Tummy Tuck Surgery – Complete guide for the perfect contour.
Tummy tuck or Abdominoplasty procedure is a type of plastic surgery which removes excess fat and loose skin from the abdomen and tightens the abdomen muscles to give a flat contour. The belly button is repositioned to a natural youthful position. It is also a component of the ‘Mommy Makeover’ where tummy tuck is combined with Breast Lift Surgery or Breast Augmentation and Liposuction to get back the pre-baby body contour.
Everyone desires a smooth contour and a firm abdomen. Usually, this is achievable by regular exercise and diet. But not everyone can obtain a well-balanced aesthetic figure. There are many factors at play other than our laziness like aging, rapid weight loss, and multiple pregnancies.
Also, not all tummy tyres are simple fat deposition that can be removed by exercise alone. There may also be excess skin and lax muscles. Tummy tuck body contouring surgery provides a stunning transformation of the abdomen and waistline by removing this excess skin and tightening the abdominal muscles.
If you are looking to correct your contour, you may require a tummy tuck procedure which is also known as abdominoplasty. You may book a consultation right now and discuss your goals with our consultants at length. At Kalpana Aesthetics we evaluate your body as a whole and give you the most comprehensive and customized treatment plan.
Ok, you may be wondering:
Why do I have a protruding abdomen even after careful diet and regular exercise?
There are a lot of factors to blame other than yourself so don’t fret.
As we age our tissues loose collagen and elastin. These are tissue protein structures that give the skin the ability to stretch and then come back to the same form. Sooner or later it will happen to all of us. Nothing can stop ageing.
Our body shape and size is governed by the genetic information carried in the DNA. Not much can be done about that except that by looking at our folks we can have a fair idea of what might become of us in the future.
Pregnancies or prior surgeries
Multiple pregnancies or previous surgery may weaken the abdominal muscles. Our abdomen has just one solid wall, and that is our back. The rest is held in place by the abdominal muscles from one side to the other. Lax muscles spread out letting the abdomen protrude.
Yeah, you read that right. Even after regular exercise sometimes stubborn fat pockets remain and that is not your fault. Stubborn fat can only be removed with surgery.
What is a Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty Surgery?
A tummy tuck is medically called ‘Abdominoplasty’. The term is loosely used for a group of procedures designed to contour the body and get an aesthetically pleasing silhouette.
More specifically it includes the following:
A standard tummy tuck, mini tummy tuck, extended tummy tuck, lower body lift or Belt Lipectomy, Thigh lift, buttock lift (butt lift).
Standard abdominoplasty or a traditional tummy tuck – A portion of skin and fat between the pubic area to the umbilicus extending from side to side is removed.
mini abdominoplasty or mini tummy tuck – only a little portion of the lower abdomen skin is removed.
Full body lift or a full tummy tuck is a more extensive surgery procedure in which a 360-degree removal of skin around the abdomen along the belt region is performed.
The purpose of complete abdominoplasty surgery is to achieve appropriate skin tightening by removing extra skin and fat and also perform muscle tightening to attain the desired body shape.
What Abdominoplasty can’t do for you?
Abdominoplasty is not a weight loss surgery. It is not a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise. It is a sculpting tool to correct body contour problems. It will not help you to decrease your weight.
Although abdominoplasty technically gives permanent results, these are significantly reduced if you allow excess fat deposition. So you will still need to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.
Abdominoplasty does not treat stretch marks. The surgery removes skin below the umbilicus, and since most of the striae are present below the umbilicus they get removed as well. Any striae above the level of umbilicus will remain after the surgery.
Who are the best candidates for Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty?
Any adult person with loose abdominal skin, abdominal muscle weakness due to aging or multiple pregnancies, and localized lumps of fat, who wants to enhance her/his aesthetic appearance can opt for a Tummy Tuck. The ideal candidate should be in otherwise good health and there should be no other risk factors like heart disease, renal disease, etc.
If there is any other risk factor a proper consultation and an extensive discussion with the treating physician are mandatory to define the risk-benefit ratio clearly.
So, You may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck if, you are physically healthy, you have a stable weight, you have realistic expectations, you are a non-smoker, and you are bothered by the appearance of your abdomen.
