If you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your stomach, you aren’t alone. In fact, the abdomen is one of the most common areas of the body cited when people are asked what they would most like to change about their body appearance. While many areas of our body can hold onto excess fat, for many people it is their abdomen that is most easily affected by weight gain. For these patients, when their weight increases, so too do the size of their abdomen and the skin over the stomach will also stretch to accommodate it. In an ideal world, if you then go on to lose weight, the skin will shrink back into place against your newer, smaller stomach. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case and patients are often left with excess skin that hangs down over their abdomen. Depending on the extent of your excess skin, you could experience problems with the way that your clothes fit, you could feel self-conscious about being seen in underwear or swimwear or you may even find you experience rashes under the folds of skin which can be sore and irritating.
If you have been left with extra stomach skin, a tummy tuck could be the solution that you are looking for.
A tummy tuck is a very popular cosmetic surgery, the aim of which is to remove excess fat and skin from the abdomen in order for the patient to achieve a smoother, flatter, and more toned stomach. You may also hear of the procedure being referred to as an abdominoplasty.
The procedure is fairly simple and straightforward. Your surgeon will make a long incision across the abdomen which they will then use to separate the overlying skin from the underlying muscles. This is important if your muscles have become lax – which is often the case when patients have gone through pregnancy or have lost a good amount of weight – they will need to be tightened to achieve the best possible results from your tummy tuck. Some women who have been through pregnancy may even have stomach muscles that have separated and repairing these by stitching them back together will make a dramatic improvement to the appearance of their abdominal area.
Once the underlying stomach muscles have been addressed, your surgeon will then pull the skin tightly back over your abdomen so that it closely adheres to the contours underneath. The skin can be secured in place using staples or sutures and any excess cut away and discarded. This completes the surgery.
Of course, it may be that you don’t have enough excess skin to warrant a full tummy tuck as described above. Some patients find that they simply have extra stomach skin in the area below their belly button, particularly following pregnancy. In this instance, they may be a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck/mini-abdominoplasty. This is carried out in the same way as a full tummy tuck but only focuses on making adjustments to the area south of the navel.
Having excess skin alone doesn’t automatically make you a good candidate for a tummy tuck. You will need to attend a consultation to discuss your reasons for surgery and have a physical examination before you can be approved for the procedure. Some of the things that your surgeon will take into account when making this decision will include:
Whether or not your weight is stable. A tummy tuck isn’t a weight-loss treatment and it should only be carried out on patients whose weight is stable. This is because if your weight is still fluctuating, so too will your skin and you will likely experience excess skin again in the future. You are better waiting until you reach a weight that you are happy with and that you can maintain long-term.
Your overall health. Tummy tuck surgery is carried out under general anesthetic, so you will need to be healthy enough to be a low risk under anesthetic, plus have no other concerning health problems.
If you are finished having children. Unsurprisingly, any subsequent pregnancies will almost certainly undo the effects of a tummy tuck. Therefore, surgeons advise patients to wait until they have finished having children before they undergo this procedure.
You are having surgery for the right reasons. Nobody should ever try and force you into a cosmetic surgery procedure, physically or emotionally. Your surgeon has a duty of care to you and will want to be sure that you are looking for a tummy tuck for the right reasons – to empower yourself and have greater confidence in your appearance, not because someone else has told you that you should have one.
If you have extra stomach skin that is causing you to feel self-conscious about your appearance, a tummy tuck could be the perfect solution to help you regain your shape and confidence. Call our discreet team in Plano, TX today to schedule your confidential consultation.