You’ve done hundreds of situps. You’ve tried every diet known to man, and you still can’t get rid of that tummy bulge. Oh, and having given birth several times hasn’t helped either. You might be a candidate for abdominoplasty, commonly known as a tummy tuck. This operation tightens the abdominal area by removing excess fat and skin.
If pregnancy has made the skin around your middle loose and saggy instead of taut and firm, a tummy tuck may be the only way to tighten your abdominal muscles. This procedure is also an option for women who were once obese and are now faced with excess loose skin. But you should consider a tummy tuck as a last resort and not an alternative to weight loss.
Who is not a candidate for abdominoplasty?
- A woman who is planning to have more children. During the operation, abdominal muscles are tightened. Future pregnancies could cause a hernia.
- If you plan to lose more weight. Don’t have a tummy tuck until your weight has stabilized.
- You are worried about scarring. The scar is long and visible. If this bothers you, talk to your doctor about your options.
This is the most corrective surgery. Your surgeon will make an incision low on your abdomen, about the same level as your pubic hair. He/she will cut from hip bone to hip bone, countouring the skin and muscle along the way.
If your fat deposits are just below your navel this procedure might be for you. A partial or mini abdominoplasty requires shorter incisions. Your doctor may perform this surgery with an endoscope (small camera on the end of a tube) The operation may take up to two hours as opposed to a five hour complete abdominoplasty.
- Whether you have a partial or complete abdominoplasty, you’ll have stitches with a bandage over them. You may even wear a special garment after surgery.
- No strenuous physical activity for at least six weeks after surgery. Abdominoplasty is a major operation. You may need to take up to one month off of work.
- When you arrive home make sure you have a supply of loose comfortable clothing that you can take on and off easily.
- You’ll need a hand held shower and bathroom chair. You won’t be able to stand in the shower for a while.
- You’ll experience pain and some swelling following the operation. Your doctor will talk to you about pain killers and other options.
- You may feel sore for several weeks. You may also feel numbness and bruising that may last up to a month or more.
Risks with abdominoplasty
Complications may include:
- Bleeding under the skin
- Blood clots
These complications are rare, but you are at a greater risk if you have poor circulation, diabetes, heart, lung or liver disease, or if you smoke.
Remember the scars from abdominoplasty will fade slightly, but they will never go away completely.
Maybe diet and exercise are worth another try? If you decide a tummy tuck is for you, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons offers a pre and post operative photo gallery so you can see how your abdomen might look after the operation.