Do you have residual loose or sagging skin which creates an unwanted bulge in your abdomen area? Are your abdominal muscles separated after pregnancy? Are you ready for a real solution to insecurities surrounding these cosmetic concerns? If so, it may be time to consider a tummy tuck, proudly offered by DrYoungForever in Shavono Park, TX. This procedure can flatten and smooth your figure by removing excess skin and tightening abdominal muscles to give you the body you’ve always dreamed of having.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to transform the abdominal region and help create your ideal figure. Excess skin is removed during the surgery and abdominal muscles are pulled together, restoring a slim silhouette and a flat tummy. Results are instant and, after a recovery period, you can maintain your figure through a healthy diet and exercise.
Full vs Mini Tummy Tuck
When it comes to this procedure, there are two main options available. A mini tuck is a smaller-scale procedure which involves shorter incisions and fewer changes made to the abdominal region, usually limited to the area below the belly button. In general, it is recommended for those with a small amount of excess skin which they’d like to remove and usually involves fewer additional changes such as the repositioning of the navel and tightening of the abdominal muscles.
A full tuck is ideal for those who have experienced significant weight loss or the separation of the abdominal muscles due to pregnancy or rapid weight gain in the past. Incisions are usually longer, and the navel is repositioned to a more natural location once the abdomen is reshaped. This procedure is more invasive and often involves a longer recovery time. Your doctor can recommend the best procedure for your unique situation.
As a major medical procedure, the tummy tuck involves several crucial steps before and after surgery to ensure that you see the best results possible. It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully as you prepare for the procedure, and it’s even more important to do so as your body recovers to avoid a slower healing process or unsatisfactory results. You should approach your doctor with questions you may have at any point during the process.
The first step is an initial consultation with your doctor to determine your candidacy for this procedure. Your doctor will review your medical history, explain the procedure in detail, and discuss your ideal results with you to ensure that this surgery is right for you. During this appointment, you should be prepared to disclose any previous abdominal surgeries, any medications you take regularly, any conditions you have, and your health history.
Your doctor will examine your abdominal area, making notes regarding the amount of skin to remove, status of the abdominal muscles, and any other information needed to recommend the best procedure for you. They’ll suggest either a mini tuck or a full tuck and explain their reasoning for choosing either procedure. You should feel free to ask any questions you may have during this consultation.
The Month Before
Once your doctor approves you for the procedure, you’ll begin the process of preparing for surgery. You should adjust your regular medications as your doctor requires and stop taking any medications which are prohibited before surgery.
Your doctor may require you to have further medical testing or labs performed before surgery. You should also stop taking blood-thinning pain relievers like ibuprofen and some herbal supplements 1-2 weeks before surgery as these substances can slow the healing process. Alcohol should be avoided the month before surgery for the same reason.
Smoking may disqualify you from being an ideal candidate for this surgery. If you’re a regular smoker, this is the best time to quit for your overall health and wellness. Your doctor can provide you with more information if needed. You should plan to maintain a stable weight and eat a healthy, nutritious diet as you prepare for surgery. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.
As you look forward to your surgery, now is the perfect time to begin making arrangements for time off from work, childcare, household chores, and a companion to accompany you to the procedure and drive you home.
The Week Before
About a week before your procedure, begin preparing yourself and your normal routine for your recovery period. The average recovery time for most patients is two weeks. You should avoid heavy lifting for at least four weeks after surgery, and it’s recommended that you plan not to drive for at least a week.
These changes require some planning ahead; make sure that you have friends or family members ready to help with normal household chores like cooking, cleaning, dog walking, and laundry.
Now is also the time to gather the supplies you’ll need at home during your recovery period. These often include extra pillows, gauze, comfortable, loose clothing, stool softeners, and bland, easy-to-digest foods like protein shakes, crackers, and oatmeal. You should have a lineup of your favorite entertainment options available to keep boredom at bay during your first few days home.
Make sure everything you need is in one general location and accessible to you. If you have pre-surgery nerves, put them to good use by giving the house a final cleaning or getting in some good workouts to keep your body healthy.
The Day Before
You should plan to strictly follow your doctor’s instructions regarding eating and drinking before surgery. Food and water is generally restricted beginning the night before your surgery. Your doctor will give you a specific timeline to follow. Finish preparing your recovery space and tying up any loose ends in your life the day before surgery.
Take a shower to feel fresh and clean before your procedure. Finally, don’t forget to leave time to rest–it’s ideal to go to bed earlier than normal to prepare yourself for the next day.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing to your appointment on the day of your procedure. You should plan to arrive with your designated companion, who will also drive you home and stay with you overnight if your doctor has approved you for outpatient recovery. Before surgery, your doctor will review the procedure and answer any last-minute questions you may have. Once you’re ready, you’ll be put under general anesthesia for the entirety of the surgery.
