The tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that helps in removing extra fat and skin from the abdominal area and tightening the weakened muscles to create a smoother, firmer abdominal profile. This procedure can be considered when the person is not able to achieve the desired abdominal shape even after dieting and exercising. It can also be considered after massive weight loss (bariatric surgery) as it leaves behind loose hanging skin. Therefore, a tummy tuck procedure can help in achieving the ideal body shape.
However, it is not a substitute for weight loss, it is a body shaping or contouring procedure. This cosmetic procedure aims in improving the appearance of the abdomen and helps in achieving a flatter stomach by improving the poor elasticity of the skin. The tummy tuck generally helps to reverse the changes caused due to weight loss, pregnancy, abdominal surgery such as C-section and so on. This surgery also helps in removing stretch marks to some extent as it involves eliminating the excess skin from the abdomen.
Ideal candidate for tummy tuck surgery
Women who have had several pregnancies find this surgery helpful in tightening their abdominal muscles
A person with stable weight and good overall health
Someone who has lost massive weight and now has sagging abdominal skin.
A person with realistic expectations from the procedure.
Who is not an ideal candidate?
> Women who are looking forward to getting pregnant in the near future must not choose tummy tuck as pregnancy can again separate or loosen the abdominal muscles which are tightened in tummy tuck procedure.
> Plastic surgeons recommend quitting smoking and consumption of alcohol before the surgery as these factors can otherwise delay the recovery.
The procedure of tummy tuck
There are mainly 2 types of tummy tuck surgery, including:
Full or complete tummy tuck
Mini tummy tuck
A mini tummy tuck is performed for people with fewer fat deposits, especially in the lower belly or the area below the navel. On the other hand, a complete tummy tuck involves fat removal, excess skin removal as muscle tightening for the entire abdominal region.
A tummy tuck is performed under general anesthesia. Full tummy tuck surgery requires a horizontal incision in the area between the pubic hairline and the belly button. The length of the incision will depend on the amount of excess skin that is to be taken out. The abdominal muscles are tightened and repaired. Then the sagging skin is removed and the skin from the upper abdominal area is pulled down. The incision is closed, keeping accurate space for the belly button. A small tube is placed under the skin to drain the excess fluid. After the surgery, some common risks like swelling and bruising may occur, and this will subside after a few days. A compression garment is worn to reduce swelling and to provide support to the abdomen. The final result will be observed after the complete recovery.
This surgery provides long-lasting results and one must maintain a healthy body weight, incorporate a healthy diet and exercise to maintain the continuity of results. This surgery takes from 1-5 hours (depending upon the type of correction required). The results will be visible after a few weeks of the surgery.
Before undergoing tummy tuck surgery, an individual must follow all the measures and precautions that are directed by the surgeon that will help in attaining the desired results. Smoking is strictly prohibited as it decreases the blood flow in the skin and also slows the healing process. Blood-thinning medication, herbal supplements consumption must be avoided for a few weeks both before and after the procedure.
By removing excess skin and fat and strengthening the abdominal wall, a tummy tuck helps in providing more toned and slimmer appearance. To know more about this surgery in detail, get a consultation from Dr. Dushyanth Kalva, who is a well known cosmetic and plastic surgeon in Hyderabad.
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M.S, M.CH - Chief Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon