A mommy makeover tummy tuck can improve three things:
First, it can remove and tighten loose or excess skin and generally can remove stretch marks up to about the height of the belly button. Higher stretch marks are not removed, but look better with the skin stretched tighter. Many women work out, use expensive creams, try various laser treatments, but surgery is the only thing that can actually remove skin.
Second, extra fat can also be removed, making a woman thinner and in fact more attractively shaped and better balanced as well. When there is an excess fat layer elsewhere in the abdomen or in the hips, then Dr. Teitelbaum performs simultaneous liposuction to sculpt his patients. Taking an artistic approach to the abdomen means considering the beauty and proportion of the entire trunk.
Finally, the two muscles that go up and down the abdomen from the ribs all the way down to the pubic area often separate with pregnancy. The medical term for this is “rectus diastasis.” Do a sit up with your fingers pressing gently in the middle just above your belly button: if you can feel a gap, then you have a diastasis. As the day goes on and you eat and get too tired to hold in your stomach, that gap widens. Some women will say that they even feel pregnant by the end of the day.
It is also possible to have a hernia. A diastasis is just a separation, but women with a hernia in that area—called a “ventral hernia”—will usually feel a bulge in addition to the separation.
Often, women will develop a hernia in their belly button with pregnancy, converting what used to be an “innie” into an “outie.” This is very common and can be fixed with the tummy tuck.
Dr. Teitelbaum practices in a community in which many mothers carry twins and triplets as a result of fertility medicine. While some mothers with twins have stomachs no worse than those of mothers with singlets, there is frequently greater laxity of skin and weakness of the abdominal muscles.
There is no single abdominoplasty technique that is best for all women. Some have more separation or muscle weakness; some carried low and some high; some just in the center; and others all over. This creates many different patterns and Dr. Teitelbaum customizes what he does to the abdomens in mommy makeover patients to what they need the most.
Some may need just a small incision that is no wider than a c-section scar. Others need an incision that goes almost to their backs. Some need their muscles tightened while others do not. Dr. Teitelbaum is eminently experienced in tailoring and executing an operation that best suits each patient.
Many mothers want to have a “mini tummy tuck,” and this is occasionally possible. But in most cases, a mother’s the loose skin is not just towards the center. If a woman sits upright in a chair and looks down, she will see how wide her loose skin extends and she will be able to predict to some extent how wide her scars would need to be to get the best shape.
Some women only have loose muscles but maintain tight skin. These women are ideally suited for what is called an “endoscopic tummy tuck” or “endoscopic abdominoplasty,” in which only a small, easily concealable incision is made.
Dr. Teitelbaum has written articles, taught courses, and lectured on tummy tucks. He is therefore up to date on this operation and knows how to reverse many of the effects of pregnancy on the abdomen, making his patients look as beautiful as possible.