A tummy tuck is a procedure used to remove excessive skin and fat on the stomach area, predominantly at and below the naval. It is a very common procedure for both men and women who have lost a large amount of weight, and very common for women after pregnancy. It is also common for both genders to consider a tummy tuck if abdominal stretch marks are pronounced and cause a decrease in their sense of self-confidence or their ability to have a positive body image.
It is important to keep in mind a tummy tuck is a surgical procedure and there are risks involved. As such, your cosmetic surgeon will often suggest specific weight loss and exercise prior to the procedure to see if the fat can be removed without the need for surgery.
Planning for Surgery
Not everyone is a good candidate for a tummy tuck. Those people who smoke or who have specific health conditions may not be candidates for the procedure. Smoking is especially problematic as it can increase the time required for the incisions to heal and can increase the risk of post-procedure infections and complications.
In addition, women who are planning on having more children should wait to have a tummy tuck. Even with the procedure, the next pregnancy can result in excess fat and skin in the area and a second surgical procedure, while possible, is typically not recommended.
Timing your Surgery
A full or partial tummy tuck, also called an abdominoplasty, will result in a significant incision. With a full procedure, the incision will reach from one hipbone to the other, and the belly button will also be moved to be correctly positioned after removing the excess skin and fat. With a mini abdominoplasty the incision will be below the naval and will typically not include the repositioning of the belly button.
Regardless of which procedure is used, you will need time to recover from a tummy tuck. Most people will have mild pain for about a week, and you will be on very limited activities at that time. While you can get up and move around you will not be able to lift or easily bend and move. During this time, tubes may be placed in the incision to allow excess fluid to drain.
It is a good idea to arrange for help in the home for at least the first 4 to 7 days after a tummy tuck. Most people with an office type of job can return to work in ten days to two weeks, but with an active job it is often two to three weeks.
Talk to your surgeon about timing your tummy tuck to work with your schedule. Giving your body the time it takes to heal without straining the area is one simple way to avoid additional complications.
At Chicago Cosmetic Institute, our doctors will carefully evaluate each patient before a tummy tuck and inform them of all aspects of the procedure and recovery. To learn more go to www.chicagocosmeticinstitute.com or check out our Facebook page.
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