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Tummy Tuck Surgery : Overview, Steps & & Potential complications

Team AckoDec 15, 2022

Research shows that with a rise in sedentary lifestyles, abdominal obesity is now found in 70% of Indian men and women. That's alarming! This article tells you all you need to know about belly fat and how a Tummy Tuck surgery might be helpful in some cases. Let’s dive in!

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Contents

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Types of the belly (abdominal) fat and associated health implications

There are two forms of abdominal fat.

  1. Subcutaneous fat: The subcutaneous fat is located directly beneath the skin. Most subcutaneous adipose tissue is harmless.

  2. Visceral fat: Visceral fat covers the organs like your kidneys, liver, and pancreas. It is a deep-seated fat and is harmful to the body. Studies reveal that greater levels of abdominal visceral fat are directly linked to the development of insulin resistance, high insulin levels (hyperinsulinemia), high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, and early coronary artery disease (CAD).

It's natural to have some tummy fat. But having too much might be unhealthy and raise your chances of contracting several chronic illnesses. 

What is Tummy Tuck Surgery?

A Tummy Tuck, also known as “abdominoplasty”, is a surgical treatment used to alter the shape and appearance of the abdomen. Excess skin and fat are removed from the core during a stomach tuck. Sutures (stitches) are also used to tighten connective tissue in the gut (fascia).

Who needs Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Make sure you're a good candidate for the operation before deciding to have any plastic surgery. But how can you tell whether you're a strong contender? Let's see.

  • Obesity & BMI is one aspect that cosmetic surgeons consider. The BMI is a simple screening tool for classifying a person's weight from underweight to healthy, overweight, and obese. It is a ratio of your weight to height. If your BMI is between 30 and 40, a Tummy Tuck will likely produce considerably good results. When your BMI exceeds 40, you need to lose some weight before you are ready to undertake a Tummy Tuck.

  • Men and women desiring an aesthetic improvement of the body often consider a Tummy Tuck. Image makeover is a common reason for undertaking this surgery.

  • Suppose you have undergone pregnancy-related significant weight changes, C-sections and other previous abdominal operations. In that case, a Tummy Tuck can re-contour your abdomen structure by tightening weak fascia and removing loose, extra skin and fat. Stretch marks and excess skin in the lower abdomen below the belly button may also be removed during a Tummy Tuck.

  • Men are more likely than women to store visceral fat, so when belly fat increases, men are more likely to have an "apple-shaped" physique. 

  • While premenopausal women tend to have more subcutaneous belly fat, visceral fat tends to be more prevalent in postmenopausal women, which increases the risk of metabolic disorders.

Steps to a Tummy Tuck Procedure.

A plastic surgeon is the best person to guide you on the details of the procedure. However, here’s an overview. 

  1. Most skin and fat between your belly button and pubic hair is removed during a standard Tummy Tuck.

  2. Permanent sutures are then used to tighten the fascia, the connective tissue that covers the abdominal muscles.

  3. The form and length of the incision will depend on how much extra skin is removed and the operation you undergo. Usually, the treatment takes two to three hours.

  4. Your belly button and the abdominal incision will probably be covered with surgical dressing following a Tummy Tuck.

  5. Most likely, you'll receive painkillers. Swelling in the surgery region is typical.

Self-care after a Tummy Tuck

Here are some basic self-care tips after a Tummy Tuck. 

  • Following your Tummy Tuck, you must wear an abdominal binder for around six weeks. This prevents fluid accumulation and offers abdominal support while you recover. Your doctor will explain how to take care of your scars.

  • After a belly tuck, you must use caution when moving about for the first six weeks. You will have to restrict strenuous activity during this period.

  • To protect the wound from reopening, you'll also need to avoid positions that tension the incision line, including swiftly bending at the waist.

  • You must stick to regular follow-up appointments.

Potential complications after a Tummy Tuck

There are dangers with every procedure. Complications after a Tummy Tuck may include infection, bleeding behind the skin flap, or blood clots (albeit they are uncommon). You might have scars (they usually fade with time). You could also feel numb, bruised, and exhausted in the days following the surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some frequently asked questions on Tummy Tuck.

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Who should not opt for a Tummy Tuck surgery?

Poor candidates for this surgery include those with severe cardiac illness, liver cirrhosis, and uncontrolled diabetes. Smoking has a negative impact on abdominoplasty surgery since the process needs a sufficient blood supply. Currently, many plastic surgeons view smoking as a contraindication to surgery.

Are Tummy Tucks and Liposuction the same?

A stomach tuck involves removing excess skin and fat from the abdomen, whereas Liposuction (also known as body contouring) involves suctioning out fat cells.

How much weight does a stomach tuck typically remove?

A stomach tuck may cause a three to four-pound weight decrease. If you choose a mini tuck, expect to lose about three pounds of extra skin and fat. Expect to lose about five pounds of excess skin and fat if you choose an extended tuck.

What happens to your waist size after a belly tuck?

While some patients may experience significant waist size reduction, others may experience more subtle changes. Everything is dependent on how much tissue can be safely removed.

How uncomfortable is a Tummy Tuck?

After a belly tuck, there will be some discomfort, with the biggest discomfort occurring during the first week. For the first few days to a week, pain is frequently rated at around 6 to 7 on a scale of 1 to 10, then drops to about 3 to 4 in the second week. Of course, that would depend on the person.

When should a belly tuck not be performed?

If you have a BMI above 30, any prior surgical difficulties or clotting problems, plans for future pregnancy, or other comorbidities, a Tummy Tuck might not be suitable. Please discuss the same with your doctor.

Does a stomach tuck remove visceral fat?

With a stomach tuck, visceral abdominal fat cannot be eliminated. This is due to the fact that a stomach tuck only removes fat that is on top of or above the abdominal muscles. Therefore, if you're thinking about having surgery, discuss everything with your doctor.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.

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