One of the most desirable attributes in modern society is a flat and tight abdomen. Individuals all over the world perform seemingly endless amounts of sit-ups to attain this goal. Unfortunately, there may be too much excess skin or flab on the abdomen. This can render sit-ups as ineffective. In numerous cases, even a healthy diet and a well-planned exercise routine will not provide a flat abdomen. This is when a lot of people start to think about having a procedure called abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a tummy tuck. The abdomen is effectively flattened by the surgeon through the removal of excess skin and fat. The muscles of the abdominal wall are also tightened. This surgery is usually included with the mommy makeover. It is important to understand this surgery is different than liposuction, although liposuction can be a part of the procedure.
Prior to making the decision to have this procedure, it is important you understand all of the facts such as your preparation for the procedure, what is accomplished during the surgery and what you need to do during your recovery period. Keeping your expectations realistic is extremely important. If you have given birth to several children, this procedure is extremely effective for eliminating the excess skin and tightening your abdominal muscles. This is also a good option for both men and women who were once obese due to the loose skin and excess deposits of fat and skin around the abdomen generally left behind after the weight loss. There are certain individuals who should postpone having this procedure like women who intend to have more children.
When a woman is pregnant, her vertical muscles are often separated. These are the same muscles tightened during the surgery. This is the reason a woman should wait to have this procedure until she has all the children she desires. If you intend to lose a great deal of weight, you need to postpone having this surgery until after you have lost the weight. This surgery is not meant to be performed for weight loss but rather as a means to flatten and tighten your abdomen. The best way to lose weight is by exercising and following a balanced and healthy diet. It is important to speak with the surgeon about the results you can reasonably expect to receive prior to having the procedure. Your first step is to schedule a consultation to speak with our plastic surgeon. During your consultation, the following may occur:
• You will discuss your goals and expectations
• The surgeon will explain all of your options
• The determination will be made as to whether or not you are a good candidate
• Your medical history will be reviewed including all current medications and vitamins
• All of your questions will be answered
• Pictures may be taken for comparison after your surgery
• You will be given instructions to prepare for your procedure
During a complete abdominoplasty procedure, your muscle, tissue and skin will be contoured as necessary to provide you with the best possible outcome. Your belly button can be moved during the procedure. If you smoke, you will be asked to quit prior to your surgery and after your procedure. Reducing the amount you are smoking is not sufficient because smoking slows the rate of healing and can lead to complications.
It is important not to go on a drastic diet prior to your surgery. You need to consume complete and balanced meals. Most individuals heal better when eating a healthy diet. When you discuss your prescription medications with the surgeon, you need to include any supplements, over-the-counter medications and vitamins as well. You may be instructed by the surgeon to stop using specific medications for a period of time prior to your surgery. Preparing your home before your procedure will make your recovery process easier. You will require comfortable and loose clothing you can put on and remove with ease. You need to arrange for someone to provide you with a ride home after your tummy tuck. This person should remain for the first night if you live alone.
Your surgery will be customized based on your wants and needs. After your surgery, following the instructions from the surgeon regarding properly caring for the area is extremely important. You will also be advised by the surgeon on the most comfortable positions after your surgery. The majority of people who have had this surgery love the way they look.
Any strenuous activities must be severely limited for a set amount of time. To make certain your recovery proceeds properly, you will need to take some time off work. The length of time necessary will be discussed with the surgeon. You will be advised as to what is appropriate and what is not.
A study was conducted regarding individuals having bariatric surgery to decrease the size of their stomach in an attempt to lose weight. The results showed those who had a tummy tuck shortly after their initial surgery increased their chances of keeping off the weight due to the new appearance of their abdomen. The individuals who did not have this procedure after bariatric surgery gained back four pounds per year as opposed to the one pound per year gained by those having abdominoplasty for body contouring.
This procedure has the potential to provide you with a wide range of both cosmetic and medical benefits including:
• When your abdominal muscles have been weakened and you have excess skin on your abdomen, the result can be a medical condition referred to as swayback or lordosis. This condition can cause back pain. The surgery tightens and strengthens your abdominal muscles, supports your spine and enables you to stand up straighter. This will either decrease or eliminate any back pain.
• Back pain also results from a significant loss of weight or childbirth due to the weakened abdominal muscles. By removing the excess fat from your abdomen and flattening your stomach, your weakened muscles are effectively tightened. This provides the abdominal support required to help alleviate back pain.
• The cosmetic benefits are the most obvious. You will have a more toned and flatter abdomen. This makes an extremely positive change in your appearance while enabling your clothing to look and fit better.
