Can I drop down a size after abdominoplasty?
Can I drop down a size after abdominoplasty?
The tummy tuck is the plastic surgery procedure recommended for patients of both sexes who want to enhance the appearance of their bodies by correcting the imperfections of the abdominal wall, such as loose abdominal muscles and saggy skin present on the lower part of the tummy. These imperfections can occur as a result of multiple pregnancies, considerable weight fluctuations, or even the natural aging process.
When considering the procedure, it is important for patients to understand exactly what they can expect in terms of results and also what are the limitations of the procedure. During the pre-operative consultation for the tummy tuck, many patients want to know whether they will lose weight after the procedure and drop down a size or more in clothing.
In this article, we will discuss what abdominoplasty involves and what can be expected in terms of aesthetic results.
What does abdominoplasty involve?
The tummy tuck is an option for patients who are suffering due to an unsightly appearance of the abdominal area that could have been caused by many factors. What is important to mention straight from the beginning and before anything else is that the procedure targets patients with a normal weight and in good health and emotional condition. This means that the tummy tuck is not a weight loss method and it is unrealistic for patients to want to lose weight using this procedure. Moreover, if weight loss occurs after this procedure, the aesthetic results can be damaged.
Let’s see how the procedure is performed to understand it better. A pre-operative consultation will take place before the procedure is scheduled and also a meeting with the anesthetist. These consultations are important because this is when the patient’s candidacy for the procedure is assessed and the goals of the procedure are discussed. Moreover, the patient will also be advised to undergo a series of medical tests to rule out potential contraindications to the procedure. When performing the medical examination, the plastic surgeon will also measure the height and weight of the patient, aside from checking the condition of the tissues of the tummy and surrounding areas. It is important to consider the height and weight because the procedure should only be performed on patients of a normal weight who have managed to maintain the weight for at least six months minimum. This is essential because the procedure is often recommended for patients who had bariatric surgery or have followed other drastic weight loss programs and now want to enhance the appearance of the body. The tummy tuck should be performed only after the weight loss process has ended and the results of the weight loss program have been stable for at least half a year. It is never a good idea to undergo plastic surgery on patients with variable weight as weight fluctuations are one of the most important factors that can damage the results.
After the patient has gotten to a normal weight and kept it for more than half a year, abdominoplasty can be performed. But does this mean the patient will lose any more weight after the procedure?
When the tummy tuck is performed, the plastic surgeon will perform incisions on the lower part of the tummy on the suprapubic area. In some cases, the incision can be as long as from one hip bone to the other, but if the amount of skin tissue to be excised is limited, the incision can be smaller. The incision is used to detach the skin and fat tissues from the muscles of the abdominal wall to get access to them and correct potential imperfections such as umbilical hernia and diastasis recti. After the muscles of the abdominal wall have been brought together and strengthened with sutures, the plastic surgeon can re-drape the skin on the abdomen and remove any excess. In many cases, the navel needs to be repositioned, so this means that an additional incision will be made around the belly button.
When the traditional tummy tuck is performed, the plastic surgeon doesn’t perform liposuction to remove more fat from the flanks or the abdominal wall. The procedure is focused around strengthening the abdominal muscles to give the tummy a flat and firm appearance and removing the excess of skin that can be present on the inferior part of the tummy. This means that the patient can lose a few more kilograms after undergoing the tummy tuck, but this depends entirely on the amount of tissue to be removed. In some cases, the belly apron that was left after bariatric surgery can be of a significant weight, which can cause some weight loss.
Dropping down a size or two after abdominoplasty
So far, we have demonstrated why a considerable weight loss is not possible nor is it desirable after the tummy tuck. However, when it comes to dropping down a size or two in clothing after the procedure, it is a different thing altogether.
When confronted with the unsightly appearance of the tummy, patients will tend to get clothes that are a few sizes more than what they would actually need just to avoid an unaesthetic appearance. After the procedure, the tummy will be without that unpleasant excess of skin tissue, hence the patient can wear clothes that are smaller and more fitted to the body. Often, patients drop down a size or two and even more after abdominoplasty. While the weight loss that follows is not considerable, the changes in the appearance of the body can be spectacular. Often, these motivate the patient to start working out and living a healthier and more balanced lifestyle, so their appearance improves even more.
Patients undergoing the tummy tuck can expect to drop a size or two in clothing after the procedure, but often, better results are encountered when the tummy tuck is combined with liposuction. Liposuction can be performed on the abdominal wall and also the flanks to improve the results even more.
If you want to know how your body will look like after the tummy tuck, you can discuss this with the plastic surgeon during the pre-operative consultation. He will be able to give you an exact estimate of the changes that you should expect as different patients experience different results after the procedure. Depending on the condition of the tissues of the tummy and also your weight and height, the plastic surgeon will choose the best surgical plan that will help you achieve your aesthetic goals. Keep in mind that weight loss should not be a goal of the tummy tuck. Otherwise, you might be disappointed after the procedure.
It is also important to mention that the final results of the tummy tuck can take up to six or even nine months to transpire. During the first few months post-op, it is not uncommon for patients to experience bruising and swelling on the operated area, so don’t worry if your tummy will not look perfect from day one as this is normal and a part of the healing process. Wearing the girdle or compression garments recommended by the plastic surgeon will improve the results of your abdominoplasty and also reduce swelling.
The tummy tuck aims to correct imperfections of the abdominal wall and help the patient get a firm and flat tummy. The procedure is not associated with weight loss, and a responsible plastic surgeon will strongly advise you against using it for weight loss purposes as you might be disappointed with the results. Just like any other plastic surgery procedure, the recommendation is to have the procedure if you have a normal weight and have managed to maintain it for a minimum of six months.
However, for patients interested in how the shape and size of their body will change after the procedure, there is good news. Even if the procedure doesn’t have a considerable impact on the weight of the patient, it can have spectacular results in terms of the change in the aesthetic appearance. The tummy will be firm and flat, and this often means that the patients can drop a size or two in clothing. The changes in the appearance of the body and how many clothes sizes will be reduced after the procedure are dependent on the severity of the skin ptosis.
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