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A Tummy Tuck Alternative For New Moms


Using Smartlipo, an Awake Tummy Tuck may offer new moms a minimally invasive option to getting rid of post-baby belly.

After having one or several childbirths, the skin on the mother's abdomen is often stretched out. Regardless of exercise and diet, in many cases, the extra skin in this area will not bounce back to it's original shape without the assistance of cosmetic surgery.

tummy tuck alternative
Model Photo

Previously, the only option to address excess skin in the abdomen was a a major surgical procedure called a tummy tuck. Recent alternatives have become available that may offer new moms a minimally invasive option to get their pre-baby shape back without going under the knife.

As seen The Doctors, a tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that removes the extra skin in the abdominal area. However, timing is critical when it comes to deciding when a new mother can undergo a tummy tuck.
  • Breast feeding should be complete
  • This should be the last pregnancy or another surgery may be necessary
A tummy tuck addresses loose skin, repairs any torn abdominal muscles and gets rid of any lingering fat. However, because the procedure is surgical in nature, there will be a long scar that transects the abdomen that may be hidden under the bikini area and downtime will be significant.
awake tummy tuck dr. robert burke
Actual Awake Tummy Tuck Results of Dr. Robert Burke

A minimally invasive tummy tuck alternative may be available that will not leave a dramatic scar. While not suitable for patients that have severe skin laxity, the Awake Tummy Tuck may be a good option for certain patients. According to Ann Arbor cosmetic surgeon Dr. Robert Burke, "The ideal candidate for an Awake Tummy Tuck is a woman whose family is complete, they're close to their ideal weight with a body mass index under 30, and they're in good health."

The Awake Tummy Tuck differs from the traditional tummy tuck in that the procedure is performed with tumescent local anesthesia verses general anesthesia. This benefits the patient by bringing down the cost but also by cutting down the risk and downtime associated with the procedure. "Studies have shown many of the anesthetic agents actual come into our body's fat and then is slowly leaked out over time," describes Dr. Burke, "Sometimes the anesthetic agent can stay in the body as long as a month. Some patients may feel tired afterward and may have nausea for as long as the anesthesia is still in their system."
tumescent tummy tuck dr. robert burke
Actual Awake Tummy Tuck Results of Dr. Robert Burke

The Awake Tummy Tuck is typically performed with the Smartlipo. Using laser technology, Smartlipo removes fat through a small incision and the laser may help with tightening the skin. Some physicians will also pair a non-invasive treatment such as Thermage with the Awake Tummy Tuck to provide additional skin tightening.

According to Atlanta cosmetic surgeon Dr. Lou Cole, "We will use the Thermage procedure in conjunction with the SmartLipo and the power assisted because the radio frequency performed right after the SmartLipo seems to synergistically work for skin tightening."
smartlipo and thermage before and after photos
Actual Results of Dr. Louis Cole with Thermage and SmartLipo Tummy Tuck Alternative

Patients who have significant loose skin as well as damaged abdominal muscles should consider a traditional tummy tuck as The Awake Tummy Tuck may not offer as dramatic a result as they would like. However, for patients with moderate skin laxity and are done with their size of the family, an Awake Tummy Tuck may be ideal. "With a minimal degree of skin looseness, sometimes it will tighten and tone the surrounding skin. In my experience, it does provide additional skin retraction," remarks Dr. Burke, "People tell me the best thing is they get back to work fast and there is minimal disruption in their activity."