During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes many changes and these can have a lasting effect even after giving birth. In particular, the appearance of the abdomen is often altered. One condition that can cause this is diastasis recti, which is the separation of the abdominal muscles. This results in a bulge or “pooch” and can make many women feel self-conscious. Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery is one possible solution.

What is Diastasis Recti?

The rectus abdominis are the muscles that meet in the middle of your abdomen and are sometimes called the “six-pack” muscles. Diastasis recti is a condition where these muscles separate either completely or partially in the middle. In addition to aesthetic concerns, the separation of these muscles can cause lower back pain, constipation, bloating, and poor posture.

Diastasis recti is most commonly experienced by women after pregnancy. As the uterus stretches, it puts pressure on the rectus abdominis and studies show that as many as 60% of pregnant women experience some degree of abdominal muscle separation. In many cases, this goes away during the postpartum period. However, some women notice that the muscles stay separated long after they have given birth. You can determine whether or not you might have diastasis recti by laying on your back and looking down to see if there is an indent in the middle of your abdomen. However, this diagnosis will need to be confirmed by a physician.

Although pregnancy is the most common cause, there are other factors that can cause a person’s abdominal muscles to separate. Improper exercise technique is one example and this can cause diastasis recti for both men and women. Some examples of what can cause this condition are unsafe or excessive weight lifting or abdominal exercises. In some cases, obesity can also lead to diastasis recti that can still persist after weight loss.

Diastasis Recti Treatments

Many patients benefit from physical therapy and can use specific exercises to help strengthen their core muscles. Your doctor can help create a specialized plan for you for this purpose and may also have you wear a binder or support garment. For women who experience diastasis recti after pregnancy, the condition may resolve itself with time.

Tummy Tuck Surgery

If you have tried other methods to correct diastasis recti and have not had the results you would like, plastic surgery may be an option. We can perform a tummy tuck as part of a mommy makeover or on its own. This surgery tightens the muscles in your abdomen and sutures them back together. The procedure also removes any loose skin to create a more contoured, flatter stomach. It is usually best to wait at least a year after giving birth and to only undergo this type of plastic surgery once you no longer plan to have more children.

Restore Your Appearance After Pregnancy

Dr. Hess and Dr. Sandeen are experienced plastic surgeons in Tucson. They can help correct cosmetic issues that may arise following pregnancy.

To determine whether surgery could treat your diastasis recti, contact us today.

If you have lost a significant amount of weight, congratulations! You’ve taken an important and often difficult step to improving your health. While many individuals are more satisfied with their appearance after weight loss, there are some cosmetic concerns that can be present once you reach your ideal body weight. You may notice hanging skin around your abdomen, arms, or thighs. Loose skin after weight loss is especially common for individuals who underwent bariatric surgery, but can occur any time a person loses a significant amount of weight quickly. Luckily, there are surgical solutions for sagging skin that can help you love the way your body looks and help you start enjoying the results of your weight loss.

You may wish to undergo just one type of surgery if you only notice extra skin in one area your body. However, most patients have multiple different areas where they notice loose skin after weight loss. Body contouring surgery typically combines several procedures to achieve a total body transformation.

Some surgical corrections that may be included are:

Facelift/Neck Lift

Most post-weight loss surgery focuses on the body, but you may also notice loose skin around your face and neck after you’ve lost weight. This hanging skin can make you look older and otherwise impact your confidence. If this is the case for you, you may want to consider a facelift for the skin on your lower face and neck.

Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)

A brachioplasty (arm lift) tightens loose skin that may hang below your upper arms. It will target the area between your arm pit and your elbow and may also include some chest sculpting depending on your situation. We will place the incision so it blends in as much as possible with the natural contours of your arm.

Mastopexy (Breast Lift)

Female patients may notice that their breasts begin to sag after significant weight loss. A mastopexy (breast lift) can lift and reshape your breasts while removing any loose skin in this area. You may also wish to change the size of your breasts at the same time. Some patients lose volume during weight loss and choose to undergo breast augmentation. Others may notice that their breasts are now too large for their smaller frame and will opt for a breast reduction.

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

Loose skin around the abdomen is common after massive weight loss. An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) addresses this issue by tightening the skin and muscles in the area. If your hips are also a concern, an extended tummy tuck can resolve this problem.

