The American Society of plastic surgeons’ statistics reveals that about 150,000 people underwent tummy tuck plastic surgery in 2010 in United States alone and is among the top five surgical procedures in the United States. The figures reveal the popularity of this cosmetic surgery procedure to shape up one’s body. Women of higher age group are also undergoing tummy tuck now to get rid of extra flab and overhang besides younger females who do it after pregnancy and childbirth.
While we understand that you may have many questions and doubts before you undergo the surgery, we have tried to list the most frequently asked questions about tummy tuck or abdominoplasty by our clients. This is the first part of the complete questions that we have compiled.
What exactly does tummy tuck do?
· Tummy tuck also known as Abdominoplasty removes the excess skin and fat deposits from the abdomen that appear as a consequence of pregnancies, old age and obesity. It also removes stretch marks or scars in the upper abdominal area.
· Tummy tuck tightens the abdominal muscles to make your abdomen look firmer and your waist narrower.
· It may also help to solve preexisting problems, such as hernias or eventrations.
With tummy tuck combined with liposuction of the abdomen, you can surely expect to lose some weight, but it is important to note that tummy tuck does not treat obesity. It is not a substitute for weight loss or bariatric surgery. Weight loss does happen to an extent, but you cannot expect to lose 20 kg with tummy tuck surgery.
How do I know if I need tummy tuck or Liposuction?
If you have extra fat in the abdomen, Liposuction alone shall be helpful. If you have lose abdominal muscles, lax skin, hanging apron, stretch marks- you would need a tummy tuck to get a flat and taut abdomen. Tummy tuck shall remove the extra muscles and thus tighten them.
A qualified surgeon can guide you the best procedure for you after having a look at your pictures of the area.
An example of before after liposuction picture:
And a tummy tuck picture:
What is the right age to get the tummy tuck done?
There is no "right" age to have a tummy tuck, but it is most often done after a woman has given birth and does not plan to have more children, or after someone has lost all the weight she intends to lose. For men, tummy tuck can be done when they expect not much weight fluctuation.
Does a male tummy tuck differ from a female tummy tuck?
Abdominoplasty is essentially a form of body contouring, so though the basic technique remains the same, a male tummy tuck differs from a female tummy tuck in that the surgeon is trying to achieve a very different body aesthetics. An experienced surgeon is trained about the nuances about how a male tummy tuck should differ from a female tummy tuck.
Where would the incision be for tummy tuck? Will I have a significant scar after the tummy tuck?
The incision is made quite low at the bikini level. Scarring is inevitable following the surgery. The tummy tuck will produce a scar at the site of incision- just above the pubic line, but that can be well hidden inside the undergarment. The scar will slowly become faint with time.
How long do the results of a tummy tuck last?
The results of the surgery are permanent but with proper diet and exercise. However, significant weight loss or gain, pregnancy and age many adversely affect the results.
Is the surgery very painful? I have very low threshold to bear pain- should I go ahead or not with this cosmetic surgery?
Pain is a very subjective thing and varies with person to person. While one may feel a lot of pain, the other person would not feel much pain following tummy tuck. Some people only report a little discomfort and no pain.
If you have low threshold to bear pain, tell this to your surgeon candidly, he would prescribe you painkillers accordingly. There is no need to however cancel this cosmetic surgery only for this small reason if you are otherwise a good candidate.
Would there be lot of swelling in the area after the surgery?
Yes, there will be some swelling after tummy tuck. It is important to note that tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is serious surgery and, depending upon the case, a lot of tissue is removed, so some swelling is inevitable. But it is noting to be worried about- all the swelling in the area subsides within in a couple of weeks.
When can I return to work after the tummy tuck plastic surgery?
Most of the people return to work within two weeks following a tummy tuck surgery. This also depends on how extensive your surgery is and what kind of work you do. If your work involves sitting or sedentary job, you can resume work in about ten days time, while for heavy work upto three weeks may be required. Tell your surgeon the kind of work you do for living and he shall guide you about when to return to work.
I have delivered my baby two months back? When can I undergo a tummy tuck to get back to shape?
Tummy tuck is a major surgery and you should not jump to get the procedure done. You should first nurse your baby well and wait until the baby is on breast milk. You should also try to get rid of the pregnancy fat through exercise and after you are convinced that this shall not go with exercise, you should consider surgery. It is also important to note that you would not be advised to lift your baby for five to six weeks after the surgery, so plan accordingly.
I have a big overhang after my first delivery and I am not planning to have another baby until another five years? Can I undergo tummy tuck now to get a flat abdomen?
Getting a plastic surgery done is entirely your choice. You can surely undergo tummy tuck to get rid of the overhang, but it is worthwhile to note that pregnancy in future can affect the results adversely.
I have stretch marks on my tummy after multiple pregnancies. Will tummy tuck remove my stretch marks as well?
The tummy tuck eliminates all the stretch marks upto the level of the belly button while those stretch marks which are below the belly button would be pulled down near the pubic area near the incision.
How long would I be staying at the hospital? Do I need to wear pressure garment even after a tummy tuck- if yes, for how long?
The usual average length of hospital stay for a tummy tuck is about 2-3 days post-op. It all depends on the drainage from the suction drains that are placed to avoid fluid collection. As soon as the drainage decreases to < 50 cc /day, you can be sent home. This is usually the 3rd or 4th post-op day. You will be fitted with a customized supportive pressure garment at the end of surgery and will have to wear this 24/7 for 4-6 weeks, removing it only to go to the toilet and at the time of a bath.
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