We are now at the midway point during spring, and most clothing stores are all stocked up on swimwear and beachwear. You might already be thinking about, or trying ways, to exercise and diet your body out of winter mode and back into shape for summer. While some people need to lose only a few pounds and do some exercise to get their beach body back, for other that’s not the case.
Excess fat and loose skin and muscle in the abdominal area can make it difficult to get a flat stomach. But before you resign yourself to another summer on the beach wearing more clothes than you would like, know that there are options for getting a flatter stomach.
A tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) can create a smoother and firmer abdominal area. And depending on whether or not you have loose skin and excess fat, you might also benefit from combining a tummy tuck with a simple procedure, such as liposuction. In some cases a liposuction may be all that is needed.
How to Know If a Tummy Tuck or Liposuction Is Right for You
Before you start planning what you are going to wear in the water, it’s a good idea to schedule a consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon to see if a tummy tuck or liposuction is the right procedure for you. Several factors determine whether the surgery is appropriate, including your health and lifestyle habits, as well as your plans for the future. If you are a woman, who has had children, surgeons recommend waiting until you are finished having kids before scheduling a tummy tuck, since any subsequent pregnancies can undo the results of the procedure.
Understand the Options and Which Is Appropriate for You
It’s also important to understand that neither liposuction nor a tummy tuck are designed for people who want to lose weight. Instead, it is recommended that you be near or at your goal weight before the procedure.
The type of surgery that will give you the best results depends on what you’re currently dealing with, and what you hope to get out of the procedure. If you only have a small amount of extra fat in your abdominal area, and your skin is still very taut and elastic, the best option for you might be liposuction of the abdominal area. Liposuction has a few benefits over a tummy tuck, namely that the recovery time is shorter and the scars are usually much smaller.
A standard tummy tuck is a more appropriate option for patients with some loose muscle and skin and a bit extra fat in the abdomen. The surgery involves tightening the muscles, to create a new waistline by elevating the extra skin and fat. It can also involve liposuction, if needed. If you have a considerable amount of extra skin around your stomach, you may benefit from an extended tummy tuck.
Plan Ahead When Scheduling Your Surgery
In order to get the most of your new beach body before the weather turns, the sooner you schedule your surgery, the better. You want to give your body plenty of time to heal afterwards. After a tummy tuck, initial recovery can take up to three weeks. Usually, your surgeon will recommend avoiding exercise or other physically challenging activities for a full month after the surgery.
Typically, it can take between six months and a year before the final results of the surgery are visible. That means you’ll want to schedule your procedure at least a few months before the time for outdoor activities really kicks off. At the very least, try to schedule your surgery for no later than a month before you hope to head to the beach or pool.
What to Expect After Your Surgery
It’s worth noting that a tummy tuck will leave a scar, but it’s also worth noting that in many cases, any scar is designed to be covered up by your swimsuit, even a two piece. Usually, the scar is across the lower abdomen, on the hips, meaning certain cuts of bikini will completely conceal it. In the case of an extended tummy tuck, there is also a vertical scar from the belly button, which can be more difficult to conceal. One option is to wear a tankini, with a longer top, or to choose a bikini bottom with a high waist. Dr. Vitenas always works to camouflage the surgical incisions to make any visible scarring as minimal as possible.
Now’s the time to start thinking about your summer vacation and what you’ll wear by the pool or beach. If you’re concerned about your abdomen, now’s also the right time to consider a tummy tuck. Dr. Vitenas can evaluate your abdominal area and recommend the option that will help you get ready for the water.
Schedule a Consultation to Discuss Your Tummy Tuck and Lipo
Call our office 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday by dialing 281-484-0088. Or email us anytime; one of our patient coordinators will get right back to you.
During the consultation computer imaging will be used to visualize the kind of changes that a tummy tuck or liposuction can make. It is an excellent tool to make sure doctor and patient are on the same page about the possible outcomes of any procedure. In the past, patients could only get before and after pictures of other people, now they can get their own.
As with other plastic surgery procedures, Dr. Vitenas advises no smoking for at least two weeks before surgery and to abstain from cigarettes for a few weeks afterwards. It is also recommended that you have labs done, if they have not been done recently, and that your medical history is reviewed before being cleared for surgery.
About Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery and the Fine Art of Natural Cosmetic Surgery
Dr. Paul Vitenas, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S. is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and founder of Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery and the Fine Art of Natural Cosmetic Surgery . He has practiced in the Houston area since 1990. He was named one of Houston’s Top Doctors, America’s Top Plastic Surgeons, a Top Doctor for Women and Houston’s Most Compassionate Doctor.