Tummy Tuck - Everything You Need to Know

Posted February 12, 2021
What to know about tummy tucks

A tummy tuck, AKA abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery procedure that tightens and contours the overall look of the abdomen by the removal of excess skin and fat. The surgery also involves tightening the muscles to create a firmer and smoother abdomen. Interested in undergoing a tummy tuck to gain a more contoured look to the abdomen? Take a look at the information below to learn everything you need to know about having a tummy tuck.

Types of Tummy Tuck Procedures

A tummy tuck is performed to improve the aesthetics of the area by creating a smoother and more contoured abdomen. The surgery might be necessary if the skin located on your abdomen is sagging or you have a diminished elasticity to the skin and muscles. Weight gain and loss from pregnancy can also result in skin that has a lax or sagging appearance.

Tummy tuck techniques include:

  • A traditional abdominoplasty involves the creation of two incisions. One incision is located around the navel and the other one runs from one side of the hip bone to the other side of the hip bone. The surgeon then removes the skin from the abdominal muscles in order to remove any excess skin and fat. The surgeon also tightens the muscles of the targeted area. In addition, the surgeon might need to create a new belly button.
  • A partial abdominoplasty requires one or two smaller incisions and less removal of excess fat and skin. The fat and skin that is removed, in a manner similar to a traditional abdominoplasty, might only be located in the lower area of the abdomen. Plus, the surgeon might not need to make an incision around the belly button.

Once the desired amount of excess fat and skin is removed, the separated flap of skin is placed back over the abdominal area and stitched back into place. If your surgeon went through the navel while making an incision, it will be reconstructed in a position where it has an appearance that looks natural. The incisions are closed with sutures.

Tummy Tuck Risks

Tummy tuck procedure typesSome of the possible risks of having a tummy tuck include:

  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Asymmetry of the shape or appearance of the results
  • Loose skin
  • Numbness

Tummy Tuck Recovery Process

The recovery process for abdominoplasty can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months depending on the individual patient and the extent of the surgery.

You should keep the area where the tummy tuck was performed clean and dry and follow the post-op instructions from the doctor to correctly care for the wound. You will also need to wear a compression garment over the bandages to help keep any swelling in check.

You might need to wear a drain for a little bit to get rid of any excess fluid that leaks from the wound.

Any scar that will be visible after the procedure can take up to a year to fade.

Tummy Tuck Results

Once the procedure is performed, you will need to commit to following a proper diet and exercise plan in order to maintain the results. With proper exercise and post-op care, the results of an abdominoplasty procedure can last for more than ten years. The final results will include a smoother and more toned appearance to the abdomen. In addition, you might see an increase in your self-image after the procedure.

Changes in Your Lifestyle after a Tummy Tuck

You should be aware of the fact that a tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure and you should not plan to have it for that reason.

Weight gain can have a negative impact on the results of the surgery and even void the results. A significant amount of weight gain can add additional fat to the abdominal area and even cause the muscles to separate. If you have a good amount of weight gain, and then follow that with a significant weight loss, you might see the skin start to become saggy again.

Tummy Tuck Consultation Appointment

If you are interested in undergoing an abdominoplasty procedure, you should schedule a consultation appointment with a board-certified doctor that is experienced in performing the surgery. The doctor will ask about your medical history and also discuss your goals and desired results. The surgeon will determine if you are an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck.

In addition, the doctor will set realistic expectations about the final results you can expect to see after the procedure. It is important to have an honest dialogue with the surgeon because you do not need to enter into the tummy tuck process with unrealistic expectations. The more information you know about what to expect, as well as the time involved in both the pre-surgery and post-surgery preparations, will make you an educated patient. The more information you have about the surgery, the better prepared you will be to make an informed decision about undergoing abdominoplasty.

- MA


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