There are many reasons to consider a tummy tuck, but let’s face it, the most common reason is that our clothes don’t fit right. That favorite dress budges or those favorite jeans are too tight. What can we do? We exercise and try to control our weight, but a flat, well-toned abdomen seems elusive. So we explore a tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, to remove excess fat and skin and restore weakened or separated muscles to create an abdomen profile that is smoother and firmer.
Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. The most common causes of this include:
- Prior surgery
- Significant fluctuations in weight
But is a Tummy Tuck Right for You?
A tummy tuck is a highly individualized procedure, which means no two tummy tucks are the same. For this reason, your tummy tuck could cost less than your neighbors, but it could also cost slightly more. Regardless of price, however, your reason for considering this procedure is personal. You should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
While a tummy tuck is a wildly popular procedure (watch Carmen’s testimonial below), it is not right for everyone. At Jouvence Aesthetic, a double-board certified surgeon like Dr. Lodze Steckman will consult with you to determine whether the operation is safe for you and whether it is likely to be effective.
Since you are treated as an individual according to your unique situation, it is possible that your doctor may clear you depending on a variety of factors and your overall health. Your surgeon, Dr. Steckman, will help you come up with an individualized plan to prepare.
If you are generally healthy, then you are probably a good candidate. Let’s examine some issues to consider when exploring a tummy tuck as an option. Generally, you should wait at least six months or longer after giving birth so your body has time to heal, and your weight can stabilize.
Issues your surgeon will consider when preparing for a tummy tuck:
· You still plan to lose a lot of weight; if that is the case, it would be better to lose the weight first. If you have tummy tuck surgery and gain or lose a lot of weight afterward, those weight fluctuations can negatively influence your surgical outcomes. Gaining and losing weight can stretch out the abdominal tissues, putting you back in the situation that led you to pursue surgery in the first place.
· You are trying to conceive again, and it might be better to wait. The reasoning behind this recommendation is that women who become pregnant and have children after receiving a tummy tuck will most likely re-stretch the skin and muscle tissues of their abdomen, potentially jeopardizing the results of their abdominoplasty.
· If you are a smoker; you will need to quit first. Nicotine in the blood makes it harder for your body to heal, and incisions can re-open during recovery. Additionally, with reduced blood flow, tissue can die, a serious condition called necrosis. Smoking before or after surgery can cause infection in the body because nicotine impairs the immune system.
· If you have a BMI over 33; you may need to lose some weight as this is associated with a higher risk. Patients who present with a BMI in the “obese” category of 30 or higher have a significantly higher risk for infection, poor healing, and other life-threatening complications after complex surgeries such as a tummy tuck.
· If you have a serious medical condition like diabetes or heart disease, talk with your surgeon. Diseases like diabetes, heart disease, an autoimmune disorder, hypertension, etc. can increase your chances of experiencing complications after the tummy tuck. Also, there are certain medications like blood thinning medicines that can create complications during and after the surgery.
· If you have had a lot of scar tissue from other abdominal surgeries. Abdominoplasty in patients with prior abdominal surgical scars can be challenging. Some scars can alter the proper blood flow to the healing incisions and lead to wound healing problems and tissue necrosis.