Proper nutrition and an active lifestyle can help improve your figure, but they cannot work wonders. Sometimes only a plastic surgeon can correct some imperfections of appearance. A sagging belly that has lost its elasticity is one of such issues. In this case, abdominal plastic surgery or tummy tuck is the best possible option to get rid of excess skin and tighten the muscles in the abdominal area. Keep reading and learn everything about tummy tuck surgery, best methods, top plastic surgeons, and clinics.
What Is Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck surgery, aka abdominoplasty, is an operation to remove excess skin and subcutaneous fat in the abdominal area and tighten the stomach muscles. The surgery is rather severe and complex for the patient, so a rehabilitation period is required.
The abdomen can lose its shape for various reasons. Most often, a tummy tuck is considered as the most appropriate option for:
- women after pregnancy and childbirth
- people who have dramatically lost weight
- aged patients whose muscles and skin loses elasticity, and there is no way to correct the situation with a diet
- individuals who are not satisfied with the appearance of their abdomen, and core exercises do not help them improve their shape in any way.
WHO IS A CANDIDATE
- Men and women suffering from saggy abdominal skin or fat accumulation that is not improved with exercise and diet.
- Women who want to strengthen the weakened abdominal muscles and stretch extra skin after pregnancy and childbirth.
- Older people who need to correct the sagging skin of the abdomen that has arisen over time.
- People who have a lot of sagging skin after drastic weight loss or bariatric surgery.
- The tummy tuck procedure takes 2-3 hours.
- The patient needs to stay in the hospital for 4-5 days after the operation.
- The full recovery takes 6-8 months.
- The patient may return home in 4-5 days after abdominoplasty.
- In 2 weeks the patient can return to work but keep the diet, refuse fatty, spicy, and fried foods intake, exclude alcohol and heavy physical activity.
- In 1-2 months the person returns to their common lifestyle.
- In a few months the scar becomes invisible; there are no restrictions on physical activity.
POSSIBLE RISK AND SIDE EFFECTS
- Postoperative abdominal wound infection
- Acute abdominal pain
- High abdominal pressure
- Pulmonary edema
- Congestive pneumonia
- Blood clotting.
Top 3 Reasons Why People Resort to Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck is the fourth most popular plastic surgery worldwide. Over 900,000 abdominoplasties are performed worldwide annually, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS). What motivates thousands of people to tighten their stomachs with plastic surgery?
- Changing the shape of the abdomen at once
People who like to get results immediately will definitely appreciate the benefits of abdominoplasty. During the tummy tuck operation, plastic surgeons get rid of small fat deposits in the abdominal area, remove excess skin, tighten the abdominal muscles and tone them. Thus, they solve several cosmetic defects in one procedure. There are no analogs to this procedure yet.
However, the tummy tuck is not a weight-loss procedure. If the patient wants to dispose of extra fat and change the stomach form in one surgery, plastic surgeons perform abdominoplasty in tandem with liposuction.
- A long-term effect
After a tummy tuck, you will notice that your core muscles have become stable, and this effect will remain so for many years. Basically, there are only two reasons that can spoil the result — pregnancy and weight gain.
- A tummy tuck is not only a cosmetic procedure but also a treatment one
In addition to the unsurpassed cosmetic effect, abdominoplasty helps relieve back pain, align posture and treat urinary incontinence. According to a study published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal, 80% of women felt relief from back pain, and more than 90% of patients got rid of urinary incontinence within half a year after the surgery. The women who participated in the study got different types of the tummy tuck, but the type of the procedure did not affect the final result.
Abdominoplasty accounts for about 8% of all plastic surgeries. Media personalities who want to improve the shape of their saggy belly resort to this procedure. Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Demi Moore, Kelly Osbourne, and Donatella Versace are among the celebrities who have gotten tummy tuck.
Hollywood male actors are also keen on losing weight with liposuction and abdominoplasty to achieve attractive reliefs. In contrast with the actresses, gentlemen do not advertise their tummy tuck experience, but there are still exceptions — actors Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson and Al Pacino, singer Tom Jones.
Who is a Perfect Candidate for the Surgery?
You keep diets and do exercises that give you good results, and you lose weight. But the sagging and bulging belly still remains. In this case, you should think about abdominoplasty.
There are some issues when a tummy tuck is the best option to solve them:
- excess skin, loss muscles, and a small accumulation of extra fat in the abdominal area as a result of aging, heredity, pregnancy, previous surgery, or weight fluctuations
- your weight is stable. The best candidate for abdominoplasty is a slender person with excess fat and loose skin in the lower abdomen. Your weight can be within 20% of the ideal body mass index. If you are overweight, this procedure is not for you.
