Most of us desire a flat and tight abdomen. Naturally, as we age, endure pregnancy or experience considerable weight loss, etc., our stomach muscles become loose and our skin droopy. A tummy tuck (medical term: abdominoplasty) can help us achieve a slimmer, more youthful appearance in our abdominal area.
Medical Benefits of Tummy Tuck Surgery
Aside from providing the cosmetic benefits of a flatter stomach to those who have worked hard to lose a fair amount of weight and moms who want their “pre-baby body back,” a tummy tuck offers several medical benefits.
Better posture: Extreme weight loss and multiple pregnancies often result in distended stomach muscles which no amount of exercise or diet will help. A tummy tuck surgically tightens weak muscles while also removing excess fat and skin, resulting in a flatter abdomen. Tighter stomach muscles can improve an individual’s posture due to the fact that their tightened abdominal muscles are better able to support their spine. This additional support and better posture may help relieve some types of back pain.
Correcting ventral hernias: Both men and women who lose a great deal of weight, who undergo a Caesarean section (women only) or an appendectomy may experience a ventral hernia, which occurs when abdominal tissue or an intestine breaks through the abdominal wall, forming a sack or pocket. These types of hernias often recur after traditional hernia repair, and so a surgeon may decide to perform an abdominoplasty while performing hernia repair surgery to strengthen the abdominal wall.
Reduction in urinary incontinence: Many new moms report that they develop what is known as Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) after giving birth vaginally. SUI is a bladder control issue, with urinary leakage brought on when the woman exercises, sneezes, coughs, or even laughs. Most cases of SUI are treated non-surgically, but several studies suggest that a tummy tuck can help with SUI for those women who need a more invasive treatment.
What to Expect During Your Tummy Tuck Surgery
An abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that Dr. Bonnor performs in an outpatient setting using a general anesthetic. Dr. Bonnor will discuss this and what your surgery entails thoroughly with you before your tummy tuck. During the surgery, Dr. Bonnor makes incisions to remove most of the fat and skin between your navel and pubic hair. He will tighten your fascia (fibrous tissue that lies over your abdominal muscles) with sutures.Once he’s removed your excess abdominal fat and skin, Dr. Bonnor repositions your skin around your navel, bringing your navel out via a small incision and then suturing it in its normal position. He’ll stitch the incision on your abdomen so that it leaves a minimal scar which will be hidden within your natural crease that’s located within your “bikini line.” Tummy tuck surgeries combined with liposuction generally take about three to four hours.
Recovery After a Tummy Tuck
Dr. Bonnor and his team will place bandages and/or dressing on your incision and place a compression garment or elastic bandage to minimize swelling and to help support your abdomen in healing. Dr. Bonnor will thoroughly explain how to care for your scar. You’ll wear a supportive abdominal garment for about six weeks to give some support to your abdomen area while you heal. You’ll need to be aware of your movements – such as bending at your waist – for about three months after your surgery and you’ll be scheduling follow-up visits for about six months so that Dr. Bonnor can check on your progress.
Tummy Tucks Aren’t a Substitute for Diet/Exercise
Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure to tighten underlying abdominal muscles and remove loose skin of the lower abdomen. It is not a procedure for losing weight. If you’re looking to lose extra weight, you should follow a proper and healthy weight loss diet and participate in an appropriate exercise program first.Tummy tuck results usually are “permanent,” but if you gain a good amount of weight afterwards you’ll undoubtedly find that your tummy grows as well. Women who are planning to become pregnant should postpone a tummy tuck until they are finished bearing children.