When people come to me for a tummy tuck at my Richmond, VA, practice, I know they will be happy with their flatter, tighter midsections after surgery. As a plastic surgeon trained in abdominoplasty, I remove excess skin, correct loose or separated abdominal muscles, and sometimes combine liposuction to optimize results. Of course, this all sounds great; however, it is important to understand that this procedure isn’t for everyone. In this post, I will clarify exactly who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck.
Do you have realistic expectations?
Patients must remember that abdominoplasty is not a weight loss procedure. I recommend that my patients are close to their ideal weight before scheduling surgery. Plastic surgery is never an alternative to traditional weight loss methods. Instead, a tummy tuck can complement an already healthy lifestyle. Men and women who have lost a significant amount of weight and have loose skin are typically the best candidates for the surgery.
Can you maintain a positive outlook?
Though any discomfort can be managed with prescription pain medication, tummy tuck recovery will take some time. You will initially have limited mobility and will need to have someone help you around the house for the first few days.
And although you will be able to see some improvement immediately, your complete results will not be apparent until the swelling goes down and the incision heals. This can take weeks. During this time, it is imperative that you stay positive and have patience. Whenever you feel down, remember that it will all be worth it soon!
Do you understand the recovery process?
You must understand the recovery timeline. Listening to and following post-op instructions will ensure a smooth and speedy recovery. If you have any questions or concerns whatsoever, make sure to contact your surgeon. Disregarding recovery instructions can compromise your results. A tummy tuck is an investment, and you should do everything in your power to protect that investment.
Are you done having children?
Many women choose to undergo abdominoplasty after having a baby. They are often eager to schedule the procedure so they can get their pre-baby body back as soon as possible. However, I advise my patients to wait to get a tummy tuck until after they are finished having children. Though it is possible and safe to get pregnant post-tummy tuck, your pregnancy can affect your results.
Are you aware of other body contouring options?
Make sure you understand the difference between body contouring procedures. A tummy tuck can correct sagging skin and loosened abdominal muscles. Liposuction gets rid of localized fat deposits on places like the lower abdomen, love handles, and thighs. CoolSculpting® is a non-invasive treatment that freezes away pinchable fat pockets using innovative cryolipolysis technology. Discuss your options with a board-certified plastic surgeon before making your decision.
If you want to learn more about tummy tuck surgery, request a consultation online or call our office at (804) 267-6009.