In an ideal world, diet and exercise would solve all your problems. Faced with slack skin and muscles in your abdomen, you would simply schedule extra sessions at the gym and walk out with a flat and toned stomach. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work.
Like elastic that has lost its stretch, at some point the skin and muscles in your abdomen go slack and no amount of exercise will help. If you’ve reached this stage, it’s time to find out if you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck. The technique, officially called an abdominoplasty, is ideal for sculpting the stomach.
If you are considering a tummy tuck, Dr. Christopher J. Kovanda, serving the Minneapolis area, is skilled at advising tummy tuck candidates. A board-certified plastic surgeon, he will carefully describe the technique and explain how a tummy tuck tones the abdomen. If you are not a good candidate for a tummy tuck, he can explain which plastic surgery treatments would be better suited for you.
What is a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?
A Tummy Tuck is a surgical procedure that flattens your stomach by removing excess fat and skin. In addition, the muscles in the abdominal wall are tightened. Because abdominoplasty is a major surgery, it should be the last resort for people who have exhausted all other methods, such as diet and exercise.
This procedure should not be confused with Liposuction, which is a procedure performed to remove fat deposits. You can have liposuction to remove fat deposits during a tummy tuck, but the procedures are not the same. Liposuction cannot tighten muscles or tighten inelastic skin.
Am I a Good Candidate?
The ideal candidate should be in good health and physical shape since this is a major surgery. The patient should also be near their ideal weight since this surgery is not a weight-loss procedure. The skin and muscles in the abdominal area are stretched out. This can be caused by multiple pregnancies or significant weight-loss. Another factor would be Aging, which decreases skin elasticity and causes poor tone. In addition, internal or external scars from previous surgeries may affect your candidacy.
Common Reasons For Not Being a Candidate
- Women planning to have more children. A pregnancy after a tummy tuck can undo the tightening achieved by the surgery.
- People who are not near their ideal weight.
- Smokers. Tobacco and nicotine products increase the chances of complications.
- People who have a severe chronic condition. This can include heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or diabetes.
Do I need a Tummy Tuck or a Mini Tummy Tuck?
The greatest determining factor between a full tummy tuck and mini tummy tuck is the individual patient’s concerns, issues and expectations. Fortunately this is always discussed during a consultation with Dr. Kovanda. Because there are multiple techniques available that fall under the category of tummy tuck procedures today, it can be confusing until you meet and learn about your options from a surgeon.
Tummy Tuck Procedure
In any abdominoplasty surgery, a horizontal incision is involved somewhere near and between the pubic hairline and navel. Again, the shape, size, and length of the incision is ultimately determined by the degree of correction necessary.
After making this incision, Dr. Kovanda addresses and repairs any weakened and stretched abdominal muscles with the use of sutures, and removes excess fat, tissue and skin. In some abdominplasty cases, an incision around the navel may be necessary to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen. There are incidents where the primary concern is only excess skin, or a weakened abdominal muscle wall, without the need to remove much or any excess fat.
Sutures, adhesives and tapes may be used to close and secure the incisions. In some cases, temporary drain tubes may be placed in the incision to aid in healing and removing excess fluids following the surgery.
Tummy Tuck Surgery Recovery
The most challenging experience for most patients is the recovery. We’re eager to see results and want to get back to our everyday lifestyle, but it’s so important to limit activities and allow the body to heal. The binder or garment is helpful in shaping the body while reducing swelling and aiding in comfort, and should be worn up to 6 weeks. We will see you for several follow-up visits to help monitor and encourage you through tummy tuck recovery.
When Will I See Results from my Tummy Tuck?
As mentioned, every procedure is unique as the patient, and with varying needs and experiences are with patients, we have many who begin to appreciate their new shape and profile within a few weeks following surgery, however we truly believe ultimate results are noticeable 3-6 months following surgery
Will Tummy Tucks Correct Stretch Marks?
Tummy tucks are not a treatment for stretch marks, however in many cases, striae (stretch marks) is present on the excess tissue we’re removing during a tummy tuck. This may result in a reduction of stretch marks. Kovanda Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Institute offers treatments specific to improving and correcting striae, and following surgery, Dr. Kovanda may refer you to his providers to discuss Intracel.
There are numerous tummy tuck variations that let surgeons customize treatments for the spectrum of problems people face. Procedures range from the mini tummy tuck, for minor sagging below the belly button, to an extended tummy tuck, which restores tone to abdominal, hip, flank and back muscles.
But the range of techniques can also be confusing. If you are wondering how these treatments apply to you and your problems, a personal consultation is the best way to get answers to your questions.