Firmer and youthful abdomen after the tummy tuck
The tummy tuck, also known in medical terms as abdominoplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure performed to help the patient get a firmer and flatter abdominal area without any sagging skin.
When diet and physical exercise can‚Äôt provide any results for the patient, it is only with the help of plastic surgery that we can get satisfactory results. During the tummy tuck surgery, the plastic surgeon removes the excess of skin and the additional layer of fat and also strengthens the loose abdominal muscles that could be affected by a condition called diastasis recti.
When considering the tummy tuck surgery, it is important to choose an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon as it is a complex and difficult procedure. Moreover, it is important for the patient to be diagnosed correctly before scheduling the procedure and for the right type of tummy tuck to be recommended.
Consultation for the tummy tuck procedure
The first step to getting a firmer and youthful abdomen is scheduling a pre-operative consultation with the plastic surgeon of your choice. This consultation is important because it is during this meeting that you will know for sure whether the tummy tuck is the right solution for you and if you are indeed an eligible candidate for the procedure.
A recommendation for the tummy tuck is given if the patient presents skin folds or a certain level of skin sagginess on the inferior part of the abdomen. To assess your candidacy for the tummy tuck procedure, the plastic surgeon will also ask you about your medical history, past surgeries, current medication and potential allergies. The consultation will also include a medical examination during which the plastic surgeon will evaluate the condition of the tissues on your tummy and the skin quality in the area. Depending on the level of sagginess and the disposition of the skin folds, the plastic surgeon might recommend getting a mini tummy tuck, a full tummy tuck, an hourglass tummy tuck or an extended tummy tuck.
Mini tummy tuck: During this procedure, there will be a remodeling of just the tissues of the abdomen below the belly button. In other words, the belly button stays in its position and is not affected in any way during the procedure. This type of tummy tuck is often associated with liposuction on the superior part of the abdomen and even the flanks, if necessary. The mini tummy tuck involves a smaller incision compared to the other types of tummy tuck; however, the recommendation for this type of abdominoplasty can be made only by the plastic surgeon and after carefully evaluating the patient‚Äôs condition. Performing a mini tummy tuck on a patient who would have needed a full tummy tuck can provide unsatisfactory results and leave behind sagginess.
Full tummy tuck: During this procedure, we perform a complete correction of the abdominal wall. This is recommended when there is a considerable level of skin laxity on the abdomen. The procedure will address the tissues on the upper part of the umbilicus as well. When a full tummy tuck is performed, the plastic surgeon will detach the skin starting from the suprapubic area and up to the rib cage. The skin is then re-draped over the abdomen and stretched, the belly button is repositioned to a natural position, and the excess skin is removed. The complete tummy tuck is a more complex procedure compared to the mini tummy tuck, and often the plastic surgeon will combine liposuction of the flanks to it. It is also often that the plastic surgeon will address and correct other imperfections such as diastasis recti or umbilical hernia when performing this procedure.
Hourglass tummy tuck: During this procedure, we combine the methods used for the full tummy tuck with liposuction and fat transfer to the hips to achieve superior aesthetic results. This procedure is recommended when the patient has narrow hips and wants to achieve or get closer to the much desired hourglass silhouette. In terms of the aesthetic results achieved with this procedure, they are superior due to the fact that the whole area is sculpted and redefined, not just the abdomen, but also the flanks and the hips.
Extended tummy tuck: This is a more complex procedure as it addresses the flanks, as well as the abdominal wall. Patients who have lost a lot of weight might be left with skin sagginess and folds on the flanks as well. These folds can‚Äôt be corrected if a full tummy tuck is performed, so they need to be addressed separately. In this case, the incisions will be longer, and the procedure is more often than not performed in association with liposuction.
The tummy tuck is indicated for patients of both sexes with the condition for them to be in a good health and emotional condition and present skin sagginess on the abdominal wall.
To get an idea whether the tummy tuck is recommended for you, there are certain conditions that should be present, such as:
– You have an abdominal area with an excess of saggy skin and a potential excessive layer of fat concentrated in the area;
– Your abdominal area is protruding (sticking out) and no amount of physical exercise can correct it. The appearance of the abdominal area is disproportionate to the rest of the body;
– After multiple pregnancies or with aging, the muscles of the abdomen have started to lack tonus, and physical exercises can‚Äôt make them look flat and firm again.
Discussing your reasons and expectations from the tummy tuck surgery is important and expected of you during the pre-operative consultation. It is also during this time that the plastic surgeon will make you aware of the fact that an ulterior pregnancy or weight gain occurring after the procedure could once again alter the results of the procedure.
If you decide to go forward with the procedure, the plastic surgeon will give you a list with pre-operative indications that will help you prepare for the procedure. Among these recommendations, the most important ones are avoiding smoking for at least three weeks before the procedure, stopping birth control a month before the procedure, and also avoiding any type of anti-inflammatory medication, as well as natural supplements for two weeks before the procedure. This will help you avoid unnecessary complications that can occur during or after the tummy tuck.
What happens on surgery day?
Make sure to fast for at least six to eight hours before the procedure to avoid complications that can occur due to the general anesthesia that is often used when performing the abdominoplasty.
Generally speaking, in the case of the tummy tuck, a horizontal incision is positioned right above the pubic area. The length of the incision can be between the two hip bones, but it actually depends on the quantity of skin to be removed during the procedure. The more skin we need to remove, the longer will the incisions be.
After the procedure, the results are visible immediately. In other words, the patient will notice that the abdominal area is tighter and firmer. However, it is only after a few months that the final results can be evaluated when the swelling and bruising that occur after surgery subside.
Getting a firmer and more youthful abdomen is possible nowadays with the help of the tummy tuck procedure. Keep in mind that the results of this procedure can‚Äôt be achieved in any other way through exercise and diet, and not even by using other plastic surgery procedures such as liposuction. The tummy tuck involves the removal of excess skin and also the strengthening of loose abdominal muscles with sutures, and this can only be done during this type of procedure.
The recovery period after the tummy tuck is no longer than a week or two, depending on the complexity of the procedure. During the pre-operative consultation, the plastic surgeon might make it necessary for the patient to undergo a mini tummy tuck, a full tummy tuck, an hourglass tummy tuck or an extended tummy tuck. The medical indication for a certain type of tummy tuck can only be made after assessing the tissues of the abdominal wall during examination.
The tummy tuck procedure boasts a high rate of satisfaction and the results are easily sustainable in time if the patient is committed to following recommendations from the plastic surgeon.