Considering a Tummy Tuck?
Many people have experienced the frustration of trying to reduce stubborn belly fat and tone up the mid section. Savvy advertisers target this common problem when selling fitness equipment, weight loss remedies and skinny jeans. Why? Millions have tried unsuccessfully to restore the flat abdomen of youth (or their dreams) and will happily try the next new thing that comes along in the hope that this is the answer.
While improving fitness and diet will have beneficial effects in overall health, restoring that flat toned abdomen very often requires a surgical procedure called a Tummy Tuck or abdominoplasty.
Getting your pre-pregnancy body back
This procedure has become increasingly popular among women who have had one or more pregnancies as well as with men and women who have lost a substantial amount of weight. In both cases, the abdominal muscles and skin have become stretched beyond the point of return which is why diet and exercise alone cannot remedy the problem.
In pregnancy, often the Rectus abdominis muscle has separated which causes the midsection to protrude no matter how many sit up one has done. A Tummy Tuck will restore abdominal muscle integrity which not only looks more attractive, it strengthens the abdominal core and stabilizes the back.
Basics of a Tummy Tuck
There are three problems repaired by a Tummy Tuck; loose skin with or without stretch marks, excess fat in the abdomen and the repair of the Rectus abdominal muscle, if needed. A traditional abdominoplasty repairs all three components resulting in an attractive flat stomach contour. In many cases liposuction of the flanks can be done simultaneously further accenting the waistline.
In some people, a less invasive Tummy Tuck can be done which involves removing excess skin and fatty tissue without addressing the underlying muscles. Typically these patients are slender and have good muscle tone with a bulge of fat and skin protruding in the lower abdomen. This procedure is less invasive since the muscles are not tightened and the scar is smaller making recovery faster and easier.
A Tummy Tuck will reduce the appearance of stretch marks occurring in the lower abdomen. If stretch marks are higher, they will be relocated lower as the excess skin is removed. This procedure is the only permanent way of tightening stretched abdominal muscles that are a common consequence of pregnancy or massive weight loss.
Tightening the abdominal muscles not only looks better, it stabilizes the back by sharing the weight of the upper body.
For those with excess fat on the flanks, or sides of the body, liposuction performed in conjunction with an abdominoplasty will restore the waistline and further enhance results.
Concerns about scarring
A Tummy Tuck requires a long incision running along the bikini line. It is kept very low so that it can be concealed by clothing. Additionally an incision will be made around the belly button as it will need to be repositioned during surgery to maintain a natural position. As a board certified and fellowship trained plastic surgeon, Dr. Birely has thousands of hours of training both in choosing incision sites and in artfully closing incisions so that the resulting scar is almost invisible once it has fully healed.
During the healing process, incisions go through stages while the scar is maturing. It is not uncommon for the incision sites to fluctuate and appear larger and inflamed while healing. It will require almost a year before the scar thins out and become light. Since the incisions are placed very low on the abdomen, they are well hidden by swimwear or lingerie.
Is a Tummy Tuck right for me?
If you are wondering if this is the right procedure for you, the first step is to see Dr. Birely for an examination and for a heart to heart discussion about your goals. During the consultation you should ask as many questions as necessary to ensure you understand what is involved in the procedure and the recovery process. Dr. Birely will provide you with his honest opinion of what degree of improvement you can expect and will show you photos of others who have had a Tummy Tuck similar to you.
Ask as many questions and do as much research as necessary to determine if a Tummy Tuck is for you. Dr. Birely will be happy to participate in the decision making process for as long as it takes you to make a firm decision whether the process takes weeks or months. His only concern is that it is your decision and that you are confident that it is the right one for you.