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How to Eliminate Your Post-Pregnancy Pooch

By: Dr. Kenneth Barraza


Plastic surgeon Mississippi

As rewarding as motherhood is, there's no denying that pregnancy and childbirth can take a toll on your body.  While many of the most obvious changes, such as extra weight gain, will resolve after your pregnancy, some may be here for the long haul. One example of this is the appearance of the post-pregnancy paunch; no matter how many targeted exercises you try or weight you lose, stubborn excess fat often remains. For many women, a tummy tuck combined with liposuction can finally offer a solution.

Pregnancy Changes: An Overview

“Your body undergoes a variety of changes very quickly during pregnancy,” says Dr. Kenneth Barraza. “Extra weight is stored throughout the body to make sure you have enough energy stockpiled to see you through your pregnancy. Breasts often change shape and size, both in response to weight gain and because of hormonal changes.” One of the primary changes during pregnancy is the swelling of the uterus to accommodate the growing baby within.  The abdominal muscles also stretch to allow the expansion of the uterus. This can cause the abdominal muscles to separate completely, which can be permanent. Many of the changes seen in the body during pregnancy will gradually return to normal as time passes. “Making an extra effort to eat right and exercise after your baby is born can help shed any remaining excess pregnancy pounds; however, surgery may be needed to repair permanent muscle separation and skin laxity.”  

A Combination Approach

Post baby belly

There are two approaches to toning and sculpting the abdominal area: liposuction and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).  Liposuction involves making a few tiny incisions near the belly, through which a cannula (hollow surgical tube) is inserted. The fat cells are broken apart through one of a variety of methods, and then the cannula can be used to physically remove the excess fat cells.  A tummy tuck surgically repairs separated muscles by stitching them back in place, while removing excess skin and tissue for a smoother, firmer look. Although a tummy tuck is ideal for major structural and muscular repair, it may not offer the same level of fine-tuning and finesse that's possible with liposuction. More and more plastic surgeons are combining liposuction and a tummy tuck for improved patient outcomes. This modern approach to abdominal sculpting can offer a winning solution for finally eliminating post-pregnancy paunch without needing separate procedures.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary. All before and after pictures are real patients of The Face & Body Center