If you are considering getting pregnant in the future, it is a good idea to postpone abdominoplasty till the time you complete your family. Tissue stretching due to weight gain at the time of future pregnancies can diminish the positive results.
Similarly, if you plan to lose weight. Please do that before surgery. Ideally, you should have achieved your goal and maintained a healthy body mass index i.e a healthy weight for around 6 months before undergoing a tummy tuck surgery.
In patients with significant weight loss especially after bariatric surgery, there is a significant amount of redundant abdominal skin which does not shrink on its own. Patients with massive weight loss frequently require abdominoplasty to get rid of all the extra hanging skin.
If you just have extra fat but no loose skin tummy tuck procedure may not be required for you. Instead, just liposuction may suffice.
You should get a tummy tuck only for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to fit in some ideal body shape.
The next step would be to consult with your Cosmetic surgeon.
What should you expect during a consultation for tummy tuck surgery?
Be prepared to discuss your goals and expectations, fears, and doubts in detail. Let your surgeon know about any other medical history or allergies that you may have, medical treatments, or surgeries that you may have had.
Your surgeon will ask you many questions in an attempt to understand your requirement. Remember that what you may want may not be feasible, your desire may not match the need or be realistically possible.
The surgeon has to be sure about it so he may also take a few measurements and some clinical photographs for medical records purposes.
You should also discuss the likely outcomes of the tummy tuck and any risks or potential complications.
Please don’t be shy.
Pre Operative preparation for Abdominoplasty
Although the exact details will differ between patients and institute a generalized summary abdominoplasty cosmetic procedure is as follows.
Just like other cosmetic procedures, you will be required to read and sign the Abdominoplasty consent documents before the surgery. You may request the consent forms be provided to you days before the procedure. All documents and patient resources are also available on the website to download for free.
You may get in touch with our patient care representative for clarification or further questioning. Once you have made up your mind about getting the procedure done you will have to get in touch with our representative to fix the date.
You are asked to come to the surgical facility at least 2 hours before the time slot allotted for surgery.
Make sure to reach the surgery center on an empty stomach.
You will be given time immediately before the surgery to discuss any last-minute doubts with the surgeon. Once you are ready, you are taken to the operation theatre.
What happens in Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Now instead of going into the details of how the surgery is performed, we thought it was a better idea to summarise the most important points.
- Before the operation, the surgeon draws out all the incisions and sagging skin regions in the abdominal area designated for fat removal.
- You will remain asleep under the effect of general anesthesia throughout the surgery. When you wake up, you will be in the Post-op suite, and your operation would have finished.
- The incision is given in such a way that the final scar is formed below the undergarment line.
- The extra skin of the lower abdomen is removed along with excess fat.
- The rest of the upper abdomen area is contoured with liposuction to remove fat.
The abdominal muscles are tightened, and if present, the umbilical hernia is corrected at the same time.
- The new youthful-looking umbilicus is created at the appropriate level.
- The surgery takes 4-5 hours to complete.
- Depending upon the difficulty of dissection a suction drain may be placed.
- After the surgery, the incision site is covered with a dressing. The small incision sites of liposuction are not sutured. These are left open for excess fluid to drain out. They are dressed with adsorbent dressing.
The effect of anesthesia and analgesics used at the time of surgery gradually wear off after the surgery. Pain medication is administered either as injectable or orally for up to two weeks depending upon your pain tolerance.
What are the After-Surgery instructions and precautions?
- Post Operative instructions are given to help with the healing process following surgery. Tummy tuck procedures are considered major surgery. Technically healing takes its own time. We can’t actually hasten the healing but we can prevent it from delaying. This is why we kindly ask you to take all the post-operative instructions and precautions seriously.
- Immediately after the surgery, you will be shifted to the ward. You may need a couple of days of hospital stay. The surgeon may allow you to go home after evaluating your general health.
- You can begin walking under supervision from the next day. But we advised minimal movement for the first week.
- You should not strain, that is you are encouraged not to pull, push or lift any heavy object. Strenuous activity can disturb the healing stitch line by creating undue tension resulting in scar widening.
- Although there are no diet restrictions, it is advisable to eat easily digestible food.
