Are sit-ups or regular diet not giving you that taut tummy or flat abdomen? Are you looking for secrets to getting rid of loose belly skin, abdominal skin folds or post-pregnancy weakened abdominal muscles? Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck surgery may be your best bet to achieve a steady, younger-looking figure. It is basically a type of cosmetic surgery and not a weight loss procedure. During a tummy tuck, extra fat and skin are removed from the abdomen, and the muscles are tightened in your abdominal wall.
Who are the best candidates for a tummy tuck?
Abdominoplasty is suitable for both men and women. As an extra precaution, it is generally advised by doctors that you should be a non-smoker. You might consider a tummy tuck-
- If your abdomen is still protruded even after following a proper diet and doing regular exercise.
- If your abdomen muscles are weakened and saggy after your pregnancy.
- If liposuction didn’t improve the appearance of your abdomen.
- If you have a weak lower abdominal wall.
- If you have excessive crinkles and wrinkles on belly skin.
- If your skin is separated into 2 bulges, one above the belly button and one below the belly button.
Tummy tuck is not advisable
- If you are planning on getting pregnant.
- If you are planning or working on losing a lot of weight.
- If you are a chain smoker.
- If you have a severe chronic condition such as diabetes or heart disease.
- Usually, after the tummy tuck surgery, a long lasting scar remains near your abdomen area, which is not so easy to get rid of. If you don’t want such a scar on your skin, then you shouldn’t go for this surgery. You can talk about the scar placement and length with the doctor before the surgery.
Types of Tummy Tuck Surgery
Your doctor will discuss the type of tummy tuck that suits all your needs along with giving you the least possible scarring. Read on to learn about the real differences between these body contouring procedures –
Mini tummy tuck- It is also known as Partial Abdominoplasty and is used to improve the shape of your lower belly. It is a less extensive type of surgery and removes a smaller portion of skin. A smaller incision is made above the pubic mound via which excess skin is removed and also the loosened muscles are tightened. Sometimes liposuction is used along with tummy tuck to refine the transition zones of the abdominal sculpture. The scar produced by this surgery is thin. The results of mini tummy tuck include a slim and flat lower abdomen.
Full tummy tuck- It is also known as Complete Abdominoplasty where the surgeon removes the excess skin and fatty tissue from above and below the navel. If you have roundness and excess skin folds above and below your belly button then this is the best option for you. A horizontal or U-shaped cut is made above the pubic mound, the surgeon will remove the extra skin and fat. Sometimes a second incision is made around the navel to remove excess skin above the belly button to achieve natural results. The resulting scar will typically be longer than a mini tummy tuck, running from hip bone to hip bone.
Extended Tummy Tuck- It is also known as Extended Abdominoplasty and is used to get a lateral thigh lift in addition to improving lower and upper abdomen. It gives you an improvement of your flank or waist and simultaneously smoothes the contour of the upper lateral thigh. It is usually preferred by people who have excessively saggy skin hanging around their front belly or by women who have gone through multiple pregnancies. The scar formed after the surgery runs along the posterior axillary line and is longer than the other two surgeries.
How to Prepare Yourself for Tummy Tuck Surgery?
- Choose a good surgeon and talk to him about your goals.
- Tell your doctor about all the types of medications that you are taking on a regular basis or if you are allergic to any. Talk about any other major surgery that you have had.
- If you are a smoker, then you will be asked to quit smoking 2 weeks before and after the date of surgery. Also, if possible, you must give up your old smoking habits forever because smoking decreases blood flow and can slow the healing process.
- Eat a well-balanced diet before the surgery.
Recovery from Tummy Tuck Surgery
Most tummy tuck operations are performed as outpatient procedures and can last for nearly one to five hours depending on the type of abdominoplasty you are undergoing. According to your case, the doctor might allow you to go back home after a few hours or you might be advised to stay overnight to facilitate safe monitoring of your health. It’s normal to have swelling in the surgical area for about 4-5 weeks and the doctor might prescribe you some painkillers to ease your pain. Some other problems you might face include soreness, bruises, numbness, and fatigue.
- Collection or accumulation of fluid under the skin.
- Complications caused by the use of anesthesia.
- Blood clots.
- Change in the color of skin.
- Wound Separation etc.
The results of tummy tuck are usually long lasting. You will definitely love your new toned appearance, however, you will need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a well-balanced diet and regular exercise.
Blog written by:
Consultant Cosmetic Surgery
Apollo Cosmetic Clinics, MRC Nagar