Tummy Tuck After Weight Loss

What is a Tummy Tuck?

After dramatic weight loss, one of the most problematic areas that still remain is your stomach. The loss of a dramatic amount of weight can leave you with a considerable amount of excess skin that can continue to look as though you are overweight. You may have also damaged your muscles causing them to separate.

Neither of these issues can be reversed without surgery.

A tummy tuck is the colloquial term for an abdominoplasty, which sculpts your stomach by reducing extra skin and fat, and tightens your abdominal muscles. It is common as both an individual surgery, as well as part of a larger full body lift.

What Problems Does it Fix?

Most importantly, a tummy tuck will remove the excess skin that remains on your stomach after your weight loss and repairs the damage to the placement of the abdominal muscles. These issues can be caused by aging, pregnancy, weight loss, or even a prior surgery. A tummy tuck will remove the excess skin and stretch marks, and tighten and flatten bulging abdominal muscles, and make your stomach look flat and smooth with a minimal amount of scarring.

Before and After Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty): Remove extra skin and fat, and tightens your abdominal muscles

The most common types of tummy tuck procedures are:

Full Tummy Tuck: A full tummy tuck procedure addresses issues with excess skin, stretch marks, excess fat and muscle issues. This procedure lifts and tightens the muscles in the tummy, creating a smooth clean line and a flat stomach.

Mini Tummy Tuck: The mini tummy tuck offers a similar procedure, but only on the lower half of the stomach. It is particularly appropriate for those who have an overhang which extends below the belly button. If the patient has no excess or sagging skin, and no stretch marks, this surgery is more appropriate.

Dermolipectomy: In some cases, a patients stomach muscles are functional and surgery to correct their appearance and performance is unnecessary. In this case dermolipectomy surgery is recommended. This surgery deals with the removal of excess skin without touching the muscles beneath.

Who is Right for the Surgery?

A tummy tuck is not a weight loss surgery on its own. It is a corrective surgery that will help you remove the excess skin and fat that weight loss cannot remove. As such, it is important that anyone who is looking to undergo this surgery should have achieved their ideal, stable weight before undergoing this surgery.

Candidates should be in good health, have given up smoking and any health or herbal supplements prior to surgery, and have had a physical assessment to ensure their body is capable of bouncing back from the surgery.

Procedure

The first step of an abdominoplasty is to make an incision between the pubic hair and belly button, where the muscles are then tightened, and excess tissue and skin is removed. A good plastic surgeon will be careful of how they treat the belly button and the placement of the scar, ensuring that when the incision is closed, the belly button is placed back into its original location, and the skin looks naturally smooth.

In order to achieve a smoother finish, surgeons complete a tighter stitching process in the lower layers of the abdominal tissue, and progressively get looser. This ensures the scars are kept to a minimum.

Risks and Complications

As with every surgery, there are always risks and the chances of complications arising during the surgery. Many of the risks are common for most surgeries, but some are specific for the procedure. The most common risks when a tummy tuck surgery has gone wrong include:

  • A loss of feeling and sensation in the area around the incision
  • Fluid collection around the surgical area
  • Infection
  • Skin loss
  • Excess bleeding
  • Scars
  • Asymmetrical replacement of the belly button

Recovery

  • Patients should not drive at all for four weeks after surgery.
  • Bed rest for the first five to seven days.
  • A compression garment is required to be worn for 24 a day, for two weeks post-surgery.
  • Patients should not return to work until three weeks after their surgery, and then, only to a desk job and only for part time hours.
  • Full recovery and return to normal routine should be expected by six weeks.

How Much Does A Tummy Tuck Cost?

The price of a tummy tuck will vary depending on how involved the procedure is, how much fat and skin needs to be removed from the body and how badly damaged the muscles underneath are that need to be repaired. The average cost will run between $6,000 and $9,000.

Make sure you research your options thoroughly. The cost of the surgery does not necessarily indicate the quality of the surgeon. A botched tummy tuck can result in serious post operative consequences including dark, thick, painful and unsightly scars, hematoma, infection followed by complications, loss of feeling around the area of operation and fluid collection.