What’s The Right Tummy Tuck For Me?

Last updated date: 18-Jul-2021

JW Plastic Surgery

5 mins read

When sit-ups, dieting and the traditional methods of flattening and toning your stomach aren’t working, it can be frustrating. After all, without flat abs, even a well-toned body will look at a bit unhealthy. Thankfully, there is hope for you, even if your belly pooch is the result of stretched muscles. The following is information on a cosmetic procedure designed to create a toned, flat abdomen. It is simply known as a tummy tuck. Read on to learn more:

What is a Tummy Tuck?

This common cosmetic procedure, which is technically called an abdominoplasty, is designed to correct the separation between your abdominal muscles. It also removes excess skin on the belly and gets rid of the fat surplus.

The Muscle Issue Addressed

All people are born with a small separation between the abdominal muscles known as the rectus muscle. You might recognize this muscle as your six-pack. However, this small separation of perhaps a half of an inch, over time and with certain lifestyle changes, such as pregnancy, separates more and more. The end result looks much like you would imagine would happen if you go from a tight corset to one that is looser. Unfortunately, once your abdominal muscles are stretched out, due to pregnancy or other lifestyle changes, the muscles won’t ever move back together without a medical procedure.

What About Excess Fat and Skin?

A tummy tuck also addresses loose skin and excess fat within the abdomen area. The fat is removed via liposuction and the skin is pulled tight and reattached, creating a new tight abdomen. As in the case of stretched muscles, excess skin is a problem no diet or exercise can create. It requires medical intervention in order to correct the issue.

The Steps of a Tummy Tuck

Once you have completed your consultation and have been deemed a good candidate for a tummy tuck, your procedure will be scheduled. On the day of your procedure, you will be put to sleep via anesthesia and carefully monitored throughout the whole surgery. Then….

Your plastic surgeon will make an incision along your bikini line.

The next step is the lifting of the skin away from the abdominal muscles. If your muscles are separated, now is the time your surgeon will stitch them back together, creating a “tight corset” effect once again.

Any excess skin will also be removed at this time after being pulled tight.

If you have a fat surplus, your plastic surgeon will also address this, using liposuction.

After they are finished with all tasks, your surgeon will place drains in the stomach in order to remove any extra fluid. (These will be removed once the swelling goes down.)

The surgeon will stitch up the incision.

The Difference Between a Mini And Full Tummy Tuck

The type of incision used will vary based on if you are getting a mini or full tummy tuck. A mini tummy tuck involves an inner thigh to inner thigh incision. If you opt for a full tummy tuck, you will have a hip to hip incision. Which type of tummy tuck you need will depend on the amount of skin that needs to be removed and what needs to be done. Your surgeon will advise you as to which option is best for you. There is also another more extensive procedure called an extended tummy tuck. This addresses issues for people who have excess skin in their tummy, along with on their lower back and hips. The incision for this procedure goes from the lower belly around to the hips, and even requires a vertical incision in some cases.

What Does Recovery Look Like After a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck is categorized as an outpatient procedure. However, it does require you to be under anesthesia for anywhere from two and a half to four hours. Therefore, it’s common for patients to spend a few hours in recovery after their tummy tuck procedure. Most surgeons will advise their patients to take at least two weeks off of work to recover. When you hit five weeks post-procedure, you will likely be able to return to your normal activity level. Be aware, the recovery isn’t always easy. This can be a painful process. It can take anywhere from several days to a week for you to be able to stand erect without experiencing pain.

Who is a Good Candidate For a Tummy Tuck?

Not all patients are good candidates for every procedure, and tummy tucks are no exception. This procedure is best for people in their 40s or 50s. Women should be past childbearing years or at least finished with having children. Also, it’s important to note that a tummy tuck procedure is focused on addressing muscle separation and excess or loose skin. It isn’t primarily for fat removal. Therefore, if your problem includes loose skin and muscle separation, you are likely a good candidate. Conversely, if your problem doesn’t include muscle separation or excess skin and is primarily a fat issue, this is likely not the right procedure for you, and instead, you are a better candidate for liposuction.

How to Know if a Tummy Tuck is Right For You?

Our plastic surgeons at JW Plastic Surgery can evaluate you and determine if your condition would be better addressed with liposuction or either a mini or full tummy tuck, or a combination of both. Some patients are better served by undergoing body sculpting, such as liposuction, instead of a full-fledged tummy tuck. Other patients require more treatment than liposuction can give and are great candidates for a tummy tuck. Only a skilled plastic surgeon can make the choice on which procedure is right for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.


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