Tummy Tuck Q&As

What are the medical benefits of Tummy Tuck?

We have heard of the many cosmetic benefits that tummy tuck can bring. But did you know there are medical benefits for this procedure as well? The tummy tuck is used sometimes as a corrective surgical procedure for patients with some specific conditions. It can help to correct a ventral hernia that forms when the intestine or abdominal tissue breaks through the abdominal wall to create a pouch. Abdominal weakness resulting from massive weight loss, an appendectomy or a c-section are some reasons why this can occur. By doing a tummy tuck the weakened abdominal muscles can be addressed and the pressure on the skin can be reduced. The condition stress urinary incontinence can be treated with the help of a tummy tuck. This is quite common for women after a normal delivery, but can also affect men. After significant weight loss or delivery, the weakened stomach muscles can cause back pain in some women. A tummy tuck can surgically tighten weakened muscles, giving the much-needed abdominal support and alleviating back pain. With a tummy tuck procedure, the posture can also be improved due to the tightened muscles, giving more support to the spine.

What are the different types of Tummy Tuck?

Tummy Tuck can be of various types depending on the aesthetic objective the patient is looking for. The doctor can advise on the best option that is suitable for the patient’s body type. There are three common types of tummy tuck procedures. The full or classic tummy tuck is preferred when both sections above and below the belly button and the entire abdominal line’s length needs to be addressed. Excess skin and general roundedness of the tummy can be corrected in this type. The mini tummy tuck uses only fewer incisions and is used to improve just the lower section of the belly. In this quick procedure “pooches,” stretch marks, or tiny bulges can be addressed giving a firm look. The extended tummy tuck is suitable to correct the lower and upper abdominal portion as well as the hips and the flanks. In this surgery the horizontal incision is extended sideways and can also include another vertical incision that is longer.

Who is an ideal candidate for Tummy Tuck?

The tummy tuck surgery is quite customizable, depending on the patient’s preferred outcome from a mini tuck, full tuck to an extended tummy tuck. A tummy tuck procedure is done to tighten the abdominal muscles and eliminate loose skin for a firmer and slimmer looking waistline. Opting for a cosmetic surgery is a personal decision and is one that must be taken seriously. Along with cosmetic benefits the procedure can also help address certain medical problems. Choose a surgeon that one is comfortable discussing the desired objectives and other procedural clarifications. The doctor can then do a detailed assessment to see if the procedure isideal and also the most suitable technique for the patient. It is essential that the entire medical history along with details on the medications that the patient is currently taking is shared with the doctor prior to the procedure. In a way this can give an idea about the timelines and expectations about the final results. The perfectcandidate for a tummy tuck should be in overall good health, a non-smoker, should have a stable weight, have a protruding tummy or must have recently given birth or has loose or hanging skin around their tummy.

Does Tummy Tuck help with weight loss?

There have been reports suggesting that a tummy tuck can actually help aid in weight loss a year or two after the procedure. Some people who got a tummy tuck with a BMI of 24.5 or greater have lost about 4% of their body fat some years following their tummy tuck procedure. The removal of fat cells that happen during a tummy tuck procedure can cause a decrease in appetite. This could eventually lead patients to lose more weight at a faster rate than others. A tummy tuck though isn’t surgically designed to aid in an overall body weight loss like with a gastrointestinal surgery. But tummy tuck patients are able to sustain the weight loss for some years. The reason for this could be because an increased satiety after eating and throughout the day has been reported by 75 percent of the women. A tummy tuck as such may not remove a significant amount of weight, but it can aid in losing weight and keeping in off after surgery

Is Tummy Tuck done as part of mommy makeover?

A mommy makeover is a highly customizable surgery. A mommy makeover is a seriesof procedures that are all performed at the same time to help a patient get her pre-baby body back. Most mommy makeover surgeries do include a tummy tuck. This is because it helps correct the abdominal damage caused by pregnancy and thus giving a more contoured stomach. The abdominal muscles become stretched during pregnancy, so it can be difficult to obtain a more toned stomach even with the most rigorous exercise routines. A tummy tuck is the best and only way to repair stretchedmuscles and remove excess skin and fat over the entire abdomen, delivering the smooth, flat, youthful tummy of pre-pregnancy days. When done by an expert cosmetic surgeon the surgical scar for a tummy tuck will be placed low and is easily hidden. A breast lift, butt lift, liposuction or vaginal rejuvenation are some of the procedures included in a mommy makeover along with a tummy tuck to get the natural curves back.

