Getting all the info about the tummy tuck from your plastic surgeon
Getting all the info about the tummy tuck from your plastic surgeon
Abdominoplasty is a procedure frequently performed nowadays as it can help patients correct the imperfections of the abdominal wall left behind after multiple pregnancies, weight fluctuations, or the natural aging process.
A flat and firm tummy is something we all dream about. Unfortunately, it is very rare that we manage to keep the aesthetic appearance of the abdominal wall until late in life. There are many factors that can ruin the beautiful appearance of the tummy, and not all of them can be prevented. While it is true that keeping a balanced regimen with plenty of physical exercises and healthy food is good, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the tummy will look fit and firm until later in life. It can very well happen for people who have an active lifestyle to have an unsightly appearance of the abdomen caused by the lack of elasticity of the skin in the area, multiple pregnancies, or weight fluctuations.
The tummy tuck can be performed on patients who don’t have contraindications to the procedure. In this article, we will discuss getting all the info about the tummy tuck from your plastic surgeon.
Initial meeting with the plastic surgeon
Before undergoing a procedure as complex as the tummy tuck, the patient needs to meet at least once with the plastic surgeon he has chosen to perform the procedure. During the initial meeting with the plastic surgeon, he will assess the candidacy of the patient and notice if there are any strict contraindications to the procedure.
Getting all the info about the tummy tuck from your plastic surgeon starts with an open and honest conversation about your reasons for resorting to plastic surgery and motivations to have the procedure. While you might think that the appearance of your tummy speaks for itself, the plastic surgeon will ask more details about how you see yourself before performing the physical examination and measurements on your body.
People often resort to the tummy tuck after multiple pregnancies or considerable weight loss as the appearance of the abdominal wall deteriorates visibly. The plastic surgeon will deem you as an eligible candidate if these requirements are fulfilled:
– You have a strong motivation to undergo the procedure
– You are in good health and emotional condition
– You have realistic expectations from the procedure
– You understand and accept the associated risks and complications
– You have skin sagginess on the lower part of the abdomen, or you are suffering from other condition such as umbilical hernia or diastasis recti that can only be corrected surgically.
After the physical examination and discussion of your reasons and motivations for undergoing the procedure, the plastic surgeon will give you all the info about the tummy tuck.
Discussing the surgery with the plastic surgeon
Before anything else, patients interested in undergoing this procedure should know that there are multiple types of tummy tucks that can be performed, such as:
- Mini tummy tuck
The mini tummy tuck is the procedure performed on patients with a minor laxity of the skin on the lower part of the abdomen. The procedure entails a shorter incision and is performed without the repositioning of the belly button. This procedure is also recommended for patients who need an abdominal liposuction but have poor skin quality and need a lifting procedure to improve the results. The mini tummy tuck is the least invasive of the abdominoplasty procedures. However, it can’t be performed on request but only at the doctor’s recommendations.
- Complete tummy tuck
This is probably the most common type of abdominoplasty that is performed nowadays. Patients eligible for the complete tummy tuck often choose to have abdominal liposuction performed at the same time with the tummy tuck to refine the results furthermore. The complete tummy tuck entails two incisions: one in the suprapubic area and can be as long as from one hip bone to the other while the other incision is a circular one, performed around the belly button and necessary to be able to reposition the navel.
The complete tummy tuck is performed on both men and women who are suffering due to the unaesthetic appearance of the tummy that often has the appearance of a belly apron, which is the excess of fat and skin tissues that are partly or completely covering the suprapubic area.
The complete tummy tuck is performed under general anesthesia and requires a period of recovery of about two weeks for most patients.
- Extended tummy tuck
This procedure is often recommended for patients who undergo a massive weight loss as a result of bariatric surgery or other major weight loss programs. For these patients, it is not only the excess of skin and fat tissue on the lower part of the tummy that is a problem, but also the excess of tissue on the flanks. When weight loss occurs after a long time, the skin has been overstretched and the delicate skin on the flanks will not retract on the new contours of the body. If we perform just a simple, complete tummy tuck on patients with an excess of skin and fat tissue on the flanks, the results will be disappointing and so-called “dog ears” will occur. This is the term we use for the excess of tissue that is visible and present on the flanks after a complete tummy tuck.
The extended tummy tuck requires incisions on the flanks, additional to the incision on the suprapubic area, and around the navel. The results can be spectacular and the whole anatomy of the patient can be remodeled if an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon plays out the procedure. During the recovery period, the patient needs to be careful when resting and also to take care of the incision site to avoid infections.
- Hourglass tummy tuck
The hourglass tummy tuck is a very modern and special plastic surgery procedure as it promises not only a significant improvement in the area of the abdomen but on the whole silhouette. When the hourglass tummy tuck is performed, the plastic surgeon will combine the traditional tummy tuck with liposuction and fat transfer to the hips to create curves in all the right places and a beautiful, hourglass silhouette. This procedure is more complicated than any of the other types of tummy tuck as it requires for the plastic surgeon to have a keen eye for detail, a fine knowledge of the female body, and impressive skills.
The hourglass tummy tuck is performed on women with an excess of fat tissue on the tummy and the flanks, skin sagginess on the lower part of the tummy, and narrow hips. The fat is collected from areas where it is in excess (often the midline), and in the process we reshape the waist and make it smaller. Then the tummy tuck technique is performed to correct diastasis recti and create a firm and flat tummy, and the last stage of the procedure is fat transfer to the hips.
The recommendation is not to lie on the tummy or the hips for about three weeks post-op so as not to ruin the beautiful results achieved with the surgery or trigger unwanted complications.
The hourglass tummy tuck delivers the final results about three to six months after the procedure when the swelling and bruising subside and the scars are almost healed.
Getting all the info about the tummy tuck from your plastic surgeon is an important step to prepare you for undergoing the procedure. We always say that an informed patient is a prepared patient. Moreover, if you know what can happen and when to expect things, you will feel less stressed and anxious before and after the procedure. Keep in mind that the tummy tuck is a complex procedure that will affect the appearance of your body permanently. To sustain the results, it is important to avoid an ulterior pregnancy or weight fluctuations.