The abdominal area is regularly cited as one of the main parts of our body that we would most like to change. This tends to be due to its ability to hold on to excess fat, causing our tummy to look less tight and toned than we would like. Fortunately, there are options available to improve the contours of the abdomen thanks to a procedure called a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).
If you are considering a tummy tuck procedure, there are several things to think about. To help you prepare for the procedure, we’ve created a checklist of things that you need to consider before moving forward with the procedure.
Choosing the Right Surgeon for Your Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck is a fairly straightforward and common cosmetic surgery. However, this doesn’t mean that you can trust any cosmetic surgeon to perform this procedure. In order to be certain that you are in safe hands, you want to be sure to choose a professional who is properly qualified, experienced and, ideally, board-certified. Board certification shows that they have achieved exceptionally rigorous standards required to achieve the accreditation.
Training and experience are one thing but be sure to check out the surgeon’s work for yourself. Any great cosmetic surgeon will be happy to show off their skills in a series of before-and-after images of real patients, and you should check out their reviews online too.
Are You a Suitable Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
Not everyone is automatically considered a suitable candidate for a tummy tuck. To be sure that it is the right procedure for you, you will first need to undergo a consultation. Ideal candidates for tummy tucks are those who:
Have loose skin around the abdomen
Have lost weight or been through pregnancy and have loose skin as well as excess far
Have stomach muscles that have been permanently damaged through growth
Are happy with their current weight and do not intend on losing any more
Are not planning on becoming pregnant
Have overall good health
Have realistic expectations for the outcome of their surgery
Understand the Types of Tummy Tuck Available
There are predominantly two types of tummy tucks. There is a full tuck and a mini tuck, both of which are performed under general anesthesia.
A full tummy tuck is the best-known solution for tightening the skin and muscles of the abdomen. The incision is made along the top of the pubic area, from hip to hip. A second incision is made to free the belly button from the tissue that surrounds it. The skin is then separated from the abdominal wall so that the underlying muscles can be tightened where necessary. Finally, the skin is replaced and pulled tight, with any excess being cut away. It can then be secured using sutures and the surgery is complete.
A mini tummy tuck focuses purely on the area below the belly button, where many people develop a pouch of excess fat and skin. There is no additional incision around the belly button, but the rest of the procedure remains the same.
Which type of tummy tuck will be best for you will be something that you can discuss with your cosmetic surgeon.
Understand the Risks Involved in a Tummy Tuck Procedure
Countless tummy tuck procedures are performed successfully every year. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand that as with any surgery, there are risks involved in the process. These include:
Risks associated with anesthesia
Accumulation of fluid
Changes in skin sensation
Preparing for Your Tummy Tuck
Preparation is key when it comes to any cosmetic surgery procedure, including a tummy tuck. Some key advice for the days and weeks leading up to your surgery include:
Stop taking any medications as advised by your surgeon (alternatives may be available, and this will be discussed at your consultation appointment).
Quit smoking. Smoking inhibits our natural ability to self-heal and can increase your risk of complications from the surgery.
Avoid taking aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications as these increase your risk of bleeding.
Make sure you have someone who can help you out at home in the initial days of your recovery.
Be sure to schedule enough time off work to recover
Follow all pre-op instructions provided by your surgical team.
If you’d like more advice about preparing for a tummy tuck procedure, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our experienced and knowledgeable cosmetic surgery team today.