If you asked both men and women about what one thing they would like to change about their bodies, the odds are likely that many of them would say that they’d like a flatter stomach. Having a tummy pouch or a beer belly can make it difficult to find clothing that fits right and flatters the figure.
The demand for a flatter stomach always seems to increase as summer and beach season gets nearer and nearer. Suddenly, there are flat belly teas and tonics everywhere you look and everyone seems to be talking about their new ab workout.
Although what you eat and how much you exercise can influence your overall size and shape, if you’re dealing with loose skin, lax muscles and a bit of extra fat in the abdominal area, you’re not likely to see much in the way of results from diet and exercise. In some cases, if you want a smoother, flatter, more youthful-looking abdominal area, your best bet is a surgical procedure known as an abdominoplasty, aka a tummy tuck.
What Happens During a Tummy Tuck?
During a tummy tuck, patients are typically put under general anesthesia, so you won’t feel anything or remember anything about the surgery once you wake up.
At the start of the procedure, the surgeon will make an incision in the abdominal area, usually from hip bone to hip bone. The exact location of the incision depends on the type of tummy tuck you’re having and whether or not you have existing scars, such as from a C-section.
The surgeon will focus on tightening the muscles of the abdominal area before redraping the skin to remove any looseness or laxity. If there is excess fat in the area, the surgeon will typically remove it during the tummy tuck procedure.
The surgery often takes between two and three hours. How long your surgery takes will depend on how much surgical correction you need in the abdominal area. Mini-tummy tucks often take less time than full tummy tucks, for example.
Who Should Get a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is often the key component of a procedure known as a mommy makeover. But that doesn’t mean that abdominoplasty is for moms only or even for women only. Any adult, male or female, can have a tummy tuck, provided they meet certain other criteria.
Usually, the surgery is only recommended to people who are in good health. If you have untreated conditions or another medical issue going on, it’s a good idea to wait to schedule surgery until after your health issues are under control.
Often, people decide to have tummy tucks after they have lost a significant amount of weight. Weight loss can help improve a person’s overall health and boost their confidence. But people who lose a lot of weight often find that they are left with a lot of excess, loose skin, particularly in the abdominal area.
The excess skin can make it difficult to find clothing that fits. It can also make it difficult to keep clean, as sweat and oils can get stuck in the folds between the skin.
Who Shouldn’t Have a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tucks aren’t for everyone. If you have certain health conditions, you might not be a candidate for the surgery.
It’s also worth pointing out that although women often have tummy tucks after having children, it’s a good idea to postpone your tummy tuck until after your family is complete. Getting pregnant after your abdominoplasty can undo the results of the surgery.
What Happens After a Tummy Tuck?
The recovery period after a tummy tuck can be a long one. At the very least, you’ll want to take at least one week, if not two, off from work. You’re likely to find that you’ll need to make significant changes to your lifestyle habits during the first few weeks after a tummy tuck, as it can be difficult to move or sit or stand upright.
Most likely, your surgeon will give you a support garment to wear after your abdominal surgery. You’ll want to wear that for several weeks until your surgeon gives you the all clear.
Although the recovery period after a tummy tuck can be long, many people find that the results they get — a tighter core and flatter abdominal area, are well worth the effort and time commitment required.
Interested in learning more about tummy tuck surgery? Dr. Paul Vitenas is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston Texas who regularly performs tummy tucks and other body procedures. To schedule your consultation, call 281-484-0088 today.