Hanging skin and stubborn fat can appear on our midsections for a number of reasons. For some of us, age causes our skin to lose its elasticity, causing it to hang. Smoking and other bad habits, including too much sun, can further lead to a belly that droops.
Women who have gone through pregnancy and childbirth can also experience a droopy belly. For others, both men and women, there is just a bit too much belly fat. The problem is that the adipose tissue that stubbornly clings to your body beneath the skin fails to respond to traditional diet and exercise.
When your belly droops or your stomach bulges, tummy tuck surgery can help.
Do You Have Weakened Abs? A Tummy Tuck May Be Right for You!
Many people with excess fat and loose skin on their abdomens also experience a weakened abdominal wall. This condition is known as diastasis recti and childbearing women are particularly at risk. Tummy tuck surgery can not only erase the excess skin and fat, but the surgery simultaneously tightens your abdominal muscles. The results leave you with a firmer abdomen and a more contoured physique.
Should You Have Liposuction, a Tummy Tuck, or Both?
You may wonder if liposuction might be the better choice when it comes to eradicating your belly fat. Liposuction can help to remove stubborn pockets of fat from the belly region. Lipo is designed for the eradication of fat cells, particularly the ones that don’t readily respond to diet and exercise. And it is true that having lipo along the stomach region is a popular choice.
However, there are a couple of reasons why you would choose a tummy tuck over liposuction. For example, liposuction alone will not tighten your abdominal wall. The tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure that can remove excess fat cells and strengthen and tighten the weakened abdominal wall. This can help to support your belly in a much more contoured way, which is appealing to the eye.
When you have excess belly fat as well as hanging skin, only a surgical procedure like a tummy tuck can help you achieve a flatter, firmer midsection. Tummy tucks can even help to get rid of stretch marks in some cases.
How is a Tummy Tuck Performed?
Tummy tuck surgery is performed after your cosmetic surgeon has had a chance to examine the treatment area during a short consultation. This examination involves an analysis of your fat deposits and an assessment of the condition of your abdominal wall. If the doctor confirms that you are a good candidate for the surgery, your surgery date will be scheduled.
You will arrive at the surgical center on the day of surgery, where you will be prepped by the surgical staff. To ensure you remain comfortable throughout your cosmetic surgery, medications will be administered to you. The tummy tuck can be performed under intravenous or general anesthesia. Your doctor will determine which type is best for you.
Once fully prepped and anesthetized, the cosmetic surgeon will make a horizontal incision from hip to hip. The incision will fall between the pubic hairline and belly button. This allows any scarring left behind to remain hidden within the natural folds of your body.
The scars left behind will be determined by the shape and length of the incision, which is made according to the amount of skin that must be removed. When the incision is made and the abdominal skin is lifted from the body, the abdominal muscles will be tightened and strengthened.
The next step involves a second incision, which is made around the navel to remove excess skin along the upper abdomen. The skin along the upper abdomen is pulled down and trimmed away before the remaining skin is sutured together.
At this stage, the surgeon cuts a new opening for the belly button. The belly button is fitted through the new hole and sutured into place. Here is where your surgeon’s surgical hands can create a natural effect once the area is healed.
The incisions are then closed using tape, clips, sutures, and/or skin adhesive. After your abdomen has healed from surgery, you will see a flatter, firmer abdomen contour when looking back in the mirror. The effect of a tummy tuck is aimed at making your abs more proportionate with your body type and weight. Speak to a qualified cosmetic surgeon like Dr. Babak Moein of Moein Surgical Arts to understand the realistic results you can expect from tummy tuck surgery.
What is Healing Like After Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Tummy tuck recovery can take up to three months, but don’t let that deter you. The results of surgery are well worth it, judging by the 97% customer satisfaction score on RealSelf.
Immediately after surgery, you may experience numbness or a pulling sensation at the surgical site. These sensations can persist for weeks or months. These symptoms are normal and will diminish with time. Swelling and bruising can take up to three months to go down completely. You may be asked to wear a compression garment for a couple of weeks after surgery. This constricting vest is aimed at maintaining your surgical results. The garment also improves your circulation and helps with healing.
Be mindful of the healing process when scheduling vacation plans in preparation for your new, flatter tummy to arrive. You may not see the actual results of surgery for weeks, but you can maintain the natural-looking effect of the tummy tuck for years if you manage to maintain your weight. Keep in mind that it can take longer than the general recovery period for your tummy tuck scar to fade. Ask your surgeon for tips about helping your scar fade, such as avoiding too much sun during the recovery process.
Who is a Good Candidate for the Tummy Tuck?
There’s a persisting myth that says tummy tuck surgery is only for women. Or that it’s an ideal surgery when you want rapid weight loss.
While tummy tuck surgery is the fourth most popular cosmetic surgery for women, it’s the fifth most popular aesthetic procedure for men.
To dispel the other myth, tummy tucks are not for losing excess pounds. That’s what bariatric or weight loss surgery is for. Tummy tucks are aimed at giving you a more contoured midsection.
Both men and women who are in good general health can enjoy the amazing effects of the tummy tuck. Tummy tucks can also be used in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures like breast enlargement, breast lift, and liposuction.
Does Tummy Tuck Surgery Come with Risks?
There are some people who might not be recommended for a tummy tuck for safety reasons. For example, women who plan to give birth in the future may want to hold off on cosmetic surgery. During the abdominoplasty procedure, the vertical muscles are tightened. When you give birth, those same muscles can become separated, completely undoing the desired effects. In the case of childbirth, the tummy tuck is best reserved for women who don’t plan to have any more children. These women are good candidates for the mommy makeover procedure, which is an amalgam of procedures aimed at giving the woman her pre-pregnancy body back. Tummy tucks are commonly included with mommy makeover surgeries.
Other people who shouldn’t have tummy tucks are people with chronic health conditions and smokers, as nicotine consumption can lead to slower healing, thus skewing your results. To be a candidate for surgery, it is recommended that you quit smoking before and after surgery so that you get the desired effects.
Other risks involved with tummy tuck surgery are associated with the act of surgery in general, or the negative effects of anesthesia. Examples include blood clots, infection, and excess bleeding.
You can mitigate negative health effects and reduce your chances of experiencing a complication by choosing the best cosmetic surgeon in your area. For Los Angeles, Encino, and Glendale residents of California, you are encouraged to call on the expertise of Dr. Babak Moein of Moein Surgical Arts.
From the moment you call our office to your experience during the consultation stage, surgery, and beyond, we will make every effort to make you feel confident that you are in the best of hands. Dr. Moein has extensive experience performing tummy tucks on men and women from all walks of life. Have a look at his before and after photographs and read testimonials from satisfied patients.