Who Is a Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

If you’ve tried everything to lose weight and still have an unappealing tummy bulge, you may have wondered if you’re a good candidate for a surgical procedure called a tummy tuck. Also known as an abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck removes the excess fat and loose skin from your tummy and gives your abdomen a tight, toned look. Both men and women can benefit from this procedure.

According to the cosmetic surgery website RealSelf, 96 percent of people who have had it done say it was “worth it.” It’s a procedure that has produced dramatic results, but it’s not right for everyone. The providers at Advanced Plastic Surgery Center offer this guide to help you learn if you’re a good candidate for a tummy tuck.

At a healthy weight

A tummy tuck is not designed to replace weight loss. You should be within 10 to 15 pounds of your ideal weight before getting a tummy tuck. Not only is the procedure not intended to be a substitute for weight loss, but you could be at increased risk of experiencing complications if you have a body mass index (BMI) over 30.

However, if you’ve been following a healthy diet and exercising regularly and are disappointed with the results you’ve seen, a tummy tuck could be just what you need. Whether due to aging or after pregnancy, you may have a bigger tummy than you would like. A tummy tuck removes excess fat and skin and tightens the tissues in your midsection.

Dealing with the after-effects of pregnancy

Having children is a rewarding experience, but it can have adverse effects on your body. It often leaves you with sagging abdominal skin, even if you lose all the weight you gained during pregnancy. This is an effect of stretching out the skin to accommodate the growth of the baby.

Many women also experience a condition called diastasis recti, which means that your abdominal muscles have separated. This can leave you looking like you have an “apron” of excess fat and skin. A tummy tuck can repair this muscle separation and make you able to have a flatter stomach again.

You’re in good overall health

As with most cosmetic procedures, a tummy tuck is safest if your overall health is good. If you’re a current smoker, you must quit before the procedure. Smokers are much more likely to experience complications after surgery.

Other health conditions can also make you a poor candidate for a tummy tuck, including cirrhosis, advanced cardiopulmonary disease, and uncontrolled diabetes. The doctor will take a thorough health history and ask about all medications you currently take before scheduling this procedure.

What to expect from the procedure

A tummy tuck is usually performed by making an incision left to right in your lower abdomen. The excess fat and skin are removed, and the abdominal muscles are tightened. For most people, the scars would be easily hidden by a bikini. 

A tummy tuck is a major surgery, so you’ll want to be prepared for some extended recovery time. Most people experience some pain and numbness in the first couple of weeks after the surgery. — plan for at least two and up to six weeks for recovery. You’ll need someone to help you for the first few days after surgery. You’ll also be given instructions to avoid heavy lifting after surgery; it’s critical to take these seriously.

If you would like to schedule a tummy tuck consultation, we would love to speak to you. Call our office today or request an appointment online.

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