Thighplasty (Thigh Lift)

Thighplasty (thigh lift) surgery can give you sculpted legs and corrects sagging, dimpled, or flabby thighs. This may be part of an overall lower body lift which targets the buttocks and thighs at the same time.

When to Consider Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss

After losing weight, it is often a good idea to wait for at least a year before undergoing plastic surgery. This is to allow your weight to fully stabilize. However, this can vary depending on your specific circumstances. A consultation with our plastic surgeons can help you determine whether body contouring surgery is the right option for you.

Skilled Body Contouring Surgeons in Tucson, AZ

Dr. Hess and Dr. Sandeen are highly-skilled board-certified plastic surgeons in Tucson, AZ. We can help correct sagging skin due to weight loss using a variety of surgical techniques.

If you notice loose skin after weight loss, contact us today to schedule a consultation.


Having excess fat in the chest area can be embarrassing for men and lower their confidence. If you are dealing with this, there are different treatment options you can explore to define your chest and look your best. The first step is determining what is causing the issue. So-called “man boobs” can be caused by gynecomastia, which is a hormone imbalance that leads to enlarged male breasts. However, pseudogynecomastia is also a possible cause. This appears similar to true gynecomastia, but the procedure for correcting it may be different.

True Gynecomastia vs Pseudogynecomastia

Although you may hear the term gynecomastia used for any type of male breasts, this is actually a more specific condition. For the issue to truly be gynecomastia, the breasts must be made up mostly of glandular tissue. This is caused by a hormonal imbalance and can occur during puberty, as you get older, or due to medication. In the case of pseudogynecomastia, the breasts consist of fatty tissue. The cause of this issue is weight gain, although the fat deposits may remain to some extent after losing weight.

To distinguish between these two issues, you should see a doctor. They will be able to determine whether you are suffering from excess glandular tissue or fat deposits. It’s also important to rule out or treat any medical conditions that could be contributing to the appearance of excess breast tissue.

Treating Pseudogynecomastia

The first step to reduce the appearance of pseudogynecomastia is weight loss. In many instances, diet and exercise can resolve the issue. However, it is also possible for these stubborn fat deposits to remain even after a patient reaches their ideal body weight. If this is the case, plastic surgery could be beneficial.

Whereas true gynecomastia may require excision surgery, this is not usually necessary for pseudogynecomastia. Instead, liposuction is used to remove the fat tissue that remains in this area, creating a flatter chest contour.

Other Cosmetic Surgeries After Weight Loss

Many patients who have lost a significant amount of weight have other cosmetic concerns besides lingering pseudogynecomastia. For example, loose skin is a common side effect of major weight loss. In addition to liposuction to flatten your chest, you may be interested in other types of body contouring surgery. Our plastic surgeons can discuss your unique situation to determine what surgery or combination of procedures can best help you achieve your ideal appearance.

Skilled Gynecomastia Surgeons in Tucson, AZ

Dr. Hess and Dr. Sandeen are board-certified plastic surgeons. They have experience with a variety of cosmetic procedures. This includes male breast reduction for both true gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia.

If you are suffering from enlarged male breasts, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

There are various types of plastic surgery that can help you achieve a slimmer profile. Two of the most popular procedures are liposuction (lipo) and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Although both of these can target your midsection, they work differently and have different results. If you are debating about getting lipo vs tummy tuck, meeting with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons can help you determine which would be best for you.

More information on the differences between liposuction and a tummy tuck:


Liposuction procedures remove excess fat deposits. In many cases, this is done around the abdomen and this is the type of lipo that is most comparable to a tummy tuck. However, it is also possible to use liposuction to remove fat from the face, hips, thighs, buttocks, and more. Liposuction removes fat only and will not affect loose skin. Lipo is often performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. The surgeon will insert a small tube (cannula) into the area. They use the cannula to break up and suction out fat.

Who Can Benefit From Liposuction?

Liposuction is best for patients who have stubborn fat deposits that have not responded to diet and exercise. However, this is not a weight loss surgery, and patients should be at or very close to their ideal weight. Individuals who have realistic expectations are most likely to benefit, so you should be aware that the results of liposuction are often subtle. If your primary concern is related to a sagging abdominal area and loose skin, liposuction may not be the best fit and tummy tuck surgery is likely to be a better option.

