Even with proper diet and exercise, your abdomen is likely the most difficult area on your body to tone. Pregnancy, a significant weight gain or loss, or the normal aging process can cause the skin and muscles in the abdomen and its muscles to sag, stretch, and hold on to excess fat. Regardless of the cause, sometimes no amount of green smoothies or core exercises can give you the results you’re striving for.
You can get the body you’ve been working for with the help of a tummy tuck. Also known as an abdominoplasty, this procedure can eliminate abdominal fat and excess skin by tightening both your skin and muscles. Finally, you can wear the slim-fitting dress you’ve been trying to fit into and confidently wear a swimsuit.
What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty removes loose and excess fat and skin while tightening your abdominal wall muscles. This means you won’t have any excess skin and your stomach will have a flatter, tighter, younger, and more toned look. Although a tummy tuck can help get rid of some built up fat and potentially remove stretch marks and C-section scars, it’s important to understand that this is not a weight loss procedure.
SHOULD I GET LIPO OR A TUMMY TUCK?
This depends on the results you’re looking to achieve. Liposuction only removes fat under the skin so unless your skin is elastic and supple to immediately re-adjust to the sudden fat loss, you may be left with excess skin.
While a tummy tuck can remove some fat, the main goal of this procedure is to tighten excess skin on the abdomen and is usually performed on people who have already lost the weight, but have excess skin that needs to be removed.
If your goal is to achieve both weight loss and skin tightening, you may want to combine a liposuction procedure with a tummy tuck to get the benefits of both surgeries.
AM I A CANDIDATE FOR A TUMMY TUCK?
CANDIDATES FOR THIS PROCEDURE ARE TYPICALLY:
- • Struggling to have their abdominal area return to how it was before having a child.
- • Finding it more difficult to tone their stomach as they age.
- • Near their ideal body weight, but needs help toning.
- • Had extreme weight loss, whether through diet and exercise or surgery, and needs to remove excess skin.
IT’S IMPORTANT THAT CANDIDATES FOR THIS PROCEDURE:
• Are at a stable weight
• Don’t plan on having more children
• Have realistic expectations for their results
Types of Tummy Tucks
There are different types of tummy tucks that target different areas to help each patient achieve their desired results with minimal scarring. Each of these procedures takes about two hours and require general anesthesia.
FULL TUMMY TUCK
A full tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty requires an incision that goes from hip to hip and another around the navel. During this procedure, the abdominal muscles are tightened to create a firmer look and a narrower waist. Any excess skin and fat are removed and stretch marks and C-section scars may also be able to be removed depending on their location.
MINI TUMMY TUCK
For those patients whose main problem area is their lower abdomen, the mini tummy tuck, or mini abdominoplasty, is a modified version of the tummy tuck to focus on tightening muscle and removing excess skin from the lower abdomen below the navel. This procedure will leave a scar above the pubic region and doesn’t re-position the navel or remove excess skin from the upper abdomen.
EXTENDED TUMMY TUCK
An extended tummy tuck is a procedure for those who have excess skin on their “love handles” or hips. This procedure removes skin from a wider area than the standard tummy tuck, making it ideal for patients who have lost a massive amount of weight. During this procedure, the navel is often re-positioned higher once the excess skin is removed.
Does a Tummy Tuck Leave a Scar?
The size and placement of the scar from a tummy tuck depends on your body and the procedure.. For a full tummy tuck, the scar will typically run from hip bone to hip bone and can be either in a U-shape or a V-shape so it can be hidden by a bikini. You may also have a scar around your navel after a full tummy tuck. A mini tummy tuck scar can be placed lower, around the pubic bone area, and since the skin that’s removed is below the navel, there won’t be a scar on the navel. An extended tummy tuck may result in visible scars on your lower back and around the navel.
RECOVERING FROM A TUMMY TUCK
After surgery, dressings and bandages will be placed over your incisions and a small temporary drainage tube may be inserted. While recovery times vary depending on the individual, most patients heal after a week or two. You should expect to take some time off of work to relax and allow your body to heal. Your surgeon will provide you with specific instructions on how to properly clean your bandages and other important tasks you’ll need to do to ensure a quick recovery. You may notice some swelling as you heal, which is normal, but you won’t see your full results until all swelling has subsided and your body has had time to heal.