Sit-ups and other workouts may not always help you achieve the taut abdominal profile that you desire. Similarly, sticking to a healthy diet could make you feel better, but may not ultimately result in your desired physique. A standard tummy tuck – also referred to as a full tummy tuck – is the most common of all types of abdominoplasty. It addresses adverse physical changes in both the upper and lower abdominal areas. Many patients who undergo this cosmetic surgery enjoy a firmer and flatter abdomen that boosts their sense of self-image and confidence.
Ideal candidates for a full tummy tuck
A standard tummy tuck entails the recontouring of the entire abdominal area to achieve the desired appearance. Plastic surgeons achieve this by removing excess skin and fat while also strengthening and tightening weakened abdominal muscles. You may be the right candidate for this procedure if:
- You are physically and emotionally healthy.
- You have separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti) due to multiple pregnancies or other causes.
- You have lost weight but are bothered by the appearance of loose skin and excess fat deposits around the belly.
- You have realistic expectations about the outcome of this procedure.
During your Baton Rouge abdominoplasty consultation, our plastic surgeon will examine your abdomen and ask questions before letting you know whether this type of tummy tuck is ideal for you.
Key reasons to have a standard tummy tuck
Many patients choose to have abdominoplasty surgery due to one (or more) of the following reasons:
- Genetics – our genetic makeup often affects our overall body shape, including where pockets of fat tend to form. It is thus possible for some people to have flaps of loose skin and excess fat in the abdominal area even if they are active enough and focus on a healthy diet. Individuals who are genetically predisposed to a stubborn abdominal roundness (regardless of their age) can benefit from a full tummy tuck.
- Aging process – our muscles weaken and the skin loses its natural elasticity as we age. This may result in flabbiness and sagging that may be more evident in the abdominal region than in other areas. Many people who have a flabby abdomen tend to feel self-conscious especially when they are at the pool or when they are wearing certain outfits. A complete abdominoplasty addresses these problem areas so you can look younger and healthier than ever.
- Pregnancy/C-section – abdominal muscles tend to stretch out during pregnancy in order to accommodate the weight and size of the growing fetus. This sometimes causes these muscles to separate in a condition that is referred to as a diastasis rectus. A woman’s muscle tone and skin quality may also deteriorate during pregnancy, and especially after multiple pregnancies. A full tummy tuck is often the most appropriate procedure choice to alleviate these aesthetic issues while also strengthening weakened abdominal muscles after childbirth.
- Significant weight loss – losing weight is typically a favorable and enjoyable accomplishment for most people. However, in some cases, it may result in undesirable aesthetic changes such as overstretched abdominal muscles and loose sagging skin that takes away from your joy and makes you feel self-conscious. A standard tummy tuck is an excellent procedure option to resolve these adverse changes and reveal a slimmer and more proportional frame.
How is a standard tummy tuck performed?
A full tummy tuck is typically an outpatient procedure that may be performed at Dr. Sanchez’s in-office operating room or an accredited surgical facility. A certified anesthesiologist will start by sedating you in order to ensure your comfort and safety throughout the procedure. Once this is done, the surgeon creates a horizontal incision running from one hip bone to the other. The incision line is usually placed beneath the bikini line in order to conceal the resulting scar. A second incision is placed around the belly button. The surgeon then uses these cuts to remove excess skin and tighten the underlying abdominal muscles. In some cases, liposuction may also be integrated to get rid of excess fat tissue. Once the desired changes have been made, the incisions are closed and the treatment area bandaged. You will be wrapped in abdominal binders or other compression garments to support the treatment area and alleviate the swelling. Patients are placed in a recovery room where their vitals are observed before they are discharged from the hospital.
Recovery after a full tummy tuck
Recovery after complete abdominoplasty is much more involving compared to a mini tummy tuck. You will need to wear a surgical garment for about 6 weeks. Many patients experience abdominal tightness, swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Your surgeon will provide pain medication and antibiotics, along with precise aftercare instructions. It is very important that you adhere to these post-operative instructions in order to ensure a smooth recovery process. You may be able to return to work within 4 weeks but it usually takes up to 8 weeks before you are able to engage in strenuous activities again.
Full tummy tuck vs liposuction
A full tummy tuck and liposuction are two different procedures. A standard tummy tuck focuses on removing excess abdominal skin and tissue, as well as strengthening the ‘six pack’ abs muscles. Liposuction – on the other hand – is a less invasive technique that can target any part of the body. Plastic surgeons use a special device known as a cannula to suction out pockets of fat from the targeted area. A full tummy tuck and liposuction are usually performed together (the liposuction is used to remove excess fat from the abdominal area) to achieve a comprehensive procedure outcome.