Dramatic weight loss, pregnancy, and aging can leave you with a protruding belly with sagging skin. Are you thinking about getting cosmetic surgery to achieve a smoother body contour? We’re here to give you the guidance and support you need as you undergo cosmetic surgery. Today, the experts at MilfordMD Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center in Milford, PA will walk you through our tummy tuck procedure and provide you with all the information you need.
What Happens During a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck procedure, also known as abdominoplasty, can help you lose inches around your waist and eliminate sagging skin. We may also perform this procedure to tighten and repair your abdominal muscles, which may have been separated or stretched after pregnancy. The result of this procedure is an improved, more shapely body contour, and a small amount of fat removal. Getting an abdominoplasty can drastically improve your appearance and make you feel more confident in your skin.
Anesthesia and Incision
Abdominoplasty is considered a major surgical procedure. To start, we will first administer anesthesia. A mini tummy tuck may be performed under sedation or local anesthesia, but for full or traditional abdominoplasties, general anesthesia is usually needed. It can take about two to three hours to perform your procedure.
Once the anesthetic has taken effect, we will make a horizontal incision near your pubic bone. Through this incision, we will repair your abdominal muscles and remove any excess skin. You can expect your incision to be located between your belly button and pubic bone so that it can easily be concealed by underwear or a bikini. The length of your incision will depend on your needs and desired results.
Tightening of Your Abdominal Muscles
Next, we will tighten and repair your abdominal muscles by making permanent stitches. Your stitches are composed of medical-grade nylon and they are located inside your muscles. These sutures will not dissolve over time, and they will give your abdominal area a much tighter appearance. Any muscles that have been separated after pregnancy will be stitched together to restore their natural structure.
Closing Your Incisions
Once we have trimmed any excess skin and repaired your muscles, we will then close your incision using sutures or adhesives. Your navel may be repositioned higher to maintain a more natural appearance. Depending on your desired results, liposuction may be performed to remove any excess fat that can’t be eliminated through diet and exercise.
What Happens After Your Procedure?
Getting sedation or general anesthesia will make you feel a little groggy afterward, so you can expect to undergo a brief observation period before you are allowed to go home. We’ll make sure that you are fully awake and conscious while you are receiving important post-operative care instructions. By carefully following our aftercare tips, you can expect a smoother and shorter recovery period.
Additionally, you should have someone drive you home or arrange for transportation after your procedure. You’ll need another person to stay with you during the first few days of your recovery period so that it’s easier for you to stay hydrated and eat nutritious meals.
Length of Your Recovery Period
An abdominoplasty is a major procedure that can require a full recovery period of four to six weeks. For the first few days after your procedure, you must take it easy and focus on resting exclusively. Ideally, you should have someone stay with you to ensure that you have everything you need during your recovery. Once you feel rested after the first two days, you can engage in gentle movements to ensure proper blood circulation.
We may prescribe you pain medications or compression garments to reduce any discomfort during the first few days or weeks of your recovery period. Compression garments help hold your sutured tissues in place and ensure smoother, more consistent results. You may return to work after two weeks, but you may need to wear compression garments for four more weeks.
How fast you’ll heal from your cosmetic procedure can be influenced by how well you eat and care for yourself. Therefore, you must focus on eating foods that are rich in protein and soluble fiber. It’s also a good idea to sip on protein smoothies to keep yourself hydrated and nourished. Fruits, vegetables, and Greek yogurt are also excellent food choices to help you heal faster.
When Will You See the Results?
Once you have healed from your abdominoplasty, the overall result is a tighter, smoother, more shapely abdominal area. If you used to have problems with posture and lower back pain, the removal of excess skin and the stitching of your abdominal muscles can help with these concerns.
By maintaining a healthy weight, you can maintain the results of your abdominoplasty and keep your skin looking tight and firm. We recommend that you prevent losing or gaining any more than 10 to 15 pounds. Keep in mind that getting cosmetic surgery is not a substitute for traditional diet and exercise, and you’ll need to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle to keep your results.
Important Considerations Before Getting a Tummy Tuck
Can You Still Get Pregnant After Abdominoplasty?
Ideally, you should have finished having children before getting an abdominoplasty. You may still get pregnant safely after getting the procedure, but pregnancy will stretch the skin and muscles that we have already repaired and sutured. The rapid expansion of your abdominal muscles during pregnancy can reverse the positive changes we have achieved.
Can You Combine It With Other Procedures?
Getting a major cosmetic procedure can help you achieve a dramatic body transformation. However, if you choose to get other procedures in combination with your tummy tuck, it’s possible to do so. Many women choose to get a mommy makeover once they’re done with having children. A mommy makeover is a combination of procedures that aim to restore a youthful, pre-pregnancy appearance. The combination of procedures may include a breast lift, tummy tuck, or breast augmentation.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
Before scheduling your procedure, we must first make sure that you are a good candidate for cosmetic surgery. This means that you must have realistic expectations of what abdominoplasty can achieve. Keep in mind that this procedure isn’t meant to help you lose weight, and it’s also not a minor procedure.
If you are at a healthy weight, you may be a good candidate for cosmetic surgery. You must be within 20 pounds of your ideal weight before getting an abdominoplasty. To maintain your results, you’ll need to prevent any significant weight gain or weight loss in the future. Furthermore, if you have a significant amount of excess fat before your procedure, we may not be able to remove all your excess skin and make your stomach area look flatter.
Even when we combine liposuction with your abdominoplasty, we can only safely remove a maximum of eight pounds of fat in a single procedure. Therefore, we recommend that you get an abdominoplasty once you have shed most of your excess weight and fat through traditional diet and exercise.
During your initial consultation with our team, we may ask about your general medical history and current lifestyle choices. Good candidates for an abdominoplasty must not be smokers, and you should be able to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. This is important for ensuring that you have a smooth recovery process and that your body can heal after the surgery. If you have medical conditions that can affect your body’s ability to handle anesthesia, please let us know.
Additionally, we recommend an abdominoplasty for women who do not intend to become pregnant in the future. Significant weight gain due to pregnancy can leave you with excess skin and fat, giving your stomach a loose, protruding appearance. An abdominoplasty can address these issues and help you restore a more natural, shapely contour. However, future pregnancies or dramatic weight gain can undo the results of your surgery, and you may need a follow-up procedure to maintain your results.
Learn More About Our Cosmetic Surgery Procedures
When it comes to transforming your appearance and addressing your aesthetic concerns, our surgical team will be happy to answer your questions and walk you through each procedure. To learn more about our services, contact MilfordMD Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center in Milford, PA, and schedule a consultation with our team today. We specialize in advanced surgical procedures and non-surgical treatments that can be tailored to your needs and ideal results.