Tummy Tuck surgery is an option for patients who have a protruding and sagging abdomen due to aging, significant weight loss, or pregnancy. Tummy tuck surgery, known as abdominoplasty, is a way to remove the excess fat and skin in the abdomen and improve the muscle structure in the abdomen wall.
Diet and exercise alone may not be enough to get patients the results they are seeking, though it is important to note that a tummy tuck is not a substitution for weight loss. Instead it is just a tool in shaping the body after the hard work has been done.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
Consulting with a surgeon will help to determine if the patient needs a complete abdominoplasty where the surgeon contours the muscle and skin, removes fat, and restructures the belly button. If the patients’ fat deposits are below the navel, then a partial abdominoplasty can be done, and the belly button will not need to be moved.
The surgery can last from one to five hours depending on the procedure and the amount of work needing to be done. An overnight stay in the hospital may be necessary. A recovery period of four to six weeks will be necessary with minimal movement and patients may experience numbness and tiredness during recovery. There will be some noticeable bruising and scarring but the bruises will fade and the scarring may fade and not be noticeable after healing.
Is a Tummy Tuck Right For You?
Tummy Tuck surgery is for men or women who have excess fat deposits or loose skin in the abdomen but who are otherwise healthy. Women who are considering pregnancies should wait until after having children before having this surgery. Tummy tuck outcomes are best if there are no large increases in weight or dramatic weight loss, so weight should be consistently maintained. If the patient is on a weight loss journey, the weight goals should be reached and maintained before having the tummy tuck surgery to remove the excess, flabby skin.
What to Expect Before and After Surgery
Before surgery, it will be important to let the doctor know all medications that are being taken. Patients may be asked to stop taking some supplements or medicines to avoid complications. If the patient is a smoker, they will be asked to stop smoking for several weeks before and after the surgery to promote healing.
There will be some pain and swelling after the surgery and medicine can be prescribed to help deal with the pain. It will be a good idea to stock up on ice packs before the surgery.
The patient will be required to wear a bandage and will need to follow the doctor’s instructions in caring for the bandage after the surgery. Physical activity will be extremely limited for six weeks following the tummy tuck and patients will need to take time off work during the healing process. It may take several months before the patient feels normal and able to fully appreciate the results of the tummy tuck. After that, it is merely a matter of maintaining weight through diet and exercise in order to keep the tummy tuck surgery’s restructuring results.
Contact Real Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery to schedule your consultation today. We’ll work with you to determine the most effective treatment options for you.