A tummy tuck is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures among new mums and women who have experienced a recent drastic weight loss. After all, most of the times you end up with excess, loose skin.
But this procedure is not exclusive for women. There is also the male tummy tuck!
Indeed, excess fat always affects us all and finds a way to accumulate annoyingly around our middle section. Also, rapid weight gain can cause stretch marks. So, there isn’t a more frustrating part of the body than the stomach.
Also, we know that having a flat stomach is very important and can do wonders to boost your self-esteem. When it’s impossible to achieve a ripped abdomen through diet and exercise alone, tummy tuck surgery can be the right option.
However, it goes beyond looking good with fitted clothes and in swimsuits. It’s about feeling good in your own skin!
The decision process can be a bit confusing and overwhelming, though. So, we would like to guide you through the process of finding the right procedure for you.
We will tell you everything you need to know, including the good, the bad, and the ugly about abdominoplasty.
Medical Solutions Barcelona
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, also called abdominoplasty, is one of the most requested cosmetic surgeries. Many women undergo this surgery after pregnancy or significant weight loss.
This surgical procedure eliminates the excess skin and fat from the abdomen, tightening the abdominal wall muscles and achieving a flatter and firmer stomach.
Usually, the scar is located in the lower abdomen area so that it is easily covered by underwear or a swimsuit.
Can I Get a Mini Tummy Tuck?
A less invasive surgical intervention is possible, though. You can get a mini tummy tuck if your excess skin is located only in the lower half of your abdomen. This procedure targets the area below the belly button and above the bikini line.
Unlike a full tummy tuck, there is no incision around the belly button as it does not need to be moved. The incision will be only across the lower abdomen.
Do not worry! At your first consultation, your cosmetic surgeon will discuss whether a mini or full abdominoplasty is the right fit for you.
Whichever is your case, you will get a flatter stomach with taut muscles.
Many patients even experience at least one drop in cloth size. But for a more refined result, many women choose to have additional liposuction to the hips and thighs at the same time.
ADVANTAGES AND RECOMMENDATIONS.
There are many advantages to having tummy tuck surgery. As well as the aesthetic advantages, it has important functional benefits.
First, there is a great benefit for the back: lower back pain is reduced by reinforcing the musculature.
Second, tummy tuck can give you long-lasting results. They can last for many years provided that you maintain a healthy weight. It is an excellent way to sculpt your body and enhance your contour.
However, please keep in mind that it is not a surgical treatment for excess weight or a magical solution for obesity! Also, it won’t prevent you from gaining weight in the future.
If you have the surgery and afterward you lose a significant amount of weight, you may need to have another tummy tuck to remove further loose skin.
So, obese patients who want to lose weight should postpone this surgery until reaching their ideal weight. This will help to diminish the risk of complications and get better results.
If you are considering a future pregnancy, we also recommend waiting to have this surgery.
Tummy Tuck Surgery
A tummy tuck procedure typically lasts from 2 to 5 hours and can be done at the same time as other cosmetic surgeries.
Surgery is performed under general anaesthetic so that you’ll be asleep during the operation. You will stay in hospital for two nights.
A tummy tuck involves removing excess loose skin, fat, and stretch marks. However, it is frequently combined with stomach liposuction. This powerful surgical combination effectively reduces abdominal fat and flanks (love handles) to get a better contour.
For this surgery, your doctor will make a large incision across the lower tummy, extending from hip to hip, just above the pubic hairline. Then, he will repair, reposition, and tighten the stretched abdominal muscles with internal stitches (internal corset).
Afterward, he will make a second incision to free the belly button from its attachment to the body and cut a new hole. Then, he will stitch the belly button back in place to its new position.
Your surgeon will remove any excess loose skin, muscle, and fat before pulling the remaining skin taut. Next, he will stitch up the skin to its final position and apply wound dressings.
The tummy tuck incision is strategically placed to ensure that the scar is hidden by underwear.
With dramatic weight loss, your surgeon may be required to perform a double abdominoplasty, though. This will result in a vertical scar on top of the one going from hip to hip.
Tummy Tuck Recovery Time
You will probably be in moderate pain after waking up from the general anaesthetic, and for the next 24 hours. But nothing that painkillers can’t fix.
Some bruising and swelling are expected too.
After a tummy tuck surgery, it is normal to feel tightness for a few days because the abdominal muscles have been reinforced.
Additionally, surgical drains will be in place to avoid fluid build-up. Although this will be temporary, they require proper post-operative care. Before surgery, your doctor will explain the need for drains and how to care for them, including limitations on bathing.
In most cases, the drains are painlessly removed during the first week. However, they may need to stay in place longer.
You’ll need to wear a special type of corset or tummy-control pants for a minimum of 6 weeks. It will encourage your skin to heal quicker and reduce any swelling.
Lymphatic massages on the abdomen area can help to improve skin elasticity and retraction after surgery too.
The key is to follow your doctor’s recommendations! You’ll need to take it easy during the recovery time and maintain your knees bent while in bed so as not to put any strain on your stitches. Also, roll onto your side to get out of bed.
You won’t be allowed to have sex for three weeks after surgery or drive for nearly six weeks. Take things slowly and build up progressively.
Before committing to a tummy tuck, consider that it requires significant downtime!
Although the results are worthwhile. You will need to take about two weeks off work, and six to eight weeks total to heal. After that time, you will start to see the final results.
After eight weeks, you could resume gentle exercise. But, avoid heavy lifting until week 12.
