What is a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tuck, also called abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that is done to remove excess tissue and skin from the abdomen. There are different reasons why men and women want tummy tuck.
Some women want the surgery because their stomach is no longer flat after having children or starts to sag due to aging. Sometimes diet and exercise simply will not work.
People tend to relate a flat stomach to youth, and they want to preserve that youthfulness as long as possible.
Women aren’t the only ones interested in tummy tucks. Some men want to get rid of their bothersome love handles or want to have the flat, toned stomach they once did as well.
When you stick to a regular diet and exercise program and you still can’t lose that little pooch on your tummy it can be extremely frustrating. No matter how hard you try you can’t seem to get rid of it.
This is the time to consider a tummy tuck. Sometimes a person can’t regain a flat stomach because of scar tissue or muscle separation due to pregnancy.
When certain people lose a lot of weight quickly they can be left with excess skin that sags down from the belly.
There are times when this is so severe that the extra skin actually has to be tucked into the clothing.
Abdominoplasty is the only solution to removing the excess skin left over from the stomach after dramatic weight loss.
Most fashionable clothing is tight or cinched around the waist and all bathing suits show off every curve of the body.
This is another reason why people choose to have the procedure done.
It helps with certain self-image issues some people have. Imagine finally being able to wear whatever you want to without being self-conscious of how your body looks.
You will be able to wear a bathing suit or tight fitting clothing without worrying about how your stomach looks in it. This is what an abdominoplasty offers.
A tummy tuck is not performed for a weight loss effect although there will be a few pounds lost due to the removal of the tissue and skin.
Rather, a tummy tuck is performed to reshape and define your body to regain that youthful, fit appearance.
Each person’s individual results will vary but all results are dramatic. Your doctor should be able to give you an idea of exactly how dramatic your results will be.
How is a Tummy Tuck Performed?
Abdominoplasty is a major surgery and should not be taken lightly. The two most common types of tummy tucks are full abdominoplasty and mini abdominoplasty.
After an evaluation with your doctor, you can decide which procedure would be right for you.
Some people achieve great results with a mini abdominoplasty while some would fare better with the results of a full abdominoplasty. Each body is different and surgery is not one size fits all.
Prior to surgery, your doctor will perform some lab tests and ask you several questions regarding your health. This is to ensure that you are qualified for cosmetic surgery.
You will be given detailed instructions on things such as diet and any thing special you need to do before surgery. Do not dismiss these instructions as they are critical to your outcome.
A full abdominoplasty removes excess skin and fatty tissue usually from the pubic area to the belly button. Usually, a general anesthetic is administered so you will feel nothing.
An incision is made just above the pubic line from hip to hip and the excess skin and fatty tissue form the lower abdomen is removed.
The muscles in the abdomen are also repositioned and tightened so the stomach will achieve the overall taut and toned look.
Some procedures include liposuction of the hips, waist, and upper abdomen to match the newly shaped tummy. The skin from the upper abdomen is then stretched down and attached at the incision.
The belly button stays in place and will be brought out through an incision made in the skin and attached.
The scar from the surgery usually extends along the pubic line from hip to hip. It is purposely placed in an area that will be easy to cover up with any normal underwear or bathing suit bottom.
A mini abdominoplasty is a bit less involved than a full abdominoplasty. Instead of repositioning the belly button, it stays in place the skin below the belly button is removed.
The scar will still be just above the pubic line but will not extend from hip to hip. The muscles are tightened with this procedure as well to achieve the overall taut look.
Liposuction of the hips, waist, and upper abdomen may be done in order to maximize results. The procedure is almost exactly the same except the skin is not stretched quite as far.
Although the procedure is a little less extensive than a full abdominoplasty, a mini abdominoplasty is still a major surgery and should be well prepared for.
Recovery Period and Instructions After a Tummy Tuck
Since a tummy tuck is an extensive surgery you should be prepared for a fairly long recovery period.
You should plan on being out of commission for at the very least six weeks. Be sure to have your ducks in a row and plan accordingly for the expected and unexpected.
The best thing you can do is have someone who will be able to support you during your recovery period and can help you do anything you need done.
After your surgery is finished, there will be protective tape over the incisions that should remain in place for two weeks.
The sutures that are below the skin will eventually dissolve and the discomfort and itching will subside. Drains will be required and your doctor will explain to you in great detail how to take care of them.
You will have to wear a specialized compression garment for four to six weeks and a type of foam padding over the liposuction areas for the first two weeks.
Clothes can be worn over these garments so they’re not visible.
They are used to help your body get used to its new shape and help the skin to contract and become smooth.
You will obviously be in pain and have soreness for a few days after the surgery. Pain medication is usually prescribed to alleviate discomfort.
When you are resting or walking, you must refrain from straightening your body so you don’t pull on the incision. You should not stay in bed all the time but don’t overuse your body.
Anything strenuous should be avoided until you are completely healed. If you have a job, you can expect to return to work in two to three weeks.
After a few days you will be able to take a shower. Do not take a bath until all drains are removed and it is ok with your doctor.
Don’t lift anything over five pounds or engage in any sport or high energy activity for several weeks or until your doctor says it is ok.
You could stretch or tear your incision if you do this and may never heal properly.
If you follow the instructions of your doctor your results will be undeniable. All post op rules are made so you will heal properly and minimize any side effects or undesired results.
If you are willing to follow directions and do everything correct you should be very happy with the results you achieve from surgery.