If you have lost a substantial amount of weight and have excess skin around your midsection, a tummy tuck, also called abdominoplasty, could be the solution. This surgery is perfect for those who are ready to remove excess fat and skin as well as tighten or repair the underlying muscles to give the stomach area a more sculpted, contoured appearance. Women and men love the results, making it one of the most sought-after cosmetic surgeries in the United States today.
So how do you know when the timing is right to consider this transformative surgery? Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Khorsandi is the founder of VIP Plastic Surgery in Las Vegas, NV, and has assisted numerous women and men in attaining tight and toned abdominals. Numerous factors should be considered before scheduling a tummy tuck. As with all cosmetic procedures, it is essential to seek advice from a board-certified medical expert such as Dr. Khorsandi, who can best determine whether the surgery will be able to provide the desired results.
Timing is everything
When considering a tummy tuck, it helps to consider why people choose abdominoplasty. Life changes may prompt patients to turn to abdominoplasty, especially those who are unhappy with the appearance of their midsection. Many go through the middle-age spread and seek cosmetic assistance as a result. When hours spent at the gym and targeted abdominal exercises fail to produce a flatter stomach, a tummy tuck procedure may be the most effective way for otherwise fit individuals to alter a saggy, stretched-out stomach. Here are two main reasons people choose a tummy tuck:
Pregnancy and childbirth can be tough on the body and stretch out the abdominal skin and muscles. Some patients may experience a condition called diastasis recti, in which the stomach muscles spread apart to accommodate the growing baby. Dr. Khorsandi can determine if you have diastasis during your initial consultation.
A full tummy tuck involves making an incision on the lower abdomen to remove unwanted, overstretched skin. Liposuction may also be utilized to extract excess fat, after which the muscles are pulled back together, resulting in a tighter, flatter look. As part of a full tummy tuck, the belly button may be repositioned for a better appearance.
Significant weight loss
Following the loss of a substantial amount of weight — generally 100 pounds or more — Las Vegas-area men and women may be left with a large amount of sagging skin. Not only are these folds of skin on and around the stomach unflattering, they can be impossible to hide underneath clothing. For these patients, Dr. Khorsandi may recommend an extended tummy tuck. This is performed when significant skin tightening, coupled with body contouring, is required. An incision is made on the abdomen that stretches around the body, which includes the flanks and lower back. Excess fat and skin are removed, and the belly button is repositioned to create a flatter, more contoured result.
Tummy tuck surgery checklist
Here is a helpful list of things to consider when scheduling your tummy tuck surgery:
Undergoing a tummy tuck can cause you to lose some weight, but the main goal is to sculpt and shape the body. Abdominoplasty should not be considered a weight-loss procedure. Ideal patients should be at or within 10 – 15 pounds of their goal weight for a year before their tummy tuck surgery. Gaining or losing weight following the procedure can alter the tummy tuck’s dramatic results. If this happens, revision surgery may be needed to restore the abdominoplasty results.
It is important to remember that a tummy tuck is considered major surgery. Dr. Khorsandi may make a large incision stretching from one hip to the other. Patients should anticipate about a three-week recovery period after abdominoplasty. During this time, it is reasonable to experience fatigue, swelling, and soreness. Moderate pain is normal, especially in the days immediately following surgery. Surgical drains may be used for a week or more to prevent blood and fluid buildup and to minimize swelling following the procedure. Rest is required to heal properly. Additionally, strenuous activity is to be avoided for up to six weeks, including absence from work for some of that time. It is a good idea to enlist assistance with household chores as well as childcare.
Be patient with your results
It may be surprising for patients to learn that it could be a while before they can experience the full benefits of their tummy tuck. During the first few weeks following surgery, bruising, stiffness, and redness are typical. However, these symptoms should resolve themselves within six weeks, which is also when your flatter, more sculpted results start to become visible. You may experience temporary numbness or a loss of sensation around the incision area, although this should improve over time. A scar will develop but it should be easily concealed by clothing, undergarments, or a swimsuit. Residual swelling may be evident for up to six months after surgery, and it may take as long as a year before optimal results are evident.
Schedule your consultation today
The decision to have a tummy tuck should not be made without careful thought. Schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Khorsandi to learn about your options and the recovery period. Call VIP Plastic Surgery in Las Vegas, NV, to schedule your consultation today.