As the name suggests, a tummy tuck is a cosmetical surgical procedure to – you guessed it – “tuck” in the tummy to overall improve the abdomen’s appearance. Also aptly known as abdominoplasty, excess, loose skin is removed along with excess fat. The remaining skin is tightened to then create a more toned look. A tummy tuck can greatly help to boost your body image, especially if you suffer from excess skin or that extra bit of roundness around the waist.
Why Get a Tummy Tuck?
As mentioned, a tuck can remove excess skin and fat, but it can also tighten a weak fascia and remove stretch marks in the area below the belly button. The good news is that your surgeon can incorporate your tummy tuck scar into your C-section scar if you had one. Tummy tucks are usually performed in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures, like liposuction. While liposuction gets rid of the bulge, it does nothing for potentially stretched out skin.
Preparing For a Tummy Tuck
Your surgeon will first perform a physical exam to determine if the treatment is right for you. They will advise against the process if:
- You have a chronic condition, such as diabetes
- Plan to get pregnant or inversely lose a significant amount of weight
- Have a BMI above 30
If you qualify for the surgery, your doctor will discuss your expectations with you and make sure that you understand the risks and rewards associated with the procedure. Before the surgery, your need to make sure that everything is prepared and ready:
- Quit smoking: If you’re a smoker, you are at a higher risk of developing scar tissue as a result of decreased blood flow. You are urged to stop smoking at least a few weeks leading up to the procedure
- Avoid certain medications: Aspirin, for instance, will increase bleeding, so be sure to only take the allowed pain medication.
- Keep an Eye on Your Weight: The ideal candidate should maintain their weight for at least a year before the planned surgery. If you are considered obese, you will need to lose some weight first, while significant weight loss after the procedure can affect the results.
Even if a tummy tuck can do wonders for your self-esteem, and the effects are permanent, a positive outcome is still highly dependent on a stable weight. It is by no means a substitute for a decent exercise program and lifestyle.