7 Things to Know About Tummy Tucks

The abdomen is one of the most notorious areas to tone and tighten with stubborn fat and loose, sagging skin thwarting your efforts. Weight loss, pregnancy, aging, and genetics are factors that can weaken abdominal muscles and affect skin laxity. A tummy tuck is a body contouring procedure to help achieve a flatter, firmer midsection and restore the body’s overall proportions.

While a tummy tuck is an effective cosmetic surgery, you may have questions regarding its risks and benefits and the tummy tuck recovery process. The experts at Zinsser Plastic Surgery answer your tummy tuck questions to help you determine whether it’s the right procedure for you.

What Is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a procedure to remove excess skin and fat and tighten the muscles in the abdominal area. Abdominoplasty can have a significant effect on your overall figure, helping you achieve a trim, flat midsection.

Tummy tuck benefits include:

  • Remove excess fat and hanging skin
  • Tighten loosened or stretched abdominal muscles
  • Flatter, tighter abdominal profile
  • Reduce medical issues, such as incontinence or back pain

Understanding the Basics of a Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck can help you achieve your aesthetic goals when diet and exercise have failed to produce the toned, flat abdomen you desire. It’s the ideal procedure to tighten muscles, reduce redundant skin and fat pockets, and produce a smoother abdominal contour.

Tummy tucks require significant recovery time with an initial recovery of two to three weeks. It’s normal to experience pain and discomfort, swelling, and bruising following surgery. Full recovery can take up to a year.

As a tummy tuck is a body contouring surgery rather than a weight loss solution, it’s important to be at or near your ideal, stable weight before treatment. It’s important to sustain your weight after a tummy tuck to maintain your optimal results.

Who Is an Ideal Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

Tummy tuck candidates are in good health, living a healthy lifestyle with a nutritious diet and a consistent exercise routine. These candidates want to permanently improve the appearance of stubborn belly fat, saggy or hanging abdominal skin, or correct separated abdominal muscles.

Typically, Virginia tummy tuck candidates should be:

  • Non-smokers, or willing to quit at least six weeks before and after surgery
  • Near their ideal weight
  • Finished with childbearing
  • Have realistic expectations
  • Understand the risks of their surgical procedure

Different Types of Tummy Tuck Procedures

As each person’s allocation of excess fat and skin varies, different abdominoplasty techniques are necessary to achieve optimal results. During your consultation, Dr. Zinsser will examine your anatomy and determine which technique will best help you achieve your goals.

  • In a standard or full tummy tuck, incisions run from hip to hip along the bikini line and around the belly button. The abdominal muscles are tightened, excess fat and skin are removed, then the remaining skin is draped, revealing slimmer contours.
  • A mini tummy tuck removes excess fat and skin below the navel. A shorter incision is used, and typically, no muscle repair is involved.
  • An extended tummy tuck is similar to the standard tummy tuck, except the incisions extend around the hips to the back to address excess fat deposits or sagging skin around the waist or flanks.
  • In a circumferential belt tummy tuck, the incisions extend around the circumference of the entire trunk to lift the butt, hips, and thighs and address redundant fat and skin in the lower abdomen following significant weight loss.

The Recovery Process After a Tummy Tuck

Following a tummy tuck, a compression garment is placed around the midsection to minimize swelling and provide support to your new contours. Most patients need to wear the compression garment throughout their recovery.

Your abdomen will feel tender, uncomfortable, or numb for several days. Expect the abdomen to be red, swollen, and bruised. Depending on the extent of your procedure, Dr. Zinsser may place temporary drains under the skin to remove excess fluid.

For the initial recovery, patients typically take one to two weeks off work. During this time, it’s important to get plenty of rest. Avoid strenuous exercises and activities for at least four weeks; however, Dr. Zinsser recommends light walking to promote circulation and healing.

Most abdominoplasty patients notice dramatic improvements immediately following their surgery. Over the next three to six months, those results continue improving as residual swelling resolves, revealing your full results.

Potential Risks and Complications of Tummy Tucks

Like any other major surgery, tummy tuck risks include bleeding, infections, and adverse reactions to anesthesia.

Other associated tummy tuck risks include:

  • Fluid accumulation: drains may reduce this risk
  • Poor healing, antibiotics may reduce the risk of infection
  • Scarring
  • Fat necrosis, smoking increases this risk
  • Skin sensation changes

Long-Term Results and Expectations

Patients who undergo tummy tucks typically experience long-lasting results; however, those results may require a few lifestyle changes. Weight fluctuations may impact your results, causing the stomach to bulge and reduce skin elasticity. As any remaining fat cells in the abdominal region may grow with weight gain, it’s important to adhere to a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen.

Pregnancy can negatively impact tummy tuck results, so it’s important to be finished with childbearing before your procedure. Following pregnancy, tummy tuck revision may be necessary to restore optimal results.

Aging will continue to affect the abdominal skin. It’s important to follow all post-operative instructions regarding skin care and sun exposure to extend your tummy tuck results.

Comparing Tummy Tucks to Other Body Contouring Options

During your consultation with Dr. Zinsser, it’s important to be open about your body contouring concerns so that he may recommend the appropriate procedure.

  • Liposuction addresses pockets of excess fat where there is no sagging skin and good skin resiliency.
  • Brazilian Butt Lift | Butt Augmentation sculpts the derriere and surrounding areas, creating a fuller, enhanced buttock profile. It improves the overall figure, including the abdominal profile.
  • Body Lift—Surgery After Weight Loss is for patients who have lost a significant amount of weight and have loose, sagging skin on multiple areas of their body.
  • Thigh Lift addresses the pockets of fat and excess, sagging skin of the thighs.
  • Arm Lift addresses the pockets of fat and sagging skin of the upper arms.
  • Mommy Makeover is a combination procedure that often incorporates a tummy tuck and a breast rejuvenation procedure to enhance the overall silhouette.

Choosing Zinsser Plastic Surgery as Your Richmond Tummy Tuck Specialist

When you’re searching for a tummy tuck surgeon, finding one who is highly experienced and invested in your outcome is invaluable. At Zinsser Plastic Surgery, we only have one goal: helping you achieve your goals so that you can feel comfortable in your skin. Dr. John Zinsser and his expert team have developed a warm, welcoming environment where they aim to help you create the appearance you desire.Contact Zinsser Plastic Surgery PC at (804) 474-9805 or complete our online form to schedule your tummy tuck consultation today.