- you don’t smoke. If you are a smoker, you should quit or eliminate smoking at least six weeks before the operation
- you don’t plan to have children anymore. Muscles that are repaired during an abdominoplasty may split again during a future pregnancy.
- you do not have any internal or external scars from previous abdominal surgeries. If you have any wounds, you should consult with a plastic surgeon whether you are a good candidate for surgery
- the good candidate for this procedure has good general health, a positive attitude, and realistic expectations.
What Is the Average Age for This Procedure?
No matter whether you are 30 or 60, you can get abdominoplasty. Usually, patients looking for a tummy tuck as the best treatment option are in their late 30s or 40s. However, patients may be younger, but only if they don’t plan on getting pregnant again at least several years after the operation.
What Are the Contraindications?
A tummy tuck, like any surgical intervention, has contraindications:
- diseases in the acute stage. In this case, you should first deal with the current issue and only then proceed to improve the stomach shape
- diabetes mellitus and thyroid disease
- heart diseases
- blood clotting disorders
- pulmonary or heart failure.
Doctors do not advise women who intend to have children to undergo abdominoplasty — pregnancy often nullifies the entire result.
Before deciding on an abdominoplasty, you should give up all bad habits and keep a healthy lifestyle a few months before the planned surgical intervention.
- Tummy tuck can make your belly flat.
- Your appearance in clothes and swimwear will be more attractive.
- Your body will look younger.
- The scar in the bikini area will remain after abdominoplasty.
- Another pregnancy may affect surgical outcomes. Therefore it is recommended to postpone this operation or mommy makeover until you are finished having children.
- Weight gain after abdominoplasty may have an unfavorable impact on the outcome of your operation.
Tummy Tuck Process Step-By-Step
A tummy tuck is not considered a complex surgical intervention. The procedure takes 2-3 hours. General anesthesia is applied.
The plastic surgeon makes an incision in the lower abdomen in the bikini area.
The surgeon removes extra fat with the help of liposuction.
During a complete abdominoplasty, the surgeon often inserts one or more drains to prevent fluid congestion that can put pressure on the incision.
After the surgery, the patient should spend a night in the hospital and return home the next day. Follow all the recommendations of the plastic surgeon to avoid possible complications after the surgery.
There is no need to remove the stitches. Top plastic surgeons use modern cosmetic threads that dissolve independently or a particular medical glue for the skin. It speeds up the scar healing.
The final result is estimated in 1 month.
Pass lab tests — only after the examination results, the surgeon chooses the most appropriate tummy tuck method.
Consultation with an anesthesiologist — tummy tuck is performed under general anesthesia. It is crucial to identify how much anesthetic you need to inject, taking your physical features and test results into account.
Bad habits quitting — 2 weeks before the operation, it is recommended to keep a healthy lifestyle: to give up smoking (or significantly reduce the number of cigarettes smoked) and exclude alcohol use. Bad habits prolong the rehabilitation period. For example, nicotine slows down the process of tissue repair.
Keep the diet — a healthy, balanced diet is the key to well-being. Eat more vegetables, herbs, and fruits 2-3 weeks before your tummy tuck procedure. Refuse fatty, sweet, and spicy foods and foods that lead to the gas formation (peas, beans).
Warn the doctor about meds intake — the patient should tell the doctor about taking all medications, even vitamins. Correction of treatment is carried out in conjunction with the attending physician.
Types of Tummy Tuck Surgery
Complete or Full Tummy Tuck
The method is also known as lipoabdominoplasty — when tummy tuck is combined with the abdominal liposuction. Complete abdominoplasty is used to tighten the muscles, remove excess skin and fat deposits not only from the abdomen, but also from the back and thighs. The technique also eliminates scars and stretch marks. This type of the surgery has a lifelong effect on patients who maintain their weight afterwards.
The approach is indicated for those who do not need a skin tightening. Usually these are young women with minor problems associated with weakening of the muscles. The operation is performed using an endoscope — the instrument is inserted in the navel area, and several punctures are additionally performed in the bikini area.
Mini Tummy tuckIt is carried out in cases when the patients need aesthetic correction with the removal of a small amount of skin and adipose tissue. Usually plastic surgeons apply this technique when women have functional problems after childbirth (hernia, diastasis), minor aesthetic defects and excess skin, and do not have a significant excess of adipose tissue (obesity). The incision is made in the bikini area and is barely visible.
