What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin, and in most cases restores weakened or separated muscles, creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.
A flat and well-toned abdomen is something many of us strive for through exercise and weight control. Sometimes these methods cannot achieve our goals.
What Causes Abdominal Sagging?
Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. The most common causes of this include:
- Significant fluctuations in weight
- Prior surgery
What You Should Know About Tummy Tuck Surgery ?
- There is more than one tummy tuck procedure. A mini-tummy tuck focuses on the lower abdomen only to tighten loose skin and bulging below the bellow button. The standard procedure removes much more excess skin and tightens underlying muscles, from the ribs to the pubic area, while the extended tummy tuck targets loose skin around the back sides as well.
- Your recovery from a tummy tuck will last several weeks. A tummy tuck is an extensive procedure that requires more recovery time than many other cosmetic surgeries, perhaps up to three weeks. (If you’ve had a C-section before, your recovery from a standard tummy tuck will probably be comparable.) Depending on the extent of the surgery you undergo, you may need assistance at home for up to five days. You’ll be on pain medication, possible a pain pump for a while and need to rest while your body recovers.
- A tummy tuck is not a weight loss measure. You should lose weight before a tummy tuck and be as close to your “ideal” weight as possible, and not rely on the surgery to resolve any long-standing weight loss issues. Additionally, if you’ve already lost a dramatic amount of weight—good for you!—you should postpone an abdominoplasty for six months to a year, to be sure your new weight is stable. More on BMI (body mass index to come).
- The results of a tummy tuck are technically permanent. This is good news! But to maintain your results over time, you should avoid big fluctuations in your weight. An encouraging January 2013 report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons stated that many subjects in a post-abdominoplasty study sustained long-lasting weight loss after the procedure.
- Tummy tucks are for men, too. Though tummy tucks are popular with women who have had multiple pregnancies, they are also offered for those who have lost a significant amount of weight. Men can also suffer from loose muscles and sagging skin that aren’t improved by exercise or diet—it’s not just a girl thing!