Abdominoplasty is one of the most common cosmetic procedures in the world, but the benefits go far beyond skin deep. At Athena Plastic Surgery in Stuart, FL, we want you to look and feel your best. Keep reading to learn how you can accomplish that with a tummy tuck.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a body contouring procedure that will help you look and feel your best. The extent of the procedure depends on the aesthetic results you want to achieve, but it always involves tightening your stomach muscles for a taut, toned look. While most health insurance companies consider this procedure to be “cosmetic”, there are several medical benefits associated with this body contouring solution. Thus, your health insurance provider may pay for the procedure on your behalf or reimburse you for out-of-pocket expenses.
Types of Abdominoplasty
There are three primary types of abdominoplasty, and each has its own benefits. These three types are full abdominoplasty, mini-abdominoplasty and extended abdominoplasty. Let’s take a closer look at what each of these entail.
Full abdominoplasty is primarily chosen by people who have experienced extreme weight loss. It addresses skin elasticity, weak abdominal muscles and excess fat both below and above the navel. Once this is done, the navel is usually repositioned for an improved aesthetic. For the best results, consider combining this procedure with a panniculectomy or liposuction.
A mini-tuck is usually the best option for women who have given birth. It only corrects skin laxity and excess skin and fat beneath the navel. This iteration is most popular among pregnant women who are perfectly content with their stomach above their navel.
Extended Tummy Tuck
An extended tummy tuck is right for people who want to see a dramatic improvement in the contours of their body. This tummy tuck procedure is similar to a full abdominoplasty in that it addresses muscle weakness, fat and skin above and below the navel. The significant difference is that excess tissue and skin are removed from the back, hips and thighs, as well.
What Can I Expect During Abdominoplasty?
What to expect during abdominoplasty varies on a case-by-case basis. If you are opting for a full abdominoplasty, the incision will be made from hipbone to hipbone.
If you are opting for a mini-tuck, your navel will probably not be repositioned. The procedure will only take a couple of hours at most, and the incision is made below your bikini line or within the scar from your Caesarean section. Thus there will be no visible indication you have had this procedure, even if you wear a bikini.
How Can I Prepare for This Procedure?
There are several things you must do to prepare for this life-changing procedure. These include being healthy enough for the procedure and preparing for your recovery to ensure it is as smooth and comfortable as possible. During your initial consultation, we will give you a complete list of everything you need to do before and after your procedure.
First, you must abstain from the consumption of nicotine for at least two weeks before your abdominoplasty. Ideally, you can eliminate all nicotine sources for six weeks. This is because nicotine raises your blood pressure, which can affect the outcome of your procedure. You must also be prepared to not consume nicotine for two to six weeks after your procedure.
Prepare Your Recovery Room
Abdominoplasty is an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home the same day it is completed. However, you’ll want everything to be ready to go as soon as you get home. Dedicate a room in your home to your recovery. Prep it with plenty of pillows, a blanket and bottles of water within a few inches of where you will be sitting or reclining.
Arrange a Ride Home
Make sure you have a ride home after your procedure. You will not be able to drive for 24 hours after receiving general anesthesia. Read all warning labels on your prescription pain-reliever bottles before you take these medications. Depending on what you take, you may be unable to drive for 24 hours after taking your prescription analgesics.
Arrange for a Caregiver
There should be someone staying with you for at least the first 24 hours after your procedure. This ensures that you don’t over-exert yourself too quickly. If you have young children, keep in mind that you won’t be able to pick them up for at least two to three weeks after your procedure. Ensure there is someone to care for your children while you are in recovery.
How Can Abdominoplasty Help Me Look and Feel Better?
Abdominoplasty has the obvious benefit of enhancing your aesthetic appearance. This helps you feel happier and more comfortable in your skin. This procedure will also help clothes fit better, meaning it’s easier to find cute clothes that match your personal style perfectly. But there are medical benefits to this procedure, as well. Here are a few:
1. Fewer Accidents
Stress urinary incontinence, or SUI, is an incredibly common medical condition characterized by urine leakage when the bladder is under “stress”. Examples of stress include laughing, sneezing, jumping, running and coughing. Abdominoplasty will reduce the frequency and severity of SUI symptoms by creating a tiny bladder obstruction with soft tissue from near the pelvis.
Abdominoplasty is the most effective procedure for treating women with SUI who have given vaginal birth and whose incontinence has not responded to prescription medications.