Limited Tummy TuckThe method is also known as a mid abdominoplasty, modified tummy tuck, or apronectomy — the resection of a wedge of fat and skin from the lower abdomen. It is used when a full abdominoplasty is not required. Limited abdominoplasty differs from mini tummy tuck with a slightly longer incision and is an intermediate type between complete tummy tuck and mini abdominoplasty.
Reverse AbdominoplastyIt is used to correct the shape of the lower and upper abdomen. The method is usually recommended for people after significant weight loss. To remove extra skin and fat from the upper torso, a surgeon makes an incision at the bra line. Reverse abdominoplasty is frequently performed in combination with breast lift and boob job procedures.
Extended Tummy TuckThe technique is also called vertical or fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty. Surgeons apply this approach if the patient has an abdominal scar from the previous operations or if the doctor needs to remove a large amount of tissue from the upper and lower stomach. This type of abdominoplasty also helps to correct divergence of the abdominal muscles.
High Lateral Tension AbdominoplastyA lateral tension tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery that removes excess abdominal skin from the stomach and upper thighs. The best option for patients who want to improve the waist and outline its shape. The incisions are made along the lateral surfaces of the abdomen. In most cases surgeons perform lateral tummy tuck in the combination with lipo.
Belt LipectomyIf you have extra loose skin on your belly, flanks, buttocks, or hips, you may be a candidate for this procedure. Belt lipectomy is a popular treatment for individuals who have lost a substantial amount of weight or have severe skin laxity. This surgery is comparable to a complete tummy tuck, but it requires a larger incision that wraps around the entire lower trunk.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure aimed at body shaping. This procedure helps to get rid of fat deposits on any part of the body (buttocks, abdomen, thighs) and belongs to the category of cosmetic procedures.
Lipo is performed under local anesthesia.
- make the waist more prominent and curve
- get rid of fat on the arms, stomach, legs, back, hips
- correct the buttocks
- correct the contour of the abdomen
- eliminate cellulite in the waist and thighs
Tummy tuck is a surgical operation aimed at restoring the contour of the abdomen after childbirth, obesity, anorexia or surgery. During the procedure the surgeon removes excess fat and tightens muscle tissue in the lower abdomen.
The operation is performed under general anesthesia.
- correct the shape of the navel
- eliminate wrinkles on the stomach
- get rid of excess fat in the lower abdomen
- remove sagging skin
- reduce excess skin and stretch marks
- tighten the belly and make its form perfect.
What To Choose?
Liposuction is a simpler procedure compared to tummy tuck. The rehabilitation period after lipo is much shorter than after abdominoplasty. However, liposuction does not help the patient to get rid of extra skin and tighten the muscles. It is suitable for those who just want to dispose of excess fat and emphasize their natural figure.
Abdominoplasty helps to reconstruct the abdomen and make it the desired shape. Often these two procedures are combined and carried out at the same time. In any case, before choosing a procedure, you should consult with a specialist who will decide what procedure will be the safest and most effective in your particular case.
You need to spend this time in the hospital to prevent complications. If no complications are identified, the patient may be allowed to leave the hospital and return home.
You can make attempts to straighten up. It is important to follow the recommendations and keep the diet. You should give up spicy, fatty and fried foods, completely excluding alcohol and smoking.
Most of the unpleasant symptoms disappear. The doctors can recommend physiotherapy and exercise therapy to help patients return to their normal life as soon as possible.
5 Tips To Follow After Tummy Tuck
Recommendations About How To Overgo With Life Limitation After Tummy Tuck From Bookimed Patients
It’s important to know! Each tip is based on the patient’s subjective experience. So before implementing any recommendations, you should seek medical advice.
Each patient’s experience is unique. However, no one can tell you more about the surgery, its consequences, and recovery than someone who has actually gotten it. We have compiled the tummy tuck tips from Bookimed patients and call your attention to them:
Risks and Complications
How Long Do Tummy Tuck Results Last?
Your results after the abdominal plastic surgery may last a lifetime, however, you should maintain an active lifestyle and keep a balanced and nutritious diet. It is also true that the outcome after the procedure may have a short-term effect if you follow a sedentary lifestyle and have poor eating habits that cause health and weight problems.
So, how long does the abdominoplasty outcome last? As long as you are willing to work at keeping your results.
Tummy Tuck Cost
Where can I get a cheap tummy tuck — top 7 places
Of course, there are places where you can get a tummy tuck on a budget and very high quality. Do you want to know where? Find out more here
Tummy tuck is one of the most popular procedures in the world and there is a great demand for the procedure, so plastic surgery clinics compete with each other for patients and try to attract them in different ways. One of these methods is the package prices.
