Our bodies tend to recline as we age, leading to a steady accumulation of excess fat and skin in the abdomen. Pregnant women and those who are overweight have it worse. To regain their former streamlined physiques, most people resort to intense physical exercise and a strict diet. Sadly, this strategy seldom works — at least in the way you want (with both slim contours and tight skin).
However, this does not mean your prospects for a more toned physique are delusions of grandeur. Doctors have now developed a cosmetic surgical procedure deemed as tummy tuck/abdominoplasty to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen. Tummy tuck is a major surgery, so it’s best to be well acquainted with the facts before jumping onto the surgery table.
What Is a Tummy Tuck, and Why Is It Done?
Tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery aimed at tightening muscles that have become loose following pregnancy. It can also eliminate excess fat and skin from the midsection after massive weight loss. On top of improving your physical appearance, tummy tuck can enhance bladder function and address umbilical hernias.
Abdominoplasty should not be mistaken as a substitute for weight loss. Practitioners recommend that tummy tuck be considered after leveraging physical exercise to attain the right body shape underneath.
Preparing for a Tummy Tuck
Smokers who intend to have abdominoplasty should immediately cease this habit. Smoking can delay the healing process and increase the risk of complications during the procedure. Experts recommend that patients quit smoking for at least a month before the surgery.
Proper nutrition is vital for smooth healing. Dieting excessively prolongs the healing process. It is strongly advisable to eat well-balanced and complete meals.
In your pre-operative consultation, your specialist might advise you to stop taking medications that thin your blood. Examples include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) and aspirin. It is important to notify your surgeon if you’re on any blood thinners before the surgery.
Side Effects and Complications of a Tummy Tuck
Naturally, you will experience soreness for several weeks after surgery. To alleviate this, your surgeon will prescribe pain medications. Other side effects include prolonged bruising, numbness, and overall tiredness that may last for weeks.
Even with the best surgeons, surgery brings risks, some of which might be unavoidable. People with poor blood circulation, liver, lung, or heart disease, and diabetes are at a higher risk of complications.
Typical complications include:
- Blood clots
- Poor wound healing
- Accumulation of excessive fluid (seroma)
Recovery Period for a Tummy Tuck Surgery
The recovery period depends on the individual and the procedure’s success rate. Tummy tuck recovery time in Las Vegas, NV, is estimated at six to eight weeks. People who experience mild complications during surgery are more likely to recover quicker than the rest.
It is advisable that you wear a compression garment for at least six weeks after the surgery. This will hasten the healing process and improve your general comfort. Your specialist will give you a medical check-up routine to help reduce risks and improve your experience.
Tummy Tuck FAQ
If you’re considering a tummy tuck, you likely have a few questions. Below are some of the most common questions people have about tummy tuck and their answers.
What happens during a tummy tuck procedure?
During surgery, your surgeon will diligently eliminate excessive fat and skin from your abdomen. This is followed by the repair and alignment of your abdominal muscles. As a bonus, your plastic surgeon might perform liposuction to contour the flanks and abdomen; however, liposuction does not always accompany a tummy tuck and may be recommended at a later date.
What should I expect after the surgery?
Like any other surgery, you will experience some pain and discomfort. Your surgeon will recommend a compression garment which should be worn for 4 to 6 weeks to facilitate the healing process.
In the first 10 days, you should try to remain bent at the waist as much as possible while lying down or standing to allow your abdominal skin to adapt. This will also protect the incision. You will be able to stand straight after the 10 days. Patients with high fluid output might be placed under a drain. This usually comes off in 1 to 2 weeks when your surgeon determines that the output is low enough.
Are there any long-term considerations after a tummy tuck?
If you’re able to maintain a stable weight, the results of tummy tuck will be stable over time. Becoming pregnant or weight fluctuations might reverse the outcomes of abdominoplasty.
What are the different types of tummy tuck?
The approach chosen by your plastic surgeon will depend on the level of excess fat or skin in your abdomen and your overall health. Complete abdominoplasty is reserved for patients who need the most correction. Partial abdominoplasty (mini tummy tuck) is performed on patients with less excess skin or fat. Individuals with a lot of excess fat in the back, as well as the abdomen, undergo a circumferential tummy tuck (lower body lift).