Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin and, in most cases, restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.
A flat and well-toned abdomen is something many of us strive for through exercise and weight control. Sometimes these methods cannot achieve our goals.
Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. The most common causes of this include:
Significant fluctuations in weight
What tummy tuck surgery can’t do?
A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program.
Although the results of a tummy tuck are technically permanent, the positive outcome can be greatly diminished by significant fluctuations in your weight. For this reason, individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies would be advised to postpone a tummy tuck.
A tummy tuck cannot correct stretch marks, although these may be removed or somewhat improved if they are located on the areas of excess skin that will be excised.
Who is a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery?
A tummy tuck is a highly individualized procedure. You should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
In general, you may be a good tummy tuck candidate if:
- You are physically healthy and at a stable weight
- You have realistic expectations
- You are a nonsmoker
- You are bothered by the appearance of your abdomen
What should I expect during a consultation for tummy tuck surgery?
During your tummy tuck consultation be prepared to discuss:
- Your surgical goals
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
- Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drug use
- Previous surgeries
Your tummy tuck surgeon will also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Take photographs
- Discuss your options
- Recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of the tummy tuck and any risks or potential complication
The success and safety of your tummy tuck procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.
The consultation is the time to ask your plastic surgeon questions. To help, we have prepared a checklist of questions to ask your tummy tuck surgeon that you can take with you to your consultation.
It’s very important to understand all aspects of your tummy tuck procedure. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.
What results should I expect after a tummy tuck?
The final results of tummy tuck surgery may be initially obscured by swelling and your inability to stand fully upright until internal healing is complete.
Within a week or two, you should be standing tall and confident in your new slimmer profile. Your tummy tuck will result in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with your body type and weight.
Previous abdominal surgery may limit the potential results of a tummy tuck.
Tummy tuck scarring
In women who have undergone cesarean section, the existing scars may be incorporated into the new scar.
The tummy tuck scar may take several months to a year to fade as much as it will.
Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.
Following your physician’s instructions is essential to the success of your surgery.
It’s important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck is a procedure that allows for the repair of the muscles of the abdominal wall after excess weight gain and/or pregnancy. The procedure removes excess weight and stretch marks, making it ideal for patients that have had children or have lost massive amounts of weight, either by gastric bypass or with traditional methods.
What is the difference between tummy tuck and liposuction?
Many patients have questions about the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction. Where a tummy tuck reconstructs the muscles underneath and removes excess skin, liposuction only removes excess fat. Liposuction will not remove or reduce loose, hanging, or excess skin.
How soon after pregnancy can you get a tummy tuck?
Generally, surgeons recommend waiting for anywhere between six months to a year after pregnancy before getting a tummy tuck. This time frame allows your body to heal completely and allows you to return to your normal weight.
Does abdomınoplasty leave a scar?
All surgery leaves scars, and abdominoplasty is no different. The length of the scar depends on the amount of skin being removed. However, the length of the scar is less of a concern because the abdominoplasty scar is in a very favorable location. It is located very low on the abdomen so that it will be concealed under most types of underwear and bikini bottoms.