Loose skin, stretch marks and abdominal fat are among the most common reasons patients seek help from a plastic surgeon. In some cases, patients have excess skin and fat on the abdomen due to weight loss. In other cases, age or pregnancy has changed the contour of the abdomen. Many people get frustrated about diet and exercise being unable to tighten their lower abdominal skin. Some even lose the motivation to exercise because they can’t see any improvement. For many patients, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is their best option to reclaim a youthful figure.
Candidates For A Tummy Tuck
Candidates for a tummy tuck have some (or all) of the following problems:
- Loose skin on the lower abdomen
- Stretch marks on the lower abdomen
- Abdominal muscle laxity
- Pubic laxity
Good abdominoplasty candidates should be healthy non-smokers. Although it’s better for patients to be close to their ideal weight, many patients who are overweight are still good candidates for the procedure.
During pregnancy, skin may be stretched to the point that microscopic fractures form in the skin, or dermis, resulting in stretch marks. Caesarean section scars may accentuate fatty bulges by tethering the skin to the underlying muscles, causing the fat and loose skin to fold over the scar. The rectus abdominis (“six-pack”) muscles on the abdomen may become separated in the midline, creating a potbelly appearance. Fat also redistributes with age, becoming concentrated in the lower abdomen. The hourglass waistline of youth gives way to a larger midsection. That’s why many women choose abdominoplasty as part of their “Mommy Makeover“.
Although tummy tucks can achieve dramatic improvements, it’s important to also consider adjacent areas of the body for optimal results. For many patients, liposuction around the waist and thighs will provide more comprehensive results. Mothers will frequently choose breast surgery as well. This combination of procedures completes their transformation back to the hourglass figure they once had.
The tummy tuck procedure involves the following steps:
- Removing a large amount of lower abdominal skin (and stretch marks)
- Removing a large amount of lower abdominal fat
- Tightening the rectus abdominis muscles of the abdomen
- Redistributing the upper abdominal skin over the entire abdomen
- Creating a new belly button within the tightened abdominal skin
- Tightening the pubic area
Tummy tuck procedures (and results) vary substantially. Tummy tuck techniques have evolved significantly over the last decade in an attempt to achieve the best possible results for patients.
Following a tummy tuck, patients should take at least 2 weeks to recover before returning to work. Normal exercise routines may be resumed approximately 6 weeks following surgery.
Take the first step toward restoring your body with a tummy tuck. Request a consultation online or call our office at 13000DRTIM.