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck procedure flattens and sculpts the abdominal area. It does remove some fat cells but unlike liposuction, this is not the primary focus. During a tummy tuck, surgeons will also remove excess skin and tighten the abdominal muscles.

Who Can Benefit from a Tummy Tuck?

Tummy tuck surgery can be beneficial for patients who desire a flatter and tighter abdominal area. It can help correct a sagging belly that has been caused by significant weight loss, pregnancy, or the aging process. Compared to liposuction, results are often more dramatic since the surgery adjusts skin, muscles, and fat all at once. However, this type of cosmetic surgery has a longer recovery time, so patients should keep this in mind. Like liposuction, a tummy tuck is not a substitution for weight loss and those who are obese or significantly overweight should wait to undergo this surgery.

Can You Combine Lipo With a Tummy Tuck?

In many cases, it is helpful to combine multiple types of plastic surgery to achieve the best possible results. Liposuction and tummy tuck surgery can be completed together. This can be beneficial if you have fat deposits that you would like to address along with loose skin. Since liposuction can be used in areas beyond the abdomen, the combination can be beneficial for more widespread body contouring.

Liposuction and Tummy Tuck Surgery in Tucson, AZ

At Hess & Sandeen Plastic Surgery, we can help you achieve your ideal appearance. We offer both liposuction and tummy tucks, in addition to other procedures.

To discuss whether lipo vs tummy tuck could be beneficial for your aesthetic goals, contact us today.

Although the majority of patients are satisfied with the results of breast augmentation, some individuals choose to remove their implants. This is sometimes referred to as breast explant surgery. There are many possible reasons a patient might consider this procedure.

Some of the most common reasons for breast implant removal:

Unsatisfied with Original Results

Some patients are unhappy with the results of their breast augmentation. This can sometimes be due to the skill of the surgeon, especially if the initial surgery was performed by someone who was not board-certified. The results could look unnatural or be different from what the patient expected. This scenario is less likely when you work with an experienced surgeon and discuss your goals and desires in detail prior to undergoing breast augmentation. In these cases, you may wish to undergo breast explant surgery and then get new implants that match your ideal look. Other patients prefer to go without implants entirely.

Changes in Breast Appearance

Just like natural breasts, implants may change in shape, size, and appearance over time. This can cause them to look uneven and you may wish to consider breast implant removal, with or without replacement. It’s also possible that your body has changed since you got your breast augmentation, which can result in a mismatch between the size of your breasts and your frame. Common examples of this are pregnancy, significant weight loss/gain, or aging. It is possible to combine breast explant surgery with other procedures to adjust the way your body looks. This can help you achieve a more harmonious appearance.

Breast Implant Complications

Although breast implant complications are rare, they can occur and this could make removal necessary. One example is capsular contracture. This is a tightening of scar tissue caused by a strong immune response to the implant. Gummy bear implants can help lower the risk of capsular contracture but if it does occur, an explant procedure is often necessary. Other complications that could require breast implant removal surgery include rupture, displacement, leakage, folding, or deflation.

Replacing Older Implants

Modern breast implants are designed for longevity but, like any type of implanted medical device, they will need to be replaced eventually. At the time of your breast augmentation, your surgeon should give you guidance for when you will need to replace the implants. In general, if it has been over ten years since the initial surgery, it is ideal to replace your implants. This will involve removal surgery followed by placement of new implants.

Choosing Surgeons for a Breast Explant Procedure

It’s important to choose a board-certified and highly-skilled surgeon for your breast implant removal surgery. Depending on your circumstances, other types of surgery, such as a breast lift, could be beneficial in addition to your explant. You should work with a surgeon who understands all of the different factors that could affect your procedure(s) and who will work with you to achieve the best possible results. At Hess & Sandeen Plastic Surgery, we focus on your satisfaction from your initial consultation to the completed procedure.

Breast Implant Removal by Hess & Sandeen

Dr. Hess and Dr. Sandeen can perform breast implant removal in addition to breast lift surgery and new implant placement, if desired.

To learn more about breast explant surgery, contact us today.