What is a Tummy Tuck, and is it Right for me?
Most Americans see a flat stomach as a sign of health and beauty and a sagging one as a sign of age or ill health. A tummy tuck, known medically as an abdominoplasty, can correct loose fat and skin around the abdomen and help stitch loose muscles together to create a tighter, flatter stomach. However, there are important things you need to know about this surgery and what it can, and can’t do for you first.
What it’s meant for
Even if you have been maintaining your weight, it’s possible to get a loose tummy as you age and the skin loses elasticity. Pregnancy and certain surgeries can also create loose skin and muscles in the abdomen. People who have lost a lot of weight can also develop loose skin around the stomach. Finally, hereditary factors can cause a protruding stomach despite good health habits. All of these cases are good candidates for a tummy tuck.
What it’s not meant for
A tummy tuck is not a weight loss technique. If you have a lot of excess fat in your abdomen, diet and exercise are your best tools. After you’ve lost weight, a tummy tuck would be a great idea to get rid of excess skin.
It’s also best not to have one if you plan to get pregnant in the future. The stretching of the abdomen during pregnancy can reverse the procedure. Better to postpone the procedure until you’ve finished having children.
Tummy tucks are not a way to get rid of stretch marks, though some may get cut away depending on where the surgeon makes their incisions. Also, like any invasive surgery, a tummy tuck will leave some scarring behind.
What’s the surgery like?
A tummy tuck is a major surgery that removes fat, skin, and restores muscles underneath the navel. Some procedures will go above the navel and will require greater care. You will be under anesthesia during the procedure and may require an overnight stay in the hospital. The surgery length can vary from 1 to 5 hours.
The recovery from a tummy tuck is long; you will need to avoid strenuous activity for at least six weeks and wear a special band to keep your stomach in the right shape as it heals. You may also need drains inserted into your skin for a time. Even after the gear is removed, it can take a few more months for your stomach to settle into its final shape. Most plastic surgeries take a while time to heal, but any surgery to the abdominal region has the longest recovery times due to how often it moves.
However, once everything heals most people are very satisfied with the results!
Will insurance cover it?
In most cases, insurance will not cover a tummy tuck. However, in some rare instances, it might. For instance, if you have a hernia and a surgeon has to go into the same area to repair it, a tummy tuck might help with the recovery. But unless you have a serious muscular issue in your abdomen, your tummy tuck will be considered cosmetic and won’t be covered.
To see if a tummy tuck would be right for you, speak with one of our plastic surgeons. Call our offices to schedule a consultation about tummy tucks.