Abdominoplasty After Pregnancy

Can having an Abdominoplasty after pregnancy improve more than just body confidence?

The Abdominoplasty procedure if often seen as a way to create a flatter stomach, and it is, however it also can help with a range of medical issues.

Our abdominal wall is made up of different elements including fatty and connective tissue and muscle. Our muscles are usually pulled together to meet in the middle and when worked out consistently they turn into the ‘6 pack’ that you see on movie stars. For some people, usually those with congenital issues or women post-partum these muscles can become separated. This is also known as Diastatis Recti.

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For some people this can cause issues such as back pain, a bulging stomach and urinary incontinence. There have been many studies completed on how the Abdominoplasty procedure helped in improving or removing these symptoms all together.

Dr Briggs gets lots of questions surrounding the Abdominoplasty procedure so we have outlined the answers to some below. Keep in mind that these answers are generalised and Dr Briggs will tailor his answers to your individual anatomy during a consultation.

It is difficult to know whether you have separated abdominal muscles as it can present in a number of different ways i.e. each tummy can look different. Dr Briggs will be able to perform an examination of your abdomen and let you know.

No, if it is required Dr Briggs performs this as a-part of all his Abdominoplasty procedure technique.

We cannot say for sure as each patient is different. However it is likely that you may see some improvement in your urinary incontinence.

During the Abdominoplasty Dr Briggs will tighten abdominal muscles and reduce the amount of tissue on the abdominal area. Although he does not tighten the pelvic floor the act of tightening of the abdominal muscles strengthens your core and can cause greater support for the pelvic floor tissues. The less weight on the abdominal area can also help with back pain, however it would heavily depend on the causation of your back pain in the first instance.

One of the most common questions we get! Unfortunately for the gym junkies there is to be no strenuous exercise for 6 weeks following surgery. Raising the heart rate can increase the chance of bleeding as well as fluid build-up. We also don’t want you to strain your new muscle or damage your incision line. Dr Briggs does recommend daily light walking.

The Abdominoplasty is a procedure that can take some time to heal from. You will feel sore during the first week and uncomfortable in the second, however you will be given pain medication to help manage it. You will be in hospital for 1-2 nights and may or may not go home with drains in. Drains are surgical tubes inserted into the incision line to prevent fluid build-up after surgery. By six weeks you can be expected to be recovered however your scars will continue to mature for up to 18 months. Dr Briggs will prescribe a strict scar care routine to get the best looking scar possible.

The abdominoplasty procedure can carry an item number for eligible patients. To be eligible for the item number you must meet the following criteria: Skin condition caused by an overhang of skin that hasn’t been resolved after 3 months of treatment e.g. Intertrigo. An abdominal apron (overhang of skin) Significant weight loss (at least 5 BMI points) If you don’t meet these criteria then unfortunately Medicare or private health will not rebate you on your procedure. However Dr Briggs can still perform the procedure cosmetically. People who had an abdominoplasty prior to 2016 did not have to meet this criteria. Medicare change and update their item numbers every year, for the Plastic Surgery industry this usually means stricter conditions on who is eligible for an item number.