What Is a Tummy Tuck?

Tummy Tuck

There are many ways for people to get the bodies they want, but no solution is right for everyone. Diet and exercise often aren’t enough to get rid of stubborn abdominal fat, and people who lose substantial amounts of weight through lifestyle changes alone are typically left with unwanted loose skin. In these cases, a tummy tuck may be the perfect answer.

How Tummy Tucks Work

The popular term tummy tuck refers to a medical procedure known as abdominoplasty. This cosmetic surgical procedure is performed by a local specialist who removes excess fat and skin from the area and tightens connective tissue in the abdomen. After these steps are done, the surgeon repositions the remaining skin to leave the patient with a more toned look.

Tummy Tucks

When to Have a Tummy Tuck

Most people have tummy tucks because they want to get rid of excess fat or skin around their belly buttons. Patients may also be able to improve weak lower abdominal walls using this procedure. Either way, abdominoplasty can boost confidence levels and leave patients feeling more like themselves.

There is a misconception that people only undergo tummy tucks when they are overweight. While this procedure removes fat, it also addresses other issues. Poor skin elasticity and weakened connective tissues can occur as a result of:

  •  Significant weight loss
  • Pregnancy
  • Abdominal surgery
  • Body type
  • Natural aging

No matter because a patient has developed excess fat and skin, they can trust a good plastic surgeon to help. The procedure can even remove stretch marks in the lower abdomen and get rid of C-section scars.

Tummy Tucks in Combination with Other Procedures

Many people undergoing abdominoplasty also want to have other cosmetic procedures performed. Good surgeons can typically combine multiple procedures to reduce the number of anesthesia events a patient must undergo and produce faster results. Other procedures commonly performed in combination with tummy tucks include liposuction, breast surgery, and other body contouring procedures.

What to Expect During the Procedure

Tummy tucks can be performed at either hospitals or outpatient surgical facilities. Patients will need to be placed under anesthesia while the surgeon makes incisions to remove the excess skin and fat, sutures the connective tissue that overlies the abdominal muscles, and repositions the skin around the belly button. After the procedure, drains are typically left in place for several days, and patients are cautioned to avoid certain activities for six weeks. They should also expect to attend regular follow-up visits.

When Is Abdominoplasty Not the Right Solution?

Abdominoplasty isn’t always the right solution. In some cases, plastic surgeons recommend alternatives or suggest that patients put off their procedures. People who plan to become pregnant in the future or lose significant amounts of weight are often cautioned against having tummy tucks until after these significant life events. Smokers may need to quit before they can safely undergo surgery, and people with BMIs greater than 30 will need to lose weight first. Those with severe chronic conditions like heart disease or diabetes may never be good candidates for tummy tucks.

How to Get Started

The only way for people to find out if they are good candidates for this procedure is to schedule a consultation with a reputable plastic surgeon. During this appointment, the surgeon will review the patient’s medical and social histories, perform an exam, and discuss expectations. If everything is in order, they can then move forward and schedule the surgery for a future date.

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