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Things to Keep in Mind When Considering a Tummy Tuck

 For many people, the tummy is the most frustrating part of the body. Excess skin and fat accumulate in our midsection as we undergo normal physical changes such as childbirth and weight fluctuations. Exercise and diet are often ineffective at regaining the youthful curves of our waists and looking like we want to in our bathing suits and lingerie.  

Abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is a highly successful surgery that sculpts the waistline, smooths the belly, and creates a more toned abdominal surface. Tummy tucks are one of the most common cosmetic procedures in the world, making up 7.6% of all procedures. The procedure can also be done to repair damaged or weakened abdominal muscles, further tightening them and ensuring long-lasting effects.

It is essential that any prospective patient thoroughly research the procedure to understand its benefits and the potential risks it may bring. Although tummy tuck surgery is beneficial for both men and women, it comes with several recovery requirements and possible complications.

It's essential to set realistic expectations about the surgery and recovery process to ensure a smooth experience with this transformative procedure. In the article below, you can read about the most important things to keep in mind before scheduling and undergoing a tummy tuck procedure.

Costs Associated With the Surgical Procedure

Before opting for tummy tuck surgery, it’s important to be aware of the costs associated with the procedure. People who want to undergo this surgery need to research how much a tummy tuck costs on average in their region and the payment options available. Fortunately, there are several ways to cover these costs. If the procedure is medically necessary (e.g., if excess skin causes health problems), insurance may cover it.

Many plastic surgeons offer financing options to make surgery more affordable, allowing patients to pay the cost over time. Before making an appointment at the clinic, you should do your research and consult with your surgeon and your insurance provider to understand all your options.

The Procedure Requires Your Patience

It can take up to six months for you to see the "final" tummy tuck results. Even after six months, the scars will still be present.

Being aware of this before going into surgery can help you have clear expectations and plan for when you will be completely ready to show off your new shape. For example, patients who plan to spend their summer vacations at the beach may wish to schedule a tummy tuck for the fall or winter.

Surgical Drains Are Placed for the First Week or Two

Drains are placed after surgery to prevent a buildup of fluids or blood, reducing swelling and ensuring healing. In many cases, drains are used after a tummy tuck is performed. These drains, although temporary, will need attention and care. 

Your surgeon will explain the importance of drains, how to take care of them, and any restrictions on bathing before the surgery takes place. Remember that bathing should be done gently, and old washcloths and perfumed soaps should be avoided.

Most drains can be removed painlessly in 7 to 10 days. However, some may require them to remain in place for up to two weeks.

Maintain Stable Weight

Abdominoplasty doesn’t help you lose weight. You’ll need to maintain a healthy weight for at least six months before the procedure. The results may be affected by weight loss or gain following the procedure. It’s therefore recommended that you’re within 11 lbs. of your ideal weight. If there is a pregnancy on the horizon, doctors recommend that you wait until after you've given birth before you undergo a tummy tuck.

Lifestyle Changes

It’s advised that you avoid smoking after this procedure, as it will slow down the healing process. Smoking can cause skin damage by decreasing blood flow. Also, avoid taking medications such as aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications, as well as herbal supplements that may cause bleeding.

You’ll Have a Permanent Scar

Even though the tummy tuck procedure is considered one of the best cosmetic surgeries performed today, an incision on the abdomen will be visible. To achieve the full results seen in most before-and-after photos, a horizontal scar is placed along the lower abdomen in the shape of a smile. 

The horizontal incision will stretch from hip to hip and just above the pubic bone. The scar will fade over time but will still be visible for many years. A plastic surgeon with experience will place the incision carefully, making sure the scar is well concealed under clothing, underwear, and swimsuit bottoms.

Final Thoughts

The belly tends to be people's number one problem area, as it’s the place where most fat accumulates. Undergoing a tummy tuck procedure can be a great solution to this problem, and even though it’s a very successful procedure, it’s important to do some research and understand the positives and risks associated before scheduling an appointment. This way, you’ll be better prepared and ready to plan for a smoother healing process.

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