Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck
In terms of aesthetics and body image the most common issue for both men and women, alike, is stubborn, unwanted belly fat! The stomach is a region of the body that tends to accumulate fat the easiest, and is often the hardest place to get rid of fat using only diet and exercise.
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a procedure used to remove excess fat and skin. In some cases, the procedure also restores weakened or separated muscle, giving the stomach a flatter profile and contouring it to the patient’s desires. Although it does reduce the fat content of the stomach, it is generally used to tighten the stomach and remove excess, saggy skin. It can be performed alone or in conjunction with liposuction for those who have more belly fat and need a higher-degree of correction.
Who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
During your consult, we will perform a thorough examination of the subject area to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure, taking into account, overall health and expectations.
The best candidates are those who tend to have an excess of belly fat, and experience frequent fluctuations in weight. This causes loose, saggy skin, that has lost much of its elasticity and ability to “bounce back”. Belly fat can have terrible effects on both your physical and mental health. Even individuals within a normal weight range can have loose, saggy skin; making clothes fit worse, and leaving them with many insecurities.
Fat tends to accumulate around the belly for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons are:
- Age: As we get older our body metabolizes fat slower, making it harder to lose stubborn belly fat.
- Heredity: Some individuals are simply genetically predisposed to have an excess of fat stores around the stomach; often stomach size is passed down from parents and grandparents.
- Pregnancy: In women, it can become quite difficult to lose weight gained during pregnancy. Especially for those women of an advanced age.
- Poor diet and exercise habits: Fat is burned through a deficit of calories. Without burning off the calories you consume (through cardiovascular exercise), they turn into fat and tend to accumulate in and around the stomach.
Hormones: In men, a loss of testosterone and excess of estrogen, can cause the body to burn less fat, and the accumulation of belly fat. In women, low estrogen (through menopause or an imbalance) causes a slowdown of the metabolism and thus more fat storage.
Those with an excess of belly fat will likely benefit more from a tummy tuck done in conjunction with liposuction. As a tummy tuck can only address so much belly fat on its own.
Candidates for a tummy tuck generally want to address the following:
- Stubborn bulge around the stomach that doesn’t respond to diet and exercise.
- Loose skin around the stomach, because of pregnancy or weight fluctuations.
- Stretched out, loose abdominal muscles.
- Feeling self-conscious about your body image and body contour.
To start the procedure patients are put under general anesthesia, and create an incision under the bikini line, extending from hipbone to hipbone. Through this incision we will be able to tighten the lax abdominal muscle wall, and remove any excess fat, skin, or any other excess stomach tissue. At this point, liposuction may be done for additional fat removal and abdominal contouring.
Once correction is made the incision is closed with small sutures, insuring that little to no scars will be left behind.
After the procedure, you will leave with drains in your incisions to prevent any fluid buildup, or infection. We will provide you with a compression garment to minimize swelling after post-surgery. For any discomfort, oral pain medication may be provided, as well as antibiotics to prevent any infections. Also, we will leave you with a list of tips and instructions to aid in your recovery.
Patients should limit their activity within the first day or two, however light walks can help increase blood flow and aid in recovery. Keep all weight and strain off the incision site while lying down or sitting, to allow the incision to heal properly. During your follow-up, you can address any concerns or issues you may be having during recovery.
Keep activity low for up to six weeks, depending on how you feel. Swelling and light discomfort can linger, in rare cases, for a few months. However, it will soon subside and once you are fully healed your results will be visible. Keeping a stable lifestyle and weight can help the results last a lifetime!