Abdominoplasty is a proven way to get rid of excess skin and fat in the stomach area, and is especially helpful for patients who cannot achieve a toned core with diet and exercise alone. Also known as a tummy tuck, this plastic surgery procedure is also designed to restore damaged and weakened abdominal muscles that are prevalent in women after childbirth.
As with any sort of elective surgery, patients are encouraged to do their research beforehand and speak with a reputable surgeon about candidacy, risks, scarring, recovery time and expected outcome. Whether you’re considering a mini-tummy tuck or full abdominoplasty to improve your silhouette, here are five things to know before planning your procedure.
Abdominoplasty isn’t a minor operation. Most patients can expect at least two weeks of downtime, in which even the most basic of activities can be difficult. Allow yourself time after the surgery to rest and focus on healing. This means taking appropriate time off of work, and even arranging for some live-in assistance with childcare and chores around the house. Most patients feel back to their normal selves within three weeks after the surgery, though heavy physical activity should be avoided for at least a month.
The majority of pain, swelling and post-op fatigue is over within the first four weeks, but allow yourself ample time to recover, and be aware that it takes at least 6 months to see your final results.
There is no better time to focus on nutritious, well-balanced meals than after a surgery. A diet rich in healthy grains, lean proteins and vegetables promotes better immune health and will give your body the means to heal surgical wounds faster. For optimal recovery, steer clear of fast foods and those which are highly processed.
Tummy tucks are not a tool for massive weight loss. If your scale tends to fluctuate greatly, it’s better to wait until you’ve achieved a stable number that is within 10 to 15 percent of your goal weight. This is particularly relevant for patients who’ve recently had bariatric surgery, as most plastic surgeons recommend waiting at least one year before having a tummy tuck.
In order to remove loose, sagging skin and tighten up abdominal muscles, your surgeon will have to make a horizontal incision that goes from hip to hip. Be prepared to have a scar that will gradually fade from red to light pink over the months and years. The incision is always made just below the panty line, which enables patients to hide the scar easily underneath underwear or bikini bottoms.
A tummy tuck is guaranteed to give you a smoother, flatter stomach that is free of excess skin. In order to maintain your new svelte figure, it’s best to avoid major fluctuations in weight. For this reason, women who are planning on future pregnancies should postpone an abdominoplasty until they are finished having children.
While thousands of women find great success with body contouring surgery, remember that tummy tucks are not just for women. Men who have worked hard to lose weight but are still struggling with excess skin are often ideal candidates for abdominoplasty.
To speak with a nationally recognized and board-certified plastic surgeon in NYC about the benefits of abdominoplasty surgery, we invite you to call the offices of Dr. Thomas W. Loeb. Prospective patients are encouraged to view Dr. Loeb’s before and after tummy tuck photos, which demonstrate his skill and high level of expertise.