Did you know that a tummy tuck procedure is not a weight-loss option? It is a cosmetic procedure. The procedure, also known as an abdominoplasty, is available to both healthy men and women. Post-pregnancy, a lot of women opt for this treatment to tighten and shape up their abdominal muscles.
Are sit-ups getting complex every day because of your tummy? If you have too much excess fat or flab in your abdomen that does not respond to exercise or diet, it may be defined as a tummy tuck. Your doctor will generally refer to it as abdominoplasty.
This surgery helps flattens your abdomen area by removing extra skin and fat. The treatment tightens muscles in your abdominal wall. It is not the same as liposuction, although some of you might opt to get liposuction along with a tummy tuck surgery.
Note that it is major surgery, and you must prepare yourself to make an informed decision before undergoing the treatment.
Tummy Tuck Surgery Overview
A tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgical procedure and is not a weight loss regime. The procedure helps to improve the appearance of your abdomen. A cosmetic surgeon generally performs it.
During the surgery (plastic surgery) , the excess fat and skin are removed from your abdomen area. Connective tissue in the abdomen area or fascia is tightened using sutures. Your surgeon will reposition your remaining skin to create a toned look for your abdomen.
A tummy tuck surgery can boost your overall body image. Hence you might opt for a tummy tuck surgery if you have excess fat around your belly button. The procedure will help you achieve a firmer and smoother abdominal profile.
A flat and well-toned tummy is something you might strive to have by practicing exercise and weight control programs. But when exercise and weight loss programs do not work, many people prefer a tummy tuck surgery.
There are primarily two types of tummy tucks. You must consult with your surgeon about which option would be best for you.
1 Complete Abdominoplasty
You will go through this surgery having a cut from one end of your hip bone to the other. Your surgeon will shale and remove excess skin, fat, and tissue.
2 Partial Abdominoplasty
This surgery is performed to remove the excess fat around your navel area. Unlike the complete tummy tuck, your belly button might not be moved. This is a shorter procedure and takes a couple of hours to be completed.
Why Do You Need a Tummy Tuck Procedure?
The ideal candidate can be both women and men. Women whose skin and muscles get stretched due to multiple pregnancies may find this surgery extremely beneficial.
A tummy tuck surgery is also a good option for you if you are obese and have managed to lose the extra weight. But unfortunately, you cannot get rid of the excess layers of skin that hang off their bellies. That is where the tummy tuck works.
There could be a number of other reasons that you have excess fat around your belly. Poor elasticity of the skin or weakened connective tissue in your abdomen area could also lead to fat accumulation. These include:
- If you undergo significant changes in weight in a short time.
- Especially after multiple pregnancies.
- You might have undergone abdominal surgery, like a C-section.
- Due to aging.
- Your natural body type.
A tummy tuck procedure can ultimately tighten the weak fascia. The procedure also removes stretch marks and excess skin, especially in your lower abdomen just below the belly button. However, if you have stretch marks outside this area, the procedure might not correct them. If you had a C-section previously, your tummy tuck treatment would incorporate the scar.
Did you know that a tummy tuck can be done in combination with other body contouring cosmetic procedures, such as breast surgery?
If you already had fat removed as part of liposuction, you might still decide to have a tummy tuck. This is because liposuction treatment only removes tissue and fat under your skin but not any excess skin around the stomach area.
Who is the Right Candidate for Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is not suitable for everyone. Your surgeon might caution against the treatment if you have any of the following conditions:
- You might consider future pregnancy.
- You have plans of losing a significant amount of weight in the future.
- Have a chronic illness, like diabetes and heart disease.
- Body mass index more than 30.
- If you are a smoker.
- If you had any previous abdominal surgery that might have caused significant scar tissue.
Tummy Tuck Surgery Before and After?
Before the Surgery
Your cosmetic surgeon will usually ask you to keep away from habits to have a successful tummy tuck procedure. For example, he might ask you to quit smoking for a few weeks before the procedure.
