Tummy Tuck Surgery Overview Introduction The tummy tuck procedure, also known as abdominoplasty, is an efficient way to reshape your abdomen by eliminating sagging skin that is difficult to remove with diet and exercise. This technique also targets adipose tissue to get a firmer, tighter abdomen. Moreover, if the patient’s abdominal muscles have been damaged over the course of pregnancy, the plastic surgeon can also correct this issue during the tummy tuck procedure. The tummy tuck is a complex surgery and this is why it is crucial to be aware of what the intervention entails and what to expect before, during and after the surgery. Keep in mind that the purpose of the abdominoplasty is to provide you with a firmer abdomen. To get the most out of your surgery, select a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform the intervention. What causes sagging skin? Sagging skin can occur on the abdominal area as a result of massive weight gain and subsequent weight loss. Other factors such as aging, genetic predisposition and multiple pregnancies can also contribute to the development of loose skin on the belly. The presence of drooping skin on the abdomen is unappealing which is why so many women opt for a tummy tuck to modify the contour of their belly and enhance their figure. It is essential to mention that women show great concern over the appearance of their abdomen. This may cause insecurities to develop as they interact with different sectors of society and lead to decreased productivity and low self-esteem. These dire circumstances make it crucial to remedy this aesthetic issue as soon as possible. Unfortunately, diet and exercise cannot do much in terms of correcting loose skin; thus, people resort to abdominoplasty, which can provide their desired results when performed by an experienced surgeon. Tummy Tuck Candidacy If you are bothered by sagging skin and excess adipose tissue on the abdominal area, then maybe it is time to consider the tummy tuck surgery. To be eligible for the procedure, the patient must have a constant, close-to-normal body weight and he or she should also be in good physical and emotional condition. It is recommended for the patients suffering from conditions such as heart or lung problems and high blood pressure to avoid the procedure entirely. Likewise, it is also recommended for the patient to keep from smoking before and after the intervention. If you smoke, the plastic surgeon will suggest that you first quit smoking before setting a date for the procedure. Women who intend to have more children in the future are also advised to postpone the surgery until after giving birth to their last child. Setting reasonable expectations is vital for the success of the operation. Who Should Avoid Undergoing the Tummy Tuck Procedure Not all patients are eligible for abdominoplasty. If you plan to have children in a few years’ time, a tummy tuck is not advisable because pregnancies tend to alter the results of the intervention. The same goes for following a weight loss program; and as such, it is recommended that you postpone the procedure until you have completed the program and reached your ideal weight. There are individuals who incorrectly assume that they can use the abdominoplasty to lose weight. It is necessary for them to keep in mind that the aim of this surgical procedure is to contour the body, especially the abdominal area and not to help you shed pounds. If you are not amenable to the probability of scarring after the procedure, you are advised to reconsider undergoing this surgery. Preparing For Tummy Tuck If your plastic surgeon has given you the green light for the abdominoplasty, you are probably wondering what this surgery has in store for you. To get ready for the tummy tuck, make sure to discuss all the details of the procedure with the plastic surgeon. Ask your doctor about all the steps required for the surgery, including possible risks and complications, downtime, precautionary measures during and after the intervention, the type of anesthesia used and what to expect in terms of results. It is also essential to do proper research on the intervention, so you are aware of the processes involved in this surgical technique. Types of Tummy Tucks There are two major categories of tummy tuck surgeries: Full tummy tuck: it is also called complete abdominoplasty. This type of tummy tuck requires an incision to be made from hip to hip. After the incision is performed, the surgeon will eliminate surplus skin and adipose tissue, contour the muscles, and reposition the belly button during the intervention. Once the surgery is done, the surgeon will introduce a drainage cannula under the skin near the incision to prevent fluid accumulation. Mini tummy tuck: This procedure is required when the amount of skin and fat tissue to be removed is smaller. The intervention is performed on the area under the navel and the belly button will not be moved from its position. This technique usually takes no longer than two hours. Understanding the Tummy Tuck The tummy tuck is frequently performed under general anesthesia or using IV sedation. The plastic surgeon will start by performing an incision parallel to the area between the belly button and pubic bone. The length of the incision is entirely dependent on the amount of fat and skin tissue to be removed. In the next step, the surgeon will remove the excess skin and fat. If needed, the abdominal wall muscles will also be tightened and for a full tummy tuck, a new incision will be performed around the belly button to allow the surgeon to eliminate the sagging skin from the upper region of the abdomen. Once all the excess skin and adipose tissue is removed, the incisions will be sutured. The patient will be able to notice the results of the surgery immediately after waking from the anesthesia, but the final results can take months and up to one year to be fully visible. Recovery The abdominoplasty is an important surgery and the recovery period is equally essential. The patient might experience a mild to moderate level of discomfort and pain in the days following the intervention. The doctor will prescribe pain medication to control the discomfort. Lastly, the patient will be required to wear a compression garment for the first weeks following the surgery. The patient needs to be vigilant and avoid strenuous physical activities during the healing period. Work can be resumed within two weeks from the procedure. This also means that before undergoing the surgery you will need to take two weeks off work. Remember to get plenty of rest during the recovery period to allow your body to heal adequately. Tummy Tuck Results The results of the intervention are visible immediately after the surgery, but they will be even more noticeable once the swelling has subsided and the recovery period is over. The abdominoplasty will reshape your abdomen and make it tighter, firmer and more proportionate with your body figure. Most tummy tuck patients are ecstatic with the results of their intervention, but still there is no guarantee that all patients will achieve their expected results. This is the reason why the surgeon will insist that you set reasonable expectations from the procedure. The tummy tuck surgery will definitely improve the aesthetic appearance of the patient, but scarring will also be inevitable. The scar is permanent and while it might change its color and appearance, it will never completely disappear. If you find it difficult to accept this, then you should reconsider your decision. For patients who already have a cesarean section scar, the current scars will be integrated into the scars formed after the tummy tuck intervention. If you want to enjoy the results of the intervention for as long as possible, it is crucial to obey the doctor’s recommendations. Make it a priority to keep a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise. Tummy Tuck Risks and Complications The abdominoplasty is a very personal decision to make, so keep in mind that only you can decide to do it or not. Don’t try to put the pressure on someone else as you will be the one dealing with the risks and potential complications of the procedure. Among the probable complications is the body’s adverse reaction to anesthesia. Excessive bleeding can be a problem in itself or cause hematomas. Infections and skin necrosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications are also possible after a tummy tuck intervention. Conclusion The abdominoplasty is a cosmetic surgery intervention created to provide you with a slimmer and firmer abdominal area by eliminating the excess, sagging skin and adipose tissue from the belly. Loose abdominal muscles can also be fixed during the intervention. The tummy tuck is a major intervention, so make sure to consider all aspects before deciding to undergo surgery. The uplifting news is that abdominoplasty can provide noticeable results immediately after the operation. Nonetheless, since the intervention is associated with risks and potential complications, make sure to select a qualified plastic surgeon to conduct the procedure.