Are you not seeing the abs you want from sit-ups, crunches, or pilates? Sometimes too much excess skin or stretched out muscles from child birthing can make it impossible to get a flat stomach through diet and exercise alone.
Tummy tuck surgery, also referred to as an abdominoplasty, restores weakened muscles, making your abdomen appear smooth and firm. Dr. Matthew Nykiel at Butts by Design is a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in every aspect of body contouring, including tummy tuck surgery.
What is a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery flattens the stomach by removing extra skin and fat around the stomach, while pulling the abdominal wall taut. Typically, abdominoplasty is done after pregnancy or extensive weight loss, when the patient’s skin has become stretched out. In some cases, tummy tucks are performed on men that have lost a lot of weight, often referred to as “male tummy tuck.”
Traditional tummy tuck surgery is a two step process. First, there is an advanced repair of the separated muscles caused by extra weight and pregnancy. In the second step, there is the removal of extra skin and fat from the lower stomach, providing the patient with incredible results.
After removing the skin and fat from below the bellybutton, the remaining skin is pulled down, covering the belly area and repositioning the belly button and making the stomach much flatter and tighter. In more severe cases, a new belly button will need to be reconstructed through a surgery known as umbilicoplasty. Traditional tummy tucks address excess fat and skin in your entire abdomen, above and below your bellybutton.
Another common tummy tuck procedure is the “mini tummy tuck,” which uses shorter incisions to address the “pooch” below the bellybutton. Mini tummy tucks are generally recommended for patients with minimal excess fat. Tummy tucks are often completed as part of “mommy makeover” procedures, or used in body sculpting techniques with liposuction and breast augmentations.
Who is a Candidate for Tummy Tuck?
Most men and women in good health are eligible candidates for a tummy tuck. However, some patients are more appropriate candidates than others. For instance, it’s important to remember that tummy tuck is not a substitute for diet and exercise programs.
Tummy tuck surgery is a good solution for candidates who:
Are physically healthy at a steady weight
Realistic about their surgical expectations
Have stretched out skin around the stomach
Have extra stomach fat, even after diet and exercising
If you smoke, it is a good idea to stop your nicotine consumption for about six weeks before and after your surgery. Smoking tobacco can hinder your healing process.
Benefits of Abdominoplasty
Abdominoplasty can provide a lot of cosmetic and medical benefits. First and foremost, it makes your abdomen appear flatter, firmer, and more appealing. Beyond the cosmetic benefits, it also provides the following medical benefits:
Reduces Stress Urinary Incontinence
After giving birth vaginally, women sometimes develop Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI). SUI is a bladder control problem that causes uncontrolled leakage from coughing, sneezing, exercising, and even laughing.
SUI is often treatable without surgery. However, for some patients with severe cases of stress urinary incontinence, tummy tucks can reduce SUI by removing soft tissue in the pelvic area and creating a slight bladder obstruction.
Improved Posture from Enhanced Abdominal Tone
After more advanced weight loss or multiple pregnancies, stomach muscles can become stretched out to a point that diet and exercise cannot help. Tummy tuck surgery tightens weak abdominal muscles, which flatten and strengthens the abdomen. Weak abdominal muscles are often correlated to sway back. After abdominoplasty, patients often have improved posture and more spinal support from tighter muscles. It can also relieve other back pain.
Ventral Hernia Correction
It’s not uncommon for women to experience ventral hernias after C-sections or appendectomies. Ventral hernias happen when the abdominal tissue or the intestine break through the abdominal wall, forming pockets. Weak abdominal muscles are the primary cause of ventral hernias. After hernia surgery, abdominoplasty corrects the weakened abdominal muscles to keep a hernia from reforming.
Preparing for a Tummy Tuck
Part of having a healthy recovery from your tummy tuck surgery will involve preparation before your surgery. After your surgery, you will need to prepare to rest and relax to allow yourself time to heal. With that said, you should expect to take about two to three weeks away from work. You will also need to find a ride home from your surgery.
You should also make sure that you are stocked up on essential postoperative materials. For instance, you want to make sure that you have compression garments, pain medications, stool softeners, as well as healthy foods.
It is also a good idea to have someone to help take care of you for your first couple of days after surgery. Dr. Nykiel will help you prepare for your tummy tuck surgery during your initial consultations by giving you more essential advice for your unique surgery.
Recovering from Tummy Tuck
Recovering from your tummy tuck will depend on your individual health and the extent of your surgery. Some patients are able to return to non-strenuous work after only 2 or three weeks, while returning to normal activities and low energy exercise after several weeks.
Depending on the patient, you can expect swelling to subside after several weeks or sometimes several months.The biggest impact to your recovery will be not smoking for at least a month after your surgery, as well as avoiding heavy lifting, twisting, or any activity that will stress and strain the stomach.
Schedule an Appointment
Take the next step in feeling more confident, healthier, and firm. Dr. Matthew Nykiel is a board certified plastic surgeon in Ontario, CA with exceptional training and education in body contouring and tummy tuck surgery. Fill out a form online, or call our friendly office staff today to schedule a consultation.