Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck procedures are designed to remove unwanted fat and excess skin from the abdominal area. Often, this amount of fat or lax skin is stubborn, and no diet or exercise offers any effect. Our Toronto tummy tuck patients vary in shapes and sizes, including very thin people with minimal excess fat. Commonly, patients who have given birth or lost weight can get into great shape but be left with skin laxity and excess. Unfortunately, there is no exercise to remove it.
There are also thin patients who require a tummy tuck for a condition known as diastasis recti. This occurs in women who have had one or more pregnancies that cause a separation of the left and right side of the rectus abdominis muscle and sometimes in men who’ve lost considerable weight.
The condition is characterized by a ridge that runs from the bottom of the breastbone to the middle of the stomach and can continue to the pubic area. The appearance of this ridge is more visible during muscle strain, such a crunch. Its width is usually between two to five centimetres. Diastasis recti can give the tummy a prominent look, as if one is still pregnant.
The main issue regarding diastasis recti is not muscle separation, in fact, it is the band of tissue known as fascia that holds the muscles together. When the fascia becomes stretched, it is permanent and does not shrink back to its original size. Hence the reason why exercise and rigorous dieting cannot help with this condition and it is seen in thin, fit patients.
Diastasis recti can cause a number of physical problems for the health of the patient. Due to the widening space, there is diminished core strength and muscle performance. As previously mentioned, because it is the fascia and not actual muscle that is the main problem, daily core strengthening activities do little to improve muscle tone and appearance in this area. Worse of all, the weakened abdominal muscles tend to be visible as a noticeable bulge. This takes a toll on a patient’s self-esteem and confidence.
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