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What you need to know about your tummy tuck
Don't sit-ups give you the tight stomach you want? If you have a little too much skin or excess skin in your abdomen that won't decrease with diet or exercise, consider getting a tummy tuck, popularly known as a "tummy tuck".
This procedure flattens your stomach by removing extra fat and skin, and by tightening the muscles in your abdominal wall.
However, this is a major operation. So when you think about it, take the time to educate yourself, analyze your own situation thoroughly, and do not rush to make the final decision.
A tummy tuck should be the last resort for people who have exhausted all other measures, and the procedure should not be used as an alternative to weight loss.
Who Are The Best Candidates For A Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is suitable for both men and women who are generally in good general health.
It shouldn't be confused with liposuction (the cosmetic surgery to remove fat deposits), although your surgeon may perform liposuction as part of a tummy tuck.
Women whose muscles and skin have been stretched from multiple pregnancies may find the procedure useful in tightening those muscles and reducing that skin. A tummy tuck is also an alternative for men or women who have been obese at some point in their life and still have excessive fat deposits or loose skin in the abdominal area.
Who Shouldn't Consider Tummy Tuck?
If you are a woman who still wants to have children, postponing a tummy tuck until you no longer have children. Here's why: your vertical muscles will be toned during the surgery. Future pregnancies can separate these muscles.
Are you still planning to lose a lot of weight? If so, then you don't want to consider a tummy tuck.
It's important to note that a tummy tuck can cause noticeable, permanent scars. If you don't want this then you should reconsider. Your doctor will discuss all of these options with you when you go for the consultation.
How is a tummy tuck performed?
Depending on your desired results, this surgery can take anywhere from one to five hours. The complexity of your particular situation also determines whether you have completed it as an inpatient or an outpatient.
You will be given general anesthesia that will put you to sleep during the operation. It's important to have someone with you who can drive you home. If you live alone, you also need someone to stay with you for at least the first night after the operation.
There are two options for a tummy tuck. You and your surgeon will discuss your desired results and determine the appropriate procedure during your consultation.
Complete tummy tuck. In this procedure, your abdomen is cut from hip bone to hip bone. This is the option for those patients who need the most corrections. The incision is made low, about the level of your pubic hair.
Your surgeon will then manipulate and contour the skin, tissues, and muscles as needed. Your belly button will have a new opening when you undergo this procedure as it is necessary to free your navel from the surrounding tissue. Drainage tubes can be placed under your skin and these will be removed in a matter of days as your surgeon sees fit.
Partial or mini tummy tuck. Mini-abdominoplasties are often performed on patients whose fat deposits are below the navel and require shorter incisions.
Your belly button will most likely not move during this process. Your skin will be separated between the cut line and your belly button. This type of operation can also be performed with an endoscope (small camera at the end of a tube). Again, the process can only take up to two hours, depending on your personal situation and the complexity of your needs.
How do I prepare for a tummy tuck?
If you smoke, you must stop for a period of time as directed by your doctor. It is not enough just to restrict smoking. You must stop completely at least two weeks before surgery and two weeks after it. Smoking can increase the risk of complications and delay healing.
Make sure you are eating well-balanced, full meals and do not try to excessively diet before surgery. Proper diet plays a key role in proper healing.
If you are taking certain medications, your surgeon may instruct you to stop taking them for a period of time before and after surgery. Your surgeon will determine this during your preoperative consultation.
Before surgery, you need to prepare your home for post-operative care. Your home recovery area should include:
* Lots of ice packs
* Supply of loose, comfortable clothing that is very easy to put on and take off
* Vaseline for incision sites
* Phone within range
* Hand shower and bath chair
You know yourself best, so make sure you set up the safest and most comfortable relaxation area before undergoing the surgery to suit your personal needs.
What Are the Complications and Side Effects of Tummy Tuck?
As expected, you will experience pain and swelling in the days following the surgery. Your doctor can prescribe pain medication for you if necessary and how best to manage the pain. Pain can last for weeks or months.
You may also experience numbness, bruising, and general fatigue during the same period.
As with any surgery, there are risks. Remember that this surgery affects a very important part of your body. Although rare, complications can include infection, bleeding under the flap of skin, or blood clots that can get into your lungs and affect your breathing. You may be at an increased risk of complications if you have poor blood circulation, diabetes, or a history of heart, lung, or liver disease or blood clots.
Inadequate healing may occur, which can lead to larger scars or skin loss. If you heal poorly, you may need a second operation.
As mentioned earlier, the scars from a tummy tuck are quite pronounced, and while they fade easily, they never go away completely. Your surgeon may recommend using certain creams or ointments after you've fully healed to help with the scars.
Take care of yourself after the operation
Whether you have a partial or full tummy tuck, your incision site will be sutured and bandaged. It is very important that you follow all of your surgeon's instructions for dressing care in the days following your surgery. The bandage used is a firm, elastic band that promotes proper healing. Your surgeon will also instruct you on how best to position yourself while sitting or lying down to relieve pain.
If you are an exceptionally physically active person, you will need to severely restrict strenuous exercise for at least six weeks. Your doctor will advise you on this as you go through the process. You may need to take up to a month off after surgery to ensure a proper recovery. Here, too, your doctor will help you to determine this based on your personal situation.
Come back to life
In general, most people love the new look after going through this procedure. However, you may not feel like your normal you for months after the operation. You have gone through a tremendous amount to achieve this both emotionally and physically and it is very important that you follow proper diet and exercise to maintain your new look.
Does the insurance cover a tummy tuck?
Insurance carriers usually do not cover elective cosmetic surgery. However, your carrier may cover a percentage if you have an inguinal hernia that is being corrected by the procedure or if your anterior muscles are abnormally distributed.
It is extremely important that you communicate with your insurance company early on and discuss your insurance concerns with your surgeon. In most cases, your surgeon will write a letter to your insurance carrier outlining the medical need, if this applies to you.
It is also very important to know that the insurance may only cover certain parts of the surgery. So make sure you get details. With any cosmetic surgery, this can affect your future insurance coverage and your premiums can increase.
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