Symptoms Of Muscle Separation After Tummy Tuck
Women are known for our vanity and self-consciousness about body parts we consider to be imperfection magnets. We’re constantly trying to hide cellulite or stretch out our skin through plastic surgeries or exercises, but there’s no denying it — a woman’s body has its own special set of problems that require particular solutions. One such solution is having a tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) surgery. It may sound like one of those Hollywood fantasies, but it isn’t uncommon in real life. The procedure can make a woman look slimmer, more toned, and healthier than ever before.
But what happens when you don’t get the results you want? If your operation was performed by a reputable surgeon, he should provide you with detailed postoperative instructions. These instructions will include recovery time expectations, things to avoid during the healing process, and how often you need to return to the doctor’s office. Unfortunately, not everyone follows these instructions properly — which means they might end up experiencing unpleasant side effects after the surgery.
One of the most common symptoms of muscle separation after a tummy tuck is a bulging belly. Women who have separated tummy muscles usually complain of an obvious protrusion above, below, or all-around their belly button. In some women, the soft gap between the muscles becomes so wide that bulging can reach the size of a football. Other symptoms include a sudden increase in appetite, back pain, difficulty swallowing food or liquids, constipation and diarrhea, gas, bloating, flatulence, indigestion, acid reflux, nausea, vomiting, rashes, and sensitivity to sunlight. Some patients also experience nerve damage, numbness, and general weakness. Luckily, none of these complications are permanent, and if detected early enough, they can almost always be treated effectively.
If you believe you may be suffering from any of these symptoms, contact your physician immediately. Your health depends on it!
Causes of Muscle Separation After Tummy Tuck
After a successful tummy tuck, the patient will wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on whatever life throws at her. But sometimes, this wonderful new feeling doesn’t last long. A few days later, she notices sagging skin and a noticeable “gap” between her abdominal muscles. This is called muscle separation, and it can happen even though surgeons use high levels of care while performing the operation. Sometimes, improper positioning of the incision or a lack of skill on the part of the surgeon can cause the problem.
Other times, the cause of the separation is unknown. However, doctors do know that certain factors can contribute to this unfortunate complication. For example, pregnancy, obesity, diabetes, smoking cigarettes, excessive drinking, malnutrition, steroid medications, and chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease, stroke and arthritis can weaken the tissues surrounding your abdomen and predispose you to developing a muscle separation.
In addition, age plays a huge role in determining whether you’ll develop a rectus diastasis after undergoing a tummy tuck. Patients over 40 years old are more likely to suffer from this condition, as are people whose bodies tend to lose elasticity faster. Those who smoke cigarettes are also more prone to developing a muscle separation because nicotine causes collagen fibers within your connective tissue to break down prematurely.
Finally, you shouldn’t forget your level of activity. People who engage in regular exercise generally have less chance of getting a rectus diastasis. Surgeons recommend that you follow a healthy diet filled with lots of fruits and vegetables, and limit your intake of red meat and processed foods. You should also try to maintain a normal weight, since excess pounds put unnecessary stress on your organs and joints. And remember that sitting for too long without moving is bad for both your spine and your circulation. So keep moving your body throughout the day, and you’ll help prevent a potential catastrophe.
Treatment Options for Rectus Diastasis
Your surgeon will probably order tests to determine exactly why your muscles haven’t fused together properly. He may also recommend additional treatments to bring your muscles closer together, including manual manipulation under anesthesia, massage therapy, physical therapy, electrical stimulation, and acupuncture. In severe cases, he may even suggest surgical options like fusing your muscles using titanium plates and screws, attaching them together using nylon threads, or surgically stitching them together at specific points.
As mentioned earlier, the majority of rectus diastases improve themselves naturally over time. Most patients will notice improvement in the first week following treatment, and full recovery takes several months. If left untreated, however, rectus diastasis can lead to serious medical conditions, such as organ perforation, internal bleeding, infection, and even death. Therefore, it’s important to see your surgeon as soon as possible if you think you have experienced a muscle separation.
Now that you understand what causes rectus diastasis, let’s talk about how to treat it. First, you’ll want to consult with your doctor to find out what type of injury you suffered. Then, your physician will decide whether you need further diagnostic testing or treatment. Depending on your situation, he may choose to perform only minor procedures or refer you to other specialists. Once again, it’s best to consult with your primary care physician or another specialist as soon as possible to find out what steps to take next.
Rectus Diastasis Prevention Tips
There’s no doubt that a good tummy tuck can transform your appearance into something absolutely stunning — except when it comes to creating a strong bond between your stomach muscles. That’s where prevention comes in. Here are just a couple tips that can help reduce the risk of this frustrating complication.
First, pay attention to your diet. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, drink lots of water, and stay away from junk foods that contain unhealthy fats and refined sugars. Avoid alcohol and tobacco products completely, and don’t smoke. Smoking weakens your immune system, making you vulnerable to infections. Don’t sit around doing nothing for hours on end; move your body regularly. Exercise is great for improving overall fitness, strengthening your core, and helping you shed fat. Finally, keep yourself well hydrated by consuming fluids throughout the day.
Second, keep track of your progress. Even if you’ve had surgery already, you should still schedule frequent visits with your surgeon to check on how you’re recovering. Make sure you’re eating enough protein and staying active every day. Keep a record of your daily activities and weigh yourself once a month to monitor your weight gain. Also, ask your nurse or therapist for feedback about your posture, bowel movements, and ability to carry out routine tasks.
And finally, relax. Many people assume that a tough workout followed by a major change in lifestyle is going to produce significant pain. But this isn’t necessarily true. Remember that you went through a lot to become beautiful, so you deserve to enjoy your newfound figure. Just continue taking care of yourself and enjoying your everyday life. By focusing on your positive attributes rather than your flaws, you’ll start seeing improvements in your body sooner than anyone else would expect.
A tummy tuck is supposed to give you the kind of body that makes you feel confident and capable of anything. When complications arise, you need to act fast to ensure that your body heals properly. Fortunately, rectus diastasis is quite curable, and many patients go home happy and healthy after enduring the temporary discomfort associated with it. Now you know how to recognize the signs and take effective action to address the issue. Take advantage of this knowledge and work toward achieving complete recovery as quickly as possible.
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