With a busy schedule, it isn’t always easy for women to have the time to spend on themselves. Exercising regularly and eating right can sometimes fall by the wayside. For mothers, especially, you have to balance the needs of everyone else besides your own first. Understandably, you might gain some weight. For women who had babies, this weight can seem impossible to get rid of even with exercising. A tummy tuck could be the procedure that you need in order to get back to the shape that you had before. This article will discuss this procedure and everything you need to know about it.
Can you benefit from a tummy tuck? Yes, you can usually benefit from a tummy tuck if you have excess fat and skin in your abdominal area. How well you benefit depends on your weight, age, and how much fat resides in your body.
Medically known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is a procedure in which the abdomen is flattened. This is done through the removal of excess fat and skin that resides in the area. The procedure is also capable of tightening the abdominal muscles. Many women who seek a tummy tuck are those whose abdomens were extended due to weight gain or pregnancy. They may have been trying to shed weight and exercise right, but despite that, they’re not seeing positive results in their abdominal area.
This is because through pregnancy, fat and skin have grown in excess in the area. This was to both protect the belly, and the child within it, as well provide further warmth for them. The excess skin helped the body to grow and expand with the growth of the child. Otherwise, the body would remain in its rigid form and the baby would be unable to grow to its full size.
After pregnancy, the fat and excess skin remains. This is true of men and women who have lost a lot of weight, too. They may actually be quite fit beneath all of the loose skin and stubborn fat. All they require is a tummy tuck in order to show just how slim they have become.
There are two types of tummy tucks. The traditional kind is performed on the entire abdominal area. The mini tummy tuck is usually centralized on a single location of the abdomen. For patients who only need fat and excess skin removed in the lower part of their abdomen, for example, they might want to opt for a mini tummy tuck. The procedure is less invasive and requires smaller incisions. It’s easier to hide any resulting scars.
If you’ve decided that you’re going to have a tummy tuck performed, then you likely wonder what you can expect. First, you’ll meet with our doctor so they inspect your abdomen. They’ll see how much skin and fat needs to be removed and stretched. They’ll also use this time to plan out where they can make their incisions to limit the amount of noticeable scarring.
Once the treatment plan has been made, you make an appointment for the actual procedure. For smokers, you’ll likely be asked to stop smoking before and after the procedure is finished. You may also be asked to stop taking certain medications and herbal supplements. This is because certain products can cause bleeding to worsen.
At your procedure, you’ll be given general anesthesia. At the beginning of the procedure, the skin is separated from your muscles. Your muscles are stitched together after being pulled against one another. This creates a narrow waist and firms up your abdomen. The skin that had been separated is then stretched over the muscles. Any excess skin that’s leftover is removed. After that, everything is reattached and the incisions are closed. A final dressing is placed over the area to ensure a quick recovery.
In total, a classic tummy tuck can take anywhere from two to five hours. Obviously, if you have a lot of fat and skin that need to be removed, then it will take longer for the surgeon to finish.
Sometimes the surgeon will include a tube beneath the skin. This tube serves to help drain the excess of fluid in the body. All you have to do with the drains is empty them and keep them clean. You’ll be shown how to do this. You are also given a compression outfit to wear that will help heal your abdomen more effectively. It keeps blood clots from forming and can reduce swelling. The garment usually has to be worn for four to six weeks. Sometimes, your recovery period can stem from two weeks to two months. Those who have the mini tummy tuck performed on them can usually recover a lot faster.
During your recovery period, you are asked to avoid strenuous activity. In fact, you should do everything you can to just relax and keep from overworking your abdominal muscles. Heavy objects should be left to others to lift.
For the first few weeks, you should consider having a sponge bath performed rather than showering or bathing normally. The movement required for showering and bathing might stretch your abdomen too much. Our doctor will also show you how to take care of your incisions while you recover. Typically, all you need to do is cover them in sterile dressings. After week two is finished, our doctor may allow you to return to work.
