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Numerous women complain about significant abdominal bulging following pregnancy even after their weight has returned to pre-pregnancy levels. Diastasis recti is a cosmetic concern that numerous women encounter after pregnancy. This condition occurs as a result of stretching of the abdominal wall and a separation between the rectus (‘six-pack’) muscles. It is characterized by a prominent bulge or “pooch” in the mid to lower abdomen. The protrusion or bulge is typically immune to both diet and exercise. In some cases, this protrusion can be so apparent that new mothers often feel they still look pregnant.

Fortunately, tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) is an excellent treatment option for women bothered by diastasis recti following pregnancy. In addition to removing excess skin and fat from the abdominal region, tummy tuck surgery allows plastic surgeons to bring muscles of the abdominal wall back to their initial position, making the muscles tighter in the process. The end result can be a significantly flatter stomach and slimmer waistline.

If you are troubled by a post-pregnancy stomach bulge that doesn’t respond to diet and exercise efforts, my advice is to seek the expertise of board-certified plastic surgeon who has considerable experience in abdominoplasty. Surgery is quite often the only solution for diastasis recti, and a plastic surgeon can determine whether a tummy tuck—or possibly a mini tummy tuck—would be an appropriate treatment option for your unique needs and goals.

– Dr. Lawrence Tong, Double Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

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