Surgeons Combine Post-Pregnancy Tummy Tuck with Bladder Surgery

An ob-gyn and a plastic surgeon in San Francisco have teamed up for a surgical combination that can take care of two post-pregnancy problems — one medical and one cosmetic — at once.

ABC News in San Francisco reports on the combo where the ob-gyn performs a pelvic sling procedure to correct bladder issues arising from pregnancy, after which a plastic surgeon performs a tummy tuck to remove excess fat and skin from the abdomen, a common cosmetic issue for women after they have children.

ABC spoke with one mom who said her two pregnancies took an embarrassing toll on her body. “Every day you have to wear these thick pads so that you stay dry. Going down the steps, picking up your child from the car seat, a little bit of exertion you get wet,” she explained.

Instead of having her bladder issue fixed with conventional surgery, she decided on the combination procedure. “I know I’ll never be the same as before I had the children, but I think it will be spirit lifting,” she said.

“I like to call this the ultimate mommy makeover,” said surgeon Carolyn Chang, MD, who has performed tummy tucks after the pelvic sling procedure at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

The bladder procedure takes about a half hour, after which Dr. Chang performs the abdominoplasty.

There are always risks to surgery, and one of the downsides of combining procedures is a longer time in the operating room and a potentially more complicated recovery if there are problems with either surgery.

However, there are some possible benefits to combining the procedures. The costs could be lower, because while the tummy tuck isn’t covered by insurance, some shared expenses – such as anesthesia and the recovery room — may be. Another possible advantage is that the patient will have a single recovery time for the two procedures.

Psychologically it could make going under the knife easier as well. “You’re doing a surgery that you want with a surgery that you medically need and that makes having surgery in general much more palatable,” said Dr. Chang.

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Dr. Michael J. Will cosmetic surgeon Maryland received his bachelor’s degree from Washington and Jefferson College, his dental degree from Georgetown University and his medical degree from the University of Texas.

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