You may be wondering if you’re a good candidate for a tummy tuck. It should be noted that tummy tucks aren’t exactly an option for losing weight. While it does remove some of the fat in your body, the process is primarily designed to remove the excess that has built up due to pregnancy or loss of weight. As such, women who have finished having children are excellent candidates for this procedure. It shouldn’t be performed before you’re finished having children because the fat and skin will just come back.
Men and women who have lost a lot of weight and suffer from excess skin hanging off of their tummies are also excellent candidates. These patients just need a little extra help in removing all of the skin that was left behind after their weight loss.
You should also be in decent health. You shouldn’t suffer from any diseases that affect your blood and healing capability. HIV or AIDs, for example, can have a negative impact on your ability to recover.
Your skin should also be relatively elastic. This helps pull it over the body and further tighten your abdomen. Skin that has lost its elasticity may not see as good results.
Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
There are many benefits that you can receive from a tummy tuck. Whether you choose to have one in order to remove the fat after a massive weight loss or to help regain your figure after pregnancy, here are some benefits that you can enjoy.
1. Decrease of Stress Urinary Incontinence
One unfortunate consequence of pregnancy that women may suffer from is Stress Urinary Incontinence. This is a condition in which they are unable to control their bladder when performing certain actions like laughing, sneezing, coughing, or exercising. Leakage can occur. Sometimes women need to have surgery in order to fix Stress Urinary Incontinence.
One solution that has been put forward as a means to help is a tummy tuck. This procedure can this help strengthen and tighten the muscle area to aid with bladder control. For women who suffer from this condition, a tummy tuck can be a great way to help reduce how much leakage you suffer from.
2. Improved Abdominal Tone
Another aspect that it benefits you is in the tone of your abdomen. Because the muscles are pushed together, they’re also tightened. As a result, you can have hard abs that look great and function well. Sometimes exercise and dieting aren’t enough to help remove the fat and skin from your body. Instead, you need something just a bit more surgical. Tummy tucks can offer that narrow waist and keep the abdomen tight and firm. For women who were embarrassed about how their tummies looked before, you can now experience a toned shape that you are proud of.
3. Better Posture
Because the abdominal muscles are tightened, you can also see an improvement in your posture. Weak abdominal muscles can cause something known as sway back. This describes a condition in which your back conformation that causes the lower back to bend inwardly.
Sway back is caused when your abdominal and back muscles aren’t strong. After a tummy tuck, the muscles of your abdomen are stronger. They can support the spine rather than being crushed down by it. As a result, you may experience less back pain and headaches.
4. Fixes Ventral Hernia
Ventral hernias occur when a sac forms outside of the abdominal wall. The sac is formed when abdominal tissues break through the wall of the abdomen. This is typically a result of weak abdominal muscles. A tummy tuck can amend that situation in two different ways.
The first is that the tummy tuck lends strength to the abdominal muscles. With greater strength, the tissue is less likely to pierce through the wall and cause the sac to form. The second way in which this procedure can help ventral hernias is to actually treat them.
If you suffer from a ventral hernia, then a doctor can remove the sac and help repair the wall during your tummy tuck. Afterward, your tummy will look great, be strengthened, and the hernia will be removed.
5. Keeps You Exercising
For many people, going to the gym with a large tummy can be embarrassing. It may put them off from their exercise. Even the excess skin and fat itself can be problematic for exercising. It makes certain positions and maneuvers more difficult. A tummy tuck, once finished, shapes the body so that you’re able to perform those motions without difficulty.
You’ll also feel better how you appear. As a result, you may be more motivated to hit the gym and keep the fat off. Maintaining your abs is a lot more fun than trying to get them to show up in the first place.
Contact Us to Learn More
Clearly, there are quite a few benefits that you can enjoy from a tummy tuck. While they are typically used by women after pregnancies, men can also receive and benefit from a tummy tuck. By improving the appearance and strength of your abdomen, it can have medical benefits as well as cosmetic benefits. Regardless of your reasons, you deserve to be happy with your body. Consider us here at the office of Mark P. Solomon, MD, if you would like to learn more about this procedure. Contact us at our Bala Cynwyd or Beverly Hills location to schedule your consultation today!
by Dr. Heather
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