Plenty of exercise and a regulated diet – your regime for the past many months. Yet you are stuck with a flabby stomach – excess fat and sagging skin. This may feel demotivating, but some stubborn fat cannot be handled by lifestyle choices alone. Enter tummy tuck surgery – your solution for stubborn tummy flab.
What is Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Tummy tuck surgery, or abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic surgical procedure to remove excess fat and skin on your abdomen or tummy, and restore strength to the weak or separated muscles, giving them a firmer and leaner look.
This procedure works to give you a flatter and smoother abdomen. It works by removing the excess fat via liposuction techniques and then the remaining skin is tightened for the desired result.
Understanding the procedure in detail, including what it can achieve and what it cannot, is crucial. You must arm yourself with all facts and bust all myths to be able to take an informed decision. Depending upon your need, you may also choose to go for either a full tummy tuck procedure or mini tummy tuck procedure.
Full Tummy Tuck
This procedure is used to remove every bit of excess fat and skin from the entire abdominal area. The result, a completely flat and toned abdomen. It may be required to give the patient a new belly button depending upon the skin pulled down from the upper abdomen.
Mini Tummy Tuck
The focus in this procedure is on the lower abdomen – the area under the belly button. This requires the use of a smaller incision and a lesser amount of skin is removed.
Tummy Tuck / Before & After
Plastic surgery is an art, and Dr Priya Bansal is an artist. With a mantra to make women feel beautiful, her work demonstrates all that is aesthetically pleasing and natural to look at. The before and after images of her procedures are testament to that, and you can request for them during your initial consultation
Who can go for Tummy Tuck Procedure?
Please take a moment to assess if your circumstances fit any of the following –
- You have a mommy-tummy. Post pregnancy weight loss has left you with an oddly shaped abdomen.
- You started a new health regime. Regular exercise and healthy diet led to weight loss. However, the fat on your stomach did not budge. Not only are you now left with a fatty stomach which looks odd against the rest of your toned body, you also have abdominal skin which is weak and loose and hangs low from your abdomen.
- You have a protruding abdomen, which makes you feel unattractive and restricts your wardrobe.
- You can hold an unwanted pannus of tissue with both your hands below your belly button.
Tummy tuck surgery is your answer to solving any of these problems. However, it is important to be realistic in your expectations, and understand what can and cannot be attained through a tummy tuck procedure.
Benefits of Tummy Tuck Surgery
Tummy tuck surgery helps with your abdominal issues by working on the following –
- Removal of excess tummy fat.
- Removal of excess tummy skin.
- Tightening of the remaining skin for better contouring.
- Toning of the abdomen to give it a flat look.
- Improving body proportions.
- Correcting divarication of recti.
What Tummy Tuck Procedure Cannot Do – A Reality Check
Tummy tuck surgery is an advanced cosmetic surgery which works wonders for your abdomen and self-esteem. However, it is not a magical procedure and cannot do the following –
- Give you a new body shape/structure. That depends upon a combination of factors, and removing excess fat cannot change your skeletal structure, or give you new breasts and shoulders, which also determine the exact shape of your body.
- Remove all the body fat. The procedure can only work for extra abdominal fat. Therefore, if you have a considerably larger amount of intra abdominal fat on your abdomen, chances are that you will still be left with tummy fat that you consider to be excess. Consequently, you may not attain a flat and toned abdomen through the procedure alone
- Restore you to your pre-pregnancy body. Pregnancy brings about many changes to the body, some of which you may consider as undesirable. While a tummy tuck procedure helps greatly in some aspects of that, it may not restore you to your pre-pregnancy look.
Tummy Tuck Surgery – The Procedure
Tummy tuck surgery is a four-part procedure, starting with the decision making, moving on to planning, the actual procedure and then recovery.
Making the Decision
The decision-making process is divided into two parts, both of which really go hand in hand – one determines the other and vice versa.
