Tummy tuck is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the United States. In 2020, more than 97,988 of these procedures were completed (according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons). Patients choose to have this procedure in order to address excess abdominal skin and fat, as well as separated or loosened belly muscles. It is important to note that this procedure is not for everyone. In this article, we look at some factors and considerations that help you determine whether this cosmetic treatment is for you.
You are within your ideal weight
A tummy tuck is indisputably an excellent procedure for sculpting the upper and lower abdominal areas. However, it is not in any way a replacement for weight loss. If you are looking to shed off those extra pounds, focus on weight loss and exercise. Most plastic surgeons will in fact require that you are within 10 – 15 pounds of your ideal weight before they agree to perform this procedure. This is important not just for your safety but to also make sure that you get the most out of your abdominoplasty surgery.
You need surgical intervention to address abdominal issues
For some people, exercise and diet may be just what you need to achieve a flatter, firmer, and well-contoured abdominal contour. However, this does not always work. Tummy tuck surgery is designed to help patients with excessive abdominal skin and stubborn belly fat achieve their desired aesthetic appearance. Abdominoplasty is also an excellent procedure for women who are looking to tighten loosened abdominal muscles following pregnancy and childbearing.
You are willing to quit smoking and drinking
Tobacco and other nicotine products are known to increase the risk of complications during surgical operations. This is because smoking decreases blood flow and reduces the rate at which surgical wounds heal. For this reason, doctors recommend that you quit smoking at least 6 weeks before the date of your surgery (and afterward). Drinking also increases the risk of bleeding during surgery (because alcohol is known to thin blood). Plastic surgeons recommend that you stay away from the bottle when you are getting ready for your abdominoplasty (or any other procedure for that matter).
You have time for recovery
Just like any other surgical procedure, a tummy tuck has its own recovery downtime. The specific duration of time needed for recovery will vary from one patient to the other based on factors such as the type of tummy tuck performed. You need to have at least 2 weeks off work so you can focus on regaining your strength following this treatment. If this is not possible at the time being, your plastic surgeon may recommend that you postpone the treatment to a later date.
You have someone to help out with chores
Following tummy tuck surgery, your abdomen will be covered in a compression garment and drains may be inserted to drain away excess fluid. Motion is restricted during this time and, in any case, you won’t have enough strength to take care of routine chores. It is important that you have a trusted friend or close family member to help you keep things going during this time. You need to focus all your energy and effort on recovery, not tedding to kids or pets.
You are willing to maintain the results
Most people feel joyous about the newfound appearance of their abdomen following tummy tuck surgery. However, it is important to note that adverse changes such as weight gain could ruin the outcome of this procedure. Your plastic surgeon will recommend that you maintain positive lifestyle practices to stay in shape and get the most out of your tummy tuck. This way, you might be able to enjoy your post-abdominoplasty abdominal contour for years on end.
In addition to these requirements, it is also important that patients who are planning to have abdominal surgery take steps to prepare for a successful outcome. It helps to focus on a healthy diet while also drinking adequate amounts of fluid on a daily basis. Getting your recovery supplies ahead of time can also help you ease out the recovery duration. During your initial consultation visit, your plastic surgeon will let you know whether a tummy tuck is for you and provide detailed preparation instructions.