If you ask people what one area of their bodies they’d like to change the most, you can bet that many would reply “the tummy.” As evidenced by all the “flat belly” diets, teas, and exercises on the market, getting a flatter, a tauter abdominal area is at the top of many people’s wishlist.
Diet and exercise aren’t always enough to shrink the belly and get you flat abs, which is why so many people struggle to lose their belly pooch naturally. If weak, loose muscles, extra fatty deposits and loosened skin are getting in the way of your flat belly goals, an abdominoplasty, AKA a tummy tuck, could be the solution for you.
If you’re wondering what happens during a tummy tuck, what you can expect after one and who’s a good candidate for the surgery, this guide to tummy tucks will help you decide what’s best for you.
Why Have a Tummy Tuck?
There are a few reasons people seek out tummy tuck surgery. Most do want to get a flatter stomach area, but some also want to conceal scars in the abdominal area or cover up stretch marks. During a tummy tuck, a surgeon removes excess, loose skin from the area and tightens abdominal muscles. If there are fatty deposits, the surgeon will remove those during the surgery as well. Some people combine a tummy tuck with liposuction if they’re particularly concerned about fat in the abdominal area.
Often, women decide to have an abdominoplasty after they have had children. Pregnancy changes the body in many ways. Some of those changes include stretching out the skin in the abdominal area, the formation of stretch marks, and in the case of women who deliver via C-section, a large scar.
Moms aren’t the only people who seek out tummy tucks, however. Both men and women might notice that they develop a bit of a tummy pooch as they get older, as a result of weakened abdominal muscles and loose, lax skin in the area. People who’ve lost a significant amount of weight might have an abdominoplasty to remove excess from the tummy area and achieve a sleeker physique.
What Are the Different Types of Tummy Tucks?
As with most plastic surgery procedures, there are two main types of tummy tuck to choose from. The one that’s right for you depends on your overall goals and the state of your abdominal area. A “classic” or “full” tummy tuck focuses on tightening the skin and muscles above and below the navel. The area treated stretches from just under the rib cage to the pubic bone.
Another tummy tuck option is a “mini” tummy tuck, which only focuses on the area beneath the belly button. With a mini tummy tuck, you have a shorter recovery period and a smaller incision, but the results tend to be less dramatic when compared to a full tummy tuck.
What Happens After a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tucks are surgical procedures, so you can expect to need some time to recover afterward. Usually, you’ll need to take about two weeks off from work, although some people need a full month off from work, depending on the type of surgery they have and the type of work they do.
You might notice that it is difficult to stand or sit fully upright during the first few days after your surgery. It’s important to rest up during that time and not try to overextend yourself. If you have any discomfort, your surgeon can prescribe pain relievers to help you manage. It’s also a good idea to wear a compression garment during your recovery to help the tissue in the area settle into place.
Who Shouldn’t Have a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tucks aren’t for everyone. If you’re a mom who plans on getting pregnant again, it’s a good idea to wait until after your last pregnancy to schedule a tummy tuck. Any changes created by the surgery might be undone by an additional pregnancy.
Your overall health also determines whether or not a tummy tuck is a good option for you. Usually, the best candidates are in good health and don’t have any uncontrolled chronic conditions.
It’s also important to remember that a tummy tuck isn’t a weight loss procedure. You should be near or at your goal weight before undergoing the surgery. If you wish to lose weight, you can discuss your options for doing so with your doctor.
About Dr. Ran Rubinstein
An experienced plastic surgeon can help you decide if a tummy tuck is right for you. Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein, a board-certified plastic surgeon, regularly offers abdominoplasty to patients at his practice in New York. Dr. Rubinstein’s patients come to him for a variety of procedures, from facelift to rhinoplasty, at Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists, PC in Newburgh, New York. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Rubinstein, call 845-863-1772 today.