If you have loose, excess skin around the abdominal area, all the sit-ups, crunches and planks in the world won’t be enough to help you get the flatter, smoother stomach you’re after. In some cases, surgery is the best option for getting a smoother stomach. A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, removes excess skin and fat and can help tighten the muscles in the abdominal area.
Whether you’ve just started to consider the surgery or have been thinking about tummy tucks for some time now, there might be some things about the procedure that surprise you.
You Have Options
The human body comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. People tend to have difficult goals when it comes to a tummy tuck. For that reason, there are actually a number of different types of abdominoplasty out there. The type of tummy tuck that’s right for you will depend on your specific goals and how much extra fat and skin you have in the abdominal area.
For example, if you have a small amount of loose skin in the abdominal area and not much extra fat, a mini tummy tuck might be the most appropriate option for you. The incision made during a mini tummy tuck is considerably smaller than the incision made during a full tummy tuck. Often, a mini surgery is recommended if you don’t have much laxity in the abdominal muscles.
If you do have some looseness or laxity in the abdominal muscles, your surgeon might recommend you have a full tummy tuck instead. The incision made during a full tummy tuck is usually larger and longer than the incision made during a mini tummy tuck. But, the surgeon is able to create a more dramatic result with the full procedure, by removing more loose skin and by tightening the muscles in the abdominal area.
A third tummy tuck option is to combine the surgery with liposuction. Although abdominoplasty on its own will remove some fat, if you have a considerable amount of fatty deposits in the area, liposuction can be a more effective way to remove that that extra, unwanted fat. Along with performing liposuction on the abdominal area, your surgeon can perform liposuction on the thighs, hips or other areas at the same time as the tummy tuck.
Tummy Tucks Aren’t Just For Women
People often associate tummy tucks, or plastic surgery in general, for that matter, with women. After all, a tummy tuck is a key part of the “mommy makeover” procedure. Thanks to pregnancy and childbirth, women often see a considerable amount of changes in their abdominal area.
But men can want a flatter, smoother stomach area too. And men can have difficulty getting that smoother abdomen through diet and exercise alone. That’s where a tummy tuck can come in.
Although the surgery can help men and women get the flatter stomach they are after, it’s important to remember that it’s not a substitute for eating a healthy diet or for exercise. The surgery can help put the finishing touches on your body after you’ve lost weight, but it isn’t a method for losing weight itself.
Tummy Tucks Can Have Medical Benefits
A tummy tuck isn’t always just a cosmetic procedure. The surgery can also provide a number of medical benefits. For example, a full tummy tuck, which tightens loose or weakened abdominal muscles, can help improve a patient’s posture significantly. Additionally, the surgery can help improve stress urinary incontinence, a condition that often occurs after childbirth.
In some cases, a tummy tuck is performed at the same time as a ventral hernia repair, to strengthen the abdominal muscles and reduce the chance that the hernia will occur again.
You Can Get Pregnant Afterwards, But . . .
One common misconception about tummy tucks is that they will have an impact on your ability to get pregnant. In reality, you should be able to get pregnant after having abdominoplasty.
That said, it’s usually recommended that you postpone a tummy tuck until after you’re sure that you’re finished having kids. While the surgery doesn’t interfere with your reproductive ability, getting pregnant after a tummy tuck can undo the results of the surgery. After your pregnancy, you might end up with more skin laxity or additional fatty deposits.
You’ll Still Have a Belly Button Afterwards
In the early days, tummy tucks typically removed the belly button. The result was an unnatural looking abdominal area. Changes in the way the surgeons perform the procedure and more advanced techniques mean that today’s tummy tuck patients don’t end up without a belly button. The result is a more natural look, with a scar that is usually easily concealed.
Are you ready to learn more about tummy tucks? Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Vitenas is one of the most sought-after surgeons in Houston, Texas and beyond. To see whether a tummy tuck is right for you, call 281-484-0088 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vitenas today.