Excess skin around the midsection is a common problem for women after childbirth, and for both men and women who have experienced significant weight loss. The loose skin is not only a cosmetic issue, but often poses functional problems with mobility and rashes. After exhausting diet and exercise methods, patients often turn to a tummy tuck to remove the excess skin and slim their midsection. Here are five facts about this popular surgery.
A tummy tuck is not a weight loss solution. Ideal candidates are at their healthy weight but want to get rid of the stubborn, loose skin around their abdomen. If you are planning to get pregnant in the future or plan to lose a significant amount of weight, you will need to wait until you are at or near your ideal weight before having tummy tuck surgery.
There is more than one approach to tummy tuck surgery. There are several different ways to perform a tummy tuck, including a mini tummy tuck, full tummy tuck, extended tummy tuck and fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty. You and your surgeon will discuss and determine the best approach for you.
No matter which approach is chosen, there will be a scar. The surgical incision will extend from hip to hip. Fortunately, the incision is made along the bikini line so the resulting scar is easily hidden by underwear and swimsuit bottoms.
A tummy tuck surgery is often performed with other procedures. Liposuction is often necessary to remove stubborn fat pockets to help improve contouring of the abdomen, hips, flanks or thighs. Breast augmentation with or without lift is another combination as shaping and lifting the breasts enhances the results of the abdominoplasty as it helps improve the overall proportions of the body.
Recovery will take up to six weeks. You will have drain tubes in place for up to a week after surgery, but you can gradually return to light activities after that time. You will need to refrain from strenuous activity or exercise for about six weeks to avoid compromising deep tightening stitches.