Is a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, the right surgery for you? A tummy tuck can help plenty of people get a smoother, flatter stomach area. But it’s not always the best option. Some people are better off postponing the surgery while others might need to consider other options. Here’s a quick look at who’s not a candidate for abdominoplasty and what you can do if the procedure isn’t quite right for you.
You’re Planning on Having More Children
A tummy tuck is usually a key component of a Mommy Makeover. That’s a series of surgeries designed to help a woman get her pre-pregnancy figure back. During pregnancy, the skin around the abdomen stretches. In some cases, it is able to bounce back after the baby is born. But some women are left with loose skin, as well as some fatty deposits. Abdominoplasty can eliminate the loose skin and fatty deposits. But getting pregnant again can lead to more skin and additional fatty deposits.
For that reason, it’s usually recommended that you postpone a tummy tuck until after you’ve finished getting pregnant.
You Don’t Have Enough Excess Skin
Not everyone is a good candidate for a tummy tuck because not everyone has enough extra skin or fatty deposits for the surgery to be beneficial. It might be the case that you have a bit of extra fat in the abdominal area, but not extra loose skin. In that case, liposuction on its own might be a better option for you instead of a full tummy tuck.
It might also be that you’re a better candidate for a mini tummy tuck, rather than a full version of the surgery. During a mini abdominoplasty, the surgeon makes a small incision near the bikini line. He’ll remove extra loose skin and tighten the abdominal muscle, but less skin is removed than during the full surgery.
You’re Trying to Lose Weight
Even though they are designed to remove extra, unwanted fat and skin, cosmetic surgeries aren’t intended to be weight loss surgery. Instead, they are designed for people who are at their current goal weight or very close to it.
There are a few reasons why a tummy tuck isn’t a good option if you’re currently trying to lose a considerable amount of weight. For one thing, a limited amount of fat and skin will be removed during the procedure. You might lose a handful of pounds, at most.
For another thing, further weight loss after the abdominoplasty can have a negative effect on the results of your surgery. If you lose more weight after a surgeon has tightened the muscles of the abdomen or after he’s removed loose skin, you might find yourself with more loose skin and in need of a second surgery.
You Have an Unmanaged Health Condition
Your health is an important thing to consider before choosing to have an elective surgery. All surgeries have risks, from poor wound healing to bleeding. Being in good health helps to lower those risks.
For that reason, if you have any health condition that isn’t well controlled, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, your surgeon will recommend holding off on the tummy tuck until you can manage your condition. Depending on the issue, you might not be a candidate for surgery at all.
Along with health conditions, some lifestyle habits can make you a poor candidate for a tummy tuck. For example, if you smoke, you’ll be asked to quit a few weeks before the surgery since tobacco use increases your risk for complications. You’ll also be asked to avoid tobacco products for a few weeks afterward. If you don’t want to quit or having a very tough time of it, you’ll be better off postponing a tummy tuck.
You Don’t Have Time for Recovery
Recovery after a tummy tuck can take anywhere from one to two weeks, meaning you’ll need to take off from work for that long. Taking two weeks off can be out of the question for some people, so it’s something you need to carefully consider before deciding to have surgery. It might be that a less invasive option, such as Coolsculpting to remove extra fat in the area, works better for your schedule at the moment.
Dr. Paul Vitenas is a top-rated, board certified plastic surgeon in Houston, Texas. He regularly performs tummy tucks and other body plastic surgeries. To learn more about your plastic surgery options and to see if you’re a good candidate for abdominoplasty, call 281-484-0088 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vitenas today.