Having a flat and toned belly is a goal for many, but it is not always easily achievable with just diet and exercise. If you’ve been struggling to achieve the perfect abdominal shape, a tummy tuck may be the way forward. This procedure can remove excess fat and tighten the ab muscles, so you regain that sought-after flat and toned appearance. Mr. Salerno regularly performs this procedure at REAL Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery in Moonee Ponds, VIC.
The Tummy Tuck: How It Works
When undergoing this procedure, your doctor will remove excess fat and skin and tighten your abdominal muscles in order to achieve the flat stomach you desire. It is appropriate for both men and women, as a protruding belly can happen to anyone. A particularly common concern is the excess tissue that forms during pregnancy and may be hard to get rid of, so women often opt for this treatment after giving birth.
Before getting started, you will meet with us for your initial consultation, so we can discuss your concerns and what you need help with. Not every tummy tuck looks the same, so your surgery could take anywhere from 1 to 5 hours. In most cases, we recommend an overnight stay at the hospital, so that we can monitor your condition after the procedure and get you started on the recovery process.
While some people need an extensive correction and desire a dramatic change, others are looking for a more modest change. Sometimes, an abdominal correction can be combined with reshaping the back as well, so that your whole waistline area is modified.
During a complete abdominoplasty, Dr. Salerno makes a horizontal incision close to your pubic hair, which will later be hidden by the bikini line. He will also make a cut around the belly button, so that tissue in this area can be removed and re-shaped as well. Because of these two different incisions, a full tummy tuck is suitable for people who need excess fat removal both above and below their belly button.
Variations on Traditional Abdominoplasty
Sometimes, a less drastic change may be needed. In such a case, a mini-abdominoplasty could work well, which generally only removes fat below the belly button. The cuts made are smaller and the procedure is generally shorter, so you can expect it to last for around two hours.
In case you’d also like fat in your back removed, a circumferential abdominoplasty could be what you need. This procedure is more all-encompassing and three-dimensional so that your contours are altered both in the front and in the back. Fat is taken away from the abdomen, hip, and back, and you can expect a drastic change in the way your waistline looks.
What To Expect During Surgery
When you arrive for your abdominoplasty, you are likely to be put under general anesthesia so the procedure is pain- and stress-free for you. The first thing your doctor does once you’re anaesthetised is to make the incisions, which will depend on which type of procedure you have chosen and what changes you desire. Then, muscles are repaired and excess skin is trimmed before the incisions are closed again and the healing process begins.
When you wake up, you have a slimmer waistline, smoother skin, and tighter muscles. People who have undergone this type of surgery need to rest for a while before resuming their normal activities, but the majority are free to leave the hospital after one night and complete the recovery process at home. In certain cases, we may recommend a combination of abdominoplasty and liposuction for the best results.
Now that you know what happens during a tummy tuck, you may have some questions about the procedure, its benefits, and whether you are a good candidate. The best way to find out how abdominoplasty can help you is to contact us and book an initial consultation, where we discuss what issues you are facing and what solutions you’d be comfortable with.
Is this a Fat Loss Tool?
As we age, we develop almost a third more fat than when we were younger, especially in the centre of our body and around our organs. This can be stressful for many people, and we start looking for suitable solutions. However, abdominoplasty is not a fat-loss tool, and it won’t help you to lose excess weight. Instead, it contours and sculpts the area around your waist, allowing you to look and feel better without actually weighing less.
That’s why it’s best to undergo surgery if you are very close to your ideal weight, but are still struggling with stubborn fat tissue in this area. In case you gain or lose a significant amount of weight after the procedure, the effects may be undone and your contours will change again. It’s important to remember this and maintain a healthy lifestyle once the surgery is over.
Can I Combine It with Other Procedures?
In certain cases, Dr. Salerno may recommend that you combine abdominoplasty with liposuction for the best results. While surgery can be very effective on the lower and upper abdominal areas, the love handles are more difficult to reach, and lipo suction could help with this. In addition, the unnatural bulge that forms in your abdominal area can be eliminated by using a combination of both methods.
