Getting rid of excess skin from the tummy
Getting rid of excess skin from the tummy
The tummy tuck is performed to improve the appearance of a distended abdomen significantly. However, an abdominoplasty generates a permanent scar whose length can be from one hip bone to the other. This scar is placed in the suprapubic area in order to be masked easily by a swimsuit or lingerie.
The excess skin present on the tummy can create more than a physical discomfort for the person confronted with this. It can also create real emotional complexes and lead the person to avoid certain social interactions. Going to the pool or the beach, as well as other activities with minimal clothing necessary will be avoided by most patients struggling with an excess of skin on the tummy.
Abdominoplasty can help patients get rid of the excess skin from the tummy. However, there are certain details that all patients should be aware of before scheduling their procedure.
Outline of the tummy tuck
If you are considering a tummy tuck, these few lines provide you with the basic knowledge of this procedure, when it is recommended, how it is performed, and what results you can expect. These aspects will be discussed in detail and applied to your particular case during the initial consultation with your plastic surgeon.
Candidacy for abdominoplasty
The best candidates for a tummy tuck are men or women who have a weight close to normal but who complain of skin folds that resist weight loss and physical efforts. These skin folds are localized on the lower part of the tummy, and the excess skin can cover the pubic area partially or entirely. This operation is particularly useful for women who have distension of the skin and their abdominal muscles after several pregnancies. The relaxed abdominal muscles that can occur during pregnancy is a condition called diastasis recti. This condition can only be corrected surgically, and the tummy tuck will give this opportunity.
On the other hand, this type of surgery is risky and strongly contraindicated for obese or severely overweight patients because poorly vascularized fat deposits can trigger complications that could otherwise be avoided and also because the results won’t be satisfactory and the weight loss that can occur after a tummy tuck is insignificant for obese patients. It is advisable for people who have to lose weight to delay this operation. The same is true for patients planning other pregnancies because the outcome of the operation may deteriorate.
Generally speaking, getting rid of the excess of skin from the tummy with the help of an abdominoplasty should only be scheduled when the patient has managed to reach and sustain a normal weight for a minimum of eight months and when there is no plan for an ulterior pregnancy. Additional procedures might be required to correct imperfections that might occur after an ulterior pregnancy or weight fluctuations after the tummy tuck. Before deciding to have surgery, think carefully about what you expect from the operation and discuss it with your surgeon. Also, make sure to ask all the details as well as long-term consequences that can be associated with the procedure.
Pre-operative consultation with the plastic surgeon
At the first consultation, your surgeon assesses your state of health, determines the importance of localized fat deposits, and appreciates the elasticity of your skin. The surgeon will perform measurements and evaluate the condition of the abdominal muscles just as well and check if umbilical hernia is present. During the tummy tuck, the umbilical hernia can be corrected, so the plastic surgeon needs to check if this is necessary or not.
After the medical examination is completed, you will also be asked to talk about your medical history, what medication you are taking now, and whether you suffer from certain allergies. Make sure to also mention to the plastic surgeon if you are a smoker as smoking can hinder the healing process and you will have to work together with the surgeon to find a formula that will reduce the risks associated with smoker patients. In many cases, a stoppage of smoking of three weeks pre- and post-operatively is enough to ensure complications are avoided and the premises for good healing are created. However, for patients who can’t stop smoking before and after the procedure, solutions can be discussed with the surgeon. In some cases, the patient will be advised to reduce the daily intake of cigarettes.
Another thing that you will be asked to talk about during the pre-operative consultation are the goals and expectations you have from the procedure. Keep in mind that you are a good candidate only if your expectations are realistic and you understand the risks and complications that can potentially occur after the procedure.
The next thing that the plastic surgeon will do during the pre-operative consultation is to recommend a surgical technique and explain why he believes this is the best for you. He will tell you the risks and limitations of the surgical plan he plans to follow during the abdominoplasty. Moreover, the patient will find out how to efficiently prepare for the procedure and also what is expected from him during the recovery period.
Before the tummy tuck
We have already mentioned that it is important for patients who smoke to stop doing so for a minimum of three weeks before the procedure is scheduled, preferably more. Birth control pills should be stopped a month before the procedure as they can increase the risk of developing blood clots, and anti-inflammatory medication is to be avoided for a minimum of fourteen days before the procedure as it can increase the risk of excessive bleeding during and after the procedure. Sun exposure is also contraindicated for a month or more before the procedure as to avoid skin burns in the areas to be treated. If you catch a cold or any other infection, your surgery should be postponed for obvious health reasons.
Be sure to be accompanied by someone when you leave the clinic and make sure that your workload will be reduced or that you can take 2 to 3 weeks off work after the procedure. Ensure you have enough food so you do not have to run to the shop when you come home. You will need compression stockings and a girdle to wear nonstop during the first few weeks post-op and for another few weeks after only during the day. The plastic surgeon will advise you on the best options you have when it comes to compression garments.
During the first few days after the tummy tuck, your belly will be swollen, and a painful discomfort will require appropriate analgesic treatment. The duration of hospitalization can vary from a few hours to 24 hours, depending on the complexity of each case. You must get up as soon as possible to avoid deep vein thrombosis and take short walks every couple of hours. It is necessary to observe strict rest and to avoid sudden movements which could favor the opening of the incisions. If you have a predisposition to constipation, talk to your surgeon who prescribes mild laxatives to promote transit and avoid painful efforts.
A few weeks or months will be needed before you can resume intense physical activities, but most of your daily activities can be resumed within the first two weeks post-op, as well as work responsibilities that don’t entail intense physical effort.
The tummy tuck can provide spectacular results in patients with loose abdominal muscles and an excess of skin on the abdominal area. The procedure is often performed on patients who had multiple pregnancies, suffered weight fluctuations, or have developed an unsightly appearance of the tummy due to the natural aging process. The procedure can help patients get rid of the excess of skin from the tummy, provided they are good candidates for the procedure and there are no strong contraindications to it. You will find out all the details associated with the procedure and your eligibility to undergo it during the pre-operative consultation with the plastic surgeon. The patient needs to take time to prepare before the abdominoplasty and quit smoking at least three to six weeks in advance. After the surgery, there is a set of strict recommendations that need to be followed to the letter to avoid complications and maximize the results that can be achieved.
Getting rid of the excess of skin from the tummy can only be done with the help of abdominoplasty, and it is important to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon to play out your procedure.