• A vaginal birth can lead to stress urinary incontinence (SUI). This causes the bladder to empty at inappropriate times such as exercising, laughing, sneezing and coughing. Depending on the situation, the surgeon may obstruct the bladder during the procedure to help the individual with this issue. This is safe and often results in an elimination of this condition.
• Exercising can be more difficult due to weak abdominal muscles and excess skin. The surgery often leads to a renewed love of aerobic exercises, walking or running. Exercises, overall well-being and heart health are strongly linked. Weight loss is also easier to maintain when the individual exercises.
The Reasons for Having a Tummy Tuck
There are a lot of good reasons to have abdominoplasty in addition to improving the appearance of your abdomen with a flatter and more toned look. If you have a weakness in your lower abdominal wall or skin that has accumulated around your belly button, your body image and self-confidence can both be raised through this procedure.
There are many different reasons for a flabby abdomen. This includes a fat accumulation, excess skin, poor skin elasticity and the stretching of the abdominal fascia or the inside of the connective tissue and abdominal muscles from the pubic bone to the ribs. This area is referred to as the inner girdle. This keeps your internal organs in the correct positions in addition to being responsible for your abdomen’s appearance and tone.
The chances of a protruding abdomen greatly increase if the abdominal fascia has become stretched due to significant weight changes or pregnancy. A weak fascia can be tightened and excess or loose fat and skin can be removed during a tummy tuck. The procedure can additionally remove excess skin in your lower abdomen beneath your naval.
Some of the most common reasons for having a tummy tuck include:
• A weakness of the lower abdominal wall
• The accumulation of excess skin around the belly button
• The appearance of the abdomen was not sufficiently improved through liposuction
In many instances, this surgery is performed at the same time as other procedures that contour your body such as breast augmentation. It is important to note this procedure is not recommended for everyone. The surgeon may not recommend this surgery if the individual has certain diseases or conditions.
The Differences Between a Tummy Tuck and Liposuction
Although liposuction and abdominoplasty are both different procedures, they are often confused because both can result in changes to the appearance of the abdomen as well as creating a flatter appearance. There are substantial differences regarding the results of the procedures, the process for the actual surgery and the time necessary for recovery. Both of these procedures have a lot of appeal for individuals with very similar aesthetic goals. One of the biggest differences is liposuction is only meant to remove small deposits of fat. This fat is usually located on the buttocks, thighs, abdomen or hips. Liposuction can effectively remove fat from all of these areas to improve the contours of the body and decrease bulges. Liposuction will not tighten the abdomen or address loose skin.
Liposuction is also not a tool for weight loss and is inappropriate if the individual is obese. Not only does abdominoplasty remove excess fat and skin, but the muscles of the abdomen are tightened as well for a tighter and more toned appearance. The procedure is extremely effective when the skin surrounding the abdomen has been stretched out due to significant shifts in weight or pregnancy. This helps restore the appearance of a contoured and flat abdomen. The procedure can also bring the muscles separated or stretched due to pregnancy back together again. An abdominoplasty procedure should not be considered if the individual has a body mass index above a certain amount, wants to have more children in the future, has a chronic heart condition or needs to lose a significant amount of weight.
Liposuction and abdominoplasty are both procedures requiring surgery and a skilled plastic surgeon. The procedure for liposuction involves removing the fat using specialized techniques. Depending on the situation, more than one procedure may be required for the individual to receive optimal results. Only one procedure is usually necessary for abdominoplasty.
It is important to note the results of both procedures can be compromised if the individual gains a significant amount of weight after the surgery. Liposuction is intended to provide a more proportioned and flatter abdomen once the individual has fully recovered from the surgery. Although the results are meant to be permanent, it is up to the patient to maintain them through continuing to live a healthy lifestyle. The reappearance of the fat deposits in another area of the body may occur, so it’s important to continue to eat right and exercise regularly.
Maintaining a stable weight is critical for maintaining the results for both procedures. The results of abdominoplasty are designed to be permanent because your abdominal wall will have more strength and stability. Unless the individual becomes pregnant or has substantial fluctuations in their weight, the area should not stretch out. The removal of the excess skin is also permanent. The procedures can be used together for truly amazing body contouring results.
Although both abdominoplasty and liposuction are intended to improve the appearance of the abdomen, they are both completely different in the way they are performed and their results. A tummy tuck has become an increasingly popular procedure because it results in a more toned and flatter abdomen. This procedure is also effective for decreasing or eliminating numerous medical conditions as opposed to liposuction.
Talk to Our Surgeon
If you are interested in a tummy tuck, please reach out to DrYoungForever to arrange your personal consultation at our office in San Antonio. You owe it to yourself to learn as much as you can about this popular procedure. Contact us today to book an appointment!