You may think a flat abdomen would be easy to achieve if you exercise regularly and eat fairly well. However, achieving a flat abdomen can be incredibly difficult. In some cases, it is impossible without professional help from a cosmetic expert. At DrYoungForever in San Antonio, TX, we recommend a tummy tuck if you can’t achieve the flat abdomen you desire on your own. Here’s what you need to know about the procedure.
What Happens During a Tummy Tuck?
The objective of a tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is to remove excess skin, excise a bit of fat and tighten the abdominal walls. The result of these modifications is a firmer, flatter abdomen that no longer protrudes. This procedure is ideal for both men and women because anyone can experience stubborn abdominal fat. Your procedure may take between one and five hours depending on the extent of the improvements you need.
Consider Your Options Carefully
You may choose between three abdominoplasty options. The most commonly performed variation of this procedure is a complete abdominoplasty. This option is ideal for those who wish to make an incredible improvement in their appearance. During this variation of abdominoplasty, a horizontal incision is made just above the pubic region. It will transverse the lower abdomen but will be hidden within the bikini line once it is healed.
Excess skin is removed as required and a small amount of fat is removed. Additionally, the abdominal walls are tightened. Further, we will make an incision around the navel to remove excess tissue from that region. This is the preferred option of most people with excess adipose tissue above and below the belly button.
If you are satisfied with your upper abdomen, mini abdominoplasty may be more appropriate for you. This variation of the procedure requires shorter incisions and focuses on the skin and fat beneath the navel.
Depending on your aesthetic goals, your navel may be lifted. The abdominal fat is accessed by separating the skin from the belly button. This procedure usually only takes a couple of hours since it does not affect the upper abdomen. Notably, the abdominal muscles are not tightened during mini abdominoplasty.
Extended abdominoplasty, also known as circumferential abdominoplasty, is a comprehensive procedure that targets the upper and lower abdomen and the back, another area notorious for frustrating pockets of adipose tissue. The scope of this abdominoplasty variation includes the improvement of the contours of the hips, flanks, back and stomach.
Five Essential Steps
To give you a clearer picture of what to expect during your procedure, we’d like to give you an overview of the five essential steps that occur during the procedure.
Regardless of the abdominoplasty variation you choose, your procedure will start with anesthesia to keep you comfortable. Depending on the scope of the procedure, you may receive local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. Local anesthesia numbs only the targeted region and sedation keeps you asleep throughout the process.
General anesthesia puts you to sleep and numbs your entire body. General anesthesia is usually recommended for full abdominoplasty and circumferential abdominoplasty.
Once the treatment area or your entire body is numb, we will make the necessary incisions. Depending on your goals, we may make only one incision just above the pubic region. However, multiple incisions are necessary if you want to lift your belly button or improve the appearance of your upper abdomen, hips, flanks or back.
If you opt for complete or extended abdominoplasty, the walls of your abdomen will be tightened. If you sustained an injury, such as a ventral hernia, your muscles will be repaired, as well. During abdominoplasty, we can also address other concerns, including urinary incontinence and protrusions caused by pregnancy.
Excess Skin Removal
Regardless of the scope of your abdominoplasty, excess skin will be removed. Once the excess skin is removed, the remaining skin will be lifted and tightened. At this time, the belly button may be lifted.
The fifth and final step of your procedure is the closure of your incisions. Once the incisions are closed, you will wake up slowly. Once you are awake, we will discuss aftercare steps with you. Finally, you will be free to return home. However, you may not drive yourself home or operate heavy machinery within 24 hours of your procedure due to the general anesthesia or sedation used to keep you asleep during your procedure.
Other Facts You Should Know About the Process
Once your procedure is complete, you may want to wear a prescription-strength compression garment. A compression garment will help you heal faster by holding in place the repaired muscles and newly shaped tissues until your strength is restored.
We will discuss your compression options with you during your initial consultation and after your procedure is complete. We will also advise you on how to take care of your incisions once your procedure is complete.
This Procedure Isn’t Designed to Facilitate Fat Loss
It’s essential to keep in mind that this is neither a fat loss nor a weight loss procedure. Rather, it is a procedure designed to sculpt improved contours and tone the abdominal walls. Thus, we recommend you consider this treatment once you have achieved your goal weight.
