If you have recently lost a great deal of weight after weight loss surgery, you should be congratulated. Transforming your body by losing a lot of weight is a big accomplishment. The loose skin you have now, though, is probably a concern. It’s no wonder you want to get a tummy tuck as soon as possible. You need to wait, however, until the conditions are right.
An abdominoplasty–a tummy tuck–will remove extra fat and skin and tighten your abdominal muscles, according to WebMD. The goal is for you to have a smoother, flatter tummy. Sometimes, after losing a lot of weight, you may need body lift surgery and liposuction, in addition to the tummy tuck for optimal results. With body lift surgery, your surgeon will make one incision along your abdomen and will then lift and tighten your skin. Liposuction can help to improve your body’s contour.
When to Get It
You need to wait to get your tummy tuck until you have reached your target weight or at least a weight that you are going to be stable at, says Dr. B. Pat Pazmino, a Miami, Fla., plastic surgeon, answering a question on the Real Self website. You want the tummy tuck to be long lasting. If you still have more weight to lose, it is better if you wait until you lose it before having the tummy tuck. When you get to be within 15 to 20 lbs. of your goal weight, you can probably go ahead with the tummy tuck procedure, says Dr. Douglas J. Mackenzie, a Santa Barbara, Calif., plastic surgeon, answering on the Real Self website. Sometimes, getting the tummy tuck can motivate patients to lose the extra 15 to 20 lbs. A consultation with a plastic surgeon will help you decide when the time is right for you.
Preparation for a Tummy Tuck
If you want to get a tummy tuck, you must stop smoking for at least six weeks before and after surgery, including staying away from second-hand smoke, according to the Mayo Clinic. You must not take aspirin for three weeks before and after surgery.
During a tummy tuck, your surgeon will make a large incision that goes from one hip to the other. Your surgeon can then work with your skin, muscle and tissues. Your doctor will better position your belly button, too. You will have a scar that falls along a crease within the bikini line. The scar should fade over time.
After the Tuck
You will wear an abdominal binder for support for four to six weeks after surgery. This will help with your healing, according to the Mayo Clinic. Your surgeon may also put in a drain to prevent too much fluid from building up. You would have the drain for a few weeks after surgery.
Risks associated with getting a tummy tuck are infection, fluid collecting under the skin, blood collecting under the skin, death of the skin and reduced sensation or numbness. Numbness will usually go away in the months following surgery.
- sexy tummy image by Leticia Wilson from Fotolia.com