Also known as an Abdominoplasty. This popular surgical procedure is used to help firm the abdomen area and involves the removal of excess skin and fat, to give the appearance of a flatter and firmer abdomen. The procedure is ideally suited for women who would like to regain their pre-pregnancy shape and contours, their muscle control and remove stretch marks, if present, below the navel. It is also very suitable for patients who have experienced significant weight loss and are left with excess skin that they wish to be removed.
A tummy tuck procedure will get rid of some of your excess skin and fat and will tighten the muscles in your abdominal wall.
What you need to understand is that a tummy tuck procedure is not an alternative for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. While its results are significantly permanent, maintaining a positive outcome will require you to have a healthier lifestyle.
Furthermore, this type of treatment procedure is not the same as liposuction. A tummy tuck is major surgery and not all individuals who wish to undergo it are good candidates. Generally speaking, this specific type of treatment procedure is for both men and women who are in good health. This is also suitable for women who have had more than one pregnancies, as well as both men and women who were formerly obese and still have excess fat and loose skin around their belly area.
You will be advised to postpone your plans for a tummy tuck procedure if you are:
- Planning to get pregnant – you may want to consider it once you’re done having children. A tummy tuck tightens your vertical muscles and future pregnancies may separate those muscles.
- Planning to lose weight – tummy tuck should be done after weight loss.
In preparation for a tummy tuck procedure, you will need to have a consultation with your surgeon. During your consultation, you will be asked about your expected result, goals. Furthermore, your surgeon will also discuss the following options:
- A partial abdominoplasty (Mini abdominoplasty) – this is for those people who have fat deposits below their navel area. This type of tummy tuck procedure usually lasts about two hours, depending on the case.
- Complete abdominoplasty – With this type of tummy tuck surgery, an incision is usually from hip bone to hip bone following the contouring of skin, tissue, and muscle as needed. It will also be required to move the patient’s belly button; patients must also have tube drainage under their skin for a few days.
Before your actual surgery, you may be asked to do the following:
- Quit smoking two weeks before and two weeks after your surgery.
- Eat well balanced complete meals.
- Stop taking certain medications before and after your surgery (prescription drugs, herbal medicines, and supplements)
A tummy tuck procedure typically lasts for about one to five hours, depending on your case. You will also be given general anesthesia while you undergo the surgery, meaning, you will be asleep during the whole procedure.
Length of Stay in Destination
Depending on the extent of the surgery, you may be released within a few hours or you may have to remain overnight at the hospital. You should plan to stay in the Country for at least one week after your surgery, this will allow for the initial recovery and follow-up check-ups and etc.
Aside from stitches, the area where you had your surgery will also be covered by bandages. The bandage will help promote proper healing. Small tubes will also be placed along your incisions for several days to help drain any excess blood and fluid. The pain will be inevitable for the first few days, swelling around your surgical area for about six weeks is also normal. You will be given pain medications to help ease discomfort.
It is very important that you strictly follow your doctor’s aftercare instructions to help you recover. You will need to limit your strenuous activities for at least six weeks. You may also need to take up to one month off of work for your recovery, follow-up visits with your doctor are also very important to ensure positive results in the long run.
Overall, patients who have had a tummy tuck procedure have been recorded to having positive results after the procedure. However, maintaining these significant results will always depend on how you care for your body.
Apart from fulfilling your body goal, it is also important that you should be aware of the possible risks and side effects of this type of treatment procedure, for example, scarring, skin loss, infections, bleeding, asymmetry, fat necrosis (fat tissues deep in the skin might die), prolonged swelling and skin discoloration, cardiac and pulmonary complications, seroma (fluid accumulation) and suboptimal aesthetic result.
Alternatives to Tummy Tuck Procedure
While there are non-surgical options that can be considered as an alternative to this type of treatment procedure, note that these alternatives will not give you the same results as a tummy tuck. These non-surgical alternatives only give off limited amounts of skin tightening and a small amount of non-surgical fat reduction.
CoolSculpting – in this procedure, your fat cells will be frozen and eventually be eliminated by your body. You will usually see results after a few weeks and its final effects will be shown typically within three months.
SculpSure – unlike CoolSculpting, SculpSure makes use of laser beam light to kill your fat cells. During the procedure, the laser will be used to heat the fat cells to a point of irreversible damage. Once your fat cells are damaged, they will eventually be swept away by your body’s lymphatic system. Just like CoolSculpting, it will also take about three months to see full results.
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