When diet and exercise won’t budge stubborn tummy fat, women are seeking out advice from cosmetic surgeons about the benefits of tummy tuck surgery.
Why get a tummy tuck?Abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat and skin from the midsection and restores weakened muscles. The aim is to create a smoother, firmer stomach. Let’s be realistic. A tummy tuck will not give you sculpted abs but it can tighten your midsection. A flatter and more flattering is possible, especially when it comes time to wear a bathing suit. Pregnancy and childbirth take their toll on our midsections and result in excess skin or flab. Many women have tummy tucks after considerable weight loss. More and more women are having their tummies tucked to reclaim their hour-glass figures. Ready to reclaim your feminine shape? When diet and exercise won’t budge stubborn tummy fat Abdominoplasty may be the right answer for you.
Prerequisites for tummy tuck surgeryA consultation with a qualified surgeon can assess your qualifications as a candidate for a tummy tuck. These are general guidelines:
- You are not planning to get pregnant. Pregnancy can undo the benefits of abdominoplasty surgery so it is best to delay the procedure until after child birth.
- Quit smoking. Patients are asked not to smoke cigarettes before or after surgery because it restricts oxygen to healing muscles. If you can’t completely quit for two or more weeks before or after the surgery, you may not be a good candidate for a tummy tuck.
- Weight loss. Planning to lose more weight before having the surgery? Wait until you have achieved your weight loss goals before scheduling the procedure to maximize the benefits.
- Medical history. Prepare you medical records to submit with your booking and disclose prescription or herbal medicines. Once reviewed, your surgeon will give their recommendation.
- Scarring. Many women are concerned about the scar resulting from the surgery. A skilled physician may be able to hide the scar in an existing scar from a prior surgery or place it in an area that would be hidden by underwear or a bathing suit. Scars will fade over time but never completely disappear. Discuss your concerns with your surgeon.
Overview of the tummy tuck surgery
- You will be administered either local anesthesia which numbs the localized area, or general anesthesia which put you to sleep. The procedure itself can last up to five hours depending on the amount of skin and fat being removed.
- Your surgeon will make a horizontal incision in the area between your belly button and the pubic mound. The length of the incision depends on the amount of excess skin to be removed. The more skin that is being removed, the longer the incision, and vice versa. Excess skin is removed and the remaining skin is stitched together with sutures. The belly button may need to be removed and sutured back into place.
Recovery after surgeryRecovery time varies depending on the patient. Your surgeon will give you post-operative recovery instructions. Patients will usually be required to wear a compression bandage or garment immediately after surgery for a length of time recommended by your physician. Depending on your doctor’s instructions, there may be several days of bed rest followed by weeks of limited physical exercise. Most certainly you will experience swelling, bruising and numbness. Once discharged you will be given a list of recommendations to follow. Post-operative care needs to be your primary focus so it’s important to make a plan and stick to it. General guidelines for recovery:
- Wound care. Once discharged you will need to care for the bandage and wound, following your surgeon’s instructions.
- Pain management. Immediately following the surgery, you will be sore and the surgical area will be swollen and bruised for up to three or even four weeks. The doctor may prescribe appropriate medication to alleviate any pain that you may be experiencing.
- Your movement and physical exercise will be severely limited during the recovery and healing process. You will be provided with instructions about what you can and cannot do after the surgery. Plan to take time off from work – anywhere from two to four weeks, as your doctor advises.
- Having a family member or friend travel with you or stay with you for several days will help the transition as you heal and regain movement and motion.
- Removing sutures. Sutures used will be removed within seven to ten days after surgery to allow you time to properly heal.
- Maintenance over time. After a few weeks you will notice a flatter and trimmer looking tummy. The results can be long lasting when patients maintain a healthy weight.
Possible Risks and ComplicationsEven though tummy tuck surgery is a fairly common cosmetic treatment, it is still surgery and carries with it risks and possible complications. While your surgeon will discuss your particular risks with you, here are some common problems that can occur:
- Bruising, swelling and numbness around the surgical sites
- Infection and bleeding
- Blood pooling under the skin called a hematoma
- Fluid pooling under the skin called seroma
- A negative reaction to the anesthesia
- A belly button that needs re-centering or is aesthetically unpleasing (Check out the information about umbilicoplasty – often done at the same time as a tummy tuck)