For both men and women, the physical ideal includes a taut, toned stomach. However, the effects of aging, fluctuations in weight, and pregnancy mean that for many this ideal is unobtainable.
A less-than-desirable tummy is not a problem faced only by those heading towards middle age or engaged in their busy scheduled lives. Some people who have managed to lose large amounts of weight through diet and exercise or bariatric surgery, as well as younger women who have had multiple pregnancies, may find that even after the excess weight has been lost, their stomach still protrudes with excess sagging skin and lacks tone. This is due to the fact that the skin of the stomach and the underlying diastases recti muscles (the muscles that hold the stomach in place) stretch as weight is gained but do not easily return to their former condition. Once the skin has stretched and the muscles separated, even the healthiest diet and the fiercest of exercise regimes won’t be able to fix the issue.
If diet and exercise just aren’t working, however hard you try, there is no need to despair; you don’t have to resign yourself to a lifetime of too-tight waistbands, low self-esteem, and dressing to disappear instead of dressing to impress. Modern surgical innovation and the skill of experienced plastic surgeons can restore slenderness, tightness and toned contours to the abdominal area with Tummy Tuck surgery, which is usually combined with Liposuction and non-surgical skin tightening procedures to get the best and most natural-looking results.
Several factors are responsible for causing a shapeless, fatty tummy/ belly, including massive weight loss, massive weight gain, hereditary factors, pregnancy, aging, and lifestyle. Thus, tummy tuck surgery is recommended to offer you a contoured tummy/ abdomen. In addition, it is one of the most sought-after cosmetic procedures among women after childbirth, as abdominal skin sagging and stubborn fat deposits are common problems after pregnancy. The procedure can also be opted for by males and females post Bariatric surgery and massive weight loss.
Tummy tuck/Lipoabdominoplasty is a plastic surgery procedure done to achieve a flatter, toned-looking and sculpted mid-torso region. A tummy tuck removes the excess skin and fat between the umbilicus and the pubic area. Tummy tuck surgery tightens the muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall and gives you a sculpted abdomen.
Lipoabdominoplasty is not the same as liposuction. Although, you may choose liposuction along with a tummy tuck to achieve the best-contoured outcomes in the best way possible. It is major surgery, so you are always advised to select a board-certified plastic surgeon to undergo the procedure.
The pre-procedure preparation for tummy tuck includes extensive medical evaluation, blood investigations, avoiding smoking, adjusting current medications. Persons consuming blood thinners/aspirin, herbal supplements, oral contraceptives and certain medications that can increase bleeding, will be asked to titrate or stop the medication days or weeks before the surgery. Discuss all medications and vitamins that you regularly use with your consultant to see if you should stop taking them before surgery and, if so, for how long.
You should be in the best possible health, be at a stable weight, and in optimal physical condition to help promote the best outcome.
The type of incision you receive will depend on the excess skin present. Once the abdominal skin is lifted, the underlying weakened abdominal muscles are repaired. A second incision around the navel may be necessary to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen. The excess skin is trimmed, and the remaining skin is sutured together. A new opening for the belly button is created. Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes, or clips are used to close the incisions.
Once you have awakened fully from the anesthesia, you will be shifted to the recovery room.
Pain, swelling, soreness or tenderness in surrounding areas, fluid accumulation, and numbness are the most common side effects in the first week of tummy tuck surgery that require a careful post-operative follow-up. However, the chances of side effects/ complications are minimal to rare with an expert plastic surgeon doing the procedure in a licensed /accredited hospital/ cosmetic surgery centre.
The most significant benefit of a tummy tuck is that it takes away all the stretch marks on the skin in the lower part of the belly.
Ensure you consider all aspects of a procedure. You can speak to your surgeon about these areas of the surgery in more detail during a consultation.
Tummy tuck surgery can take anywhere between two to five hours, depending on the extent of abdominoplasty surgery.
Usually, general anesthesia is administered to perform tummy tuck surgery. Moreover, this procedure can also be performed with a regional nerve block/epidural with spinal anesthesia along with local anesthetic agents if a mini tummy tuck procedure is planned
Usually, a tummy tuck is an in-patient procedure and you may need to stay overnight in the hospital, depending on your general health, and the plastic surgeon's preferences.
Tummy tuck surgery carries risks, which is not an unusual part of any surgical procedure. Infection, bleeding, skin necrosis, scarring, poor wound healing, or need for revision surgery are complications/ risks associated with tummy tuck surgery. In addition, the tummy tuck scar may take several months to a year to fade.
The risks are minimal with appropriate patient selection, the right type of procedure, and meticulous technique selection. Smokers should quit at least 4-6 weeks prior to surgery; smoking interferes with the efficiency of blood flow to the skin which may have an impact on achieving optimal results and increase the risk of complications. It would help if you address all your concerns/ questions prior to the procedure with your plastic surgeon.
The patient may resume daily home routine in 4-5 days. Absolute bed rest is avoided and patients are asked to be as active as possible for faster recovery. They can resume work-from-home activities in a week, and restart office routine work in 10-14 days. Daily walking is advised 20-30mins during the first 2 weeks, also based on patient pain tolerance.
After the 3rd week, one can gradually increase the ace of walks. Abdomen stretching, and cardio exercises can start after the 4th week. Weight training / heavy sports activities/high-intensity training can be safely started after 6-8 weeks if muscle repair has been done.
It is required to wear your compression pressure garments for at least six to eight weeks post-surgery or as advised by your surgeon.
The final result of tummy tuck surgery may be initially obscured by swelling until internal healing is complete. Then, you will achieve a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with your body type and weight. The result will last many years as long as they maintain their body weight and profile. This is a final procedure for women who have completed their family (mommy makeover). Thus, following a healthy lifestyle after tummy tuck surgery is advisable.