If you gain too much weight after your procedure, the effects can be reversed. In such a case, you will need a follow-up procedure. Additionally, this procedure will not correct stretch marks directly. However, you may notice a minimization of stretch marks due to the skin removal and tightening part of the process.
We May Recommend Liposuction
The contours of your abdomen will be improved even more if you combine liposuction with your abdominoplasty. Liposuction is a particularly effective procedure if you are concerned about the contours of your stomach, hips and flanks. This procedure works beneath the dermis to remove stubborn pockets of adipose tissue.
It also improves the definition of the abdominal muscles by removing large pockets of fat that may have otherwise hidden the strong muscles in your abdominal region. We will help you determine during your initial consultation if this complementary procedure will help you achieve your aesthetic vision.
This Procedure Does Much More Than Improve Your Appearance
One of the first benefits to become apparent once you heal from your tummy tuck is you will feel much more comfortable in your clothes. Often, people choose their clothes based on whether they can hide their midsections. After your abdominoplasty, you can confidently select more flattering shirts that highlight your new contours. Additionally, this procedure provides medical benefits.
Since your core is strengthened, you don’t have to worry about urinary incontinence. However, depending on the cause of your incontinence, we may need to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles in addition to the abdomen. This procedure is particularly effective for the treatment of urinary incontinence caused by stress, like sneezing, vigorous exercise, laughing or coughing.
Back Pain Reduction
Over half of pregnant women experience abdominal muscle separation. This separation results in a pooch that is impossible to eliminate, regardless of body fat percentage. A tummy tuck fixes this separation by sewing the abdominal muscles back together. This doesn’t just improve core strength. It also eases back pain. Your abdomen provides most of your body’s support.
When these muscles are separated or weakened by pregnancy, the back has to work twice as hard to keep your body supported. Furthermore, you will feel less bloated and be able to exercise your core muscles (including your abdomen) much more effectively.
Life Before and After Abdominoplasty
The most important change to make before your tummy tuck is to stop consuming tobacco products. Tobacco products contain a chemical compound that impedes circulation and post-op healing. We strongly urge you to stop consuming tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco, for two weeks prior to and after your procedure.
For the smoothest recovery process possible, you need to eat well-balanced meals designed to provide your skin with essential nutrients and help you maintain your weight. Make sure you get plenty of vitamin C in your diet. Ideally, this micronutrient should come from fresh produce. However, frozen produce also provides a great deal of nutrients. To ensure you’re getting plenty of protein, too, consider tropical fruit smoothies with a Greek yogurt base.
If possible, avoid eating canned produce. Among the best vitamin C-rich foods you can eat are guavas, kiwis, broccoli and kale. Research has shown vitamin C supports the production of collagen, promotes rapid bone healing and minimizes oxidative stress.
Other Dietary Tips to Speed Up Your Recovery Process
Eating foods that are high in omega 3 will also speed up your recovery period drastically. Great foods to incorporate into your recovery diet include salmon, chia seeds and walnuts. Just watch your portion sizes carefully because these foods are high in energy and may make weight maintenance a little difficult.
Do your best to eat meals prepared at home and watch your portions of carbohydrates carefully. Quick carbs can slow your recovery process. It is also important to drink more water and tea than you usually do. Hydration supports a strong circulatory system and results in more nutrients being delivered to your abdomen.
Prepare for a Successful Process
During your initial consultation, we will discuss all of the pharmaceuticals you are currently taking. You may need to stop taking certain drugs and supplements in the days leading up to your abdominoplasty. For example, you should stop taking NSAIDs, garlic supplements, vitamin E supplements and fish oil supplements. You should also prepare a recovery room in your home so you can rest and relax comfortably once your procedure is over.
Make sure you have comfy clothes laid out where they can be easily reached in case you get too cold or hot. You should also have plenty of water and prescription painkillers and antibiotics placed conveniently. Additionally, plan for leisurely activities to keep your mind occupied while you are resting. We recommend offline video games, books and movies you’ve watched before.
Say Goodbye to Stubborn Abdominal Fat for Good
If you are ready to say goodbye to stubborn abdominal fat for good, consider the numerous benefits of abdominoplasty. If you can maintain your weight after the procedure, the results are permanent. You never have to worry about your abdominal contours again. You will enjoy a smooth procedure and recovery process in the right hands. Schedule your initial consultation by calling us today at DrYoungForever in San Antonio, TX.