With belly-baring fashions on the rise, the tummy tuck is one of the most popular—and most satisfying—options in plastic surgery. The procedure, also called abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin and restores weakened or separated muscles, making your tummy smoother and firmer, while also boosting confidence and self-esteem.
What Is A Tummy Tuck?
Most moms do everything they can to stay fit after having kids. But pregnancy, along with aging and other factors, can make changes to our bodies that are hard to shake—no matter how much we exercise and eat right. It’s just a fact that as we get older, our bodies naturally want to store fat in the abdomen and hips.
A tummy tuck removes fat and excess skin and restores weakened abdominal muscles. Tummy tucks can often help remove stretch marks in the process and may also be the perfect opportunity to get a better-looking belly button. In some cases, a tummy tuck can also hide a C-section scar.
What Does A Tummy Tuck Procedure Involve?
As with most cosmetic procedures, the first step is a consultation with your doctor to discuss your goals and expectations, review your health history and discuss expected outcomes and potential risks.
A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure and most are done under general anesthesia, so you’ll be asleep while it’s happening. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons offers a helpful outline of the procedure: your doctor will make a horizontal incision between the pubic area and the belly button, then lift the skin and repair weakened or separated abdominal muscles—literally “tucking” the tissue of the abdominal wall to make it tighter and stronger. Then he’ll remove any excess skin and recover the area, creating a new opening for the belly button. The incision will be closed with stitches, skin adhesive, tape or clips, depending on the patient and the procedure.
Tummy Tucks And Belly Button Repair
Pregnancy and aging can also mean wear and tear on our belly buttons, and for many patients, adding some work on the navel to a tummy tuck makes sense. A belly button repair (or umbilicoplasty) can be performed separately, but many patients use a tummy tuck as an opportunity to improve the appearance of their navel—wrapping everything into a single surgery to create a gorgeous, flat tummy. Your doctor can repair a stretched or protruding navel—making an outie into an innie or correcting a distorted shape.
Who Can Benefit From A Tummy Tuck?
Even slender patients can have a sagging tummy or loose skin because of pregnancy, aging or genetics. Remember, a tummy tuck is not about weight loss—it’s about restoring tone and strength. In fact, according to the ASPS, the ideal candidate is at or close to their normal, healthy weight but simply needs a little help dealing with loose skin and weak muscles.
Here are a few tummy tuck rules of thumb from the ASPS and other experts:
- Tummy tuck candidates should not be planning future pregnancies
- Patients should not be planning significant weight loss after the tummy tuck
- Patients should be non-smokers or quit smoking before the procedure to avoid complications
- Bariatric surgery patients or folks who have lost considerable amounts of weight by other methods can also be good candidates for tummy tucks as they manage the excess skin that can be a problem after weight loss.
How Much Does A Tummy Tuck Cost?
Like many plastic surgery procedures, tummy tucks are generally not covered by insurance plans. According to the ASPS, the average cost is just under $6000 not including anesthesia, but costs could be higher or lower depending on the patient’s needs. Most plastic surgery practices want to help patients achieve their goals and offer financing plans to make tummy tucks affordable for their patients.
How Long Will It Take To Recover From My Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure, so unlike some non-surgical cosmetic procedures, you won’t be up and running right away. You’ll come out of surgery with bandages and in some cases, temporary drains to remove excess fluid. You’ll likely have a little pain and swelling and may need to wear a compression wrap to reduce swelling and support your abdomen as it heals. Most doctors recommend taking 10-14 days off work for recovery and limiting activity for six weeks to allow your body to heal. A tummy tuck will leave a small scar but you can minimize scar tissue with great products from your doctor’s office.
Is A Tummy Tuck Right For Me?
Pregnancy and the effects of aging take a toll on all of us, and diet and exercise can only take us so far. If you’re happy with your weight but just can’t shake that pooch of fat or loose skin, a tummy tuck is definitely worth considering. It’s an easy way to make a big difference with a relatively simple and routine procedure. A few weeks out our clients are happier and more—and you’ll be 100 percent bikini ready by the time summer rolls around.
For more information about a tummy tuck procedure, contact Aesthetica today to book a consultation.