If you are unhappy with the appearance of your abdomen and would like to enjoy a flatter, smoother, and more streamlined shape, you may be considering a cosmetic surgery procedure called a tummy tuck. While diet and exercise can help patients to shift some excess fat from their abdomen, it can be difficult to achieve the degree of improvement that many of us would like. Fortunately, tummy tuck surgery can address stubborn fat and excess skin to make our dream of a flat, toned stomach a reality.
There are primarily two different types of a tummy tuck, each of which can be performed as a standalone procedure as well as part of a Mommy Makeover combination surgery. The two types of a tummy tuck are as follows:
Full tummy tuck: this concentrates on tightening up the muscles and removing excess skin from the entire abdomen, both above and below the navel. In many cases, patients have their belly button removed and relocated to a higher, more esthetically-pleasing position once the excess fat and skin have been removed.
Mini tummy tuck: a mini tummy tuck is focused purely on the area of skin and fat below the belly button and above the pubic mound, where many women develop a ‘pouch’. The muscles in this part of the abdomen are also tightened if necessary. The incision for this type of tummy tuck is made along the bikini line.
CANDIDATES FOR TUMMY TUCK SURGERY
Before you can undergo a tummy tuck procedure, you will first need to attend a consultation appointment. This is an opportunity for you to meet with your cosmetic surgeon and for them to assess your candidacy for the surgery. This is important to ensure that you are healthy enough for the procedure itself and that you have the right motivations for choosing to have cosmetic surgery. Some of the things that your surgeon will consider will include:
Whether you are happy with your current weight. A tummy tuck is not a weight loss solution and significant weight changes following surgery can alter the effects of a tummy tuck. Putting weight on can undo your new appearance, while losing weight can cause the skin to sag once more. Ideal candidates are at a healthy and stable weight.
If you are in good general health. A general anesthetic is given to patients who undergo tummy tuck surgery, but this carries a number of risks. These risks can be minimal if you are in good general health, meaning that the benefits of your surgery will outweigh them and make you a good candidate for the surgery.
You don’t smoke. We all know that smoking is bad for our health, but it can actually prevent us from undergoing some types of elective surgery including tummy tuck procedures. This is because smoking increases our risk of developing complications during and after surgery and slows down the rate at which our bodies can heal. If you smoke and would like a tummy tuck, quitting should be at the top of your list of priorities.
You aren’t intending on becoming pregnant. Unsurprisingly, tummy tucks aren’t recommended for anyone who plans to become pregnant again. Like other procedures in a Mommy Makeover, tummy tuck surgery results can be severely compromised by falling pregnant and carrying a baby as you will again stretch the skin and muscles as well as gain weight. Make sure you are finished with having kids before undergoing your tummy tuck procedure.
You are having a tummy tuck for the right reasons. This may sound silly, but your cosmetic surgeon will want to be reassured that you are choosing tummy tuck surgery because of your own desires to change your body and restore your confidence and not because of the expectations of another person or people. They will also want to ensure that you have reasonable expectations for the results of the procedure and that you realize that while a flatter, smoother stomach may restore your confidence and self-esteem, it’s not necessarily a solution for other issues in your life that you may be experiencing – such as problems at work or in your personal relationships. It may help, but it isn’t guaranteed.
If you are considering a tummy tuck and would like more information about what makes someone a good candidate for the procedure, please contact our office where our discreet and helpful team will be delighted to assist you.