Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck): An Overview
Abdominoplasty, also called “tummy tuck,” is a surgery that flattens the abdomen by taking out extra fat and skin in the area, and tightening the abdominal wall’s muscles. It’s unique from liposuction, although you can have both liposuction and tummy tuck. Abdominoplasty is considered a major surgery, so if you plan to have it, make sure you know the facts around it.
Who Can Get a Tummy Tuck?
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A tummy tuck is for anyone who is in good health. Women who have given birth multiple times may find the procedure helpful. It is also for men or women who used to be obese and have excess fat or loose skin hanging around the belly.
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Who Can’t Get a Tummy Tuck?
If you’re a woman planning to conceive in the near future, you may have to put off your tummy tuck. The surgery will tighten your vertical muscles, and a pregnancy can separate them.
Want to drop a lot of weight? Then a tummy tuck is also not for you. This procedure should only be a last resort after you’ve tried all other methods. It should not be treated as a weight loss alternative.
Preparing for Abdominoplasty
The first step is to pick a surgeon and visit him for a consultation. During that meeting, you will discuss your goals and decide which of the two types of tummy tucks is right for you:
The surgeon slices your abdomen from hipbone to hipbone before contouring your muscle, skin and tissue as necessary. Your belly button will be moved, and you may have to attach drainage tubes under your skin within the first few days following the procedure.
Partial or Mini Abdominoplasty.
Mini-abdominoplasties are suitable for people with fat deposits located just below the navel. In this procedure, the surgeon may not move the belly button, and the whole surgery may only take two hours at most, depending on the particular case.
If you’re a smoker, your doctor will ask you to stop smoking at least two weeks prior to surgery and two weeks after. It’s not enough to just reduce your smokes. You need to stop completely as smoking often gives rise to complications and stalls healing. As well, don’t get on a drastic diet before the procedure. Stick to healthy complete meals. This will help you recover better and faster.
Don’t keep anything from your doctor in terms of any prescription drugs, herbal medicines or health supplements you may be on. You may be advised to stop some medications as you are approaching the surgery or immediately after it is done.
It’s also important to prepare you home before you go into the surgery. Make sure you have:
> Ice packs;
> Handheld bathing utilities;
> Loose, comfy clothes that are easy to put on and remove; and
> Petroleum jelly.
Finally, arrange for a relative or friend to drive you home after the procedure. Obviously, that’s not something you can do for yourself after undergoing a major operation.