Many people struggle with excess stomach fat and love handles around the waist. Weight gain, weight loss, aging, pregnancy, and numerous other factors can cause your tummy to protrude. Some people struggle to reduce fat deposits around their abdomen even though they are following a healthy diet. Patients that fit this criteria may be good candidates for a tummy tuck procedure. A tummy tuck is an effective and safe way to get a slimmer, flatter stomach.
Removal of Excess Fat
A tummy tuck is also known as an abdominoplasty. This procedure removes excess fat and skin from around the stomach and waist area. The ideal candidate for a tummy tuck is someone who is both physically and mentally healthy. They should also have realistic expectations and a clear understanding of what surgery can and cannot do. This surgery does have risks, and they will be discussed during your consultation with Dr. Dodde. Furthermore, people who want to get this surgery have to realize that they will have to live a healthy lifestyle in order to maintain the results of this procedure.
There are three main forms of a tummy tuck surgery. Although the procedures are similar, awareness of each will help you better understand the process and outcomes.
Mini Tummy Tuck
The mini tuck is required for individuals with small amounts of loose skin and stubborn flab that will not go away with regular diet and exercise. This procedure is performed on patients who are traditionally healthy, but have what many call a “pouch.” The incision for this procedure is smaller, and the naval traditionally does not have to be relocated to complete the surgery. Recovery time is approximately one week.
Traditional Tummy Tuck
The traditional tummy tuck is commonly performed on patients who have either lost a lot of weight or have excess skin and weakened muscles from pregnancy. The incision extends from hip bone to hip bone, excess skin is removed, and the abdominal muscles are tightened. In these cases, it is standard that the naval needs to be repositioned. Patients will need 2-4 weeks of downtime depending on their level of pain or discomfort.
Extended Tummy Tuck
Patients that qualify for a traditional tummy tuck are usually candidates who have lost a significant amount of weight, resulting in large amounts of excess skin around the stomach and back. The incision wraps around the waist to the back and the naval is repositioned. In this case, the patient may have to stay in the hospital for a few days for recovery and should expect approximately a month of downtime.
Each procedure not only removes excess flab, but restructures the stomach to form to your natural body contour. It is normal for one to have scars after surgery no matter which tummy tuck you qualify for, but they can very easily be concealed underneath clothing. With proper postoperative scar care, the scars will be minimal. After a consultation with Dr. Dodde, you will have a better idea of which level is best for you and what outcomes you can expect.
The recovery time for a tummy tuck will vary, depending on how much excess fat and skin was removed. Following a tummy tuck, the patient will be able to engage in very light activity. Patients should also have a friend or loved one stay with them for at least 24 hours following a tummy tuck procedure.