What can a tummy tuck do and not do?
There are many of us who are not satisfied with the look of their abdomen – sometimes this is a result of factors that we can have some control over, and sometimes this is just the way we were born. Pregnancy and significant weight gain/loss can all have an impact on how firm and smooth the midriff is. Additionally, for some of us, the presence of more weight and softer, less supple skin around the optimum is purely down to genetics. Some people’s figures lend themselves to a leaner abdomen while others are not so fortunate and struggle to tone that area of the body.
Common reasons that people decide to opt for a tummy tuck include previous weight gain which has resulted in saggy skin, yo-yoing between weight gain and weight loss which can result in the same problem or multiple pregnancies where the skin around the abdomen has become stretched to such an extent that its natural elasticity is not able to restore the look of the abdomen to how the patient would like it. As you get older, collagen levels in the skin deplete and some men and women will notice a marked degree of skin sagging that fails to respond to diet and exercise.
A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure whereby excess fat and tissue are removed from beneath the skin and the abdominal wall is tightened to give a smoother firmer appearance. It is important not to mistake a tummy tuck procedure for a weight loss procedure. If you are carrying too much weight and are struggling to lose it then a tummy tuck is not necessarily the answer you are looking for.
Who is best suited for a tummy tuck?
Generally speaking, those who are most suited to a tummy tuck procedure are those who have excess, sagging skin and stubborn pockets of fat around the midriff that despite trying alternative methods such as diet and exercise, they are still not managing to shift.
There is also a condition known as rectus diastasis whereby the tummy muscles separate to accommodate a pregnancy or significant weight gain and then struggle to return to their original positioning. This can result in a gap between the abdominal muscles which can make a ‘pouch’ look more pronounced. There are exercises that can be done to strengthen the core and to try and encourage the muscles to join back together again. For some women, these exercises work effectively whereas others are left with a gap that will not fuse. A tummy tuck will be able to help where diet and exercise alone are not achieving the desired results.
Setting tummy tuck expectations
As a tummy tuck is not designed to help you lose weight it should be regarded more as a ‘contouring exercise’ and expectations should be set accordingly. Ideally, you will be at a stable, target weight before undergoing a tummy tuck.
Some patients choose to couple a tummy tuck procedure with liposuction. This combination means that the contouring work and extraction of more fatty tissue happens in tandem and can make the end result more visually appealing. A tighter, leaner stomach, sometimes coupled with a liposuction procedure is also likely to increase your self-confidence and to make you feel much happier in the clothes that you choose to wear.