Are sit-ups not giving you the taut tummy you want? If you've got too much flab or excess skin in your abdomen that doesn't respond to diet or exercise, you may be considering a "tummy tuck," which doctors call "abdominoplasty."
This surgery flattens the abdomen by removing extra fat and skin, and tightening muscles in your abdominal wall.
A tummy tuck is suitable for men and women who are in good health.
Women who have had several pregnancies may find the procedure useful for tightening their abdominal muscles and reducing skin.
A tummy tuck is also an option for men or women who were once obese and still have excess fat deposits or loose skin around the belly.
Who Should Not Consider a Tummy Tuck?
If you're a woman who plans to get pregnant, then you may want to postpone a tummy tuck until you're done having children. During surgery, your vertical muscles are tightened, and future pregnancies can separate those muscles.
Are you planning to lose a lot of weight? Then a tummy tuck also is not for you. A tummy tuck should be a last resort after you've tried everything else. It should not be used as an alternative to weight loss.
You should also consider the appearance of scars after a tummy tuck. You can talk about scar placement and length with the doctor before the surgery.
Complete abdominoplasty. The surgeon will cut your abdomen from hipbone to hipbone and then contour the skin, tissue, and muscle as needed. The surgery will involve moving your belly button, and you may need drainage tubes under your skin for a few days.
Partial or mini abdominoplasty. Mini-abdominoplasties are often done on people whose fat deposits are located below the navel. During this procedure, the surgeon most likely will not move your belly button, and the procedure may only take up to two hours, depending on your case.
Taking Care of Yourself After Surgery
Whether you're having a partial or complete tummy tuck, the area that's operated on will be stitched and bandaged. It's very important to follow all your surgeon's instructions on how to care for the bandage in the days following surgery. The bandage used will be a firm, elastic band that promotes proper healing. Your surgeon will also instruct you on how to best position yourself while sitting or lying down to help ease pain.
You will have to severely limit strenuous activity for at least six weeks. You may need to take up to one month off work after the surgery to ensure proper recovery. Your doctor will advise you on what you need to do or not do.