2. Better Posture
Abdominoplasty can help you stand taller, commanding more respect when you walk into a room. Posture is improved by this procedure because the muscles supporting your spine are tightened. Strong abdominal muscles correct lordosis, also known as swayback. Besides looking more presentable and professional, improved posture alleviates back, shoulder and neck pain.
3. Improved Abdominal Tone
Some women have a “belly pooch” or “kangaroo pouch” after giving birth. This doesn’t occur because they have excess fat on top of their lower abdomen. It occurs because the stomach muscles have become distended. No amount of diet and exercise can correct this.
If a stranger in the grocery store has ever asked you when you’re due because of a distended abdominal wall, abdominoplasty may be right for you. Besides tightening your muscles, it removes excess fat and skin and tightens the remaining skin so you look sleek and toned.
4. Ventral Hernia Correction
Ventral hernias are an extremely painful but unfortunately common medical condition. They are characterized by a sack or pocket that occurs when abdominal tissue or part of your intestine penetrates your abdominal wall. Several risk factors indicate you are likely to suffer from this condition one day. Among these are:
- Having had a C-section
- Having had an appendectomy
- Extreme weight loss
- A history of ventral hernias
There are medical procedures specifically for correcting ventral hernias. However, abdominoplasty serves the exact same functions – reducing pressure on the skin and strengthening the abdominal wall. Once your abdominal wall is tightened, you mitigate your risk of having another ventral hernia in the future.
5. Weight Maintenance Becomes Easier
If you’ve lost a significant amount of weight around your stomach, you may struggle with cardiovascular exercise. Running may cause your excess stomach skin to flop painfully and chafe. Not even compression shorts and tops can prevent this. Even walking, biking or swimming can be uncomfortable after major weight loss. However, to stay healthy, you need to exercise.
Since abdominoplasty removes excess skin, cardio becomes easier and more enjoyable. You may even have the confidence to go out and try a new sport or physical activity you’ll fall in love with. Exercise is a crucial component of your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. To be healthy, weight maintenance should not come from portion control alone.
6. Improved Outcome Following Weight Loss Surgery
It’s important to understand that abdominoplasty is a body contouring procedure and not a weight loss one. Depending on your BMI, only 10 to 11 pounds of fat can be removed safely. However, it’s not uncommon for formerly bariatric individuals to opt for abdominoplasty after major weight loss surgery, such as a gastric sleeve.
Research has proven that people who undergo weight loss surgery followed by abdominoplasty enjoy four times more success than those who opted out of abdominoplasty. If you’re afraid that you’ll slip and revert back to your old habits after weight loss surgery, we strongly recommend abdominoplasty.
Am I a Good Candidate?
When you come in for your one-on-one consultation, we will help you determine if you are a good candidate for abdominoplasty. Here are some signs this procedure may be right for you.
Your BMI Is No More Than 30
Ideally, you will have a body mass index of no more than 30. This is because a larger BMI indicates a higher risk of health conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. To be a good candidate for nearly any medical procedure, you should be in good health. Moreover, people suffering from hypertension often take blood thinners. Blood thinners are on the list of medications, vitamins and herbal supplements you should not take within two weeks of your abdominoplasty.
You Haven’t Been Pregnant in the Past Year
Being a new mother is hard. It takes a significant toll physically, mentally and emotionally. If you’ve had a child in the past six months, you may be ready to get your pre-motherhood body back.
Give your body six more months to recover from pregnancy and childbirth before you schedule your abdominoplasty. It needs time to heal before you put it through a body contouring procedure.
You’re Fairly Healthy
Being healthy at the time of your procedure is essential. It ensures a quick, comfortable recovery. If your immune system is fighting off an infection or virus, recovery will be less comfortable and may take longer.
Your Weight Is Stable
Ideally, our clients have maintained a stable weight for at least six to 12 months before receiving abdominoplasty. This is because abdominoplasty removes excess skin. If you’ve lost a drastic amount of weight, have abdominoplasty to remove excess skin and then gain it back, your skin will stretch out again. Then, you will need a follow-up skin tightening treatment to improve your aesthetic appeal once again.
You Want Your Clothes to Fit Better
One of the hardest parts about excess skin and lower abdominal fat is finding clothes that fit properly. To accommodate your stomach, you have to buy shirts that are far too large in the chest and pants that are far too large in the hips, thighs and calves. If you want to feel more confident in your clothes, whether you’re in a board room or on the beach, abdominoplasty may be right for you.
Look and Feel Your Best: Call Today
Are you ready to look and feel your best? A tummy tuck can help. To determine if this treatment is right for you, contact the dedicated beauty and wellness experts at Athena Plastic Surgery in Stuart, FL today.