Your body went through plenty of changes during pregnancy, and if you’re like most women, a lot of the unwelcome changes centered on your belly area. But you don’t have to live with loose skin and flab on your abdomen, and you definitely have options if an “apron belly” is causing some serious self-consciousness.
What Is an Apron Belly?
Apron belly is a more recent slang term for a flap of skin that hangs down in the abdominal area. The medical term for this condition is a “pannus.” This loose skin and tissue forms after the abdomen has expanded significantly – think pregnancy and weight gain – and then shrinks back to a smaller size – following childbirth or weight loss. Specifically related to pregnancy, excess fat in the omentum, an area in between the abdominal muscles and the intestines, can remain after childbirth and along with sagging skin, create an apron-like appearance of tissue drooping from the abdomen toward the pubic area. In very extreme cases, this skin and tissue may extend down to the thighs.
For very minor belly flab, diet and exercise alone may be able to tighten your abdomen so you feel more comfortable in swimsuits, lingerie and everyday clothes. A low-fat diet can eventually help to drop subcutaneous fat. But in general, belly flab is very hard to target just with a healthier diet, since most people “hang onto” this layer of fat in the abdomen even as they lose unwanted pounds. Targeted exercise may be able to reduce abdominal fat deposits and improve tone in the area. Some of the top exercises for a firmer belly are planks, crunches, and lunge twists.
A Mommy Makeover to Correct an Apron Belly
For most women with a significant flat of skin and fat on their abdomen, no amount of diet and exercise alone will help them achieve the flatter, pre-baby belly they envision. This is because severely stretched-out skin will not “shrink back” on its own. A surgical procedure – abdominoplasty – is needed in most cases to excise (remove) this skin and fat. Abdominoplasty also tightens the abdominal muscles that have become stretched and loose during pregnancy.
An abdominoplasty is usually a key component of a mommy makeover, which can also include breast enhancement (often a breast lift and/or breast augmentation) as well as liposuction and even facial procedures such as eyelid surgery or BOTOX Cosmetic.
If you feel self-conscious about how your belly looks, schedule a consultation with us so we can review your case and give more details about your surgical plan.