What is a Tummy Tuck?
A Tummy Tuck, also known as Abdominoplasty, is a procedure used to improve the shape of the tummy area (abdomen) by removing excess fat and loose skin. It can create a firmer profile by restoring weakened muscles.
If eating healthy and dieting have been unsuccessful, a Tummy Tuck may be an option for you. Even if you have a normal body weight, you may have a tummy that is sagging or loose. This may be due to pregnancy, aging, fluctuations in weight, and even heredity.
Is a Tummy Tuck for me?
A Tummy Tuck is not a substitute for proper exercise and a healthy diet, however, anybody with excess abdominal fat and skin may be a candidate. With women, pregnancy is a common cause of the problem, but is aggravated by weight loss. Men are affected similarly by weight loss.
The result of significant weight loss is unsightly stretch marks which are most obvious on the lower tummy area. These stretch marks can be made less obvious with the abdominal reduction procedure.
Large fluctuations in body weight can impact the results of a Tummy Tuck. If you are expecting significant weight loss or planning a pregnancy, you would be advised to delay a Tummy Tuck procedure.
You should have realistic expectations and you shouldn’t be doing it to fulfill anyone else’s desires of what an ideal image should be.
During your consultation, you may be asked to discuss your current medical condition, previous surgeries, medications you are currently taking, and your goals.
After you are evaluated, we will discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment, as well as discuss the risks and complications involving the procedure. You may also be asked to stop smoking or taking certain medications.
About the procedure
Anesthesia is administered before surgery so you are comfortable during the procedure. The surgery is usually done under a general anesthetic.
The two types of Tummy Tucks are a Partial Tummy Tuck and a Full Tummy Tuck.
In a partial Tummy Tuck, a large incision is made across the lower abdomen, and the skin is separated from the abdominal wall. Excess fat and skin is cut away and the remaining skin is pulled together and stitched up.
In a full Tummy Tuck, an incision is made across the lower abdomen, and a second incision is made to free the belly button from the surrounding tissue. Excess skin and fat are then removed. A new opening is created for the belly button, and is stitched back into position.
The remaining skin is finally pulled down and stitched together.
Depending on the extent of the surgery, the operation could take up to three hours to complete.
Risks and Complications
A Tummy Tuck is an extremely personal decision and you will need to weigh the risks and benefits. To make sure you understand the risks involving the procedure, you will be asked to sign consent forms before the surgery.
Examples of the risks involving abdominoplasty include the following:
- Skin loss and discoloration
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Asymmetry and scarring
- Persistent pain and poor wound healing
It’s important to address any questions that you may have concerning the procedure and these risks with your plastic surgeon.
If your Tummy Tuck is performed on an outpatient basis, arrange for someone to drive you home after recovering from surgery.
After your surgery, dressings may be applied to your incisions and an elastic bandage may be wrapped around the tummy to encourage your skin to heal properly around the affected area. You also will be given instructions on how to care for the surgical site.
Medication may be prescribed to help with the healing process and you will be told when to follow up with your doctor.
Ask your plastic surgeon questions about what you can expect during the recovery period.
You may find that you might be unable to stand fully upright until healing is complete, however, this will improve over time. If you have had previous surgery in the abdominal area, it may limit the results of a Tummy Tuck.
Scars may take several months to improve in appearance and existing scars may be incorporated into new scars.
As with most cosmetic procedures, it may not always be possible to achieve optimal results with one visit, and another surgery is sometimes necessary in some cases.
The cost of the procedure may be based on the surgeon’s experience, as such, prices for a Tummy Tuck will vary. The average cost for a tummy tuck is $7,500 + GST. Financing plans are offered by many doctors if the procedure is not covered by your health insurance.