You diet. You exercise. You do everything right. But you just can't lose your tummy. If this has been your experience, it's time to stop blaming yourself and time to start looking for other options to help you regain a more youthful figure.
Stubborn pockets of fat that don't respond to diet and exercise are usually determined by our genetics, not our lifestyle. Fat in the abdominal area can be complicated by loose abdominal muscles and – particularly if you have been pregnant in the past – loose skin. While liposuction and noninvasive fat-removal techniques such as Thermi, CoolSculpting, UltraShape and Vanquish can eliminate the fat, they cannot tighten the underlying muscles or significantly tighten the skin. When your big tummy is caused by a combination of excess fat and skin and/or loose musculature, then it's time for a tummy tuck.
What Is a Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Abdominoplasty, more commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, is a plastic surgery operation that removes excess fat and skin from the abdominal area and, if necessary, tightens the underlying musculature. The result is a sleeker, flatter, more youthful figure. A tummy tuck can be part of a “mommy makeover” that may include a breast lift and/or augmentation as well, to get you back to your pre-baby body. The basic steps are:
- Excess fat is removed with liposuction
- The underlying abdominal muscles are tightened, if necessary
- The skin is re-draped over the newer, flatter shape
- Excess skin is trimmed and sutured
If you have an abundance of abdominal fat, you might first need a liposuction-only procedure. Once you have healed – after about three months – you could then go on to the tummy tuck, which would proceed as outlined above.
A Sculptor's Eye for Tummy Tucks
Dr. Julio Garcia, a top plastic surgeon in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV, brings his training as both an artist and a surgeon to your tummy tuck procedure. He has a degree in art history and looks at each of his cosmetic surgery procedures as an opportunity to bring true beauty and harmony to each patient's physique.
During your consultation with Dr. Garcia, you can show him photos of yourself when younger and/or before your pregnancy and/or of your ideal shape. He will then take measurements of your current figure and let you know how close you can come to your ideal. He will encourage you to ask as many questions as you wish about your procedure, so that you will be informed of both the benefits and the risks.
Not Just for Women
Though tummy tucks are often sought by women, especially as part of a mommy makeover Las Vegas, many men can also benefit from a tummy tuck. If you have loose abdominal muscles and/or excess skin in addition to excess fat, Dr. Garcia can help you regain a sleeker, more sculpted and manly physique.
Preparing for Your Tummy Tuck
Abdominoplasty is major surgery. You will need to prepare your body to be in the best shape possible to minimize complications, such as those due to anesthesia, bleeding, bruising and infections. You should stop smoking at least two weeks before your surgery, as tobacco consumption inhibits efficient healing.
Dr. Garcia will give you a list of medications and supplements to avoid, such as aspirin, NSAIDs, gingko biloba, ginger and garlic. These can thin the blood, increasing the risk of bleeding and bruising. He will also recommend you begin taking the herb arnica to promote healing after your surgery.
What Happens During a Tummy Tuck
Depending on how much fat and loose skin you have, Dr. Garcia will either recommend a regular tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck. Mini tucks are usually performed just for loose skin.
During a regular tummy tuck, Dr. Garcia will make the initial incision above the public bone from hipbone to hipbone. If the navel is going to be moved, it will also be incised. Dr. Garcia then moves the navel; tightens and repositions the muscles; and stretches, re-drapes, trims and sutures the skin.
In a mini tuck, only the area above the public bone will be incised. The excess skin is stretched and trimmed, and then stitched into place.
Most tummy tuck surgeries take between two and five hours. A mini tuck may only take an hour or two. If liposuction is part of the procedure, additional time may be needed.
All tummy tucks result in a scar. These can later be treated with chemical peels and/or lasers to minimize their appearance, if desired.
Call in Your Favors
There's a reason why our abdominal muscles are referred to as our “core” muscles. The abdominal muscles help support the organs and keep the lower back straight and strong. We use them to help breathe, stand, sit, and lift.
After your surgery, your abdominal muscles will be weak and sore – even if they were not tightened during the operation. Therefore, you will be extremely limited in the kinds of activities in which you can engage. You will need intensive help the first day or two after your surgery, including a ride home from the hospital.
You will continue to need help over the next two weeks, as you will not be able to cook, clean, work, or do every-day tasks.
If you have children, you will need to arrange for childcare. After two weeks, you may begin adding in non-strenuous activities, but you still will need help caring for yourself and your children (if any) and pets (if any).
After four to six weeks, you can begin slowly returning to your normal activities and may even be able to return to work. However, you may still feel stiff and may have trouble moving, stretching and/or bending.
A Tummy Tuck Is Your Reward
After all you've done to keep yourself healthy and fit, a tummy tuck Las Vegas can help you feel good about your body again. The combination of liposuction Henderson and plastic surgery Las Vegas Nevada can bring you back to a more youthful and vibrant figure that reflects the vitality you feel. With fewer fat cells in your abdomen and newly tightened abdominal muscles, as long as you maintain a healthy exercise routine and diet, the benefits of a tummy tuck can keep your body looking sleek and young for decades to come.