Your doctor will make incisions in your abdominal region–one across your abdomen above your pubic region, and one around your belly button if you’re having a full tuck. Your doctor will lift your skin to tighten your abdominal muscles, then pull the skin back over the muscles and remove any excess to achieve a flat, smooth tummy, repositioning your navel to a more natural location in the process.
The incisions are stitched closed, sterilized, fitted with temporary drains to reduce fluid retention, and covered with bandages to finish the surgery, which can take between 2-5 hours to complete.
Recovery is the most important part of your tummy tuck procedure. It can take anywhere between 3-6 weeks for your body to recover from a mini or full tuck and up to a year for your incision sites to fade to their final appearance. In general, you should plan to take your time returning to your normal activities to ensure full healing and best results.
The First Few Days
Once your surgery is finished, you’ll be observed for about an hour before your doctor approves your release. You are then free to return home with your companion, who should remain with you for at least 24 hours. Your doctor will send you home with medication to reduce pain and instructions for aftercare of the incision sites and drains.
Showering is typically approved after 24 hours unless you have drains. In this case, you may need to take sponge baths until the drains are removed or until your doctor tells you otherwise. You’ll also be instructed to wear a compression garment to promote healing.
Once you arrive home, plan to rest for the remainder of the day. You may feel like eating small amounts of food and should drink water to remain hydrated. Take the stool softener to reduce any after-effects of the anesthetic and try to rest as much as possible. You’ll return for a checkup 1-2 days after surgery, when your doctor will make sure that the incision sites are healing well.
You should plan to remain home for the first few days and avoid activities like driving, lifting objects, bending over, or too much walking. Short, slow walks every couple of hours are recommended to promote blood circulation.
1 Week After
A week or so after your surgery, you should feel better and notice that your incision sites are healing. Your doctor will most likely remove one or both of the drains about a week after surgery as long as the fluid release rate has slowed.
You can begin to drive again and can take longer walks at this point. You can also begin to do more around the house, although you should listen to your body when reaching for or lifting objects and ask for help if you feel discomfort in your abdominal area.
If you had a mini tuck, you may be able to return to work about a week after surgery. Those who had a full tuck typically benefit from waiting two weeks. Your doctor will assess your progress and recommend the best option for you. You should keep wearing the compression garment at all times except when showering.
2-6 Weeks After
By this point, your drains should be removed, you should be able to return to work, and you’ll likely be feeling almost back to normal. You may be able to stop wearing the compression garment 4-6 weeks after surgery, and most patients can return to their normal activity levels and workout routines 3-6 weeks after surgery.
You should plan to begin with slow, low-impact workouts like power walking. Consult your doctor before trying strenuous workouts or core workouts. By 6 weeks after surgery, your abdominal muscles should feel back to normal with minimal tightness or soreness.
Your incision sites will also be healed, although you won’t see the final visual result for 12 weeks-1 year after the procedure. Once you reach this point, you can begin to have conversations with your doctor about minimizing the appearance of the incision sites if desired.
Your final results are visible right after surgery, although it takes about 6 weeks for you to heal and up to a year for your incision sites to reach their final appearance. During your recovery, you’ll become used to your newly flattened belly. Once your incision sites are healed and you are able to stop wearing the compression garment, your abdomen should appear smooth and tight with no sign of the loose skin that used to be one of your biggest insecurities.
Best of all, your new look will give you newfound confidence. You won’t need to worry about sagging skin anymore; instead, you should love what you see in the mirror and feel ready to show off your new body.
Now is the time to fully enjoy your body by wearing the clothing you want and finally feeling comfortable in your own skin. Your doctor will give you recommendations for how to maintain your results. With a healthy diet and regular exercise, the results of your tuck can be long-lasting and even permanent.
Who Is an Ideal Candidate?
This procedure is a big commitment, especially for those who wish to see permanent change. It’s ideal for men and women concerned about the appearance of their abdomen due to loose skin or separated abdominal muscles.
It’s often used to address side effects of drastic weight loss or pregnancy and can be an excellent option for those who have worked hard for their ideal body but need help to get rid of excess skin which can’t be eliminated through diet or exercise.
This procedure may not be ideal for those patients who are regular smokers, in the middle of losing weight, or planning to become pregnant in the future. It’s best to be at your ideal weight before pursuing this surgery since further weight loss or a pregnancy can create more excess skin and separated abdominal muscles and undo the results of a tummy tuck. You should talk to your doctor during your initial consultation to determine whether this treatment is right for you.
Most people cite their abdominal region as one of their biggest insecurities. Whether you’re unhappy with the appearance of loose, sagging skin or unsatisfied with the way your abdominal muscles have separated due to pregnancy or other weight gain in the past, life loses some of its excitement when you don’t feel comfortable or confident in your own skin. If you’ve worked hard to lose weight and reach your goals, don’t give up now–a tummy tuck can help you make it to the finish line by removing the last excess skin and tightening your abdomen to smooth your silhouette.
If you’re ready to learn more, reach out to the professionals at DrYoungForever in Shavono Park, TX today. We look forward to serving you and to helping you meet your goals!