„Not even as a teenager did I have a tummy like this!“
Abdominoplasty after delivery, Livia, 38
Are you finding yourself among the mothers that feel like motherhood has left a mark on them? Would you like to get back the body you had before your pregnancy?
Ms Livia is a mother of three beautiful children and a passionate sportswoman. After giving birth, her abdominal muscles separated, and she started being ashamed of her figure. For these reasons, she recently underwent abdominoplasty. Read an interview with this cheerful woman who is now fully enjoying her new graceful curves.
Livia, you are after your abdominoplasty. What was the main reason behind your decision to undergo the operation?
There were several factors that contributed to my decision. I have delivered twice via a caesarean section; one of the two births were twins. One of the main reasons was therefore health related. I had major diastasis recti which I was not able to fix myself despite the help of a physiotherapist and special exercises. The second reason was aesthetic. After giving birth to my twins, I lost almost 45lbs and was left with excess skin on my belly. I was embarrassed when I put on my swimsuit and I just didn’t feel good in my skin. I started exercising a lot, but having diastasis is not safe when exercising. That is why, two years after giving birth, I decided to go for a consultation.
Did the procedure meet your expectations?
It definitely did. But I will not lie, I had many initial doubts and second thoughts about whether I had made the right decision. During recovery, I couldn’t leave the bed and I missed my active life. But I am ecstatic now and I love my new belly. A pleasant bonus was that all my old stretch marks were removed along with the excess skin, which I didn’t expect. I couldn’t be happier with the work of Dr Skala from the OB Care clinic. The scar around my navel healed very quickly and the scar in the lower part of my belly is fading and is beautifully symmetric. The great thing is that I can hide it even behind low-rise swimsuits and panties.
How important was the selection of postoperative garments to you? Was it the doctor’s recommendation?
It was definitely very important. I recognised the importance of wearing compression garments from discussions and articles on the internet. This is especially true in the case of diastasis. I didn't want to compromise the result by choosing the wrong garments.
Right at the clinic, I got a compression belt from LIPOELASTIC. As soon as I learned my size, I purchased a second piece so that I didn’t have to be without a belt when it was being washed—I didn’t even want to shower without it for the first 14 days!
What type of garment did you wear after your surgery? How would you rate it?
As I mentioned earlier, immediately after my surgery I had a firm belt with three stripes that I wore for two months following the procedure. Later in my recovery, I wore it while exercising and running longer distances. To be honest, the belt wasn’t very comfortable to sleep in, but I didn't want to underestimate the postoperative care and I knew from the doctor that wearing it was necessary. I also bought the VH Special Comfort compression bandage and two pieces of the VH Unique from LIPOELASTIC, both in black and beige. Those were very comfortable. I appreciated that the bandages dried quickly, I didn’t sweat in them, and I felt that my belly was adequately protected. I wore the garments daily for 3 months, and then for another 6 months when exercising. I honestly can’t imagine not having compression garments to wear after putting away my compression belt.
How long did the postoperative care and recovery period last?
I dare to say that I’m a little crazy. I need movement in my life, so I went on my first 5km walk already 14 days after my surgery. The following weeks, I increased distances little by little until I was able to comfortably return to jogging and completing races. I did all of this with my belt or with my compression garments to avoid damaging the operated area of my belly. I didn't exercise my abdominal muscles for several months after the surgery. Nonetheless, recovery was smooth and fast.
What advice would you give to mothers who are considering abdominoplasty?
I have three main pieces of advice which worked for me. The most important thing is definitely choosing the right surgeon who has experience with this specific procedure. I personally went about this by reading lots of reviews on the internet and going to multiple consultations. Furthermore, I would advise all women who have already undergone abdominoplasty to pay special attention to postoperative care. Wear postoperative garments as recommended by your doctor—or for longer—for best results. I also bought a silicone scar gel, an investment which I don't regret. My scars have healed beautifully.