Many people are not satisfied with their bodies. Therefore, many of them decide to take matters into their own hands and try to fix their situations. Fortunately, there is an alternative to what many people have been trying to fix their weight problems, and, unfortunately, have not been too successful. Abdominoplasty, which is known to many as a Tummy Tuck, is a very frequently chosen cosmetic procedure that gives a smoother, toned, and much flatter appearance by tightening overstretched abdominal muscles and skin. It can be very difficult for the stomach to return to being in its original condition after being stretched, whether from weight gain or loss, result of a pregnancy, and so on.
Abdominal muscles don’t always respond the same way. Just as different people learn best different ways, often times, various types of diet and exercise just don’t work well because the muscles in the abdomen cannot react to it. Thankfully, a tummy tuck can prove to be a great alternative, and highly effective, way to quickly get rid of unsightly sagging skin and excess fat. Not only does the procedure rid one of fat, but it also reduces the size of the waist as well.
Of course, how much the patient will be improved does vary. Several factors must be considered such as the patient’s skin tone, build, individual healing process, and how much of a tummy tuck surgery is required. Aside from this, most of the people who have gone through with this procedure find themselves very happy with the results and greatly favor their post surgery appearance.
How is the Tummy Tuck Performed?
The surgeon will first give an evaluation followed by a professional recommendation on whether you should receive either a partial or perhaps a full tummy tuck done along with Liposuction. There are many different procedures to choose from to get the desired look you’re trying to achieve. Based on the plastic surgeon’s evaluation, you will have a number of options to select from (full tummy tuck, mini tummy tuck, liposuction, laser liposuction, etc.).
Of course, most tummy tuck surgeries are performed under the general anesthesia. In what is referred to as the full tummy tuck procedure, an initial surgical incision is then made going from the lower abdomen down to just above the patient’s pubic area. After the initial incision, a second cut is made near the patient’s belly button to loosen the surrounding skin. Afterwards, the skin is then separated from the surrounding wall of the patient’s abdomen. Following this, the surgeon then pulls the loose muscles of the abdomen from the left and the right flanks and surgically staples them both together. This results in the patient having tighter abdominal muscles, and creates a stronger, more firm abdominal wall, and also, a smaller waist.
Right after tightening the abdominal muscles, the excess skin is then removed and a new placement for the belly button is made. To complete this procedure, the area is closed off with stitches, and/or medical staples. Finally the area is bandaged off to keep the area cleansed and infection-free.
A tummy tuck can typically take around two to five hours, but it really depends on the procedure‘s extent. Usually, a “partial tummy tuck” requires around one to two hours, many times, the tummy tuck can take place in a hospital or similar setting, although some are done in office surgical suites.
The Mini Tummy Tuck
An alternative to the full tummy tuck that was designed to focus on areas below the patient’s belly button is referred to as a partial tummy tuck, or mini tummy tuck. This often done on an outpatient basis, also it usually requires local form of anesthetics. Based on what the patient desires, as well as other factors, the surgeon may choose a partial tummy tuck to go along with Liposuction. Liposuction is typically used in tummy tuck procedures where there are additional amounts of fat that need to be taken from the hips, which results in a more dramatic result. Sometimes, using liposuction alone can bring the desired results to the patient. The patient may discuss what they feel the most appropriate procedure may be during their consultation.
Recovery from Tummy Tuck
As results do vary from patient to patient, so does the allotted time required for the recovery. It is very common for the patient to remain in a hospital after the procedure, which can prove to be beneficial because the patient’s recovery process can then be monitored by a professional, trained medical team.
However, it must be understood that as patients all heal differently, it may take several weeks to be fully recovered. If the patient was in good physical condition before the procedure, then they can expect a faster recovery than what may be expected.
Many surgeons recommend that patients begin a series of light exercises after surgery. This can greatly reduce swelling, as well as decrease the possibility of blood clots developing and may enhance skin tone. The patient should avoid vigorous exercise, like lifting heavy objects, until it can be done without discomfort, and the surgeon has advised that they may do so.
Tummy Tuck Scars
Just as it can be expected with many surgical procedures, there are often scars that do come from a result of tummy tuck. It is normal for these scars to appear around the first few months after the procedure. In some situations, it takes about a year for the scars to nearly completely fade away. The doctor will usually give you some kind of skin cream that will help fade them more quickly. It is very important to stay out of the sun, as tanning will darken the scars. This is why many people have a tummy tuck in the fall or winter, to be fully healed and faded scars by summer.
