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Pressure to lose baby weight is leaving women with excess skin and stretch marks

The era of ‘body transformations’ in the media is piling on pressure for new mums to get back to their pre-pregnancy figures in record time, according to founder and Medical director of the award-winning Dr Leah Clinic, Dr Leah Totton

Dr Leah, the winner of the 2013 series of the BBC’s The Apprentice, says that she created the ‘Mummy Tummy Makeover’ in response to seeing a huge surge in the number of people presenting with excess skin and stretchmarks following extensive weight loss over a short period of time.

“We have seen a dramatic rise in the number of clients requesting treatment for excess skin and stretchmarks following dramatic weight loss,” says Dr Leah. “We are in the era of ‘body transformations’—new mums seem to be returning to their pre-pregnancy weight in very short periods of time and social media is awash with examples of people who have had dramatic weight loss transformations. What is not often highlighted is the effect of such dramatic fluctuations in weight on the skin—the striae which remain on the skin are caused by rupture of elastic fibres from excessive stretching and the residual lax skin can often remain.

“It is common for my clients to actually tell me that they preferred their appearance before losing weight to the appearance after. It can be a very disappointing thing to go through the effort and commitment involved in losing weight only to still feel unhappy with your appearance, albeit for a different reason.”

Women should never be made to feel inadequate in their bodies, no matter the size or shape. However, for those feeling unhappy with their post-baby bodies, the treatment offers an effective and non-invasive solution to body concerns. The procedure is a new skin tightening treatment for the stomach which uses a combination of medical laser, plus radio frequency treatments, over a course of eight sessions to target the appearance of stretchmarks and tighten loose skin.

“Until now surgery has been the only real option to remove excess skin. This comes with the risk of general anaesthetic and inevitable scarring, there is an associated recovery time and reasonable financial cost involved,” says Dr Leah.
“Advances in non-surgical aesthetic medicine mean that at Dr Leah Clinics we have been able to create a non-surgical treatment plan which aims to tighten loose skin on the tummy and reduce the appearance of stretch marks without the need to go under the knife, without downtime and without scarring. It has proved incredibly popular.”

33-year-old Clare underwent the procedure earlier this year after dramatic weight loss.

“After I gave birth to my little girl when I was 18 years old, my weight quickly ballooned and this left a lot of stretch marks. I had my son five years later and worked really hard to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, a healthy size eight. I did it through diet and exercise and I have sustained my weight at this level for several years now. Losing the weight was one of the hardest things I have done, it required an entire lifestyle change but I was prepared for it—what I was not prepared for is the stretch marks and loose skin I was left with. I remember trying on a bikini for the first time after I had reached my goal weight and thinking to myself that my tummy looked like an 80-year-old’s, I felt really disappointed.

“I decided last summer to do something about it. I started to explore options and actually went for a plastic surgery consultation to find out about going under the knife to remove the loose skin, but the consultation scared me. The cost was thousands of pounds, I didn’t feel I could justify the risk of a general anaesthetic when I have two children or the time off work to recover and the amount of scarring I would have.

“Realising surgery was not going to be for me, I began to look into other options. I researched non-surgical clinics and found Dr Leah Clinics. Dr Leah recommended the ‘Mummy Tummy Makeover’ for me, which involved treating my stretch marks and loose skin in a combination of eight treatments—one per week for eight weeks. There is a slight tingling sensation when having the medical laser and I had some scabs on my tummy for a few days after, where my stretch marks had been. The radio frequency treatment was actually really relaxing. Each treatment took around 45 minutes and I was able to return to work and normal life immediately after all treatments and no one knew I was having them.

“I started to see the results after about my third treatment and by my sixth I was really impressed.”

The ‘mummy tummy treatment
The treatment targets stretch marks and loose skin with powerful laser and radio frequency technologies.

Stretch mark reduction (Two treatments). Stretch marks are treated with medical grade fractional ablative laser.

Skin tightening (Six treatments). Radio frequency is used to tighten up lax skin on the tummy which has been left due to rapid weight loss or skin stretching post pregnancy. It involves heat technology to stimulate collagen and elastin production and tightens the skin.

How often do I need treatment?
You need to visit Doctor Leah Clinic for eight treatments, each one week apart. Results are permanent.

What is the cost? 
£990 which includes a specialist consultation with an aesthetic therapist and the course of treatment.