Know All About Tummy Tuck

CONTENTS

How Do I Get Rid Of Excess Tummy Fat?

Weight of a person, or excess of it can make him/her self-conscious. A number of individuals face self-esteem problems due to the excess fat in their tummy area. Women who have recently given birth may have stretch marks due to skin and muscle stretching, and many prefer getting such marks removed. Similarly, past surgeries or accidents, may cause cuts and scars on the tummy which people would want to get rid of. 

You may have tried different exercises and diet programmes to induce weight loss, and while many achieve toned muscles and reduced bellies, you may not be able to remove the loose fat around your stomach.


A Tummy Tuck can help you achieve your desired body shape by removing excess fat.

What Is Tummy Tuck?

Abdominoplasty, better known as tummy tuck, is a cosmetic procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen or tummy. A majority of patients opting for this procedure will be women who, following the birth of their child(ren), dislike the effects childbirth has had on their body shape and appearance. In a lot of cases, it also restores separated muscles.

A large cut is made under the abdomen and unwanted tissues are removed so that the remaining skin can be pulled closer. This cosmetic procedure aims to achieve a thinner and toned abdomen by surgical reduction of excess fat and skin. It firms out the sagging tissues as a result of ageing, pregnancy or excessive and sudden weight loss.

A Tummy Tuck is also called Abdominoplasty.


Who Are The Ideal Candidates For Tummy Tuck?

The following are some reasons why a tummy tuck is considered:

There is extra skin on your abdomen, abdominal muscle weakness, or both; due to aging, heredity, pregnancy, prior surgery or weight fluctuations.

Slender individuals with a stable weight are the best candidates; this procedure is not appropriate for those generally obese.

If diet and exercise do not help with flab, stretch marks or excess skin in your abdomen.

If you are in good general health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure.


What Are The Different Types Of Tummy Tuck?

A personal consultation with your board-certified aesthetic plastic surgeon will determine the best option for you. Here are some different kinds of abdominoplasty:

Full Abdominoplasty

This surgery removes skin from above the navel down to the pubic area that has been compromised by pregnancies, genetic laxity or obesity.

Mini Abdominoplasty

A single incision is made in the pubic area, which will be placed as low as possible and can range from a few inches to the entire span of your abdomen. Through this incision, your surgeon will remove excess skin, tighten slack muscles and possibly use liposuction to further refine the area. The ideal candidate for a mini-tummy tuck has laxity and protrusion below the navel. A mini-tummy tuck is usually recommended for those who have always been in fairly good shape but cannot achieve their aesthetic goals with diet and exercise.

Extended or High Lateral Tension Abdominoplasty

If you have excess skin in the love handles/hips, your incision can be made longer. The high lateral tension tummy tuck addresses skin excess after significant weight loss or pregnancy. The technique uses a layer in the deeper tissue to support and maintain the repair. It includes a tummy tuck in the front of the abdomen and transfers the lift over the hip to the side of the thigh to improve contour in this area, suspending and improving the hip and thigh. You can simulate this effect by grabbing the skin on the sides of your waist and pulling up as if you’re putting on a pair of pants.


 

What To Do Before A Tummy Tuck Procedure?

  • Your surgeon should provide thorough preoperative instructions, answer any questions you may have, take a detailed medical history and perform a physical exam to determine your fitness for surgery.

  • You should stop smoking well before undergoing surgery to avoid prolonged recovery time.

  • Avoid taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory medications and some herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding.

  • Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery.

  • Your doctor may recommend weight benchmarks or lifestyle changes to ensure the best results and minimize the chance of complications.

  • Prepare your home for your recovery stages before surgery:

    • If you have children, arrange for them to be cared for.

    • All your essential utilities should be placed in shelves at the level of your hips, so you do not have to reach, bend over or climb to get them.

    • Get bags of frozen peas for icing your surgical area.

    • Get a medication organizer (with day and time dose compartments) and a written backup schedule/check list.

    • Have the following items within reach, so you might not have to get up too much: 

    • Water and plain, low-sodium crackers 

    • Wet-naps, Kleenex and a roll of paper towels

    • Digital thermometer near the bed to check temperature regularly

    • Keep reading material and movies ready to have something to do when you are not sleeping

    • Have your cell phone, charger cord and a power supply nearby as well. You can use your cellphone in an emergency and also to call or text your caretaker.