The package usually includes all the necessary services:
- the operation itself
- medical tests
- pre and post operative online consultation.
The biggest advantage of the packages is that the cost for all services included is the same as for the operation only. Thus, you pay for a tummy tuck, and get a number of other medical services for which you do not need to pay additionally.
Packages are limited in time and this is their biggest disadvantage. Check with the medical coordinator for the availability of special packages for the dates when you plan your surgery.
Before and After Photos
Each plastic surgeon’s calling card is a photo of a patient before and after surgery. Images of the outcomes are crucial, even if the plastic surgeon has vast experience and credentials, multiple certifications. Before and after photos are the visual evidence of the surgeon’s work and help patients find the most appropriate specialist for themselves.
Find out more tummy tuck before/after photos to pick the most suitable medical facility and plastic surgeon.
Is a Tummy Tuck Worth It?
If keeping the diets, proper nutrition, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and physical activity
does not help you, and you really want to get rid of:
- excess skin folds after heavy weight loss
- cosmetic defects in the belly area after pregnancy and childbirth
- sagging skin in the abdomen
- the presence of a skin and fat apron
You really should have an abdominoplasty. Indeed, if you follow all the doctor’s recommendations, the result will last for a lifetime and you will get a toned belly in just one procedure.
If you are still in doubt, be sure to check the reviews of patients who have already had abdominal plastic surgery. In the reviews, they describe their experience, feelings, results and express their opinion on the effectiveness of the procedure.
Should I Have a Tummy Tuck Abroad or At Home?
Medical tourism is getting increasingly popular. Cosmetic surgery is one of the most common reasons that foreign patients come abroad. There are several reasons why medical travels are so common:
- foreign surgeons’ skills and experience
- service quality
- low costs.
Affordable prices is the primary reason why international patients choose other countries to have abdominal plastic surgery. In some countries such as Turkey, Mexico, or Ukraine, tummy tuck is cheaper in comparison to the United States, the United Kingdom, and Western European nations. Meanwhile the quality of medical services is on the same level.
Despite the popularity of medical trips for tummy tuck, patients frequently have a few common questions.
FAQs about Tummy Tuck Abroad
The term of stay overseas after tummy tuck mainly depends on the type of the procedure and general health status of the patient. On average, the patient can fly in 2 weeks after abdominoplasty. If we talk about other transport options such as cars or trains, the period of stay in foreign country may be shorter. Nevertheless, the plastic surgeon can tell you the exact number of days you need to stay in the country during the consultation.
How Patients Get Tummy Tuck During COVID
The demand for plastic surgery in the era of coronavirus and quarantine in some countries has grown. If before COVID many people postponed a visit to a plastic surgeon because of lack of time, now they decide on an operation because of the opportunity to stay at home during the postoperative period, often without even interrupting work.
Plastic surgery trips also grow in popularity. If earlier most patients had plastic surgery in the USA, Thailand or Spain, now these countries have given way to new players — Turkey, Mexico, and Ukraine, where prices for aesthetic operations are much lower, there are practically no quarantine restrictions, and the quality of medical services increases every year.
What are the leaders in plastic surgery in 2021 and what countries have no quarantine restrictions? Learn more in Top 4 open countries for medical tourism in 2021.
The coronavirus pandemic remains unstable. We observe the rise and fall of the disease. Depending on this and the number of vaccinated people, countries change the list of restrictions on entry and stay. At the time of this article’s release, the rules may have changed. Therefore, if you are planning to have plastic surgery abroad, investigate the situation with COVID in the particular country. You can get the relevant information on the official website of WHO or ask the Bookimed medical coordinator. To contact the coordinator for free, submit a request on our website.
Best Tummy Tuck Surgeons
Choosing a plastic surgeon is the main step to have effective abdominoplasty. The skills of the surgeon are the main factor that affect the quality of the procedure and its final result. Therefore, you should devote maximum time and attention to choosing a plastic surgeon. What should you look at when choosing a doctor?
The Bookimed team has already helped thousands of patients find a suitable plastic surgeon and emphasizes such selection parameters as:
- patient ratings and reviews
- the equipment used
- education and qualifications
- experience (amount of the operations per month)
- portfolio (before/after photos).
According to these parameters, the Bookimed team has determined the top 6 plastic surgeons for tummy tuck among 63 presented on the website.
Best Tummy Tuck Surgeons
Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon
Measure thrice, check twice, cut once — this popular proverb explains the meaning and importance of this step best of all. The correct planning is the key to a successful operation and the main responsibility falls on the specialist. However, the patient’s participation in the discussion and the formation of the vision of future changes are no less important.
