5 Essential questions about the hourglass tummy tuck
5 Essential questions about the hourglass tummy tuck
The hourglass tummy tuck is a modern, cutting-edge procedure that allows for the correction of the imperfections of the abdominal wall while also helping the patient achieve the beautiful hourglass silhouette. The procedure has been created to help women get a more feminine and alluring body shape as less than 8% of the world’s feminine population is born with this beautiful body shape. The hourglass silhouette entails similar dimensions for the hips and shoulders and a narrow waist. This body shape has curves in all the right places and many of the celebrities we have admired over the years have the beautiful hourglass shape. Just think Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren, among others.
The procedure is very complex and also delicate at the same time and should only be performed by a talented and highly experienced board-certified plastic surgeon if you want to achieve spectacular results.
Before scheduling your procedure, it is important to find out all the details it entails, especially about the eligibility to undergo the procedure and the surgical plan to be followed. In this article, we will discuss five essential questions you should ask your plastic surgeon about the hourglass tummy tuck.
- Who is the ideal candidate for the procedure?
The hourglass tummy tuck has been created to help women with a narrow waist and a square or round body shape to get a more appealing body appearance while also getting a flat and firm tummy. The unpleasant appearance of the tummy can be caused by many factors, including multiple pregnancies, weight fluctuations, and the natural aging process, and if there is skin sagginess on the inferior part of the abdominal wall, the only efficient method we have to correct it is with plastic surgery.
Patients with skin folds or skin laxity on the tummy which could also be suffering from diastasis recti and umbilical hernia can be recommended to undergo an hourglass tummy tuck if they have a surplus of adipose tissue on the flanks and narrow hips. To be a good candidate for the procedure, it is important to be in good health and emotional condition and to have realistic expectations from the surgery.
- How is the hourglass tummy tuck performed?
Many patients want to know more details about what the main differences between the traditional tummy tuck and the hourglass tummy tuck are and how the latter is performed. As is the case with most plastic surgery procedures performed nowadays, the hourglass tummy tuck can be customized to fit the necessities of each patient. While there are no two procedures alike, the general surgical plan followed for the hourglass tummy tuck consists of liposuction, abdominoplasty, and fat transfer to the hips. Liposuction is performed on the flanks and the abdominal wall to eliminate the surplus of fat and get a better contoured and slimmer waist. Once the waistline has been defined with liposuction, the plastic surgeon will put the fat collected through a centrifugation process that will eliminate the blood, impurities and damaged fat cells to leave behind only the pure and healthy fat cells that can be used for fat transfer to the hips.
Before the fat transfer, the plastic surgeon will perform abdominoplasty. Abdominoplasty entails an incision that can be as long as from one hip bone to the other. The skin tissue is detached from the muscles and elevated up to the rib cage. This gives the plastic surgeon access to the abdominal wall muscles that often need to be tightened with sutures to create a firmer and flatter appearance of the tummy. If present, umbilical hernia will also be corrected during this stage of the procedure. If the amount of skin tissue to be removed is considerable, additional incisions might be required, one around the belly button needed for its reposition and others on the flanks, if there is an excess of skin there as well.
The final stage of the procedure is fat grafting to the hips. The plastic surgeon will use the fat collected with liposuction and purified to inject it into the hips with the help of special syringes. The incisions required for fat grafting to the hips are small and barely visible after the cicatrization process is completed, just like the ones necessary for liposuction on the flanks and tummy.
- What to expect during the recovery period
The recovery period after the hourglass tummy tuck is not very different from the recovery after a traditional abdominoplasty. Generally speaking, patients should take two weeks off from work for the recovery. During the first few days after the procedure, patients might experience a more intense level of pain and discomfort, but they can be easily alleviated with pain medication that will be prescribed by the plastic surgeon.
To reduce the swelling that naturally occurs after surgical trauma, patients are advised to wear the compression garments around the clock for the first few weeks post-op and to avoid intense physical activities. However, to reduce the risk of developing a life-threatening complication called deep vein thrombosis, patients are asked to get off the bed as soon as possible and walk around the room for a few minutes every couple of hours. Make sure to walk with the back bent slightly forward for the first few days post-op so as not to put too much pressure on the incisions. When resting in bed, patients should also keep either the knees bent or the back elevated to 30% as this will make it easier to get on and off the bed without putting pressure on the incisions.
As fat grafting is part of the hourglass tummy tuck, the recommendation is to avoid sleeping on the sides of the body for a minimum of two to three weeks post-op as this could cause the death of the fat cells transferred. A healthy and balanced diet rich in fibers is recommended for the first two weeks post-op to make the healing process smoother and avoid a bloated tummy or other discomforts.
- Are there potential complications associated with this procedure?
Just like any other surgical procedure, there are risks and complications associated with undergoing an hourglass tummy tuck. The risks are not higher than the ones associated with undergoing liposuction or abdominoplasty, and they occur in rare cases. Among the complications that can occur after the hourglass tummy tuck are infection, excessive bleeding, seroma and hematoma, deep vein thrombosis, and so on. Achieving unsatisfactory results is another risk associated with the hourglass tummy tuck. This is why it is important to get a board-certified, experienced plastic surgeon to play out the procedure.
- When will the final results transpire?
Many patients want to know when they will be able to see the final results of the hourglass tummy tuck. When it comes to plastic surgery procedures including the hourglass tummy tuck, the results that are visible immediately after the procedure are not the same as the results that will be final.
For the hourglass tummy tuck, it can take three to six months for the final results to transpire and even longer for the cicatrization process of the scars to be fully completed. During this time, patients are advised to wait and not rush the healing process in any way. Each patient heals at his own pace, so it is important to allow the body to restore after the surgical trauma without putting too much pressure on it. Wearing the compression garments and following the recommendations of the plastic surgeon for post-op care will ensure you have a smooth and speedy recovery period and good results.
The hourglass tummy tuck is the procedure recommended for women with narrow hips and unwanted adipose tissue on the tummy and the flanks and also suffering due to the unappealing appearance of the abdominal wall. When the procedure is performed, the plastic surgeon will remove the excess of fat from the waistline and use it to add more volume to the hips, hence creating beautiful curves in all the right places. Also, the traditional tummy tuck is performed so the abdomen will be firm and flat. Make sure to discuss your candidacy for the procedure in detail with the plastic surgeon during the pre-operative consultation. Also, don’t forget to address all the concerns you might have about undergoing this procedure, including what the recovery period entails and the potential risks and complications associated with the procedure.