A tummy tuck, known primarily as an abdominoplasty, is a form of plastic surgery that removes loose skin or extra fat from the abdominal region of men or women. The result is often the type of flatter, more toned stomach that many people long for.
Unlike conventional forms of weight loss such as diet or exercise, an abdominoplasty is an invasive, surgical procedure. During the operation, an incision is made across the stomach and both tissue and excess fat is removed from the lower abdomen so that the muscles and tissue around the abdominal wall can be tightened. The incision is then sewn shut.
The procedure is often a last resort for patients who have tried numerous other options for losing stomach fat. Likewise, individuals such as women who recently save birth or those with extra skin following dramatic weight loss are also prime candidates for the surgery.
No matter the reason for getting a tummy tuck, any potential patient considering it as an option needs to understand what he or she is getting into. There is preparation required prior to surgery and, perhaps more importantly, there is recovery time that must be accounted for.
One main aspect of preparation to consider is that most doctors advise that individuals who are preparing for the operation stop smoking or other forms of tobacco use for at least a month prior, and often times even longer.
The initial recovery from a tummy tuck can take anywhere in between a week and a month's time, although at times it can be longer. Patients are also advised that at least a portion of this period should be taken off work.
During the recovery, swelling, bruising and discomfort may be present at first and should diminish over time. An abdominal wrap or other form of compression dressing can also be worn to help with these symptoms. All heavy, strenuous activity should be avoided and most athletic activity should be shunned at least during the initial stages.
The overall, extended recovery period can extend through anywhere from three to six months in total, if not longer, yet the latter stages of this time is far less intensive. Patients are normally able to resume typical every-day activities during the latter months, but scars and some pain or swelling may still be present for several months before diminishing. Creams and other forms of over-the-counter treatments are often available to help with the treatment of lingering scars.
If you are hoping to slim out your midsection or regain that flat stomach you once had, a tummy tuck may suit your needs perfectly. Just be sure that you understand the procedure and know what you're getting into before going under the knife.