Everyone of us desires a flat, firm & well toned abdomen . But many times diet & exercise can not achieve the result you strive for. TUMMY TUCK, also known as abdominoplasty, is a procedure to remove excess, flabby skin and fat from your abdominal wall. It also tightens the weak and separated abdominal wall muscles. It thus helps you achieve smooth, flat & firm abdomen. It is generally done in conjunction with liposuction of adjacent areas to achieve slimmer waistline as well as overall aesthetically appealing & pleasant result.
Candidates For Tummy Tuck
You are a candidate for tummy tuck if you have-
- Protruding abdomen due to excess fat with loose & flabby skin.
- Loose skin & stretch marks post pregnancy.
- Loose & sagging skin folds over your abdomen following significant weight loss or weight loss surgery.
- Areas or pockets of diet & exercise resistant‘ stubborn’ fat over your abdomen.
- Loose abdominal muscles which are separated (diastasis).
- You want to get rid of scars of C section & stretch marks .
Benefits Of Tummy Tuck
- The appearance of the abdomen is more flatter, firmer and well toned
- Feel young, healthy and fit
- Feel more in proportion and less self conscious.
- Increased self-confidence.
- Ability to have wider choice of clothes.
- No need to feel shy during swimming or enjoying beaches
Things to consider before Tummy Tuck
- Tummy tuck is not a weight reducing surgery. If your weight is fluctuating or if you planning to reduce your weight further, then it is advisable to wait till you reduce your weight optimally & your weight is constant.
- If you are planning a future pregnancy then your abdominal skin might stretch again & become loose. This will affect the result of surgery. So it is advisable to undergo tummy tuck surgery after your family is complete.
Types Of Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty )?
- Mini Tummy Tuck-This is a good option in candidates who otherwise have a fairly good shape except some loose skin &/ or stretch marks below belly button. They have usually resulted after pregnancy or small weight loss and do not improve with diet & exercise. In this procedure a single incision is taken above the pubic bone & resultant scar will be hidden in bikini line. Through this incision the lax abdominal wall muscles are tightened & excess skin is removed. There is no need to reposition the belly button (navel). The procedure is shorter & recovery is quicker than full tummy tuck.
- Standard (Full) Tummy Tuck-This procedure is recommended in patients who have significantly excess skin both above & below the belly button which usually results after multiple pregnancies or major weight loss. The incision in this surgery is taken above the pubic bone like mini tummy tuck but usually longer, from one hip bone to another. Even so, the resultant scar is hidden in bikini or clothes. Through this incision the abdominal wall muscles both above & below the belly button are tightened. The skin is pulled down & excess skin is removed. The belly button (navel) needs to be repositioned & there may be a small additional scar. Many times this procedure is combined with liposuction of surrounding abdomen & flanks for more slimmer & defined result.
- Extended Tummy Tuck-This procedure is an option for those who have loose or hanging skin over abdomen as well as in flanks. In these patients standard tummy tuck will result in large “dog ears” over flank area and so results are not appealing. The extended tummy tuck is ideally done in patients who have more loose skin than that can be removed with full or standard tummy tuck but not enough to undergo circumferential tummy tuck or “Belt Lipectomy”, also known as lower body lift. The incision is more than standard tummy tuck but gives better result in carefully selected patients.
Pre Surgery Precautions & Instructions
- You will undergo clinical check up, blood investigations and chest x-ray for evaluation of fitness for surgery.
- Stop smoking for at least 2 weeks before the procedure.
- Stop Aspirin, painkillers, antioxidants or nutritional support 7 days before the procedure.
- Discuss with your surgeon if you are taking any herbs, homeopathic medicines or nutritional supplements which need to be discontinued.
- Discuss with your surgeon about your past major illness .
- If you or any family member has history of breast cancer ,inform your surgeon.
- Inform your surgeon regarding any current illness like diabetes, blood pressure for which you are taking any medicines. Also inform him if you have had any recent illness like cold, diarrhea etc.
Recovery after Tummy Tuck surgery
- You will have surgical dressing in operated area. There will be drains placed in operated area to remove collected blood & body fluid.
- You will have some discomfort or soreness for which you will be given painkillers.
- You will have antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.
- You area advised to rest with pillows under your thighs.
- You will be allowed to go home 1-2 days after surgery depending upon the condition. You will receive detail instructions about care of your dressing, drain tubes & follow up visits at the time of your discharge from clinic.
- The train tubes will remain in place till amount of draining fluid is significantly reduced or completely stopped. This period is variable in different patients & may take 10-14 days.
- You are encouraged to start taking walk from next day of surgery. You will have some pain or discomfort initially but early mobilization will prevent blood clots in your legs and also speed up the recovery.
- You are advised to take two weeks leave from your work. You should rest quietly at home during this period. Avoid coughing, bending & lifting any heavy objects.
- You can resume your work after 2-4 weeks depending upon type of tummy tuck surgery, your comfort level & how physically demanding your job is.
- You can start light exercises after 4-6 weeks. Avoid strenuous exercises for 8-12 weeks.
- Wear compression garment as per the instructions. It will reduce the likelihood of loose & saggy skin. It also reduces the chances of fluid accumulation under the skin & swelling.
What will be my Tummy Tuck scar be like?
Initially scar of tummy tuck surgery will be red & prominent. With time the scar fades off & usually hidden in bikini line. But the actual scar may vary differently in different individuals.
How long the result of Tummy Tuck will last?
The result after Tummy Tuck surgery usually lasts for many years if you maintain healthy life style & control weight. But one should be aware that with advancing age, the skin loses its elasticity & becomes loose. Also with significant weight gain or pregnancy the abdominal skin& muscles stretch & some effects of tummy tuck are lost.