You’ve committed to dieting and exercising, and still your abdomen remains stubbornly distended due to excess fat deposits, stretched muscles, and the effects of aging. If you feel like a failure because no matter what you do, your tummy isn’t shrinking, don’t blame yourself. Genetics, childbirth and past weight fluctuations may have contributed to the excess skin and fat around your abdominal area, and made you a good candidate for abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a tummy tuck.
Did you know that the optimum age to have a tummy tuck is over 35? That’s partly because you should wait until you have had your last child before having this surgery to ensure that your new, natural-looking results last a lifetime. Here’s what else you need to know:
The Surgical Process
Tummy tuck surgery is performed to remove excess fat from the middle and lower abdominal region. Liposuction may also be required if there is a large amount of fat, but unlike liposuction, the tummy tuck surgery also removes excess loose skin and tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall.
A tummy tuck is typically performed under general anesthesia. The plastic surgeon will make an incision across the lower abdomen, usually hidden within the bikini line, to access the underlying tissues. The excess skin is removed, and the abdominal muscles may be tightened. Liposuction may also be used to remove stubborn fat deposits. The remaining skin is then repositioned and sutured together.
- Average Surgery Time: 3 hours
- Recovery: Back to work in 2-3 weeks. Expect discomfort similar to, but more extensive than, that of a C-section; you will have to take bed-rest, wear supportive garments for several weeks, and avoid straining or strenuous exercise.
- Risks and side effects: All body contouring cosmetic surgery procedures have a small risk of such complications as poor healing, infection, blood clots, asymmetries, and scarring. On rare occasions, a secondary procedure may be required.
Why Choose a Tummy Tuck?
Addressing post-pregnancy changes
Pregnancy and childbirth can significantly impact a woman’s abdominal area. The tummy tuck procedure can be an effective solution for middle-aged women who have experienced stretched abdominal muscles, loose skin, and excess fat deposits due to pregnancy.
As women age, the elasticity of their skin decreases, and the abdominal muscles may weaken. These factors can contribute to sagging skin and a protruding abdomen. A tummy tuck can help tighten the abdominal muscles and remove excess skin, resulting in a flatter and more toned abdomen.
It is crucial to have realistic expectations about the outcomes of a tummy tuck. While the procedure can provide significant improvements in the appearance of the abdomen, it is not a substitute for weight loss or a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a stable weight and following a balanced diet and regular exercise routine are essential for long-term results.
Though you may be eager to get out of stretch pants and into tight jeans again, it’s important to find out if this type of surgery is right for you. You might be a good candidate for tummy tuck if:
- Your abdominal muscles and skin have been stretched by multiple pregnancies
- Your muscles were cut during Caesarean delivery
- You have lost skin elasticity due to aging or dramatic weight loss
Tummy Tuck Techniques
Abdominoplasty is generally performed as an outpatient surgery, although an overnight stay may be required to speed up recovery. The patient is placed under general anaesthetic and an incision is made from hip to hip, just above the pubic area, where the scar is easy to conceal. The surgeon then creates a large skin flap that opens the abdominal wall from the pubic bone to the ribs, exposing the vertical muscles in your abdomen so they can be tightened and stitched into their new position. The extra skin is removed, the belly button is repositioned, the incisions are closed, and voila: an attractively contoured abdomen.
Another technique, mini-abdominoplasty, is essentially a modified tummy tuck. It produces good results on people whose fat deposits are located mostly below the navel. The incision is much shorter and the skin is only separated up to the navel.
Are You Thinking of Getting a Tummy Tuck?
Do you have excess abdominal skin? Are you considering getting a tummy tuck to combat this? Abdominoplasty is a popular choice amongst women following childbirth, a prior surgery, or as a result of significant fluctuations in weight.
If this sounds like a procedure you would be interested in, you should consult a plastic surgeon to determine if you’re a good candidate, and you can get any questions you have about the procedure answered. If you are a resident of Barrie, you’re in luck: with over 20 years experience in the field, Dr. Kenneth Dickie has helped women with abdominoplasty and other cosmetic enhancements. Contact us today at the Royal Centre of Plastic Surgery to schedule an in-depth consultation with Dr. Dickie, and become happy with your midriff this year!