What is a Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck – All You Need To Know

Tummy Tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is used to flatten the abdomen by getting rid of all the loose and excess skin and fat and tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall. In some cases, it can also be used to get rid of unsightly stretch marks that develop on the lower abdomen after you have lost weight drastically. Stretch marks are most common after pregnancies due to the obvious difference in weight. Many who have sought out this surgery as a remedy to their looks have gone on record stating that they have experienced a major boost in their confidence levels as well as their self-esteem – to say the least; many love the results that they get.

Before and after tummy tuck picture of woman

When you should consider a tummy tuck

That said, when should one consider going under the knife for a tummy tuck? How do you rationalize the step that you are about to take? Well, if you have excess skin in the abdominal area or have stretch marks that cause you to hate your belly so much so that you cannot wear any clothing that exposes your navel as much as you would love to or worse still when you have flab that exercises just seem not to be able to get rid of.

Also, if the shape of your abdomen has been altered after your pregnancy or a major weight loss, you should consider going through the procedure.

Do you qualify for a tummy tuck?

Truth be told, it is one thing to want or feel a great need to have a tummy tuck to give your looks a major boost and is a totally different thing to be a good candidate for the same. Here are some of the factors that qualify you as a candidate for the procedure.

First and foremost, you should be a non-smoker. Smoking tends to slow down the healing as well as increases the chances of getting complications during the procedure. If you are a smoker, it is recommended that you quit at the very least six weeks before the date of the surgery.


Your weight should be stable. Individuals who are sender with a lot of extra fat in their abdomens are the most ideal candidates. If you are obese and want to get rid of fat only in your abdomen, it will not work. As a matter of fact, the procedure cannot be done on you as your body will end up being unproportioned, and you will experience numerous health problems after as a result of the lack of proportionality.


If you have a significant amount of fat surrounding the organs in your abdominal area, you will probably have to slim down before the procedure. The only fat that the procedure gets rid of is the one just under the skin – in the subcutaneous layer and it does little to nothing when it comes to the fat surrounding the internal organs. For this, you might have to slim down before the procedure.


You should be physically healthy with no underlying health issues. This is to ensure that your body can handle the procedure as a whole.


Last but not least, you should be done having children. Why? Well, the muscles that will be repaired will be those that expand during pregnancy. As such if you get pregnant again you will most likely tear these muscles causing you a great deal of pain and complications.


If you pass and qualify going by the above short list, maintain a positive attitude and have realistic expectations for your surgery and all will be well.


How is the procedure performed?

Before you go under the knife, it is probably best that you know exactly what will be happening to your body and decide if you want to go through with it.


First, your surgeon will draw up markings on your abdomen marking where the incisions will be made. One will be around the navel and where it will be repositioned to.


Following this, you will be injected with a local anesthetic (lidocaine) to put you under and then epinephrine to control the bleeding. Without the latter, you could very well bleed to death.


The primary incision will be made just above your pubic mound stretching from one hipbone to the next. Depending on whether you are having a full abdominoplasty, another incision will be made around your navel. If it is a mini abdominoplasty, however, the cut about the pubic mound will be shorter.


The skin will be loosed from the abdominal muscles and sutures put in place to hold the skin in place during the surgery. Surgeons refer to this as the muscle repair procedure. The excess fat is gotten rid of, and then the skin is stretched back into place. The excess skin is cut out.


If the skin around your navel was removed, it is put back in place. Generally and depending on the precision of your doctor, the navel will be back in the same place. The skin is stretched around it and redraped so that it looks like it was originally.


The incisions will be closed up using staples, tissue glues, Steri-Strips, and sutures. In the case of a full tummy tuck, fluid tends to build up in the abdomen. As such, and to prevent pressure development, it is drained out of the body using a plastic tube into a bulb with an oval shape.


With all that there is to do, your surgeon will have help from his team to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as you had envisioned it.


Your options

When you consult your certified surgeon, he/she will advise you on the best procedure to undertake. But even so, it does not hurt to know the options that are on the table for you. The options include full Abdominoplasty, mini abdominoplasty, and extended abdominoplasty.


They vary in a variety of ways, but we shall not bore you with all the details. All you need to know is that in the mini abdominoplasty, a slight incision is made above the pubic mound through which the fat is scraped out. In the full abdominoplasty, however, an additional incision is made around the navel.


In the event you have love handles, and you want them gone, you should have the extended abdominoplasty which features even longer incisions to cater to the fat forming the love handles.


The scars will vary depending on the surgery that you undergo. In the mini tummy tuck, the scar will be low enough such that you can wear a bikini which will cover it up nicely. With the other two procedures, you will have a navel scar that is visible and part of the pubic mound incision scar will show.


With that, you know everything there is to know about tummy tucks. What is now left is for you to choose the right surgeon for the procedure, one who is not only qualified but skilled and willing to do the procedure at a reasonable price.


As part of the process of choosing your surgeon, book an appointment and ask questions that you may need some clarifications in. Also you should have someone ready who will help you at home as your recover from the surgery.