WHAT COMPLICATIONS COULD A TUMMY TUCK HAVE?
Even though tummy tuck surgery can be beneficial for many men and women, there are potential complications that must first be considered, as with any surgery.
There is a chance of bleeding, infections, blood clots, and seromas (fluid build-up).
However, complications after a tummy tuck are rare as long as you put yourself in the best professional hands.
Minor complications are related to not very aesthetic scars, small asymmetries, or contour irregularities.
Smokers are more prone to a greater number of complications, like infections. So, it is recommended that they give up the habit two weeks before surgery (minimum). Smoking can slow down wound healing.
In very obese patients, wound healing may take longer. Full healing can take up to a year.
Also, you may present with a reduction of sensitivity in the stomach, like numbness, pins and needles, or a slight burning sensation. This is because nerves are injured during the surgery.
However, this is a transient effect and disappears in a matter of weeks or a few months.
Are The Tummy Tuck Scars Very Obvious?
This is one of the critical questions that many patients have before considering a tummy tuck. So, it’s vital to put all your doubts to rest before making the decision.
With a full tummy tuck, also called full abdominoplasty, the scar tends to be long, from hip to hip.
However, the scar is hidden (but not always) in the lower part of the abdomen, above the pubic area. So, it can be concealed by swimwear bottoms or underwear.
Only in patients who need a large amount of skin removed will there be double the scars—one horizontal from hip to hip, and a vertical one from the belly bottom to the breastbone. Scars will fade over time but won’t disappear entirely.
With a mini-abdominoplasty, the incision will be made lower on the abdomen, closer to the bikini line. The scar will be smaller and similar to that from a C-Section. It will remain visible in the first few weeks but should fade quickly.
Bear in mind that many women put the idea of getting a flat stomach above having a long scar. Ultimately, it is all about what you are comfortable with and your preferences.
Whichever your case, the surgeon will explain the scars you’re likely to have. The important thing it’s that you look good but also that you feel satisfied with your decision.
Is It Advisable to Carry Out a Tummy Tuck at The Same Time As Having A Caesarean?
A recent study by two reputable Egyptian plastic surgeons in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery shows the consequences of performing a tummy tuck when doing a cesarean.
They included 50 patients and compared the results with 80 patients who weren’t pregnant and went in for this plastic surgery.
In the case of the patients who had a tummy tuck at the same time as the cesarean, the level of satisfaction was lower. The aesthetic results were also worse, and the complication rate was more significant.
Of the 50 patients, only 48% were satisfied with the result after six months. Furthermore, when the tummy tuck was carried out at the same time as the cesarean, there were more wound infections, wound dehiscence, and skin necrosis.
Therefore, having a tummy tuck just after a cesarean is not recommended. It is ideal to wait some months to shade some baby weight and allow your body to get back to normal.
Remember that an abdominoplasty is in no way a quick fix for losing weight. This procedure is usually recommended for patients with a healthy body mass index (BMI).
Most surgeons recommend being between 10-15 pounds from the ideal weight six to twelve months before the surgery.
HOW WILL I LOOK AFTER A TUMMY TUCK?
When a person decides to go in for tummy tuck there is a feeling of uncertainty. And here is where computer simulations come into play, since they let you see a before & after result.
Recent progress in photographic software allows the patient to get an idea of what the final result will be. What surgeons aim to achieve after the surgery.
Computer simulation is done with the purpose of getting surgeon and patient to agree on the result they want to obtain. But the computer simulation should in no way be considered as what the final result will be.
Undoubtedly the surgeons and the patients are the most interested in getting the desired result. But we should not forget that the plastic surgery involves working with living tissue.
Changing the appearance of something specific on the computer is a matter of seconds. However, the computer doesn’t take into account the quality of the tissue, the thickness and the age of the skin.
HOW MUCH TUMMY TUCK COSTS?
Tummy Tuck cost depends on many factors as the quantity of fat and skin to reshape, and the surgery time.
Without meeting the patient we don’t offer approximate prices as each patient is a different case. But we know that the economic factor is important when it comes to making a decision.
Therefore, we offer the possibility for the patient to come to our facilities for a first free no-obligation visit. You can consult with the surgeon regarding all your doubts and worries. According to your characteristics, we will offer the best solution and the best price for your abdominoplasty.
With more than 20 years of experience, Doctor Benito is a renowned specialist in abdominoplasty surgery combined with liposuction. This recently developed technique is called lipoabdominoplasty.
Doctor Jesús Benito is a recognised authority in Spain in plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.
Doctor Jesús Benito
Specialist in plastic and cosmetic surgery.
- Secretary of the ISAPS (International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery).
- Former president of the Spanish Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (AECEP).
- 2013 Gold Medal (Forum Europa)
Bibliography & Publications:
Elective, Non-urgent Procedures and Aesthetic Surgery in the Wake of SARS–COVID-19: Considerations Regarding Safety, Feasibility and Impact on Clinical Management. Kaye, F. Paprottka, R. Escudero, G. Casabona, J. Montes, R. Fakin, L. Moke, T. Stasch, D. Richter, J. Benito-Ruiz. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2020 May
27th International Congress of the European Association for Endoscopic Surgery (EAES) Sevilla, Spain, 12–15 June 2019 Surg Endosc. 2019; 33(Suppl 2): 485–781. Published online 2019 Sep 13.
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Antiaging Group Barcelona
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