A tummy tuck is an elective surgical procedure in which excess skin and fat are removed from your abdominal region to result in a slimmer and flatter stomach. Men and women typically have tummy tuck surgery to reduce pockets of stubborn fat or excess skin that they cannot remove with diet and exercise alone. Continue reading to learn more about how a tummy tuck works and whether this cosmetic procedure is right for you.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
Also known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that improves the appearance of your tummy and abdominal area. Many people choose to have a tummy tuck if they have difficulty achieving a flatter, more toned-looking stomach despite trying conventional weight-loss methods like diet and regular exercise.
Dr. Wermeling can also recommend combining this treatment with other cosmetic procedures to help you achieve your ideal look and aesthetic goals. In some cases, it can be safely performed with a breast lift or augmentation and liposuction.
What Can a Tummy Tuck Do?
The main purpose of tummy tuck surgery is to remove and tighten loose, excess skin and fat from the tummy region. It can help your stomach look tighter and more toned, especially if you have loose skin that drapes over pants or that compromises a sleek, thin silhouette. It can improve the contours in your abdominal region and improve the way your clothing fits to make you feel more comfortable, confident, relaxed, and attractive.
A tummy tuck cannot prevent you from developing excess fat in your abdominal region later. Therefore, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly after a tummy tuck to avoid compromising your results.
What Happens During a Tummy Tuck?
Before your tummy tuck, Dr. Wermeling’s anesthesiologist will administer a form of sedation or anesthesia so you can relax and feel comfortable for the duration of your procedure. Then, Dr. Wermeling will make one or more incisions in your abdominal area. The size and placement of incisions will depend on the areas being treated and the type of improvements being made. For example, an extra incision may be made near your belly button to remove excess fat or skin from your upper abdominal region.
After the incisions are made, the excess skin and fat will be removed toresculpt tissues as needed to improve the appearance of your stomach. Your skin may be gently pulled and tightened to produce a more toned and trim appearance.
At the end of your procedure, your incisions are closed using sutures that will dissolve with time. You will also have drain tubes that Dr. Wermeling will remove during a follow-up visit. Your incisions will be covered by dressings and bandages to promote healing and protect your wounds from infection.
What Is Recovery Like After a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, which means you can go home on the same day of your surgery to relax and recover. Dr. Wermeling will provide you with dressings and instructions for wound care, along with pain medications that can reduce any discomfort for the first few days after surgery. You may also be provided with a supportive compression garment to wear around your abdominal region, which can prevent fluid buildup and promote healing.
Downtime and recovery after a tummy tuck usually lasts two to four weeks, during which you can relax and wait for your incisions to heal. Dr. Wermeling has a post-operative protocol that advises against lifting heavy objects and engaging in strenuous activities for up to one month to avoid opening your incisions and delaying the healing process.
Who Are Ideal Candidates for a Tummy Tuck?
Ideal candidates for tummy tuck surgery are men and women who have tried to tighten and slim down their abdominal regions using other weight-loss methods without success. Ideal candidates must also be non-smokers, physically healthy, and as close to their goal weight as possible, as tummy tuck surgery cannot prevent future weight gain. This surgery may also be a good fit for you if you recently lost a lot of excess weight and have loose pockets of skin in your abdominal region.
If you’re not sure whether tummy tuck surgery is right for you, schedule a consultation with F. Ryan Wermeling, MD. He can evaluate your appearance and determine whether a tummy tuck can help you achieve your unique aesthetic look and goals.