    • Set up your recliner/bed with plenty of pillows, including body pillows.

  • You may have an inpatient or outpatient surgery and may have to stay overnight at a recovery center. This depends on many variables, including:

    • Your medical issues

    • Amount/extent of surgery you will undergo

    • Length of time your surgery takes 

    • Other procedures that may be performed at the same time


 

What Is The Post Operative Care For Tummy Tuck Procedure?

  • Your doctor will discuss how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of activity and work following liposuction. After surgery, you and your caregiver will receive detailed after care instructions, including information about:

    • Drains, if they have been placed

    • Normal symptoms you will experience

    • Medication and ointment that you are allowed to take/use, and directions

    • Any potential signs of complications

  • You may expect the following immediately after the procedure:

    • Dizziness, disorientation, nausea due to the anesthetic wearing off or certain pain medication, which should pass within a few hours.

    • Sore or tender abdomen, controllable with pain medication

    • Several days of bed rest

    • Incision site is covered with a dressing, and it is also necessary to wear a wide elastic compression garment for several weeks, to reduce swelling and provide support to the skin as it tightens. 

    • You may have tubes in your incision to drain fluid

    • Traditional sutures will typically be removed within the first week or two (absorbable sutures will not have to be removed)

    • Any redness, bruising, and swelling usually subside in 1-3 weeks as your body adjusts to the new contours and incisions heal.

  • Recovery time for a tummy tuck procedure is 6 months or more. In the first couple of days, managing pain and avoiding complications is your top priority. After a few weeks, regaining mobility and fitness takes precedence, and after several months, you can start evaluating the aesthetic outcome of the surgery. 

  • The results of your procedure are permanent. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes diet, exercise, and positive activities, can help support the ongoing results of your new, more attractive shape.


What Is The Post-operative Diet For A Tummy Tuck Procedure?

No specific diet is necessary. A healthy, well-balanced diet with adequate protein and exercise will help you maintain the results you get from the tummy tuck.

Drink plenty of fluids and maintain good nutrition with adequate protein.

Following recovery it is a good idea to make sure your caloric intake is balanced with your activity level.

One suggestion is to substitute greens for grains.

Do not eat processed and packaged foods. The sodium will make you swell.

Do not drink soda. It will cause gas and bloating.


What Are The Realistic Expectations From A Tummy Tuck?

  • A tummy tuck does can safely remove not more than 5000cc of fat leading to an operation that can last upto 5 hours.

  • The surgery cannot be substituted for a weight loss program as despite a flatter abdomen and better waistline, only 3-6 lbs of weight can be reduced through an abdominoplasty.

  • Incision scars may take around 9 months to heal and fade to negligence but will not disappear completely.

  • The procedure can tighten abdominal muscles that have become lax over time.

  • Abdominoplasty works when there have been significant changes in the abdomen due to pregnancy and aging.

  • It is relatively permanent procedure but the results tend to change  if there are significant changes in the patient’s weight.


What Are The Pros And Cons Of Tummy Tuck?

  • Pros

  • Cons

  • Tummy-tuck surgery will restore a flat tummy, that is rigid and well set.

  • It helps to trim the waist to one’s desired size.

  • You will have a more youthful-looking body, which will show better in clothes and swimwear.

  • The surgery eliminates unwanted skin lesions and the skin imperfections that exists on the stomach.

  • It can be used along with the other clinical methods like liposuction to multiply the benefits on the body.

  • Stretch marks can be found in both men and women. They appear as a result of the skin either growing or reducing in size. These marks are visible on particularly those who undergo weight loss programs and pregnant women. Stretch marks can be reduced or eliminated by the tummy tuck procedure and it helps in the process of increasing the skin quality of the people.

  • It improves the psychological well-being of the patients who are dissatisfied by their current body shape.

  • No risks can be associated with the combination of tummy tuck procedure and the other clinical procedures.

  • The removal of the skin that is in excess does not cause the infections that occur in the folds of skin (that otherwise occur due to improper hygiene and sweating).

