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What is a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)? How Is It Done?

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What is a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)? How Is It Done?

A tummy tuck is an aesthetic surgical procedure known as abdominoplasty in plastic surgery. This procedure is typically performed to reduce excess fat and skin in the abdominal area, tighten abdominal muscles, and achieve a smoother abdominal appearance.

Abdominoplasty surgery allows for reshaping the abdominal area by removing excess skin and fat. It also tightens the connective tissue in the abdomen and addresses any excess fat or skin issues around the belly button. This surgery is an effective option for improving your body image.

In Which Cases Is Tummy Tuck Surgery Preferred?

A “Tummy Tuck” is generally preferred in the following situations:

  1. Abdominal sagging after pregnancy.
  2. Loose skin following extreme weight loss.
  3. Sagging due to aging.

A tummy tuck can also correct fat deposits in the abdominal area, as well as address cracks below the navel and skin sagging.

Candidates suitable for Tummy Tuck surgery: 

  • Those in good general health
  • Those with stable weight (there should not be significant weight loss after surgery)
  • All ll non-smoking women and men

How Is a Tummy Tuck Performed?

The tummy tuck procedure generally involves the following steps:

  1. Anesthesia: The procedure can be performed under local or general anesthesia.
  2. Incisions: The surgeon makes incisions in appropriate areas of the abdomen.
  3. Removal of excess fat: The surgeon can remove excess fat tissue through liposuction or other methods. (Liposuction is not necessary or suitable for everyone)
  4. Tightening of abdominal muscles: Abdominal muscles are tightened as needed.
  5. Correction of skin excess: Excess skin is removed, and the remaining skin is reshaped with sutures.
  6. Closing of incisions: Incisions are closed with stitches after the procedure.”

Who Is Not Suitable for Tummy Tuck?

Abdominoplasty may not be suitable for everyone and may not be recommended in certain cases. Here are some situations in which a tummy tuck surgery may not be appropriate:

  • Various health problems (infections, heart issues, diabetes, etc.)
  • Excessive weight (having a body mass index above 30)
  • Those planning future pregnancies
  • Psychological issues
  • Skin diseases
  • Inadequate skin elasticity
  • Medication, smoking, and alcohol addiction

Anyone considering a tummy tuck surgery should undergo a comprehensive evaluation with a plastic surgeon to determine if they are a suitable candidate. Your plastic surgeon will help assess the best treatment options for you and the potential risks involved.

Preparing for Tummy Tuck Surgery: Important Steps and Considerations

  • Quit smoking.
  • You may need to discontinue certain medications as directed by your doctor.
  • Losing a significant amount of weight after an abdominoplasty will adversely affect the results. Therefore, it’s important to be close to your ideal weight beforehand. If you are overweight, it is recommended to lose weight before the procedure.
  • Follow all the recommendations provided by your doctor regarding preoperative preparations.
  • On the day of the surgery, you should have someone to accompany you. Additionally, don’t forget to bring loose and comfortable clothing with you.

Potential Risks

A tummy tuck procedure is chosen when an individual seeks to achieve a smoother abdominal appearance for aesthetic reasons. However, like any surgical procedure, it carries risks and potential complications, so it’s important to consult with a qualified professional and seek expert advice before considering such a procedure. Conditions such as circulatory disorders, smoking, diabetes, and heart and lung diseases can increase the risk of complications. Possible complications may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Unexpected scarring
  • Infection
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Poor wound healing
  • Blood clotting

It’s worth noting that in a tummy tuck operation led by an experienced and skilled team, the risk of complications is significantly reduced.

Postoperative Period

Since a tummy tuck is a surgical procedure, it requires a period of recovery and can limit a person’s mobility. The recovery period can vary from person to person but generally lasts for a few weeks. Common postoperative side effects may include swelling, bruising, and discomfort. It’s important to follow the doctor’s recommended instructions after the procedure to facilitate the recovery process.

After the surgery, the incisions on your abdomen are closed with surgical dressings. Drains may be placed to remove excess blood and fluids.

Some swelling and discomfort in the surgical area are normal during the postoperative period. Your doctor may prescribe pain relievers and antibiotics for a period.

During the first six weeks, you should be cautious when moving. Your doctor will provide you with all the details about the recovery process and what you need to be mindful of. Adhering to your doctor’s recommendations is crucial for a smoother recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tummy Tuck

Can a tummy tuck be performed in conjunction with other body contouring surgeries?

Yes, a tummy tuck surgery can be combined with other body contouring procedures. Especially when paired with procedures like breast augmentation or reduction, liposuction, or body contouring, it is a commonly preferred approach. This allows for addressing multiple aesthetic goals in the same surgical session, potentially shortening the patient’s postoperative recovery and reducing costs. However, it’s important to undergo a comprehensive evaluation with a plastic surgeon to determine if you are a suitable candidate for such a combination surgery and to decide which procedures will be performed together.

What is the difference between a Tummy Tuck and Liposuction?

A tummy tuck and liposuction are two different aesthetic surgical procedures that serve different purposes. Liposuction is used to remove excess fat from various areas of the body, including the abdomen, waist, hips, thighs, arms, and chin. Liposuction is performed to enhance body contours and achieve a slimmer appearance. However, it does not tighten the skin or address excess skin. Abdominoplasty, on the other hand, is a surgical procedure performed to tighten sagging skin in the abdominal area. Nevertheless, it is possible to combine liposuction to remove excess fat from the abdomen with a tummy tuck to address sagging skin, allowing both procedures to be performed together.

Will there be scars after a tummy tuck surgery?

Abdominoplasty involves the removal of excess skin from the abdomen, which requires incisions in the skin, and these incisions can result in scars as they heal. However, plastic surgeons employ various techniques to minimize scarring. Additionally, careful wound care after the surgery is also important.

What should I pay attention to in order to minimize scars after a tummy tuck?

Try to follow your doctor’s instructions diligently. Don’t neglect wound care. Avoid exposing your scar to the sun. Refrain from smoking and alcohol.

Are the results of a tummy tuck permanent?

The results are considered long-lasting in aesthetic surgery. However, factors such as weight fluctuations, pregnancy, and aging can influence the results.

What is the cost of a tummy tuck surgery?

The cost of the surgery varies depending on the procedure performed, the experience of the plastic surgeon, the clinic where the surgery is conducted, and the scope of the surgery. Therefore, it is important to have a consultation before getting a price quote.

When can I return to normal activities after a tummy tuck surgery?

The recovery period varies from person to person, but generally, a return to normal activities can be expected within a few weeks to a few months. It’s important to follow your surgeon’s recommendations.

Is it possible to undergo an abdominoplasty after gastric bypass?

Generally, a tummy tuck can be performed after gastric bypass surgery. However, each case is unique, and the suitability of such a surgical procedure depends on various factors such as the individual’s medical history, overall health, and surgical history. Significant changes occur in the body after gastric bypass surgery, so careful evaluation is necessary before and after a tummy tuck operation.

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