- If there are drainage tubes placed at the time of surgery they are removed after 2 days. At the same time, the first post-operative dressing is done. After a couple of dressing changes, the suture line is left open.
- Routine physical activity can be resumed after 2-3 weeks after the surgery depending upon your pain tolerance and stitch line wound healing. Although complete healing may take several weeks.
- Postoperative skin care includes regular bathing which is started as early as 2 days from the surgery and application of topical antibiotic ointment over the stitch line.
- An elastic compression garment is provided and has to be worn throughout the day for a month. This helps with reducing post-op discomfort and swelling.
- Exercise and fitness routine can be started as early as 6 weeks from the day of surgery.
Please read and follow the Post Operative Instruction sheet carefully.
Dr. Vishal Purohit
Cosmetic & Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Vishal Purohit is a board-certified Plastic Surgeon practicing in the Pink City Jaipur, Rajasthan. He is well versed in Cosmetic Surgery, Facial Aesthetic Surgery, Reconstructive Surgery, Hand Surgery, Microvascular Surgery, and Burns Surgery.
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Frequently asked Questions
What are the benefits of Tummy Tuck / Abdominoplasty ?
- Aging changes make the skin lax due to the loss of tissue collagen and elastin. Fat deposits in loose skin and forms pocket stubborn fat. For example along the lower abdomen, chin, arms, etc. Abdominoplasty helps to remove excess skin as well as extra fat to give you a flatter abdomen.
- All incisions heal with a scar. But the abdominoplasty scar remains hidden in the bikini line which lies just at the upper border of the pubic hairline.
- In many Patients after extreme weight loss or multiple pregnancies, stomach muscles can become distended, and diet and exercise alone cannot help. A tummy tuck surgically tightens weak muscles, while removing excess skin and fat, to flatten the abdomen.
- After an Abdominoplasty, patients may notice that their posture has improved significantly, thanks to the tightened muscles supporting their spine.
The improved support and better posture can have the added benefit of relieving certain types of back pain.
- Abdominal wall weakness caused by massive weight loss or surgeries like C-sections or appendectomies can cause a ventral hernia, where the intestine or abdominal tissue breaks through the abdominal wall and forms a pocket or sack. Abdominoplasty Surgery corrects ventral hernia.
- Abdominoplasty also removes C-Section scars.
When will I see the results of my tummy tuck?
Different individuals have different healing so the time of results may vary. You may begin to appreciate the results from around 1 week after the surgery. Although it takes several weeks for complete tummy tuck recovery. It takes considerable time to complete tissue remodeling. The preliminary recovery time of tissue healing is six weeks during which there will only be mild discomfort. There will be mild swelling for at least two weeks. There is no need for any suture removal because all sutures are placed inside the skin.
Is Tummy Tuck safe?
Abdominoplasty is a safe surgery which is commonly performed world over. Still, like all surgical procedures, there are risks related to the surgery, anaesthesia and sutures. Please read the Abdominoplasty Informed Consent document thoroughly and completely to understand the risks involved.
What are the side effects, risks, or complications that may follow a tummy tuck procedure?
Other than the risk of a surgery done under general anesthesia there are a few specific complications that may arise after abdominoplasty surgery.
- Pain – There will be pain after all types of tummy tucks. It is inevitable. But it can be easily taken care of by pain medication.
- Prolonged Bedrest
- Bruising, hematoma, or blood clots
- Suture line infection
- Scar formation – some patients may develop tummy tuck scar thickening, widening or keloids over the stitch line. This is corrected with a scar revision procedure.
Is it possible to have Tummy Tuck without surgery ?
Unluckily, Non-Surgical Tummy Tuck alternatives do not exist and one has to go for Tummy Tuck Surgery only. No matter how hard you try with exercise, dieting and a healthy lifestyle it will not be possible to get the results which you will get after Surgery. Although these are absolutely essential for a healthy body. Once the skin has become saggy and the abdominal muscles have lost their tone the best results can only be obtained by Tummy Tuck Surgery
How Much does Tummy Tuck cost ?
Each person has different needs and procedure followed may have different steps. Also, it differs from centre to centre. But generally saying it is affordable considering the wonderful and permanent results it gives and restores the youthful body shape.