What is a Tummy Tuck?

A Tummy Tuck which is formerly known as an Abdominoplasty surgery has gained popularity and interest ranking as one of the top five cosmetic procedures in America. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the rates performed from 2000 to 2013 has increased by an astonishing 79%. This cosmetic procedure is rapidly becoming more common as individuals clearly see the ability doctors have to shape the body and improve self-esteem.

The abdominoplasty procedure is designed to contour the body creating a flat firm abdomen by removing loose, excess fat and skin tightening abdominal muscle walls. When exercise and diet seem to fail and it feels impossible to diminish the extra belly fat, you may want to consider this procedure. This surgery is not an alternative to weightless, it should be a last resort for those individuals that have gone to extremes to eliminate the extra skin but just cannot seem to accomplish aesthetic goals. Most patients turn their minds to the idea of this procedure following single or multiple pregnancies, extreme weight loss or weakened abdominal muscles as a results of natural aging. Le Reve Plastic Surgery’s team of board certified plastic surgeons have years of experience resulting in patient satisfaction. This procedure can enhance the shape and contours of your body along with an improved self-confidence and mindset that can take you much further in your successes.

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Who is the best candidate for Tummy Tuck?

The ideal candidate for this procedure would be a healthy individual about 25 pounds from their ideal body weight with feasible expectations. Men or women with excess skin or fat who feel they have a protruding abdomen that cannot be eliminated with exercise or dieting would be the best candidates. The majority of patients who seek these procedures are women who have had multiple pregnancies and have excess ‘baby fat’. Individuals who plan to have more children in the future should avoid this surgery. Becoming pregnant may reverse the results of the surgery. Another reason for choosing this plastic surgery would be excess hanging skin as a result of massive weight loss. If you plan to lose more weight in the future, this procedure should be postponed. Aging may also cause the abdominal muscles to loosen up as well as the skin. Smokers are required to quit smoking at least one month prior to surgery. Smoking increases the risk for complication during or after the surgery. Decrease of the blood flow due to smoking may result in skin loss, infection, increased scarring and poor wound healing. For the safety of both the patient and the doctor, smoking, as well as second hand smoke should be completely avoided prior to surgery. Before considering this surgery you should attempt other methods that do not involve surgery such as exercise and healthy diet habits. 

Abdominoplasty with Liposuction

Many patients come with the request of wanting both a tummy tuck and liposuction. Each individual has different needs. Some may benefit from combining the two procedures. Generally patients that have excess fat along with skin will be the best candidates for the combination procedure. Patients with too little fat should not combine these procedures, it may result in bumps or an abnormal looking abdominal area. Speak with your doctor at your consultation to find out if the combination of these two procedures will yield the best results. Keep in mind that adding this procedure will increase the cost.

Recovery from Tummy Tuck

Recovery time varies for each and every patient. Before proceeding with this operation you should consider the period of time off you may need. Plan to take time off work in order to take the right amount of time to recover. Rushing back into your normal lifestyle may alter the results of your procedure. A majority of patients need about two weeks off while some may feel okay going back sooner. Factors such as age, weight, and health status may affect and alter the amount of time you will need to recover. Generally, patients need between three to six weeks to recover but complete healing can take longer. Most patients that undergo this procedure must spend several days in bed, even if they do not return home the same day as their surgery. Compression garment and drainage tubes will be present after surgery. Do not remove any garments or drains until advised or removed by your doctor. Sutures or stitches will be removed after about one to two weeks in your follow-up visit. During one of these visits, some pictures might need to be taken to compare the tummy tucks before and after effect.

For the first couple days post-surgery, it is likely the patient will feel discomfort and pain. The plastic surgeon will provide pain medication to ease the pain and make recovery easier and more comfortable. Standing upright will also be restricted for about one week but may take longer for some individuals. Exercise should be limited for about a month. You may slowly ease into normal workout routines without pushing your body further than it should go. At about six weeks, you can slowly return to performing abdominal workouts. Weight lifting can put significant strain on incisions and sutures. Therefore, it should be restricted for a couple weeks to prevent poor healing and scarring. Aerobic exercise such as running, jogging, walking and biking may also be resumed after about six weeks. In order to keep a good shape for years to come after surgery, regular exercise and healthy eating habits should be practiced. Remember, every individual is different. Some may be ready to return a normal lifestyle sooner than others. Listen to your body and be patient, with time you will feel normal again and be able to rebound back into your regular lifestyle routines.

Frequently Asked Questions

I just gave birth to my second child. How can I have a Tummy Tuck?

Generally, because the body undergoes many changes during pregnancy, it will also need time to recover before you should consider undergoing such a procedure. Doctors suggest atleast 6 months postpartum, before you consider having a Tummy Tuck.

Am I too young to have a Tummy Tuck?

If you are considering a tummy tuck you should be at least 21 years of age to ensure full development. As long as you are not planning on having children and are completely healthy, this procedure will not be a problem.

How painful is a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck is a highly invasive procedure and you should expect to have a pain for at least a week after surgery. You are recommended to take off two weeks from work and restrain from any activity that would require too much body movement. If you combine the tummy tuck with liposuction, recovery may be a bit longer and more painful. Pain level is different for all patients.