In cosmetic surgery, several procedures help people feel good and look good, and a tummy tuck is one of them. Remember, whether you’ve always had a flat stomach or have been fortunate to have never dealt with excess fat in that area, the stomach can continue to sag over time from different factors in life.
In some cases, excess fat and skin in this area may create pockets of fat that may feel like ball-bearing type lumps under the surface of your stomach if you press on it. And that’s where a tummy tuck comes in – read on for more information so you can decide if this procedure is correct for you!
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that removes excess fat and skin from the abdomen and then tightens underlying muscles by weaving them together. This procedure aims to give you a flatter, smoother abdomen that looks and feels like you have never gained weight.
They call it a “tuck” because the doctor will make an incision along the lower part of your abdomen to remove the excess skin. With the excess skin gone, the doctor will use sutures to bring the muscles closer to give you a firm, tight abdomen.
A tummy tuck can be done as a stand-alone procedure or as part of a larger “abdominoplasty” surgery or liposuction as an alternative to removing fat from other body areas.
During a tummy tuck, the doctor will make incisions around your navel and above your pubic area, then remove any excess skin and fat from your abdomen. The doctor will use sutures to tighten the abdominal muscles and close the incisions. While awake, the doctor will numb your stomach and other areas of your body that will be in contact with the surgical instruments.
Some people may receive general anesthesia during the procedure. Your doctor will make one or more incisions, removing excess fat and skin from the area below your navel and above your pubic area. The doctor will then use sutures to tighten the abdominal muscles and close the incisions.
If a large amount of skin is removed, the doctor will likely use an artificial substance (such as Alloderm, Biobrane, or cadaver skin) to cover the open wound.
How to Prepare for a Tummy Tuck
You can do a few things to prepare for your surgery and get the best results.
- Avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for at least two weeks before the procedure.
- You may consider taking a short-term leave from work as a precaution, primarily if you work in a job where lifting is routine.
- To help your body recover properly, eat nutritious meals and follow a healthy diet plan. Avoid foods and beverages with high sugar and fat content, as well as caffeine and alcohol, since they may slow your body’s healing process and interfere with its ability to metabolize nutrients properly.
- You may want to take supplements such as calcium, vitamin D, vitamin E, and folic acid to protect your skin and muscles from becoming brittle and weak.
Who Is an Ideal Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery is usually only recommended for people who are in good physical health and have realistic expectations for the results of the surgery. The best candidates for tummy tuck surgery are:
- People who have excess skin and fat in the abdomen that does not respond to diet and exercise
- People who have undergone massive weight loss and now have loose, saggy skin in the abdomen
- Women who have had multiple pregnancies and now have excess skin and fat in the abdomen
- People with separated or stretched abdominal muscles
Are There Risks with a Tummy Tuck?
Because tummy tuck surgery is invasive, there are also some risks associated with the procedure. These risks can include bleeding, infection, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. Additionally, there is a risk of developing a blood clot after surgery. As with any surgical procedure, it is essential to be aware of the risks before surgery.
How Long Does a Tummy Tuck Last?
Most people with tummy tuck surgery report excellent results that last many years. However, it is essential to remember that the results of your surgery will also depend on factors such as your age, weight, skin elasticity, and lifestyle habits.
For example, gaining significant weight after surgery may negatively impact your results. Smoking cigarettes can also affect your results by causing skin laxity and increasing your risk of surgical complications.
If you maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight after your surgery, you can expect your results to last for many years. Some people may even find that their results are permanent.
What Are the Tips for Healthy Recovery After Your Tummy Tuck?
As with any surgery, you must follow your surgeon’s post-operative care instructions to ensure you get the best results and don’t risk re-injuring your body or experiencing complications. These include: – Resting and recovering in bed for a few days:
- Eating a healthy diet promotes healing.
- Wearing a compression garment for three months after surgery to minimize swelling and speed up recovery time.
- Avoid strenuous activities such as exercise for at least two months after surgery.
- Use clean and fresh bandages on the incision sites daily until they heal.