Understanding the process and opting for the surgery
Any decision is best taken when armed with all the facts. The same holds true, if not truer, of a cosmetic surgery like tummy tuck surgery. Your preliminary consultation with a cosmetic surgeon plays a crucial role in this process – they will take you through the entire process, the associated benefits, the risks involved and minimising them, the timeline involved and the financial considerations.
Finalising the surgeon and the centre
This is where finalising the surgeon and centre is intricately linked with understanding the process. Opting to consult with a gold medalist surgeon for even the preliminary consultation will ensure that you have the right set of facts, all myths and misconceptions are clarified, the surgeon is an expert in their field, qualified to perform the surgery, and is well-versed in the latest technology and techniques. They will also offer top-class infrastructure and make use of only approved equipment for the procedure.
Understandably, this high level of expertise and quality is associated with a price. But when it comes to surgery, that is a small price to pay for ensuring that complications are avoided and the outcome is what is discussed and what you need.
Planning and Preparation
After finalizing the surgeon and centre, the planning phase comes first. During this phase, the surgeon takes care of the following –
- Understanding your requirement – be sure to communicate the exact nature of the problem as you perceive it, and the desired outcome.
- Blood tests – the surgeon may prescribe some blood tests to check your body’s readiness and suitability to undergo the procedure.
- Creating the exact plan of action – the medicines which need to be prescribed, the anaesthesia dosage, opting for full tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck, the exact placement of incision, the amount of fat which needs to be removed, the suturing post-surgery, whether a new belly button is required, all this is determined during this phase of the treatment. This also requires the surgeon to understand your complete medical history and any allergies to properly chalk out the treatment plan.
Once the roadmap is in place, it is time for the patient to prepare for the surgery. This requires them to comply with the following –
- Stop smoking.
- Take medication in the dosage prescribed by the surgeon. Do not take any unprescribed drugs including anti-inflammatory drugs as they may cause bleeding risk during the procedure.
- Stop using recreational drugs.
- Arrange for a driver to take you home after the surgery, driving yourself is not advisable.
Tummy Tuck Surgery – The Procedure
Tummy tuck surgery or abdominoplasty is an outpatient procedure, with same day release. On the day of the surgery, the following procedure
is followed –
- Anaesthesia administration.
- Making markings on the abdomen as per the roadmap which was created during the planning phase.
- Making the incision.
- Use of liposuction techniques for removing the excess fat. There are three types of liposuction techniques which may be used –
- Suction Assisted Liposuction
- Power Assisted Liposuction (Microaire)
- Hi-Definition Liposuction
Each technique has its own use, with SAL being the more traditional one. An expert surgeon is well versed in all three techniques.
- Removal of the excess skin and suturing
- Post-surgery observation and discharge.
The results of the procedure are visible immediately and are natural looking and long lasting.
Schedule a Consultation
Tummy tuck surgery is a safe procedure. Risks associated with surgery like bleeding, anaesthesia, scarring, infection, and hematoma can be minimized by going to a board-certified surgeon who makes use of the latest and best technology. Recovery is also fast, with most patients back to normal by the end of six to eight weeks.
What is Normal During Recovery
- Initial swelling, bruising or discomfort, for up to 48 hours after the surgery. This is temporary and diminishes naturally.
- You can resume daily activities from the next day itself, though it is advisable to avoid sudden movements and heavy lifting for up to six weeks.
- Desk jobs can be resumed after three days, after getting the surgeon’s approval.
- Use of a compression garment for at least four weeks or till advised by the surgeon is crucial for on-time recovery.
- Most swelling, bruising or discomfort will disappear by around the one-month mark.
- All kinds of physical activities may be resumed around the six-to-eight-week mark, subject to go ahead by the surgeon.
Keep your surgeon apprised of any post-op developments. Do not neglect the post-op consultations. Meet Dr Priya Bansal, a gold medalist female plastic surgeon, to learn more about the procedure and its benefits. With years of experience behind her, Dr Bansal believes in high-level surgical care and meeting the patient’s needs.