Genuinely exercised regularly at your best for quite some time but unable to see any result in your abdominal area? Tried various diets but still have that hanging belly fat? Then you may consider for Tummy Tuck, also called ‘Abdominoplasty’ in medical terms.
Tummy tuck vs Liposuction
You may be wondering ‘what is the difference between liposuction and tummy tuck’. Liposuction means, removing fat removal. In this procedure, fat deposits in and around stomach, hips, thighs, bottom etc. In Abdominoplasty, the doctor removes extra fat from the abdomen, tightens the skin, tones & tightens the muscles in abdomen and stomach area.
Are you a right candidate for tummy tuck?
You are possibly the right candidate for tummy tuck if:
- If you are a woman and are done with pregnancy. Pregnancy will loosen the muscles in the abdomen area. So, getting them toned before becoming pregnant won’t be of much help.
- Whether you are a male or female, if you have worked out well but still have sagging skin and fat in your abdominal area.
- If you were obese in the past and you have dropped your weight but the abdominal area is still sagging.
Apart from these, you must be able to take rest for a month to six weeks after surgery before returning to work.
You are NOT the right candidate for tummy tuck if:
- If you are planning for pregnancy in the future.
- If you want to lose weight. If you want to just lose weight, tummy tuck should be last option. You will have to first try working out and if that doesn’t help, you can go for liposuction and/or tummy tuck.
- If you are worried about the scars that appear after the tummy tuck surgery. They will eventually lighten out but they will still be visible. You should talk to your surgeon about this part.
If your family life or work doesn’t permit you take rest for a month to six months, probably you must rethink before undergoing this procedure.
A cut will be made in your lower abdominal area from one side of the hip to the other side as shown in the figure. The skin, tissue and muscles are then shaped and tightened. Drainage tubes will be placed under your skin for few days in this procedure. Incisions will be made around the belly button (navel) in order to free it from the surrounding tissue.
Partial or Mini abdominoplasty
This procedure is usually performed on patients who have less fat and when it is mostly concentrated below the belly button area. In some cases, this surgery may be performed using an endoscope. This is relatively a short procedure lasting for a couple of hours. Similar to complete abdominoplasty, drainage tubes may be placed under the skin.
This procedure includes the back area of your hips. For some, a lot of excess fat gets deposited in the back along with abdominal area. Liposuction will be done on the back and in the abdominal area after which the excess skin will be removed. This improves the shape of the body from the front, sides and back side views.
Preparing for the Tummy Tuck procedure
Your gynaecologist or cosmetic surgeon will keep you briefed about the preparations that you have to make before undergoing the procedure. They include:
- Quit smoking at least two weeks before the scheduled date of procedure. Reducing smoking will be of less help because; smoking doesn’t allow a person to heal from injuries like he/she should.
- Eat well. You should not either over eat considering the fact that you will be undergoing the knife anyways and at the same time, you should not under eat.
- Get ice packs, loose, comfortable clothing readily available at home, petroleum jelly, hand held shower head and a bathroom chair.
- If you are living all by yourself, have someone to drive you to the hospital and back home after discharge.
- You must inform your doctor about your pre-existing medical conditions and medications that you are already taking, if any.
How is abdominoplasty done?
Before the surgery, general anesthesia will be administered and you will be put to sleep during the procedure. The surgery may take anywhere from two to five hours. It is advisable to stay back in the hospital for a night or two after the surgery is performed.
What you can expect after tummy tuck procedure?
- You will have pain and swelling for few days following the surgery. Pain medication will be given and your doctor will advise you if you have any questions regarding anything. Staying in touch with the doctor until six weeks is really important.
- You can experience numbness, bruising (at the area of surgery) and tiredness during the day.
As with any surgery, complications do exist with tummy tuck. However, the chances of complications when surgery is performed by an experienced cosmetic gynaecologist are less. Complications may include infection, bleeding under the skin (at the incision site) or blood clots. If your body doesn’t heal properly, a second surgery may have to be performed. In order to lighten the scars left by the surgery, you will strictly need to follow the medical advice of your doctor wrt usage of creams and ointments.
Post Surgery care
After the surgery, an elastic bandage will be applied around the surgical area after the skin is stitched. You need to take care of this bandage for few days after the surgery. This keeps the muscles together and helps in healing faster.
You will need to follow the doctor’s advice on how to sit, bend and lie down. You must not life any weights or strain yourself or the abdomen area under any circumstance for six weeks.
After six weeks, you can consult your doctor and go back to work if he/she is ok with it. You must not expect a slim and toned body immediately after six weeks. It may take few months for body to adjust and come to a proper shape.