Considering plastic surgery can feel like a daunting decision, particularly when the entire process can feel so foreign to many of us. Perhaps you’ve never come across formal terms such as an ‘abdominoplasty’, but many plastic surgery procedures are more common and easy to understand than you might think. An abdominoplasty (known more commonly as a ‘tummy tuck’) is one of the most staple procedures in plastic surgery, yet many people don’t have a lot of knowledge about what it entails.
This blog will go through some of the most frequently asked questions about tummy tucks. If you think a tummy tuck is a viable option for you, book a consultation with Ashton Plastic Surgery and receive some personalised advice.
What Exactly is an Abdominoplasty?
An Abdominoplasty is a plastic surgery procedure designed to shape and tone the abdomen. The procedure involves removing excess fat and skin from the lower abdomen and belly, slimming the torso, and creating an overall firmer physique. Once the excess is removed, muscles are then brought closer together and connective tissues are tightened with the use of sutures. An abdominoplasty is performed under anaesthesia.
What is the Tummy Tuck Process?
When it comes to a procedure like this, it’s important to understand what the before and after will look like, as well as understanding the surgery itself. There are specific protocols that need to be followed in preparation for a tummy tuck, as well as a few tips and tricks that will help back the recovery process easier. Here’s a breakdown of what the entire procedure process may look like for a patient:
The better the physical condition you get yourself in before the procedure, the quicker your recovery will be. In the lead-up to a tummy tuck, it’s important to get yourself as fit as possible and to try and reach your ideal weight goals – remember, an abdominoplasty isn’t a replacement for weight loss, it’s to remove the unwanted excess from your abdomen. Your surgeon may recommend specific medications or lifestyle habits (such as smoking) be adjusted in preparation for the procedure and going under anaesthetics. Practically, it would be smart to prepare your home for your recovery before going in for the procedure. Preparing ice packs, discussing anti-biotics with your surgeon, and preparing a comfortable spot with the essentials nearby will make your post-procedure experience endlessly easier.
Typically, an abdominoplasty will take place in a day-procedure clinic or hospital, all depending on the complexity of the procedure and whether the patient requires care across several days following. Be sure to arrange for a friend or family member to drop you off and pick you up from the clinic or hospital, as you won’t be able to drive yourself afterwards.
If undergoing a day-procedure, you’ll need to organise a friend or family member to stay with you for at least 24 hours following the surgery. Your plastic surgeon will provide detailed instructions on post-operative care, and there will likely be dressings or bandages you’ll need to be applying to your incisions. The healing process may look different for every patient – compression garments might be needed to help minimise swelling, or there may be temporary tubes placed under the skin to help drain excess fluid. All recovery needs will be tailored to your body and explained by your surgeon. Most importantly, it is vital to keep yourself comfortable and follow instructions.
Who can get an Abdominoplasty?
There are a few specific guidelines for people considering an abdominoplasty, and it may not be suitable for everyone. The procedure is ideal for people who are at a stable and healthy weight, aware of the realistic outcomes, and are looking to shed some of the stubborn excess skin/fat on their abdomen.
An abdominoplasty may not be suitable for anyone unable to have an anaesthetic, at a high risk of surgical complications, or looking for a substitute for a weight loss program. People planning to get pregnant in the future may also be recommended to delay the procedure, as pregnancy may lose the effects of the surgery. Anyone considering plastic surgery should discuss it at length with a professional and see what’s going to work best for them.
What are the Risks and Benefits?
Like any procedure, there are always going to be risks. When deciding if a tummy tuck is right for you, it’s important to do your research into every consequence of the surgery and decide what is going to be best for your body. Some of the potential risks involved with a tummy tuck include:
- Pain and discomfort
- Wound infection
- Prominent and itchy scarring
- Difficulty bending forward
- Blood clotting that will require further treatment
But, along with the potential surgical risks, there are various benefits to an abdominoplasty that have made it a common and popular procedure. These include:
- Boosted confidence
- Improved function of abdominal muscles
- Reduction of bulging as a result of excess fat and skin
- Reversing of physical abnormalities as a result of pregnancy, weight loss, or various diseases
Interested in a Tummy Tuck Procedure?
Plastic surgery can be a big decision, but taking the time to understand the process and all the risks involved is the first time to finding out if it may be right for you. If you’re considering an abdominoplasty, or are simply interested in finding out more about if the procedure may be a viable option for your body, Ashton Plastic Surgery is ready to step in and help you on your journey.
Book an appointment with Dr. Mark Ashton today to find out if a tummy tuck is best for you.