How Much Pain is expected with a Tummy Tuck?
It is normal for the patient to experience some pain and discomfort after the surgery, which may be mildly controlled by different pain medications your doctor may prescribe. There is some swelling expected in the abdominal region in the first few days after the procedure. However, that can also be treated with different pain medications, as well as a few days of bed rest, which is recommended. During the resting period, the surgeon may suggest to the patient that they should try and have their legs partially bent around the hips to help reduce the strain placed on the stomach muscles.
The surgeon will also likely provide their patient with what is called an “abdominal binder” which helps support the abdominal area. They will also provide information towards instructions on various activities, like showering, changing their bandages, and walking. It is often recommended that the patient begins walking as soon as possible after the surgery. The deeper placed stitches, or staples, are typically taken out in about two to three weeks.
Who Are the Best Candidates for a Tummy Tuck?
There are many very important factors that must be considered in order for one to correctly determine whether or not a tummy tuck is right for them. While in a consultation visit with their surgeon, it is then recommended that you (the patient) ask them if they feel tummy is right for you, or if just some type of liposuction would be better. Also, in determining your readiness for this procedure, you should:
- Be realistic in what you expect from the procedure.
- Are at least 18years old.
- Make sure that you fully understand the procedure.
- Understand the practicality of going through with the procedure, and consider the alternatives. In some cases, the patient may be able to achieve the same results by pursuing carefully guided diet and rigorous exercise.
- Be in a generally good physical condition.
- Be psychologically healthy.
- Not currently be pregnant, or plan to become pregnant for the time being.
- Not currently be greatly overweight.
What Are Some of the Risks and the Limitations of a Tummy Tuck?
No matter what surgical procedure you look at, you will find different possible risks that are associated with the surgery. The same can be said about the tummy tuck. Some basic risks associated with the tummy tuck include bleeding, a reaction to the anesthetic, and infection. Also, smoking can increase the risk of different complications, as well as delay healing and potentially lead to bigger scars. However, many of the risks as well as the complications associated with the tummy tuck may be reduced greatly by closely following all of the surgeon’s instructions.
How Much Does the Procedure Cost?
The average total cost for a tummy tuck is roughly in the ballpark of $8,500. The price can, of course, vary greatly on a number of different factors. These factors in include the perceived difficulty of the procedure, how much fat/skin needs to be removed, how experienced/prestigious the doctor is, and the area is it performed in. $8,500 is just a rough estimate, some doctors may charge as little as $6,000 total and some might charge more around $10,000. Because of the various costs that come with the tummy tuck, many surgeons do offer multiple financing opportunities.
Questions You Should Ask Before Getting a Tummy Tuck
During the initial consultation, the patient and surgeon will go over multiple factors such as what the desired outcome for you is, different options that are open, the actual procedure, and any and all possible risks that may come from it. They will inform the patient on available choices of different anesthesia, where the procedure will be performed, and an estimated price. They will also discuss the patient’s medical history, along with an examination of the discussed area.
In order to insure that the patient completely understands everything they need to know about the tummy tuck procedure. It is also recommended that the patient looks over many ‘before and after’ photographs. In addition to that, the patient is encouraged to ask the following:
- Are the Results I want Realistic?
- What is a better choice for me: Full Tummy Tuck, Mini Tummy Tuck, or just liposuction?
- How much will the total cost be?
- How experienced is the surgeon performing the tummy tuck? How many times have you performed it in the last six months?
Can I see before and after photos of your recent tummy tuck surgeries?
- If there are any mistakes made by the surgeon, will they provide a free touch up surgery?
Long Term Effects of a Tummy Tuck
On average, most tummy tuck patients experience excellent long term results from the procedure. The results of the surgery are, very often, exactly, or close, to the expectancy of the patient, and if not, they are a great improvement. Issues about a patient keeping and maintaining their new weight and figure can be simple. If the patient keeps a healthy diet, as well as exercising regularly (they may want to consider a personal trainer, or getting a gym membership if they didn’t previously have one), and also very carefully following the instructions that the surgeon gave in regards to physical activities, diet, and so on. The results of doing so will greatly effect and determine the overall result of a tummy tuck.
Now that you have been as fully informed about abdominoplasty (the tummy tuck) in all senses, you can now take the first few steps and consult a doctor about what to do next. You may also want to discuss the idea and a general sense of the procedure with a few close friends and family members so that you can have a good support system. Remember, as with any plastic surgery procedure, the most important step is researching and finding a quality doctor who can provide you with excellent results.