What Happens in a Tummy Tuck?

Achieving a toned and taut abdomen often requires strenuous diet and exercise. Due to aging, pregnancy or excessive fluctuations in weight, this may be unobtainable through conditioning and weight control. A tummy tuck is a procedure that gives you a firmer, flatter abdominal area. The following information provides in detail what a tummy tuck is, what happens during a tummy tuck and what kind of results to expect.

What Is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, will create a flatter and smoother abdominal area by tightening the muscles and removing excess skin and fat. Liposuction is different from a tummy tuck in that liposuction is a procedure primarily used to remove fat deposits. Liposuction, however, may be included in a tummy tuck. The procedure typically takes three to five hours to complete.

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Anyone who has lost a lot of weight or has loose skin and poor muscle tone due to pregnancy would likely be a good candidate for this procedure. An individual who still has a protruding or sagging stomach even after diet and exercise would benefit from a tummy tuck in Houston, TX. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a woman who may become pregnant in the future would probably want to postpone having a tummy tuck until she is finished having children.

There are several important things you should know before having this type of plastic surgery.

  • The tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure: While you may lose a few extra pounds during the surgery, you will not experience significant weight loss after a tummy tuck.
  • Liposuction: It isn’t necessary to have liposuction with a tummy tuck, but your surgeon may recommend it to sculpt your abdomen better.
  • Weight fluctuations may affect results: It’s essential to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine after the procedure.

What Type of Anesthesia Will Be Used?

General anesthesia or intravenous sedation is often required when having this procedure. If you’re considering less extensive work, usually referred to as a mini-tummy tuck, it may be possible to complete the procedure with local sedation. However, most surgeons will suggest general anesthesia for the best results. Anesthesia is safe when administered by a licensed anesthesiologist. Your surgeon will recommend what he or she thinks is the best type of anesthesia based on your particular surgery.

What Type of Tummy Tuck and Incision Will Be Used?

What happens during a tummy tuck depends on the type of surgery you’ve decided to have. There are different types of tummy tucks to consider.

  • Regular tummy tuck: This is also called a full or standard tummy tuck, requiring work on a large section of the abdominal area, both above and below the belly button.
  • Mini tummy tuck: A mini tummy tuck involves less skin removal than a full tummy tuck and typically concerns the region below the belly button. A mini is mainly for individuals who are already relatively thin but have a small bulge or pocket of fat in the lower abdomen.
  • Lower body lift: This is also called a circumferential lift and is the most invasive type of tummy tuck. A lower body lift not only targets the entire abdominal area but also addresses the lower back and hips.

According to Penn Medicine, a tummy tuck involves a horizontal incision across the lower part of the abdomen near the pubic area. When performing a lower body lift, a horizontal incision is often made across the abdomen and through the belly button.

How Big is the Incision?

For a tummy tuck, an incision from one hip to the other is typical. The surgeon separates your skin from the wall of the abdomen to remove excess fat and skin. Then the surgeon tightens muscles and skin over the abdominal region. The belly button may be re-positioned.

The size of the scar you’ll have depends on the amount of fat and loose skin removed. A bikini bottom covers most tummy tuck scars. Sometimes a second, smaller incision is made near the navel to enable your surgeon to remove tissue and tighten muscles in the upper abdominal region.

How is the Incision Sealed?

After completion of the tummy tuck, there are several ways your surgeon can close the incision. A surgeon can use clips, sutures or skin adhesives, or a combination of these. Many types of sutures dissolve into the skin and don’t require removal. Your surgeon will decide what materials will work best for your particular procedure.

Recovering from a tummy tuck may require a hospital stay for a few days. If your surgery was less invasive, you might be able to leave sooner. It’s important to have someone drive you home after the procedure. Bupa Health Information states that tummy tuck recovery will likely require the use of painkillers. It’s essential that you not drink alcohol or drive while using strong medications.

A tummy tuck can give you a smoother abdominal area and the confidence to wear a variety of clothing. If you’re considering a tummy tuck, the first step is to find a board-certified plastic surgeon with tummy tuck procedure experience. Understanding what happens during a tummy tuck will help you decide which type of tummy tuck is best for you.

Contact the Texas Center for Breast and Body today for a private consultation on how to build a more beautiful you.

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