If you also struggle with other areas of your body, we can recommend complementary procedures such as breast work to help you achieve the perfect shape you desire. This can also be discussed during your consultation.
What Can I Expect After Surgery?
Many of our patients find that one of the main benefits after surgery is that their clothes fit much better and they no longer need to buy garments based on how their waistline will look. Instead, they can select the best style and fit, knowing that they will look great in everything. In addition to this aesthetic advantage, the surgery also has some key health benefits.
Almost 60 percent of people report decreased incontinence issues after their abdominoplasty because the muscles of the abdomen are tightened. Urinary incontinence affects nearly 40% of Australian women and around 10% of men, so it is a serious nationwide issue. After surgery, you will be able to laugh, cough, and sneeze again, without feeling worried about the consequences.
Can It Help With Back Pain?
A serious issue that often happens after pregnancy is diastasis recti, which is a separation of the left and right abdominal muscles that creates the stubborn pregnancy pooch. This is annoying, but also painful because it can be the source of significant back pain.
When the abs aren’t properly functioning, the back has to take over, which causes strain and muscle cramping. By repairing the abdominal wall and allowing it to function once more, we can alleviate this issue and create not only a flatter shape but also a reduced chance of back problems down the line.
What To Do Before Surgery
When Dr. Salerno approves you for abdominoplasty, he will also provide you with a set of instructions to make sure the surgery will be safe for you. One of the key guidelines is to stop smoking in the weeks before your procedure, as this will increase the blood flow and thereby reduce the risk of complications or slow healing. For this reason, it’s best to avoid smoking two weeks before and two weeks after your surgery.
We may also advise you to stop using certain medications that can interfere with treatment, for example, aspirin, NSAIDs, and supplements that may cause bruising or bleeding. It is also a good idea to prepare your home for your recovery time by making it easy to reach food, medications, and other essentials. You won’t be able to lift heavy objects for some time, so make sure to prepare for this.
What To Do After Surgery
Once your surgery is complete, it’s important to follow all of your doctor’s orders to speed up recovery and maximise your results. For example, we will recommend that you wear a compression garment or an elastic bandage during the days and weeks after the procedure. This can help to keep the tissue in place during the healing process and allow your body to regain its strength at the same time.
Many patients prefer to eat a lighter diet in the first few days after the procedure, so they purchase products such as yogurt, soups, pudding, soft cheeses, and raw fruits and vegetables. It’s important to avoid physical exercise for around 10 days after surgery, and some people find it helpful to have a trusted friend or family member stay with them during this time.
The Recovery Process
Every patient and procedure is different, so there is not one single timeline applicable to everyone. You should get plenty of rest, but also walk around regularly to get the blood flowing. In general, you can expect to return to work two to four weeks after your tummy tuck, depending on both the procedure itself and the nature of your work.
People who have an office job usually see shorter recovery times, as they don’t need to do heavy lifting or physical activity at work. If you are undergoing abdominoplasty after having children, you will need full-time help with taking care of your kids for the first week after your surgery. This is especially true if the children are still very small and need to be lifted, changed, or carried around.
Building Good Long-Term Eating Habits
To make sure the effects of your surgery last for the long term, it’s important to maintain your weight and build up good habits. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, especially ones that contain a lot of Vitamin C, like broccoli, kiwis, guavas, and kale. These foods will reduce oxidative stress, increase the rate of bone healing, and allow for faster collagen synthesis.
Another important nutrient is omega-3, contained in a variety of foods such as walnuts and chia seeds. These can fight inflammation and help you both during the recovery process and afterward. If you’re not sure how healthy your diet is or what steps to take to improve it, consider speaking to a qualified nutritionist.
Get Rid of Stubborn Belly Fat
Whether you’ve been dieting for a while or you have had a child and aren’t able to lose the excess tissue on your belly, a tummy tuck could be the solution. This simple and effective procedure tightens the skin, tones the muscles, and removes excess fat. Contact us at REAL Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery in Moonee Ponds, VIC to learn more about this surgery and find out how we can help you regain your perfect waistline.