Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure done to remove loose, drooping skin from the midsection. This procedure addresses fat deposits, stretch marks and weakened abdominal muscles, repairing them to create a taut tummy with contours that are proportionate to the hips and thighs. Tummy tucks leave the patient with a firmer stomach and youthful figure and are often beneficial for women who have given birth.

Who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck?

Your surgeon will go over your medical history in detail during your initial consultation to ensure your candidacy. Additionally, in order to be considered a good candidate for a tummy tuck you must be in overall good health but posses droopy skin around the abdomen. Those who carry excess weight in their midsection no matter how much they exercise or maintain a healthy diet are also good candidates for an abdominoplasty. Furthermore, people who have lost a significant amount of weight or given birth and lost most of their baby weight but find their abdominal muscles have weakened and there is loose skin in abundance can benefit from a tummy tuck.

What is the recovery from abdominoplasty like?

After undergoing abdominoplasty you will need to take time off work to recover. It is recommended that you take at least 2-3 weeks off before returning to your job to give your body a chance to heal. Do not attempt any strenuous exercise for at least six weeks but you should be going on light walks daily to improve blood flow.

You will need to wear a compression garment for the first 1-2 months after your surgery. Your surgeon will let you know the make or model that you should be wearing. Painkillers and antibiotics (if needed) will be prescribed to you for pain management. Do not take anything that has not been cleared by your doctor. Even the most harmless of over-the-counter medications can interfere with healing so it’s best to ask your surgeon before you take anything that they haven’t prescribed.

Finally, smokers must quit at least two weeks prior to their tummy tuck. Smoking minimizes the oxygen supply to the brain which impedes healing, so it’s imperative that you also remain smoke free during your recovery.

What to look for in a surgeon

In Canada, there is only one recognized body of plastic surgeons, the Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (CSAPS). Your surgeon must be a member of CSAPS and be certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Members of CSAPS are held to high ethical and professional standards and must have impeccable bedside manner. This means that your surgeon must make you feel comfortable and harbour trust.

Here are three questions you can ask potential surgeons to see if they’re worthy of performing your tummy tuck:

Where did you complete your surgical training?

How many abdominoplasties have you performed?

What’s the key to a healthy recovery?

What happens during a tummy tuck?

Prior to the surgery, you will be given anesthesia for your comfort. Then your surgeon will make an incision that reaches from hipbone to hipbone above the pubic areas. Don’t worry, these incisions are done in that area so they can be concealed by underwear and bathing suits. Once the incisions are made, your surgeon will excise skin and fat from the abdomen and tighten the underlying muscles. Liposuction may be used as well and in some cases, it may be enough to remove the excess skin and fat from the abdomen.

Many people combine a tummy tuck with arm and thigh lifts, butt lifts, breast lifts and other body sculpting procedures. Many surgeons offer Mommy Makeovers which involve multiple body shaping surgeries that women who have given birth would benefit from.

You can give birth following a tummy tuck but you must wait at least a year. Generally, abdominoplasty is performed on women who aren’t planning on having any more children. You must also have lost most of the baby weight before getting a tummy tuck.

There is no gender limit for abdominoplasty. Men who have undergone bariatric surgery or have lost a significant amount of weight can have an abdominoplasty to remove the excess skin from the area. Furthermore, men who have loose skin around the abdomen caused by genetics can also have this surgery.

You will lose some weight after the procedure because excess skin and tissue will be removed from the abdomen but a tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure. The results of a tummy tuck are permanent but you will need to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle following your surgery.