Because smoking drastically slows down the healing process. In addition, this habit could become a cause of complications during the surgery. Your surgeon might also suggest:
- Get a medical evaluation done through different lab tests.
- Might prescribe medications to adjust present medical conditions.
- Avoid aspirin or similar anti-inflammatory drugs before the procedure.
During the Surgery
During the surgery, your cosmetic surgeon will tighten the loose abdominal skin with sutures. The incision is done along the bikini line so that it is hidden. The length and shape of the incision vary depending on the amount of excess skin in the abdominal area that needs treatment.
If you want better contouring, your surgeon may also add the liposuction procedure. Then you might have to stay overnight in the hospital.
The primary steps involved are:
- Making the incisions.
- Trimming and repositioning.
- Repairing and suturing
After the Surgery
After a successful tummy tuck procedure, your surgeon will explain the healing process. Detailed instructions on how to take care of the treated area and the incision. A few of the information provided include:
- If any drains occur and how to care for them.
- The post-surgery symptoms you might have.
- Potential complications, if any, happen.
- How to cope with pain around your surgical area.
You need to avoid strenuous physical activities seriously. All because to prevent pressure on your abdominal area as the surgery might take some time to recover. Also, try to keep the incision area covered to prevent infections.
Tummy Tuck Surgery Aftercare
The operated area will be stitched and bandaged whether you have undergone a partial or complete tummy tuck.
The bandage used will be an elastic band that promotes proper healing. You should follow all your surgeon’s instructions on how to care for the treated area post-surgery.
Within one day, you should be up and start walking. Walking is essential to prevent the formation of blood clots. You should take prescribed pain relievers and antibiotics to ease any discomfort and reduce your risk of infection. Your doctor might have placed surgical drains for two weeks.
It generally takes six weeks for the recovery phase. You may need several follow-up appointments with your doctor during this period. Why? To check on how your incision is healing and avoid any further complications.
During this time, cautiously avoid any position that involves bending or stretching, which might put too much tension on the incision. You should also resist strenuous physical activity or exercise till you get approval.
Tummy Tuck Risks and Safety
A tummy tuck surgery poses some risks, including:
- Poor wound healing. Sometimes this can pose a problem. The areas along the incision line heal poorly. In such cases, your doctor might prescribe antibiotics to prevent an infection.
- Fluid accumulation beneath the skin. Also known as seroma. The fluid, serum, does not always build up right away. If drainage tubes are left in place after surgery, it can reduce the risk of excess fluid accumulation. At times your surgeon may also remove fluid after surgery using a needle or syringe.
- Unexpected scarring. The incision scar from a tummy tuck is permanent. It is generally placed along the hidden bikini line. The length of the scar varies from person to person.
- Changes in skin sensation. During the surgery, your surgeon repositions your abdominal tissues. It might affect the nerves in your abdominal area. At times also in your upper thighs. You might feel some reduced numbness or sensation in these areas. This usually happens months after the procedure.
- Tissue damage. Only in some cases, the fatty tissue within your skin might get damaged. If you smoke, it will increase this risk. In some cases, it might require a surgical touch-up procedure.
Like any other surgery procedure, a tummy tuck poses a risk of infection, bleeding, and an adverse reaction to anesthesia. But these effects could be part of any major surgery.
If your excess fat and skin are removed, your abdominal walls are strengthened, then a tummy tuck procedure can give your abdomen a more tight, toned, and slimmer appearance. The results are usually long-lasting if you try maintaining a stable weight.
Generally, most individuals love their new look after the treatment. However, you will feel totally different after the tummy tuck surgery.
Ensure that you get detailed consultation before you plan to undergo surgery. So that you can have an understanding of what to expect. It is also crucial you know the risks and procedures involved to avoid surprises after the surgery.
You have gone through a tremendous amount to make this happen. It is a big commitment – emotionally, physically, and financially. Therefore it becomes compulsory you follow a proper diet and exercise to maintain your new look.