What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that combines liposuction and excision to remove excess fat and skin from the abdominal area. Lax muscles can also be tightened during the procedure. In many people, simply getting liposuction will produce the desired result and is a preferred alternative because of its less invasive nature. A tummy tuck is considered major surgery.
What is the Difference Between Tummy Tucks and Liposuction?
Liposuction removes fat found under the skin and above the abdominal muscles. If a person has good muscle tone, simply removing the fat can produce a dramatic change in the appearance of the stomach. In many people, the skin of the abdomen is elastic enough to contract smoothly, and there is no need to remove it.
What are the Advantages of a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tucks will offer better results for people whose skin is extremely lax, have extensive stretch marks or very stretched abdominal muscles as a result of giving birth. Liposuction will not remove stretch marks, nor can it tighten the abdominal wall—it just removes excess fat.
What are the Disadvantages of a Tummy Tuck?
The scar can be quite big and noticeable when not wearing clothes. You should not be able to see it when wearing a bathing suit however. Tummy tucks involve relocating the belly button, and surgically altering it usually leaves it with an unnatural appearance. Being it is a major surgery, there is a higher risk of complications, such as blood clots and infection, and longer recovery time. Liposuction is a much less invasive procedure.
Who is a Good Candidate?
A good candidate for a tummy tuck is someone in good general health, both physical and mental. Because significant weight fluctuations can diminish the results of the procedure, if you are looking to lose weight, you should hold off on the procedure until you reach your goal weight. You should not plan on having any more children after the procedure.
What Should I Expect after the Procedure?
You should be able to walk normally after a tummy tuck, and you are encouraged to walk a few minutes at a stretch three or four times a day. For several days you will not be able to stand up straight, and will be a bit hunched over, for four or five days. The skin on your abdomen will feel tight and you may experience back spasms because of the hunched position. Your doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants to deal with this.
For at least two weeks after the procedure, you should take it easy. For several weeks, you will need to wear a pressure garment to keep everything in place while the healing process takes place. You may experience some swelling and bruising. Drains will be removed from four days to two weeks after the procedure. As for working, you should take at least two weeks off, possibly more depending on the nature of your job, and how extensive your surgery was.