Who is a candidate for a tummy tuck?
First things first, it is important to put in mind that not everyone may be a candidate for a tummy tuck. Plastic surgeons have the following requirements for you to qualify for this treatment:
- You are in good physical and emotional health
- You are concerned about the appearance of your abdomen
- You are able to take some time off work
- You have realistic expectations about the outcome of this treatment
Cosmetic reasons for having a tummy tuck
The majority of abdominoplasty procedures are conducted in order to meet aesthetic goals such as:
- Improve self-confidence – many people who have a sagging abdomen tend to be embarrassed about it. They may feel self-conscious while wearing some outfits, or while at the beach or the pool. An unpleasant abdominal appearance may also result in a low sense of self-image and reduced self-esteem. A tummy tuck alleviates these concerns to reveal a firmer and flatter abdominal appearance that you are proud of. This results in a better sense of self-image and improved self-confidence.
- Remove excess fat and skin – pregnancy and fluctuations in weight can result in loss of elasticity of abdominal skin. Once the skin is stretched, it’s almost impossible to revert it to its original tightened appearance with diet and exercise alone. Excess abdominal fat may also build-up due to weight fluctuations. A tummy tuck addresses both of these concerns to reveal a well-contoured and slimmer abdominal profile.
- Remove scars – A key bonus of abdominoplasty procedure is that it can help remove existing scars from the midsection area. Many women who have tried to conceal their c-section or hysterectomy scars under swimsuits will be pleased to have them removed altogether with a tummy tuck. Similarly, scars resulting from an appendectomy, accidents, or hernia surgeries can be removed to reveal a smoother and flawless abdominal skin appearance.
Medical reasons for having a tummy tuck
A small proportion of abdominoplasty patients have this treatment for medical reasons:
- Repair a hernia – a hernia occurs when an organ pushes through an opening in muscle tissue that keeps it in place. Hernias that occur in the abdomen tend to be non-threatening. However, they do not resolve by themselves and often need the intervention of a plastic surgeon. Where possible, the surgeon will perform a tummy tuck to address the hernia. This means that you get to address the issue while also attaining the other benefits of a tummy tuck.
- Improve urinary incontinence – urinary incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine. This occurs due to excessive pressure on the bladder and urethra. Side effects include uncontrollable bladder leakage that is usually prompted by everyday actions such as coughing, exercising, sneezing, and laughing. While urinary incontinence may be treated non-surgically, studies have also shown that a tummy tuck can improve this bladder condition.
- Resolve diastasis recti – diastasis rectus is the partial or total separation of the abdominal muscles. This condition is very common during and after pregnancy, but may also affect men and newborn babies. Symptoms of diastasis rectus include constipation, bloating, poor posture, and lower back pain. Since abdominoplasty involves tightening the abdominal muscles, it provides relief for patients who are affected by this condition.
- Improve posture and decrease back pain – pregnancy and childbearing often lead to the separating or weakening of abdominal muscles. This usually results in posture and back pain problems. A tummy tuck removes excess fat and skin while also strengthening these weakened muscles. This ensures that they are strong enough to provide the necessary support and reduce back pain.
Plastic surgeons have different types of abdominoplasty to suit the needs of various patients. For instance, if you are looking to alleviate a mild pooch in the lower abdomen, a mini tummy tuck will suffice. Patients who need to improve the appearance of both the lower and upper abdomen will need a full or standard tummy tuck. A more extensive type of abdominoplasty known as extended tummy tuck is designed to contour the entire abdomen, flanks, and hips.
Different surgical techniques