There are some nuances that should definitely be discussed with the plastic surgeon during the consultation before abdominal plastic surgery.
Best Clinics For Tummy Tuck
The first-class clinics for abdominal plastic surgery are located in Turkey, Mexico, and Ukraine. Plastic surgery facilities in these countries are globally recognized for high-quality services and relatively low prices.
Find out more leading destinations for tummy tuck, their advantages & disadvantages here: Best countries to get a tummy tuck abroad.
The Bookimed team has analysed 170+ clinics specialized in tummy tuck and chosen the 6 best of them. The clinics are situated in different countries and have various pricing policies, so the tummy tuck cost there is dissimilar.
The main criteria when selecting medical centers were the experience and qualifications of plastic surgeons, the quality of service and reviews of Bookimed patients. We would choose any of these centers ourselves or advise our family members and friends, so each of these clinics is highly recommended by the Bookimed experts.
Why Medical Trip Arrangement With Bookimed?
- Bookimed’s medical coordinators will help you choose a facility and a doctor that specializes in abdominal plastic surgery. The team considers the specifics of your medical case, your needs and preferences. In your instance, you will be given a personalized program with an exact cost, and the medical coordinator will assist you in planning your trip beforehand.
- Bookimed is a global service that helps people find medical options and organize treatment in over 30 countries. Bookimed medical coordinators have already assisted over 680,000 people in receiving proper medical treatment.
- The platform’s aim is to give everyone with the required medical solutions and support at all phases, from selecting a clinic and planning a trip to returning home. The Bookimed experts communicate with the patient 24 hours a day, seven days a week to make the medical journey as straightforward and comfortable as possible.
- Patients can use Bookimed’s services for free. Choosing a solution and planning your journey with Bookimed have no impact on your treatment bill.
Tummy tuck is not a weight loss surgery. Representatives of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommend patients to be close to the ideal weight for 6-12 months before having the intervention. Most surgeons would advise patients to be 10-15 pounds under their ideal weight.
You can get a tummy tuck if you are overweight but not obese. You will notice the best benefits from the surgery, if you are already close to your target weight. But you must remember that abdominoplasty is not a weight loss procedure. Tummy tuck will not be able to remove all excess fat, only to correct the figure. If you have obesity, you should consider methods of weight loss surgery.
The exact amount of skin you will lose after tummy tuck depends on some factors:
- the amount of stomach skin you have before the procedure
- the amount of weight you need to reduce
- the type of abdominoplasty you get.
With an abdominoplasty, you might expect to lose between 4 and 15 pounds. In most cases, patients lose only a few pounds, usually less than five. Other individuals with more extensive loose skin may lose 5–10 pounds, and in some cases, even more.
- The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (2020). ISAPS Global Statistics. https://www.isaps.org/medical-professionals/isaps-global-statistics/
- The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (2019). ISAPS International Survey on Aesthetic/Cosmetic Procedures. https://www.isaps.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Global-Survey-2019.pdf
- Bookimed (2020). Best Tummy Tuck Clinics. https://us-uk.bookimed.com/clinics/procedure=abdominoplasty/
- Mayo Clinic (2019). Tummy tuck. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/tummy-tuck/about/pac-20384892
- The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (2018). Five things to consider before getting a tummy tuck. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/blog/five-things-to-consider-before-getting-a-tummy-tuck
- Healthline (2017). Tummy Tuck Recovery: Timeline, Tips, and More. https://www.healthline.com/health/tummy-tuck-recovery
- Realself. How safe is to fly after a Tummy Tuck and how long should I wait after my surgery? https://www.realself.com/question/houston-tx-safe-fly-after-tummy-tuck-and-long-wait-after-my-surgery
- Athena Plastic Surgery. What is the best age for a tummy tuck? https://athenaplasticsurgery.com/what-is-the-best-age-for-a-tummy-tuck/
- Science Daily (2018). More than just a cosmetic procedure — ‘tummy tuck’ reduces back pain and incontinence. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180228174905.htm
- The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. ‘Tummy Tuck’ Complications—Study Looks at Rates and Risk Factors. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/press-releases/tummy-tuck-complications%E2%80%94study-looks-at-rates-and-risk-factors
- Aesthetic Surgical Arts. How many sizes can you lose with a tummy tuck? https://asa-kc.com/how-many-sizes-can-you-lose-with-a-tummy-tuck/
- Realself. Tummy Tuck Revision: What You Need to Know. https://www.realself.com/surgical/tummy-tuck-revision
- World Health Organization (WHO). WHO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dashboard. https://covid19.who.int/