For many women, the joy of giving birth and growing a family can come with the hefty price of major changes to the shape of their bodies. While it is a natural process, the results are often unwelcomed. Common and undesirable outcomes include an excess of stretched and scarred skin, which individually, or collectively, can lower self-confidence and raise body image insecurities. Many women are forced to reconsider aesthetic expectations, not to mention replacing the favourite bikini with the compulsory one-piece in an effort to hide bulges that just won’t budge – despite all the sensible eating and exercise routines.
So, what are the options to help rectify such problems? High on the list is liposculpture, a technique for removing excess fat from under the skin by suction, which helps to get rid of excessive abdominal bulges. Unfortunately, the procedure is not the best choice for those with looser, more mobile skin. In these cases, no matter how skilful the surgeon or how smoothly the procedure is performed, the normal healing process will produce major scar tissue. This can anchor the looser skin to underlying muscles in a haphazard manner, producing an irregular appearance, and sometimes a "hail damaged" type effect.
Another popular procedure is abdominoplasty, or a ‘tummy tuck’ as it is more commonly known, involving removing excess flesh from the abdomen. The technique is not for everyone because in some cases, such a major operation is too risky and not worth the extensive scar, significant downtime or discomfort that may be experienced.
According to leading cosmetic surgeon, Dr Anoop Rastogi, this has left many women in a middle ground situation without a suitable go-to option, until now.
Enter the mini tummy tuck – a smaller and far less invasive procedure when undertaken by highly experienced and skilled hands.
“During a mini tummy tuck the loose skin is mobilised purely by liposculpture undermining which ensures the vital blood supply to the skin remains strong and removes excess fat at the same time,” Dr Rastogi explained.
“The procedure also involves a very low incision which is made near the hairline, on much the same level as a caesarean scar, but about 5cm longer.
“The skin is then tightened, with some removed from a smile-shaped flap. The resulting scar usually lies wholly within the bikini line, and the belly button is not interfered with, which helps to maintain a very natural look.”
When compared to a more involved procedure, Dr Rastogi says there is less recovery and downtime required, meaning patients can go home the same day or the next morning. As there is no involvement of the abdominal muscles lifting and exercise such as sit-ups are not restricted. However, patients are advised to avoid any overstretching.
Dr Rastogi believes a mini tummy tuck has become a realistic alternative for many women who, after giving birth, believe the dream to reclaim their former body shape with a flat, firm tummy is impossible.
“Following pregnancies, some women are incredibly disappointed with loose and floppy skin, and also very unhappy about thicker waist and fat deposits developing in other areas, including the buttocks, hips and thighs.” Dr Rastogi said.
“The mini tummy tuck is so popular because it is a safe, simple and extremely effective solution when treating the ‘in-between' patient."
Dr Rastogi emphasised mini tummy tucks do not replace a traditional abdominoplasty and that the procedure is not suitable for patients with significant skin excess or when the abdominal muscles need repair.
“It really is about choosing the most appropriate and effective cosmetic procedure that will best enhance one’s already natural beauty.”
Dr Rastogi Bella Face Cosmetic Surgery & Medi Spa is located at Honeysuckle. For more information about mini tummy tucks and other cosmetic procedures, visit www.bellaface.com.au