  • You will have a permanent scar (located in the bikini area) that usually does not go fade, but this can easily be covered up by clothes, or even bathing suits

  • Another pregnancy may influence surgery results, so it is best to wait until you’ve finished having children before undergoing this procedure.

  • This is an age-dependent outcome, hence it is important for you to understand all the possible outcomes and complications of the procedure before making a decision.

  • Weight gain following abdominoplasty may negatively affect your surgery results.

  • You will be given specific instructions and a diet plan to follow, which will help you in adjusting to the new change with your body.

  • Risk of complications (infection, bleeding under the skin flap, or blood clots etc) is particularly high for patients undergoing abdominoplasty in combination with other procedures -- Risk increases when combined with other procedures (abdominoplasty + body contouring & liposuction etc).


Who Should Avoid Undergoing A Tummy Tuck?

  • Pregnant women cannot undergo this procedure. However, pregnancy happens to be a major cause for women to undergo this procedure. Excess skin that becomes impossible to lose can be removed through abdominoplasty.

  • Heart patients and individuals with circulatory disorders must refrain from undergoing this procedure unless cleared by their cardiologists.

  • Individuals who have had major surgeries like kidney transplant, in the area in the past must be extremely careful as they have an increased risk of complications.

  • Small, uncomplicated hernia repairs can be performed with a tummy tuck surgery.

  • Smoking: Non-smokers are preferable, or smokers who quit at least six weeks before surgery.

  • Amount of intra-abdominal fat surrounding your internal organs: You may need to slim down before considering a tummy tuck. 

  • Intention of having more children: Muscles repaired during an abdominoplasty can separate again during future pregnancy.


 

What Are The Alternatives To Tummy Tuck?

SmartLipo (Laser Liposuction)
It removes fat by liquefying it with the help of laser energy. The liquefied fat is then flushed out of the body with the aid of a small tube called cannula. It tackles fat, that is resistant to diet and exercise.

Viora Refit
Problems such as loose, sagging skin and stretch marks stemming from excessive weight loss, pregnancy, and surgery can be tackled through this procedure. It utilizes RF technology to restore skin’s firmness and elasticity.

Freeze for Skin Tightening
It subjects tissues to heat by using radio frequency which accelerates collagen production in the skin. It is a non-invasive, pain free treatment. Particularly, it removes any wrinkles in the tummy area. 


 

Will Tummy Tuck Lead To Scarring?

The incision for a full abdominoplasty usually runs from hipbone to hipbone, and may be in a V-cut or U-cut shape, so that the scar can be hidden in a bikini. Your surgeon will determine the shape and length of the incision based on your preferences and the amount of correction you need. You may also have an incision around the navel.

With a mini-tummy tuck, the surgeon can place the incision as low as possible; it can be hidden in the pubic bone area. The abdominal skin that is removed is below the navel, and there are no incisions around the navel. The length of the mini-tummy tuck incision will vary based on how much skin your surgeon removes.

With a high lateral tension abdominoplasty, scars are longer and often higher than scars in more traditional abdominoplasties and mini-tummy tucks. It is common not to excise the umbilical (navel) site, because not as much skin is removed centrally.


 

What Are The Temporary Side Effects Of Tummy Tuck?

  • There will be swelling which will obscure the actual result until the treated area is healed. This swelling can be controlled by bandages and compression garments.
  • Standing and walking can be difficult in the first week after the surgery.
  • The patient is likely to feel some pain and discomfort in the first couple of days after the surgery which can be dealt with by pain medication. Bruising is also a common complication.
  • There may be fluid accumulation in the operated which can be drained by small pipes attached to the abdomen.
  • Incision scars run from one end of the hip to the other. They heal over time but there is a risk of them not fading completely. Anti-scarring medication can help in this.

 

How To Choose A Surgeon For Tummy Tuck?

It is very important to choose a surgeon that you trust, to perform the procedure. Patient testimonials from the doctor’s patients who have previously had experience with the procedure can help in guiding you to find one. 

Ensure that the surgeon you choose is board certified and has plenty of experience in performing abdominoplasty. This can be don by reviewing his work done on his past patients like judging photographic evidence.
A surgeon who has graduated from a top tier medical school, has had formal training and works in an accredited hospital is ideal. 
 

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