What is the recovery period of Tummy Tuck like?

There are so many factors that you need to consider when you decide to go in for a tummy tuck surgery. The important among this lot is to have a clear idea of what therecovery period entails as your final results will all depend on the care during the post-operative period. The tummy tucks are done as an outpatient procedure and the patient can go home the same day. The recovery period and time taken to heal from the surgery can vary from person to person depending on things like the patient’s age, general health, body weight and also on the type of tummy tuck done. It is important to give the body ample time to heal after the tummy tuck surgery. Ideally the patient can return to normal activities like driving in one- or two-weeks’ time and can resume a normal life as time progresses by around eight weeks. Until the doctor gives a go-ahead exercise should be avoided for the first few weeks. The tummy tuck scar may feel sore or tight for several weeks to months following surgery but the scar will slowly fade. Those with physically demanding occupations may need about a month off work.

What are some tips to heal better after tummy tuck surgery?

After the tummy tuck surgery, it is important to keep the blood flowing as this helps with the healing process and decreases the chances of a blood clot in the legs. Even if it is light walking, it is good to keep moving after the surgery. For a few weeks or
even months it is normal to feel tired so rest can do a world of good in the healing process. The surgeon can advise on the optimal resting position so the patient is comfortable. It is better to sleep on an incline for the first few days after surgery as keeping the upper body raised slightly with the knees bent at an angle can help reduce swelling. Pillows placed underneath the knees can reduce the pressure on the abdomen. Driving should be avoided in the first few weeks and stay away from strenuous exercise or demanding physical activity for four to six weeks. Drink plenty of water to flush out the body of toxins and reduce swelling. Keep the diet as healthyas possible by including many fresh fruits and vegetables.

What is involved in a tummy tuck procedure?

Based on the extent of final outcome expected there can be a number of different procedures for a tummy tuck. To begin the plastic surgeon first makes incisions to remove most of the skin and fat between the bellybutton and pubic hairline. The incision can be in a horizontal oval or elliptical shape. Using permanent sutures, the connective tissue that lies over the abdominal muscles is tightened. The skin around the bellybutton will then be repositioned. Through a small incision the bellybutton is brought out and sutured in its normal position. The incision from hip to hip above the pubic hair will then be stitched together. An antibiotic will be administered during the procedure in order to prevent an infection. A tummy tuck will take aroundtwo to three hours. After the tummy tuck surgery, a supportive compression garment will need to be worn for six weeks to aid the healing process and to preventfluid build-up. Scar care should be followed as recommended by the doctor.

What are the foods to avoid after a tummy tuck surgery?

After a tummy tuck, the post-surgery diet plays an important role in the healing process, as it affects the tissue reconstruction and regeneration as well as the recovery process. Even before the surgery the doctor may recommend certain foods that can be consumed. It is best to avoid processed foods like carbs, bread, cereal that can promote inflammation. At least two weeks before and three weeks after thesurgery alcohol and cigarettes is to be avoided as these can slow the healing process and also thin the blood. Excessive salty foods or soda can cause bloating and this can be uncomfortable after the tummy tuck surgery. These should be avoided for at leasttwo to four months in the post-operative period. Bad saturated food is not ideal to
consume in this period but a healthy amount of good fat like olive oil, avocados, nuts, and grains is essential for good health. By keeping in check unhealthy foods and the number of calories consumed, a healthy lifestyle can also be created so as tohave lasting effects for the surgery.

How long do results of a tummy tuck last?

It is extremely crucial to maintain a stable weight before undergoing a tummy tuck surgery and this can ensure that the aesthetic results of a tummy tuck can last longer. The skin and fat cells that are removed during the procedure cannot grow back and hence this is a permanent solution. But if there are significant weight fluctuations then this can cause the remaining abdominal skin to lose additional elasticity and sag again. When excess weight is also gained after the procedure then this can also be detrimental as new fat cells can be produced in the treated areas if this is the case. Due to further damage to the stomach muscles, a pregnancy after a tummy tuck procedure can also badly affect the treated areas. Maintaining a stable weight, following a healthy diet, exercising consistently and not smoking can guarantee long lasting results. By the third or fourth week most of the post-surgery swelling will be reduced but the final results of tummy tuck surgery can take around six to twelve months to fully develop.

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