A tummy tuck is a plastic surgery procedure that removes excess fat and skin from the abdominal area and the underlying muscles may also be tightened. The goal is to rejuvenate the tummy, making it tighter, sleeker and more toned.
Best Time for a Tummy Tuck
If you have excess fat on your abdomen that has not responded to diet and exercise, plus loose or sagging skin, you may be a candidate for an abdominoplasty. There are many factors that can create a protruding abdomen with loose skin, including:
- Pregnancy, particularly multiple pregnancies
- Prior surgery that weakened the abdominal muscles
- Significant weight loss or weight fluctuations
What Can a Tummy Tuck Do?
A tummy tuck is not a weight-loss procedure. It is a body-contouring surgery that works best when you are not far from your ideal weight, but cannot lose stubborn abdominal fat through regular diet and exercise, plus have sagging or poor-quality skin.
In the professional, artistic hands of Dr. Julio Garcia, a Henderson plastic surgeon, your tummy tuck will give you a more toned and youthful appearance, removing inches of fat and excess skin. The results of your tummy tuck will be permanent as long as you maintain your weight through a healthy diet and exercise program. Fluctuations in weight can undo the benefits of a tummy tuck, so you must be committed to a healthy lifestyle.
Is a Tummy Tuck for You?
If you have excess abdominal fat and are considering a tummy tuck, this may be the right procedure for you if:
- You have finished your family (a pregnancy could undo the benefits of a tummy tuck)
- You are at or close to a healthy weight
- You are committed to a healthy lifestyle that will help maintain your tummy tuck's benefits over the long term
- Your abdominal muscles are loose or flabby
- You have loose or sagging abdominal skin
- You have poor quality, inelastic skin
Tummy Tuck Vs. Liposuction
Sometimes patients wonder whether they really need a tummy tuck or instead can rejuvenate and tone their tummies with liposuction alone. The main reason to choose a tummy tuck over liposuction has to do with the quality of your skin. If you have excess skin or inelastic skin, removing the fat that is supporting it will make your abdomen look worse, not better.
As part of your initial evaluation, Dr. Garcia will evaluate the type and amount of fat you have as well as the quality of your skin. Depending on his findings, he may recommend you for only liposuction, for only a tummy tuck, or for a tummy tuck with extra fat removal via liposuction. In the last case, patients with excessive fat will undergo liposuction first and then receive a tummy tuck a few months later to remove loose skin and tighten the abdominal muscles. A tummy tuck may also be done as part of a Mommy Makeover, which often includes a breast lift and/or breast augmentation.
Preparing for a Tummy Tuck
During your consultation, Dr. Garcia will walk you through the entire procedure to ensure that you understand what outcomes you can expect. You may also discuss the benefits of additional procedures, like liposuction, or less invasive operations, like a mini-tummy tuck.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Dr. Garcia wants you to feel comfortable and confident that you are choosing the right procedure for yourself. He will provide specific guidelines about preparing for the surgery, such as what to eat and drink before, as well as which medications to take or avoid before surgery. Smoking impedes the natural healing process, so if you are a smoker, even occasionally, you should quit smoking at least two weeks before and after surgery.
Knowing the Risks
Although a tummy tuck results in a healthier appearance, it also results in a permanent scar, in some cases from hip to hip. If you have scarring from a previous adominoplasty, an additional procedure can make scarring worse. Any significant weight loss after a tummy tuck can result in loose skin that will require additional surgery to remove.
As with any surgical procedure, although rare, there are always risks involved. These risks include rare instances of infection or blood accumulation and poor healing, which leads to more noticeable scars. Dr. Garcia can help revise these scars later to look more inconspicuous.
To know more about your tummy tuck options and if it is it the right procedure to help you slim your contours, call Julio Garcia, MD, Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Clinic today for a consultation (702) 870-0058 . We welcome patients throughout the Las Vegas area including Henderson and Paradise, and throughout the world.