‘What’s Up Doc’ is a health column in association with The Crawley Observer, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions regarding general health and wellbeing.
Answers are provided weekly from our specialist consultants at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, Surrey. If it’s a long-standing illness or simply a worry which you would like to get off your mind then we would like to help.
This question appeared in The Crawley Observer, to readers across Surrey and Sussex. The question and answer is below, as it appeared in the newspaper.
Read the response by Mr Baljit Dheansa, consultant plastic, burns & reconstructive surgeon:
I’m 48 years old and my wife has just had out twins, she is very down at the moment and I’m looking into options for her - can you advise on any suitable procedure? I am looking into liposuction, how does this work? Anonymous.
Dear reader, pregnancy can have several effects on the body and twins often cause more significant effects. The tummy muscles get stretched, stitch marks develop, loose skin doesn’t shrink back, the breasts droop and to top it all the weight gain of pregnancy is hard to shift as you are too busy looking after the new arrivals. Before considering any surgery it is sometimes best to wait a little while to let your wife’s body slowly settle to a steady weight and allow any loose tissues to resolve. This can take up to a year. Options like liposuction are not always the best if the main concern is loose skin, stretched muscles or breast droop.
Liposuction may be useful for any stubborn areas of fatty tissue but only once your wife has achieved a steady weight she is happy with as it removes only fatty tissue but can sometimes leave loose skin behind. It is not really useful for weight loss. Often the best approaches to consider for post pregnancy changes include tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) which gives a flatter, firmer tummy and breast uplift (mastopexy) which could be combined with breast implants to give firmer (and bigger) breasts. These two procedures also need a period of recovery which may be more difficult when you have young children so it is important to plan carefully. The most important thing is to chat with your wife to see how she feels and if she does have concerns to discuss them with an experienced plastic surgeon who can give you both specific and safe advice.