Achieving a flatter, tighter abdominal area is a goal for many people, women and men alike. There are a variety of reasons why someone may be dissatisfied with his or her waistline and abdomen, and the “tummy tuck” procedure, or abdominoplasty, might be an appropriate option for achieving a slimmer, more aesthetically appealing abdominal contour.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
The term “tummy tuck” refers to a cosmetic surgery procedure more formally known as abdominoplasty, which is designed to help patients sculpt and tone their abdominal areas. During a tummy tuck procedure, the surgeon manually tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall and sutures them into place. She then removes any excess skin from the patient’s abdomen to create a firmer, flatter midsection. The abdominoplasty procedure can be customized to each patient’s specific goals and may include liposuction or be combined with other body lift procedures.
Are You a Good Candidate for Abdominoplasty?
The ideal candidate for an abdominoplasty procedure is someone who has been unable to tone his or her abdominal region, even with the help of a healthy diet and exercise routine. While most people associate cosmetic surgery with women, the male tummy tuck is becoming an increasingly common way for men to flatten the difficult-to-tone stomach area. Abdominoplasty is also a fairly common method of restoring a woman’s figure after pregnancy. As with any plastic surgery procedure, results of tummy tuck surgery can vary, and candidates should discuss their goals with their surgeons in order to establish reasonable expectations. In addition, patients should be committed to maintaining their results with a stable diet and regular exercise after abdominoplasty.
Types of Tummy Tuck Surgery
With the increasing popularity of surgical body contouring, medical professionals have developed a variety of procedures to sculpt the abdomen and midsection. Many patients choose to undergo a traditional tummy tuck, while patients who have only a slightly protruding abdomen may opt for a less aggressive mini tummy tuck. The minimally invasive endoscopic tummy tuck is ideal for patients who have just a small amount of excess skin around the abdomen. Patients who desire more dramatic changes, or the removal of large amounts of excess skin and fat, will need to undergo an extended or circumferential tummy tuck. These procedures are designed to help patients who have experienced massive weight loss accentuate their new figures.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
To prepare for a tummy tuck procedure, patients should be candid in discussing their medical histories, including any medication they are currently using, with their surgeons. Tummy tuck surgery usually takes between two and six hours to complete. Depending on which tummy tuck procedure is performed, patients will be either totally or partially sedated. During tummy tuck recovery, it is common for patients to experience some side effects and risks. Since each person and each tummy tuck procedure are unique, it is important that patients closely follow the surgeon’s specific instructions for recovery.
Risks and Benefits of Tummy Tuck
As with any surgery, the tummy tuck procedure carries with it certain risks. While some swelling, bruising, and discomfort are normal side effects of most surgical procedures, patients may also experience such post-surgical complications as infections and blood clots, which could slow the healing process. Surgical complications from tummy tuck surgery are rare, and risks can be greatly reduced by the selection of a well-qualified surgeon. Most patients find that tummy tuck procedure benefits, which include a more streamlined figure and increased self-confidence, dramatically outweigh the risks.
Typical Tummy Tuck Results
The vast majority of patients who undergo an abdominoplasty procedure are thrilled with their results. Most surgeons are able to place the incisions so that the resulting scars are barely visible, and most tummy tuck scars can be concealed by a typical bathing suit. Following abdominoplasty, patients enjoy a firmer, more toned midsection and improved posture as a result of the tightening of abdominal muscles. Many patients who were formerly insecure about their bodies enjoy a new sense of self-confidence and a wider range of activities and wardrobe options than ever before.
Maintaining Your Figure after Abdominoplasty
While some people may view abdominoplasty as a way to permanently tone their bodies, it is important to remember that there is no substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise. It is possible for patients to gain weight in the abdomen and in other areas after a tummy tuck procedure. Learn more about how to maintain your figure with diet and exercise after abdominoplasty.