Best candidates for the hourglass tummy tuck
Abdominoplasty, also called the tummy tuck, is a plastic surgery procedure performed on the abdominal wall. The goal of the surgery is to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall, correct imperfections in the area, and reduce the level of skin sagginess on the tummy. The procedure is safe and efficient when performed on patients with a strong medical indication and by a talented and experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. There are different types of tummy tucks that can be performed, depending on the needs of the patient and their anatomical characteristics. Among these procedures, there is one that delivers superior results and can considerably change the shape of the patient’s body. This is the hourglass tummy tuck. In this article, we will discuss more details about the hourglass tummy tuck and also which are the best candidates for the procedure.
Why should you undergo a tummy tuck?
Several types of procedures can improve the appearance of the belly, especially when the skin is very distended as a result of:
– one or multiple pregnancies;
– significant weight loss;
– umbilical hernias;
– loss of skin elasticity due to aging.
Liposuction may be sufficient in some cases to improve the tummy, but when the correction is significant and affects more of the structures of the abdominal wall, it is necessary to use a tummy tuck. The purpose of this procedure is to remove the damaged skin and restore a firm and flat belly. At the same time, it is possible to remove excess fat by liposuction and this brings us one step closer to the procedure we will discuss, the hourglass tummy tuck.
The hourglass tummy tuck
The hourglass tummy tuck is a fairly complex procedure, but also very delicate at the same time. It requires the use of general anesthetic and can take two to four hours or more to be performed. This is the reason why you will find this procedure among the services offered only by the most experienced, talented and board-certified plastic surgeons. The experience of the surgeon is vital when considering this kind of procedure as there are many stages involved in it and each one of them needs to be performed to the highest standards to achieve satisfactory results. So, let’s have a look at how the procedure is performed.
During this stage of the procedure, the plastic surgeon will use cannulas connected to a strong medical vacuum device to dislodge and remove fat from the midline area. This means that small incisions will be made on the flanks and the lower part of the tummy where the cannulas will be introduced. A back and forth movement is performed to remove the fat that is suctioned into the vacuum device. After the fat is collected in this manner, it will be put through a complex purification process called centrifugation. During this stage, the damaged fat cells that are not eligible for transfer, as well as the blood and other impurities, will be eliminated from the mix.
2. Tummy tuck
Several techniques can be used when performing the tummy tuck. Most often, the surgeon removes a large portion of skin, located between the navel and the pubis. The healthy skin located above the navel is then re-draped downwards to reconstruct the abdominal wall. The size of the scar varies according to the size of the procedure: it is usually located in the suprapubic area and not very visible, not even when the patient is wearing underwear. It can happen for the muscles to be affected by diastasis recti, meaning there is a gap is between the left and right muscles. To create a flat tummy, the surgeon will bring together the muscles on the median line and use sutures to keep them together. Strengthening the muscles with sutures is an important part of the procedure. After the imperfections of the abdominal wall have been corrected and the incisions sutured, the plastic surgeon will move on to the third stage of the procedure.
3. Fat transfer to the hips
While fat transfer to the hips might not seem like a natural choice for some people, you should know that the only way to create beautiful curves in patients with narrow hips and a square shape of the body is to add more volume to the hips. And this volume comes from the fat grafted into the hips. The transfer is done with special syringes, and it requires small incisions made on the operated areas.
Results achieved with the hourglass tummy tuck
The aesthetic results depend on many factors (surgeon’s experience, the extent of operation, initial appearance of the belly, etc.). In all cases, the best results are obtained when the patient combines the operation with hygienic and dietary measures (weight loss, physical activity with the doctor’s agreement, healthy diet). After the operation, compressive garments are recommended to be worn for a minimum of four weeks non-stop and the same amount of time after only during the day. Following the recommendations of the plastic surgeon to the letter can lead to better results and a smoother and faster recovery process. Keep in mind that the results achieved with the hourglass tummy tuck are not necessarily visible immediately after the procedure. It can take three to six months and even more to be able to fully evaluate the results. Also, the appearance of the tummy and midline can change a lot over the course of the first few months post-op. Initially, the whole area treated with surgery will be swollen and bruised. In time when the swelling subsides, the tummy will become flatter and firmer and the waist smaller. Also, the hips will look more voluptuous.
Best candidates for the hourglass tummy tuck
For people interested in undergoing the hourglass tummy tuck, the best candidates are patients who understand that this is a complex and delicate procedure and that it entails risks and complications just like any other procedure. Patients should be in good health and emotional condition and have realistic expectations. Also, it is important for patients to know exactly how to prepare and what to expect once the surgery is performed. Understanding the long-term consequences and demands in order to sustain the results are also essential factors that are characteristic for best candidates for the hourglass tummy tuck.
In terms of physical characteristics of patients that are good candidates for the hourglass tummy tuck, they should have unwanted fat deposits on the flanks and abdominal wall, narrow hips, and a square or oval shape of the body. Patients who are best candidates also understand that it can take a while to see the final results and that they need to keep a constant weight and avoid an ulterior pregnancy to be able to sustain the results.
Your candidacy for the procedure will be evaluated by the plastic surgeon during the pre-operative consultation. You will go through a medical examination, and the plastic surgeon will check the condition of the structures of the abdominal wall and decide what the best surgical plan is to correct the imperfections bothering you.
The best candidates for the hourglass tummy tuck are women with saggy skin on the tummy, loose abdominal muscles and a potential umbilical hernia, who also want to achieve a considerable improvement in the body, aside from a flat and firm tummy. The procedure aims to help patients get the beautiful hourglass silhouette which is characterized by the small dimensions of the waist compared to the shoulders and the hips. The hips will get more volume due to the fat cells grafted in the area. Technically, what happens when the hourglass tummy tuck is performed is that the patient will go through a redistribution of fat (from the flanks and the abdominal wall to the hips), a strengthening of the loose abdominal muscles, and an elimination of the excess skin from the tummy.