You can expect a flatter, slimmer abdomen after your tummy tuck surgery. The muscles beneath your abdominal skin will be tightened and strengthened, and any flabby excess skin will be removed. This will make your profile more attractive and will even make clothing fit better.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
Also known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck can help you achieve a flatter, more toned stomach. The procedure itself targets loose, hanging skin on the abdomen — often caused by pregnancy, aging, or significant weight loss.
When the excess skin cannot be fixed through diet or exercise, a tummy tuck is often the only viable solution. The procedure itself will repair weakened abdominal muscles and tighten abdominal skin while removing any excess. When combined with liposuction, it can even reduce small pockets of stubborn tummy fat. The result of your tummy tuck surgery will be a slimmer, smoother abdomen with minimal visible scarring.
Benefits of Tummy Tuck
Tummy tucks offer numerous benefits.
The removal of excess skin on the abdomen can make many areas of life easier. Often, tummy tuck patients say they love exercising and have far more mobility and stamina once they’ve had their excess abdominal skin removed. This can, in turn, spur on an even healthier lifestyle and motivate patients to continue exercising and eating right.
Weakened abdominal muscles and cumbersome excess skin are often associated with lordosis (also called sway back). Through the tightening of the abdominal muscles during tummy tuck surgery, this and other posture issues are often rectified. Stronger core muscles will better support the spine and can even improve back pain.
Lastly, getting rid of loose tummy skin and smoothing and tightening the abdominal muscles can greatly improve your confidence. It can make wearing clothes, going to the beach, and being intimate with your partner far more comfortable and relaxed.
Ideal Candidates for Tummy Tuck
In order to be an ideal candidate for tummy tuck surgery, it is important that you be physically healthy and at a healthy stable weight. Your core desire should be to get rid of excess hanging skin on the abdomen, which is otherwise impossible to reduce through diet and exercise. If you are a woman, it is also important that you be finished having children before getting a tummy tuck.
Finally, you should have realistic expectations when it comes to your results. Keep in mind that tummy tucks are not weight loss procedures. Their main purpose is to repair weakened abdominal muscles and get rid of loose skin. If you would like to reduce stubborn abdominal fat, liposuction is an option.
Surgery Preparation for Tummy Tuck
If you are interested in a tummy tuck, book a consultation appointment with Dr. Aghayan. At your appointment, the two of you will go over your medical history together, so remember to bring your medical records, including any current medications or supplements you are taking or treatment you are undergoing.
In some cases, Dr. Aghayan may want you to get some lab tests or medical evaluations. As the date of your surgery nears, he may also ask you to adjust your current medications or supplements, stop smoking, and stop drinking. All patients and procedures are different, so you will receive personalized surgery prep instructions from Dr. Aghayan.
Before and After Images
Tummy Tuck Procedure Details
Tummy tucks are typically performed as outpatient procedures, which means you should be able to go home on the same day as your surgery.
In general, all tummy tucks will follow the same pattern during surgery:
All tummy tuck surgeries are performed under general anesthesia.
Dr. Aghayan will decide on the placement of the necessary incisions before surgery. For most full tummy tucks, the main incision is made just above the pubic hairline and below the navel.
When an individual has severe hanging skin, they may benefit from an extended tummy tuck, which means a hip to hip scar will be necessary. Smaller incisions can be used for those with minimal skin laxity.
If skin in the upper abdomen needs to be removed, a secondary incision may be made around the belly button.
The abdominal muscles are repaired and tightened.
The abdominal skin is pulled down, and the excess is cut off. When necessary, a small incision is made in the appropriate location for the new placement of the belly button.
Finally, the incisions will be carefully secured with skin adhesives, clips, tapes, or sutures.
Tummy Tuck Risks and Complications
Abdominoplasty is an extremely common procedure, and the vast majority of patients do not have issues with their recovery. At the same time, as with any surgery, there are some risks and complications that all patients should be aware of. These include:
Tummy Tuck Recovery
Once your tummy tuck surgery is over, you will be closely monitored until you are discharged. It’s important to have someone you trust pick you up to take you home as driving will be impossible, and it will also be a challenge to walk and stand at first.
You will be given compression garments to wear and detailed post-operative instructions to follow. It is critical that you closely follow these instructions, as failure to do so may result in poor wound healing, poor scarring, undesired results, and even infection or further injury.
The first few days after surgery will be the most difficult, so it’s important to take it easy and rest. Do not lift heavy objects or perform any strenuous activities. As you attend your postoperative appointments with Dr. Aghayan, he will let you know when you can resume normal activity. General daily activities should be able to recommence about two weeks after surgery. You can expect to start exercising around eight weeks post-op.
Tummy tucks are often combined with procedures such as:
Liposuction is the most common cosmetic procedure to be combined with a tummy tuck. This is largely because the procedure can be performed at the same time as a tummy tuck and targets the same area. Many patients who seek removal of excess skin on the abdomen are also concerned about small bits of fat located in a “pooch” in the lower abdomen. Liposuction can take care of this.
