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Answer to your Health Question

Question (03/15/2011):

Hello & thank you for what you do.

Here is my question:

I had 2 C-sections, one in 1988 & one in 1996.

Both surgeries were bikini cuts.

Obviously, that has been awhile ago.

I am working out 5 days a week and I can't seem to get the area from my belly button down to tighten up.

I can get above the belly button to tighten up just fine.

I understand that some nerves could have been damaged but they are supposed to heal in time.

I don't have any strange numbness other than around the incision which is understandable.

I am just trying to tighten the stomach area up, as most woman want to do, but it doesn't seem to be possible in that specific area.

Could the nerves have been so damaged that they don't work anymore?

Well, that is my question.

Hope you can just help to put some perspective in why my tummy won't stay flat.

Anxious to read your answer



Dear Shari,

Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. The most common causes of this include:

-Significant fluctuations in weight
-Prior surgery

May be difficult to tighten the stomach because the body fat level required to get flat abs is lower than you can sustain with your current lifestyle/schedule, or the body fat level required is lower than is healthy for your body to function.

If you have localized fat around your belly button, your stomach can be made flatter with simple, scarless liposuction.

If you have relatively little excess skin but it does appear that you have some muscle laxity may be useful skin tightening techniques.

The use of various skin tightening techniques have included Velasmooth, Alma Accent, Titan, and Thermage.

You may want to look into one of these modalities to tighten the skin but it is not likely you will see any significant improvement.

Muscle repair can be done via limited incisions but should not be performed if you are considering having more children.

Abdominal core strengthening using a Pilates style regimen may be useful.

You can find more information related to your question at:

C-section and the damage it does to the muscles and nerves of the lower abdomen

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