The American Society of Plastic Surgeons states that the tummy tuck remains the sixth most popular cosmetic surgery in the United States. Why is it so popular? This procedure can provide a smoother, sleeker look for people who have sagging skin or excess fat in their abdomens.
At Rios Center for Plastic Surgery, we offer tummy tuck procedures to help you tighten your abdominal region. Read more about what a tummy tuck is and who can benefit from getting one.
Tummy Tuck: What It Is
An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure that aims to improve the look and shape of the abdominal region.
You might be interested in a tummy tuck if you have excess fat, hanging skin, or weakened muscles in your abdomen. Some common reasons for these develop include:
- Going through pregnancy
- Experiencing significant weight changes
- Undergoing abdominal surgery
- Having certain body types
A tummy tuck can also remove any stretch marks in the area, though it cannot remove them anywhere else. It will not make you lose a significant amount of weight, so it is best suited for people who are within a normal weight range.
Candidates for an Abdominoplasty
Since a tummy tuck is a surgical procedure, the right candidates are people who are in good overall health. You also should be at a stable weight; fluctuations can affect the results of a tummy tuck. For this reason, it is not the best option for women who plan to have more children in the future.
To be a good candidate, you must also be able to take time to recover.
If you have serious medical conditions, smoke, are not at a stable weight, or have unrealistic expectations, you may not be a good candidate for this surgery.
Benefits of a Tummy Tuck Procedure
Aside from improving the way your abdomen looks, there are other benefits a tummy tuck can offer.
Because we can tighten the connective tissues in the area during the procedure, a tummy tuck can strengthen your core. You can regain flexibility and get stronger abdominal muscles. This can help you if you have back pain or posture problems, and it can even help you prevent hernias.
A lower body fat percentage is also associated with a decreased risk of developing conditions like diabetes, sleep apnea, and heart disease.
In some cases, a tummy tuck procedure may also help women who have stress urinary incontinence after giving birth.
The Tummy Tuck Consultation
The tummy tuck consultation is essential to ensure you are a good candidate for the procedure. We need to get your full and accurate medical history, and we need to know about any medications or supplements you take. If you have had surgeries in the past, let us know about them.
We will also perform a physical exam and assess your abdomen. We may require blood work or ask your primary physician to sign off on the surgery.
If we think you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck, we will ask you to follow a few guidelines to ensure that your surgery is effective and that you have a smooth recovery.
One of the most important things you will have to do is stop smoking or using any nicotine products. You will have to do this for at least a month before the surgery.
We also ask that you stop taking anti-inflammatory and blood-thinning medications like aspirin and ibuprofen. This also includes supplements that can have the same effects, like St. John’s wort and fish oil.
You also want to avoid alcohol during the week of the surgery.
A tummy tuck will require some downtime, so you will need to have someone to help you as you recover. Make arrangements for this ahead of time.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
You will need to stop eating and drinking eight hours before surgery. This includes drinking water.
Don’t wear makeup, contact lenses, or jewelry to the surgery, but do wear comfortable clothing.
For the procedure, you will receive general anesthesia. We then make an incision at the bottom of your abdomen, right over the pubic area. We then gently lift the abdominal skin and begin tightening the underlying muscles.
If you have excess fat, we will perform liposuction to remove it. Then, we will reshape your skin to fit smoothly over the entire area.
After removing any excess skin and repositioning or reconstructing your belly button, we will close the incision with sutures. The entire procedure can take between two and five hours.
We will then take you to the recovery room.
Recovery and Aftercare
You will have to take care of the medical dressing and drains as you recover. We will show you how to do this correctly. Make sure to take any medications we give you exactly as directed.
After the tummy tuck, you will wear a compression garment for about six weeks. Avoid any strenuous activities, including lifting anything heavy. However, you should make time for walking as you recover.
Come to each of your follow-up appointments so we can monitor the healing process.
Turn to Experts for a Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck can allow you to get the toned abdomen you want, making it a good choice for people who have sagging skin and excess fat in the area.
At Rios Center for Plastic Surgery in Edinburg, TX, we offer many types of cosmetic procedures to help you achieve the look you have been seeking. Call us today to schedule a consultation.