Common Tummy Tuck Myths
Abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a popular procedure, largely done by women, to flatten the abdomen and increase muscle tone. Since it’s a relatively invasive surgery, it’s not a decision to make lightly. There are a lot of common tummy tuck myths out there. Consider the facts and determine whether you are a candidate for this surgery in an informed way.
MYTH: There is only one kind of tummy tuck procedure.
FACT: There are several different procedures, all of which offer different results for different patients. The three most common are:
- Full abdominoplasty. An incision is made from hip to hip, the musculature is tightened with sutures, a portion of excess skin and fat is permanently removed, and the incision is sutured. Drains are usually installed to drain fluids as the incision heals. The patient also gets a new, higher, belly button since their old belly button is removed in the surgery. Liposuction is also often used to smooth out the hips and transition zone.
- Partial abdominoplasty. This is just a less invasive version of the full tummy tuck, with a smaller incision and, sometimes, without drains.
- Extended abdominoplasty. The extended TT surgery involves a full circumferential incision around the lower abdomen, removal of excess skin and fat, tightening of the musculature, and an overall lift effect. Even the thighs and buttocks are lifted in this procedure. This process is more invasive and can be more painful, especially since the patient can’t lie in any position without laying on the incision. The dramatic results are often worth the pain and sacrifice, however.
MYTH: You can’t get pregnant after a tummy tuck.
FACT: There is no proven risk to getting pregnant after a tummy tuck. Doctors will often recommend that you wait until you are done having children to get this procedure done, but that is largely because pregnancy is likely to ruin your results, which is a waste of money and all the inconvenience and pain of recovery. From a safety standpoint, however, if you should find yourself pregnant after a tummy tuck, make sure your OBGYN is aware, but don’t worry too much about it.
MYTH: Tummy tuck scars are ugly and embarrassing.
FACT: A good surgeon will suture in a way that, over time, will make your scars very small and hard to see. Some people will have thicker and more obvious scarring, but most will be pleasantly surprised at the way their scars heal. Some describe theirs as a “little white line” and some say that they forget they even have a scar after a while. However, it does take some time for a TT scar to
fully heal. It can take up to a year or even more for it to flatten out and lose color. So be patient and don’t panic.
MYTH: Tummy Tucks can make you skinny.
FACT: While some fat can be removed during surgery, and while the surgeon often performs liposuction as well, TT surgery should only be known as a “contouring” procedure. The very most that a patient can lose from surgery is 20-25 pounds, although that’s not typical. Most patients will lose between 8-10 pounds. For all the expense and risk, it’s better to hit the gym and cut back on calories if weight loss is your goal. However, if you are looking simply for a better shape and fewer bumps and bulges, a TT might be the right choice.
MYTH: It takes months to fully recover from a tummy tuck.
FACT: While there can be complications such as necrotizing fasciitis (dying tissue around the incision site) or infection, most people heal more quickly than you might expect. With pain medications and rest, you can be back at work within ten days of the surgery with minimal discomfort. Again, healing time varies greatly, but most patients find that they can be back to their normal routines relatively quickly.
MYTH: You will see full results within a month or so.
FACT: Understanding the results will go a long way in mentally preparing for tummy tuck surgery. Unfortunately, because the body has gone through so much trauma, there is a period of swelling that can last for months. Some patients report significant weight gain due to swelling, and this period has been affectionately called “swell hell.”
This is why drains are installed, to help alleviate some of this reactive swelling, and the compression garments you are given after the surgery will help quite a bit as well. You should wait six months before judging your tummy tuck results, after which many patients find their new bodies miraculously emerging.
While there is a lot of research to do on the misconceptions about tummy tucks and the results, this procedure can be helpful to many people. It’s worth the time to find the right doctor and ask all the right questions about what you don’t know about tummy tucks. If you want that beach body ready to go, consider talking to your physician about a tummy tuck!
MYTH: Diet and exercise may help you look better after a belly tuck.
FACT: Diet and exercise are widely recognized as the most efficient weapons in your toolkit for reducing weight, developing muscle, and enhancing your general health and wellness when it comes to achieving the thinner and sleeker stomach you seek.
While everyone should make healthy food and regular exercise a part of their daily routine, traditional weight reduction techniques still have certain limits in terms of the outcomes they may achieve. No matter how much time or effort you put into these efforts, you cannot control where the weight will come from, and even after reaching your ideal weight, you can still experience problems with a stubborn stomach.
Additionally, there are some cosmetic issues that healthy nutrition and exercise alone simply cannot solve. In most cases, excess or stretched abdominal skin cannot be tightened or reversed without surgical intervention, particularly when it is brought on by pregnancy or significant weight reduction.
In addition to weakening the abdominal muscles and stretching the inner girdle of connective tissues known as the abdominal fascia, childbearing and considerable weight changes only serve to accentuate the appearance of a protruding belly. The only option to regain a tight and young waistline is through stomach tuck surgery if your skin, abdominal wall, or fascia have been stretched.
MYTH: Only women can have tummy tucks.
FACT: With 152,446 women having the treatment, tummy tuck surgery was the fourth most popular cosmetic surgery among women in 2018. Because of the numerous permanent changes to the abdomen that come along with pregnancy and delivery, such as stretched skin and abdominal muscles, abdominoplasty has long been a very popular cosmetic choice for women.
Tummy tucks are commonly a part of “mommy makeover” treatments, which are a comprehensive range of cosmetic procedures carried out concurrently to assist women in getting back to their pre-baby bodies and men in getting back to a slimmer physique.
While women did account for 96.8% of all stomach tuck procedures carried out in 2018, guys can also gain from this treatment. The fifth-most common cosmetic procedure for males in 2018 was a tummy tuck. Men may not have to worry about the physical changes that women’s bodies go through during pregnancy, but they may nonetheless wind up with a “dad bod” in some cases.
Men who have persistent belly fat or loose skin may feel self-conscious about their waistline due to heredity or major weight reduction. Whether you’re a man or a woman, a tummy tuck will tighten and tone the curves of your abdomen so that garments fit better and that you can once again proudly show off a fit and young stomach.
MYTH: The idea that you are too old for a belly tuck
FACT: Age really is only a number when it comes to cosmetic surgery. While patients who got stomach tuck surgery in 2018 were mostly in their 35th to 50th year (56.3%), four percent were above the age of 65 and 21% were in their 51st to 64th year.
There is no wrong age to choose to get a stomach tuck; nevertheless, there are more important aspects that your board-certified plastic surgeon will take into account when deciding your eligibility for the treatment.
Patients should be…
- Physically fit. To avoid difficulties, you must be physically fit before having invasive surgery.
- Not a smoker. Smoking might delay recovery or lead to major issues both during and after your belly tuck procedure. If you smoke, you must stop two months before to and two months after the treatment.
- At a healthy weight. The goal of a tummy tuck is not to address obesity or cause considerable weight reduction.
- Reasonable in their expectations. While a stomach tuck will significantly improve your abdominal shape and have long-lasting effects, no cosmetic procedure will stop the aging process, achieve perfection, or completely conceal a bigger core abdominal form.
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