A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that flattens the abdomen by surgically removing the excessive amounts of fattydeposits and saggy skin. The procedure is quite effective in tightening the muscles within the abdominal wall, resulting in a firm and toned abdomen. There are two types of tummy tuck procedures: complete abdominoplasty and partial or mini abdominoplasty.
Although a widely popular cosmetic procedure, it's recognized as a major surgery and not a suitable alterative to a weight loss method. If you're considering a tummy tuck, it's important to educate yourself on the procedure and do a self-evaluation to determine whether or not you're a suitable candidate to undergo the surgery.
Is a Tummy Tuck the Right Choice for Me?
Even though you've trying to lose excess abdominal fat by daily exercise regimens and dieting but have been unsuccessful, a tummy tuck is not an overnight magical cure. In fact, a tummy tuck is the last resort for individuals that have exhausted all other measures.
To be considered a viable candidate you should:
• Be in overall good health
• Have stretched skin and muscles due to multiple pregnancies
• Have excessive deposits of fat or baggy skin in the stomach areadue to previous obesity
• Not expect to lose significant amounts of weight.
It's also important for women planning future pregnancies considering a tummy tuck that the procedure tightens the vertical muscles. Pregnancies separate the muscles, potentially causing severe side effects.
How is the Procedure Performed?
The first step in the procedure is being put to sleep under general anesthesia. Depending on the appropriate procedure decided upon before the scheduled surgery, the technique performed will either be a complete abdominoplasty or partial or mini abdominoplasty.
• Complete abdominoplasty – This procedure is usually recommended for patients needing the most invasive tummy tuck. The surgeon begins by making an incision in the abdomen from hipbone to hipbone. The incision is made level with the pubic hairline. Next, the surgeon manipulates and shapes the skin, muscle and tissue for the desired results. The procedure requires a new opening to be inserted for the belly button as the navel needs to be independent of adjoining tissue. Tubes are often inserted under the skin to drain fluids from the incision. The tubes are removed within a couple of days following the surgery.
• Partial or mini abdominoplasty–A less invasive procedure for patients with excessive fat deposits located below the belly button. Instead of the reshaping the navel, the surgeon separates between the incision line and belly button. The procedure is often performed using an endoscope. Depending on the complexity of the procedure, it may take only two hours.
Is a Tummy Tuck Safe?
Although a tummy tuck is considered a serious cosmetic procedure, Dr. Pascual, a leading expert in the Miami area has been quite successful performing tummy tucks. While there are risks associated with any surgical procedure requiring anesthesia, other potential side effects may include:
• Permanent severe scarring
• Slow wound healing
• Numbness or changes in skin sensation and coloration
• Skin loss
• Fat necrosis
• Significant wound separation or rupture
• Permanent pain
• Nerve damage
• Potential revisional surgery
What is the Recovery Time?
Recovery time varies on individual patients and procedures performed. Typically, patients can expect recovery to take between one and four weeks. Complete recovery may take anywhere from three to six months. Strenuous activity should be avoided. All forms of nicotine should also be avoided prior to and following the procedure.