7 Things To Know Before Getting a Tummy Tuck

Woman after Tummy Tuck in Toledo, OH

Most people considering tummy tuck surgery at our Toledo, Ohio, practice feel self-conscious about excess abdominal skin that remains after pregnancy, significant weight loss, or aging. It’s a procedure with a high satisfaction rate among patients because it helps them feel confident about their bodies.

Even though abdominoplasty—typically called a tummy tuck—is one of the most popular body contouring procedures performed in the U.S., some patients may have some misconceptions about what’s involved in the surgery. With that in mind, here are 7 things you should know about tummy tuck surgery before scheduling a procedure:

1. A tummy tuck alone may not achieve your goals.

I take a global approach to body contouring at my Toledo practice. That means considering the entire body and not just the abdomen to create the results most patients want. A tummy tuck removes excess skin and repairs abdominal muscles separated during pregnancy (a condition called diastasis recti) but doesn’t contour the rest of the torso.

Many patients have excess fat on the “love handles” or unwanted bulges on the lower back. In those cases, I may recommend a body lift—which addresses excess skin on the flanks (or love handle area), in addition to the abdomen—along with liposuction to remove unwanted subcutaneous fat.

2. You may be a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck.

A mini tummy tuck is a procedure that’s appropriate for patients whose concerns are isolated to the area below the navel. A shorter horizontal incision is made along the lower abdomen than in a full tummy tuck. This option is something I discuss with patients during the consultation.

3. A tummy tuck is a major surgery that requires recovery time.

It’s important that tummy tuck patients know what to expect after surgery. You should plan on taking 10 to 14 days off work—more if your job requires lifting or is physically strenuous. Patients with young children have to avoid lifting them during the initial phase of recovery. It usually takes several weeks before you can resume a normal workout routine. That being said, the overwhelming majority of tummy tuck patients say the confidence they feel after a tummy tuck is well worth any discomfort they experience during the recuperation period.

4. Weight loss isn’t the goal of a tummy tuck.

Patients should be at or near the weight they intend to maintain before undergoing tummy tuck surgery. Removing excess skin creates a flatter stomach, but even if the procedure is combined with liposuction, it won’t result in significant weight loss. Significant weight fluctuations after a tummy tuck can compromise your results.

5. You should have realistic expectations.

Don’t compare your results to photos of celebrities or a friend who may have had a tummy tuck. Abdominoplasty can change the appearance of your stomach significantly, as seen in these before-and-after photos of actual patients, but you may not have a perfectly flat abdomen. You’ll also have a scar, which is usually easily concealed by bikini bottoms.

6. Prepare before surgery.

Returning home from your tummy tuck to a clean house and a “nest” where you’ll feel comfortable during the recovery can help minimize stress. You’ll also want to ensure you have a reliable network of family and friends who can help out during the recovery, cooking meals, taking care of children, running errands, and just lending a hand when needed. Getting enough rest is crucial to a successful recovery.

7. Your choice of plastic surgeon matters.

Even experienced plastic surgeons may not perform tummy tuck surgery very often. It’s important to choose a surgeon who devotes a significant amount of their practice to body contouring procedures and who customizes their approach for your specific concerns. I take a global approach when consulting with tummy tuck patients, enabling me to create results that look natural for each patient.

Women and men concerned about excess abdominal skin who want to learn more about their tummy tuck options can request a consultation using the online form or call (419) 534-6551 to schedule an appointment.

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