A tummy tuck is also sometimes referred to as an abdominoplasty and involves the surgical removal of skin and fat from the middle and lower portions of the abdomen. This helps to tighten the muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall and to create a flatter looking stomach.
This is particularly useful for mothers who have gone through multiple pregnancies. Because pregnancies stretch the fascia and muscle around the stomach, it is common for women to find that their stomachs won’t flatten even when they have lost large amounts of weight. In these cases, a tummy tuck can be used to give women back their old sense of confidence and sexiness, which can transform the way they think of themselves.
This is an immediate way to see a huge difference in your body shape, which can bring about hugely positive changes to the way you view yourself and the way you feel in your own skin. However, what is actually just as important is the way that this can improve your health and wellbeing.
If you have a tummy tuck, then this will reduce your overall bodyweight, which in turn will have a number of positive implications for your health – reducing the strain you place on your heart, improving your circulation and reducing the likelihood of developing conditions like diabetes.
But of course it is also a somewhat invasive procedure and one that carries a certain amount of risk, expense and recovery time. Is it a good option for you? Read on and let’s look at the procedure in more detail.
When you first decide to get a tummy tuck, you will need to visit your surgeon in order to get a consultation. They will explain the procedure to you in detail and help you to choose between the two popular types of treatment available. These are the complete abdominoplasty or mini abdominoplasty (also partial abdominoplasty).
The complete procedure will involve an incision being made from one hipbone to the other and the skin, tissue and muscle underneath will then be contoured as required. This might include the belly button being moved and could require the insertion of drainage tubes under the skin for a few days.
The mini abdominoplasty meanwhile usually focusses on fat deposits that are below the navel. Here, the belly button shouldn’t need to be moved and the procedure may only take an hour or two, depending on the situation. Tummy tucks are normally carried out under general anaesthetic.
Recovery will usually take several weeks and you may be sore during this time. It is important to ensure you have someone who can drive you home from the surgery and you will likely need to take time off of work. Depending on the seriousness of the procedure, you might need to stay in overnight.
The main risk of a tummy tuck is insufficient healing. This can lead to more serious scarring or the loss of skin and may require a second surgery. It is important to quit smoking entirely prior to the procedure, as smoking will make recovery slower and will reduce the chance of complication.
Other complications include infection, bleeding under the skin or the formation of blood clots. Diabetes, heart disease or liver diseases all increase the likelihood of complications.
Note as well that there is always an element of risk associated with any general anaesthetic and there are usually side effects as well – such as nausea, dizziness, vomiting and confusion.
Tummy tucks will always leave a scar across the stomach and it is important to be aware of this before going ahead with the procedure. Creams and ointments can be prescribed to help heal this scarring but they won’t disappear entirely.
A tummy tuck will range in price greatly depending on the skill of the surgeon, the type of tuck needed and the amount of fat and muscle that needs to be dealt with.
While it is possible to get a tummy tuck for as little as $2,000, it can also cost as much as $10,000 or $15,000. It is generally a good idea to be very thorough when reading reviews and researching surgeons to be absolutely sure that the person who will be working on you has a good track record and is fully qualified. The more skilled the surgeon, the less pain you will experience and the less scarring.
Keep in mind that there may be other costs associated with a tummy tuck. These can include the cost of medication for example, time taken off of work and the cost of transport. Always check to make sure that the price you are quoted is inclusive of all costs. Also important to remember is that a tummy tuck is considered a cosmetic procedure and as such, will not normally be covered by insurance.
Tummy tucks are only recommended for men and women who are in good health. They are not to be used as a first method for losing fat and should instead be considered a last resort, as they are among the most invasive and risky methods available to remove fat.
There are certain people however who are much more likely to benefit from a tummy tuck specifically. As mentioned, new Mothers are a particularly common group for this type of treatment, as they stand to benefit particularly from not only the fat loss but also the tightening of the abdominals and the skin around the stomach.
People who once were obese might also find that a tummy tuck is the best way to tighten their stomach and to deal with the stretching – it will commonly be used in conjunction with liposuction in order to remove the fat and then tighten the skin and muscle in the surrounding area.
A tummy tuck does require work on your part however. Like liposuction and other methods, you will need to continue to work on your diet and fitness in order to ensure that you maintain your new physique. If you have a tummy tuck and then don’t follow this with the right diet and exercise, you will undo all of the benefits of the tuck.
There are numerous benefits to a tummy tuck if it goes correctly however. As mentioned, this is a last resort in most cases and should be treated as such. However, it is also a fool proof method to cause an immediate and very noticeable change in your shape. Not only does this remove fat but it also flattens, tones and tightens the stomach in a manner that leads to numerous health benefits as well as a big boost to your confidence and self-esteem.
This is particularly useful for Mums. Did you know that pregnancy is one of the only times that scientists have observed ‘muscle hyperplasia’ in humans? This means that new muscle cells are forming as a result of the intense stretching that the abdominal muscles go through.
In turn, this can lead to them being longer and weaker and less able to hold their shape. For this reason, liposuction and even diet can fail to bring the results you’re looking for, making a tummy tuck the best solution.
If you want to enjoy the many benefits of a tummy tuck but don’t want to go through the invasiveness of a tummy tuck, then there are various other methods you can use to try and get similar results.
One such method is to undergo training. In particular, the best type of training for getting these results will be training that focusses on the transverse abdominis. This is the muscle that wraps around the stomach like a weight belt and helps to keep your stomach flat and hard. Exercises such as the myotatic crunch and stomach vacuums can strengthen this muscle, resulting in a flatter stomach.
Diet and cardiovascular exercise can of course also help greatly to this end. There are also numerous other cosmetic procedures that might be worth trying first. These include the use of a gastric band for instance which can force a reduction in food consumption, or the use of liposuction which will break up and then extract fat from the layer between the abdominal wall and skin.
However, while these methods can be effective, they will be better suited to some people than others. If you have seen a lot of stretching in your stomach from pregnancy, if you have already tried other methods, or if the fat around your abdomen is causing health problems, then it might make more sense to skip straight to a tummy tuck.
This is why it is important to discuss your options with an experienced cosmetic surgeon. They can talk you through the different procedures and their unique advantages, in order to help you find the best option for your particular needs.
Still not sure whether a tummy tuck is for you? Consider these before and after photos, which should be able to help you get a better idea of how much weight it is possible to lose with a tummy tuck and what kind of scarring is likely to occur.
Remember however that we are all different. The way you react might be different from the women in these pictures and it’s important to recognize this before you go ahead. Still, with any luck, you should be able to see a rapid reduction in fat and a big boost to your confidence.