What is a Tummy Tuck?
A Tummy Tuck which is formerly known as an Abdominoplasty surgery has gained popularity and interest ranking as one of the top five cosmetic procedures in America. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the rates performed from 2000 to 2013 has increased by an astonishing 79%. This cosmetic procedure is rapidly becoming more common as individuals clearly see the ability doctors have to shape the body and improve self-esteem.
The abdominoplasty procedure is designed to contour the body creating a flat firm abdomen by removing loose, excess fat and skin tightening abdominal muscle walls. When exercise and diet seem to fail and it feels impossible to diminish the extra belly fat, you may want to consider this procedure. This surgery is not an alternative to weightless, it should be a last resort for those individuals that have gone to extremes to eliminate the extra skin but just cannot seem to accomplish aesthetic goals. Most patients turn their minds to the idea of this procedure following single or multiple pregnancies, extreme weight loss or weakened abdominal muscles as a results of natural aging. Dolls Plastic Surgery’s team of board certified plastic surgeons have years of experience resulting in patient satisfaction. This procedure can enhance the shape and contours of your body along with an improved self-confidence and mindset that can take you much further in your successes.
How Can You Prepare for a Tummy Tuck Procedure?
Not everyone is a candidate for this procedure but a plastic surgeon will complete a full evaluation and provide individuals with recommendations prior to the surgery. They usually want a certain amount of criteria to be met. For example, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons promotes certain criteria before the procedure. They recommend that a person be fairly healthy and have a stable weight. They also recommend that the individual have realistic expectations about the results of the procedure and be a non-smoker.
For individuals who do not meet these criteria, they may need to make some lifestyle changes prior to the procedure. For example, anyone who smokes should stop smoking as soon as possible. Surgeons have different criteria, but usually, cessation is recommended at least four weeks before a tummy tuck. Since smoking decreases blood flow, it will affect healing time and make it harder to recover.
Certain lifestyle factors and medications are also recommended. For example, people should avoid alcohol and anti-inflammatory medications prior to the procedure. They should also avoid any supplements which act as blood-thinners. Some examples of prohibited medications and supplements include Benadryl, aspirin, and Vitamin E. Without following these recommendations, the procedure is a higher risk.
Finally, individuals should plan ahead for their recovery time. It’s a good idea to follow a healthy diet in the weeks leading up to surgery with a higher protein intake than normal. After the procedure, the recovery time is about three to five weeks. During this time, individuals may need a little extra assistance at home. They should plan for this additional help from friends or family members.
How Long do the Results of a Tummy Tuck Last?
The goal of this procedure is to produce permanent results. However, results are also individualized and may vary from person to person. This is why a surgeon will recommend waiting on having a tummy tuck if pregnancy is expected or desired in the near future. Having a tummy tuck is best done for women who are done having children and don’t plan on becoming pregnant in the future.
For women who do become pregnant or experience a significant weight change after the procedure, they may not have the same results. Any extreme changes in weight can affect the results. Small changes or changes in exercise regimens likely won’t have much of an effect. Women who have the procedure done after losing weight but continue to lose weight may notice that they have some sagging in the area. This is why it’s a good idea to be at a stable weight and a healthy weight before pursuing a tummy tuck.
Anyone who is not sure about the results should discuss them with the surgeon before deciding on the procedure. Since a tummy tuck is an individualized procedure, results are going to vary. A surgeon can discuss whether it’s the right time to have this done or if it might be better to wait until certain criteria are met.
How is Tummy Tuck Surgery Recovery?
A surgeon will always discuss the recovery process with each person but it’s to be expected that there is a chance of side effects and complications. The abdominoplasty can be a challenging procedure and requires good pre-op planning as well as good recovery care. Anyone who is concerned about complications should always discuss them with the surgeon and decide if this is the best choice for them.
After the procedure, the initial recovery time is about two weeks. During this time period, patients will wear a compressive garment. This garment is designed to help drain any excess fluids. A surgeon will also recommend having a post-op lymphatic massage to help avoid any fluid gains in the operative area. The initial days after the procedure should be set aside for minimal activity. Patients are recommended to have assistance from friends and family members during this time period. Each surgeon will provide a list of instructions for the post-op period to avoid any complications and provide guidelines on activity restrictions throughout the recovery period.
While individual recovery results will vary, the time for a tummy tuck recovery is about two weeks. During this time period, strenuous activity should be avoided as it could put individuals at higher risk for bleeding and a slower overall recovery. Activity restrictions such as lifting anything heavy will also need to be avoided. During the recovery period, individuals will be given a timeline of when they can start to resume normal activities. All normal activities that involve the abdominal muscles should be taken cautiously.
With good attention to instructions, most people will find that they’ve recovered fully by week five after the operation. They will follow up with their surgeon as well to review the results and discuss any concerns or additional needs.
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