If excess skin is a problem on the abdomen, it can sometimes be an issue elsewhere in the body as well. This is often the case for patients who have recently undergone significant weight loss. Excess skin on the upper arms, back, thighs, and buttocks can also be reduced with the aid of body contouring procedures such as lower body lifts or thigh lifts.
Tummy tucks are usually one of the main procedures for mommy makeovers.
Mommy makeovers are compound cosmetic surgeries that involve several different procedures. Together, they can help a mom who is finished having children reclaim her pre-baby body. Because the skin on the stomach is stretched so significantly during pregnancy, it often hangs loose and sagging after birth. A mommy makeover tummy tuck can get rid of this excess skin give mom her confidence back.
Tummy Tuck FAQ
These are the most common questions we receive about tummy tucks.
What type of tummy tuck should I get?
There are three main types of tummy tucks: full, extended, and mini. If excess skin is a problem on both the upper and lower abdomen, a full tummy tuck will be necessary to produce the best results. An extended tummy tuck is best for those who would like to also address problems of excess skin on the upper thighs and hips. Finally, a mini tummy tuck can help best with what you might call a belly “pooch” — a small area of excess skin just below the belly button.
How much do you have to weigh to get a tummy tuck?
You should be at a healthy stable weight for your age, sex, and body type prior to surgery.
What is better liposuction or a tummy tuck?
This isn’t a simple question to answer because the two procedures are entirely different. Even though they are often combined within body contouring procedures and mommy makeovers, they produce very different results.
Liposuction aims to reduce small pockets of stubborn fat — usually located in the abdomen but sometimes located elsewhere like the upper arms, thighs, buttocks, and flanks. Tummy tucks, on the other hand, get rid of excess abdominal skin and strengthen weakened or separated abdominal muscles.
What is the age limit for a tummy tuck?
Tummy tucks can be performed on both adult men and women, and there really is no age limit. Any age can be the right age. With that said, women usually make up the majority of tummy tuck patients, and they tend to seek this procedure in their late 30s and early 40s when they reach a point in life where they do not plan to have more children.
How much weight do you lose with a tummy tuck?
You should not expect to lose weight with a tummy tuck as it is not a weight loss procedure. In fact, we would like you to be at a healthy, stable weight prior to your surgery. If you are interested in losing small amounts of fat on your abdomen, tummy tuck surgeries are often combined with liposuction.
Can you gain belly fat after a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck itself does not remove fat from the belly. When combined with liposuction, however, you can reduce small pockets of belly fat. During the liposuction process, fat cells will be permanently removed, which means they will never return.
However, this does not mean that you cannot regain weight in your belly after a tummy tuck-liposuction contouring procedure. If your weight is not managed properly through a healthy diet and regular exercise, it is still possible for the remaining fat cells in your abdomen to expand.
What qualifies you for a tummy tuck?
Tummy tuck patients have loose, hanging skin on their abdomens that they would like to get rid of. Before you can qualify for the surgery, however, it is important that you are in good overall physical health and that you have realistic expectations concerning the outcome of your procedure.
Many candidates for tummy tuck surgery are moms who are done having children and would like to regain their pre-baby tummy. Many others are those who have recently achieved significant weight loss, either through diet and exercise or weight loss surgery. Of course, anyone may benefit from a tummy tuck. Sometimes, time and gravity are the simple culprits that cause loose abdominal skin in older adults.
How painful is a tummy tuck?
Tummy tucks are performed under general anesthesia, so during your surgery, you will not feel pain. After your tummy tuck, it is common to experience some discomfort near the treated area. Pain will vary from patient to patient and will likely be worst in the first three days after surgery.
Following treatment, you should follow the postoperative instructions given to you by Dr. Aghayan in order to mitigate pain. Overall discomfort will reduce as time goes on and swelling and inflammation go down.
What do tummy tuck scars look like?
Any type of invasive surgery involving incisions will necessarily result in some minimal scarring. Naturally, what tummy tuck scars you have after surgery will depend on where your incisions were made.
Low horizontal scars along the pubic hair line will be lightly visible, but you can mitigate the appearance of this and other scars by following the postoperative instructions given to you by Dr. Aghayan closely.
Furthermore, keep in mind that such a low horizontal scar will be invisible in most clothing, including underwear and bikini bottoms.
Can I get pregnant after a tummy tuck?
It is strongly encouraged that female patients wait to get a tummy tuck until after they are finished having children. This isn’t because a tummy tuck will affect your ability to conceive or because it will pose any great risk to yourself or your baby. Rather, it is because pregnancy after a tummy tuck may hinder your results.
If you do end up pregnant after your tummy tuck, it is possible to have revision surgery after the birth of your child and once you have finished breastfeeding for at least six months.