdominal muscles and stretch marks.
Plastic surgeons can now utilize new tools and science to tailor or individualize tummy tuck procedures for their patients, resulting in better outcomes. There are even a few new options that don’t involve surgery for those women who do not want a surgical procedure. Dr. David Lickstein of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida spends time with his patients to understand their concerns and create a unique treatment plan to achieve their goals.
Could I benefit from a tummy tuck?
The memory of weight gain and weight loss surrounding pregnancy is evident on the body: stretch marks, a loose abdomen and sometimes new fat pockets show off what the body endured. Even if you only have one issue, there’s no reason to give up on having your pre-pregnancy body back.
“I think the important thing to realize is that the approach is different for each patient,” says Dr. Lickstein. “Some women just have loose skin, some have extra skin and some fat that they haven’t been able to lose, and some have a combination of both.”
Tailoring a treatment plan for you
Surgical technique has been refined over the years and medical devices have evolved and improved. Even so, perhaps the most important aspect of a tummy tuck that has improved is the consultation. This is not a cookie-cutter operation; individual needs and goals create a unique treatment plan.
“The first thing is to have a consultation, examine the patient and take a careful look,” says Lickstein. “We have a variety of approaches now that can really be individualized to what a woman wants. If they don’t have the time for surgery, then we may use CoolSculpt, which is a non-invasive way to remove fat. It’s done in the office with no recovery. Sometimes liposuction is all they need. But if there’s extra skin, the only real way to remove it is to have a surgical procedure.”
If it comes to surgery, there is no reason to worry
For patients who would most benefit from a surgical treatment, it can be daunting. A tummy tuck is known to be painful and an uncomfortable process. Modern surgery, however, includes modern medicines that make discomfort less than it has ever been.
“It’s different now because the recovery is much easier with the use of pain pumps,” says Lickstein. “We place stitches in the muscle that creates an internal girdle that helps shape the abdomen both vertically and obliquely.”
The process can be long, and the may last a few weeks with some discomfort, but the results speak louder than all.
“It’s probably one of the most fulfilling things that we do,” admits Lickstein. “The transformational change in such a brief period of time is incredible.”