Weight fluctuations, ageing and childbirth may affect the way our midsection looks. It’s frustrating to see that no matter how much you work out or diet, satisfying results are still far away. When excess skin and fat accumulate around our waist, they can be hardly dieted or exercised away. If this sounds familiar, a tummy tuck might be a good option for you. A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that aims to reshape your midsection by removing excess skin, fat and tightening your abdominal muscles. It’s an extremely successful surgical procedure that transforms your waistline and smooths your stomach, providing a more sculpted look.
Before considering a tummy tuck, it is important to read up on the procedure to make sure you can make the right decision. In fact, a tummy tuck can have great benefits but it also carries potential risks, just like any other surgery. We are here to help you understand everything you need to know about the procedure and figure out together what the best course of action is in your case. Contact us anytime!
Below, we break down 5 facts that patients should keep in mind before considering a tummy tuck procedure.
1. A tummy tuck is not a weight-loss procedure
A tummy tuck is a procedure that aims to reshape your abdominal area and give it a more defined contour. During surgery, a few pounds of fat and skin may be removed, but this is not the main goal. Patients who undergo an abdominoplasty are close to their ideal weight. If you’re obese and struggling with losing weight, bariatric surgery may be the solution you’re looking for.
2. Recovery after a tummy tuck can be lengthy
Consider that you will need time to rest and heal after a tummy tuck procedure. Each patient heals at their own rate so recovery time may vary depending on different factors. You will be off your feet for a few days, so make sure you also have the right support once you’re back home. You will spend up to three days at KCM Clinic after surgery to ensure that you are healing properly and ready to go back home.
Swelling, redness, bruising and stiffness are common for the first few weeks after surgery. There might also be numbness and loss of sensation along the incision; this is normal, and it will subside in a few days. Right after the procedure, you will wear a bandage and specialist compression garments to keep the swelling as low as possible.
Results after a tummy tuck procedure will not be immediately noticeable. As the swelling slowly disappears, it can take up to one year for the healing to be complete and the final results of the surgery to be fully visible. Don’t worry, it will be worth the wait! Despite recovery times being lengthy, your patience will pay off. Our patients are delighted with their results!
3. You need to be close to your ideal weight before the procedure
As mentioned before, tummy tuck is not a weight-loss procedure. For this reason, you should have reached or be near your goal weight before the surgery. Generally speaking, you should be no more than 6-7 kg (15 pounds) from your goal weight for six to 12 months before having the procedure. This is important to consider because weight fluctuations may negatively affect the results of your tummy tuck as your abdominal tissues may get stretched. Losing weight in the future may in fact cause more skin to sag, making a second tummy tuck necessary to get back the results initially achieved.
4. There are different tummy tuck procedures available
There isn’t just one tummy tuck procedure available. You will discuss with your surgeon which type best works in your case. Tummy tuck procedures can be divided as follows:
- Miniature abdominoplasty: Also known as mini tummy tuck, this surgery is recommended to patients who require only a small amount of fat and skin to be removed. This procedure removes excess fat and skin from the area around your navel, to reshape your lower abdomen. During this procedure, the abdominal muscles are not repaired or toned. This procedure is shorter and the scar is less visible than other more invasive tummy tuck procedures.
- Full abdominoplasty: This procedure aims to improve both your upper and lower abdomen. A full abdominoplasty involves both a small umbilical incision and a low waistline incision. Excess skin and fat are removed and the abdominal muscles are tightened.
- Extended abdominoplasty: This type of abdominoplasty is a great choice for individuals who have lost a considerable amount of weight and are looking to achieve dramatic results. The incisions allow for a comprehensive removal of fat and skin around your midsection. Muscles are also repaired and toned. Liposuction may be combined in some cases to improve the contours of the hips and abdomen.
- Fleur-de-lis tummy tuck: This surgery involves making a horizontal incision from hip bone to hip bone and a vertical incision from the bottom of the ribs until the pubic area. This double incision (that resembles the shape of a fleur de lis), allows your surgeon to remove loose skin on the sides of your abdomen, as well as left and right of the first incision and not just above and below it. This way, a greater amount of excess skin is removed.
5. The surgery will leave a scar
A tummy tuck is an effective, highly-requested cosmetic surgery procedure. You should know, however, that the procedure will leave a scar. The scar will run along the horizontal incision made to remove excess fat and skin from hip to hip. The scar will fade slowly but it will still be visible for years.
Our experienced plastic surgeons at KCM Clinic know how to carefully place the incision in a way that it can be easily covered under clothing, underwear or swimsuits buttons. Get in touch with us anytime to know more about about abdominoplasty – we look forward to hearing from you.