There are a number of risks involved in getting an abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck” procedure, and there are existing alternatives without those risks. Be certain to consider all of the potential risks and benefits of a tummy tuck before you get one, and also weigh the pros and cons of the potential alternatives. Tummy tucks are one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the United States, and we are going to go in-depth into them here.
What is a Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure in which excess skin and fat in the abdomen are removed, and connective tissue in the abdomen is tightened with sutures. This basically results in a tightening of the abdomen as a whole, with less fat and loose skin in the area.
Typical Results of a Tummy Tuck
The typical results of a tummy tuck are exactly what you’d expect based on a description of the procedure. In other words, a tummy tuck results in a tighter and slimmer-looking abdomen. The main goal of people in getting a tummy tuck is to remove excess skin from their abdomen as well as smooth out the whole area. This is what a tummy tuck does, as opposed to, say, liposuction, which solely focuses on removing adipose (fat) tissue. Most people notice a smoother abdominal region after a tummy tuck.
Is a Tummy Tuck Safe?
Tummy tucks are among the most common cosmetic surgeries in the United States, and they are generally safe. There are, of course, risks of complications and negative effects, but they are relatively unlikely to occur. This doesn’t, however, mean that tummy tucks are entirely risk-free, as there are a variety of risks inherent to the procedure. Despite their frequency, tummy tucks are one of the most common cosmetic surgeries to have complications develop after the procedure.
Risks of a Tummy Tuck
Some of the risks of an abdominoplasty surgery include fluid accumulation beneath the skin. You should have drainage tubes left in your body after the surgery to prevent this. However, it still happens. Fluid accumulation underneath the skin can be unsightly and a complication of a tummy tuck procedure. Additional risks include fat necrosis, which is when a piece of fat deep in your body dies as a result of the surgery. There is also the possibility of poor wound healing, which is when your wounds close very slowly or not at all. Finally, there is the omnipresent risk of infection, which can occur with any surgery but can have extremely dangerous consequences. You will be prescribed antibiotics after your procedure in order to avoid this.
How to Prepare For A Tummy Tuck
There are a number of ways to prepare for a tummy tuck, including, of course, speaking with your healthcare provider about their specific advice for you. Some general tips to prepare are to be ready to discuss your medical history with your doctor and maintain a stable weight. Maintaining a stable weight is very important for tummy tuck purposes, as changes in the size of your abdominal wall will inevitably affect the surgery. If you were to gain or lose a lot of weight in the lead-up to your abdominoplasty, it could interfere totally with your ability to get the surgical outcome that you want. You should also try to go for a walk at least three times a week in the weeks leading up to your surgery to keep your circulatory system active and prevent clots.
Things to Avoid Before a Tummy Tuck
Before your tummy tuck procedure, be sure to avoid smoking, for example. Smoking can decrease the blood flow in the skin, and it can slow the body’s healing processes. In addition, smoking increases the risk of tissue damage during surgery. For these reasons, be sure to avoid smoking before your surgery or during your recovery from it. You should also avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements, which can increase bleeding. This is all to ensure that your body is in a good and stable state for your surgery with no potential for complications, such as excessive bleeding.
Tummy Tuck vs. Laser Lipolysis
There now exists an alternative to tummy tuck procedures that can be extremely effective. This is a revolutionary medical procedure pioneered by Emerald Laser. In this procedure, a laser is used to bore a hole in your individual fat cells, allowing the lipids to seep out of them and be safely excreted by the lymphatic system. This is an FDA-approved and reliable way to lose body fat that is less invasive than abdominoplasty surgery. It does not require dietary changes to work, although it requires dietary changes to maintain the weight loss achieved. This is a good alternative to consider before bariatric surgery as it is non-invasive. Some of the advantages of Emerald Laser lipolysis include:
- Unlike surgery, it does not require incisions or anesthesia.
- It is painless.
- There are no known side effects.
- There is no downtime after a treatment. You can immediately resume normal activities.
- Sessions take less than 30 minutes, so you can schedule them before or after work or even during your lunch break.
- Emerald Laser is the only medical laser approved by the FDA for individuals with BMIs over 30.
- It can be applied to virtually any part of the body where fat accumulates.
Frequently Asked Questions About Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) Surgery
There are a number of commonly asked questions about tummy tuck surgeries relating to the procedure itself, preparation for it, the aftermath of the procedure, and so forth. We will attempt to answer the most regularly seen of these questions about abdominoplasty here.
How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?
The price can vary depending on location, the type of tummy tuck, and the doctor performing the procedure. However, $9,000-12,000 is typical. Since a tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgical procedure, most insurance will not cover it. However, plenty of cosmetic surgeons offer payment plans.
What Kind of Scarring Will a Tummy Tuck Leave?
A tummy tuck will, depending on the way the procedure is performed, leave a six to eight-inch scar across the lower abdomen, which is easily covered. Certain types of tummy tucks will also leave a similarly sized vertical scar up the abdomen.
How Long Does a Tummy Tuck Take?
The surgery itself will take around two and a half hours, plus another hour or so for pre-op preparations and anesthesia. To be safe, account for four hours.
What is Recovery From a Tummy Tuck Like?
You should expect to take at least two weeks off from work after your tummy tuck procedure, as you will need to limit your physical activity and stay bent at the waistline for those two weeks. After that, you should be fine to go back to work. You will also have a draining tube for a week after your surgery and wear compression garments for approximately six weeks after the procedure.
Laser lipolysis is a safe and non-invasive alternative to an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), so contact a provider near you for a consultation!