What is a Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty)?
Abdominoplasty is a surgical operation used to remove excess fat and loose skin from the mid-section of the body. A protuberant abdomen is a cosmetic problem that most women just can’t tolerate. According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Abdominoplasty or Tummy tuck is among the top three highly demanded plastic surgeries. Some ladies will try to change their eating habits and increase the number of sit-ups done daily, but sometimes this is just not enough to solve the problem. Most of these women, therefore, end up seeking the more aggressive services of cosmetic surgeons to remove the stubborn fat and skin tissues through surgical operations. It is essential to note that abdominoplasty is not just meant for women. Some men too, undergo this procedure, and the results are just as incredible.
A tummy tuck operation works through removing excess loose skin and tightening up abdominal muscles. Loose skin and abdominal muscles can be as a result of different factors. The results of this surgery is a flatter and well-toned abdomen that will have a massive impact on how your clothes fit, your appearance and most importantly, your self-confidence.
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What causes sagging abdominal skin?
One of the leading causes of sagging skin in women is pregnancy. After delivering, not all women have the luxury of watching their skin contract back into its original form. A few are a bit lucky because with a few sit up and gym sessions this loose skin will naturally tighten up and disappear. Another section of women will have to take more robust measures to get rid of this skin and abdominoplasty is one of such actions.
Loose skin can also be a genetic problem. Excess tummy and abdominal skin caused by genetic issues are typical in both men and women. This problem will in most cases not show up until the individual reaches his/her late 20s or early 30s.
Another known cause of excessive fat and loose skin in the midsection is poor eating habits. There are known foods and drinks that are linked to excess sagging skin especially if you are genetically susceptible to developing this condition. The good news is that the problem can be prevented by simply avoiding or monitoring how much of these foods you consume. Unfortunately, not everyone can successfully abstain, and by the time they notice the development of sagging skin, it’s usually too late to solve through dieting.
Indications that you need Abdominoplasty
- Excess fat and skin laxity
Excess fat and skin laxity is the most common and visible sign that you need an abdominoplasty. Liposuction can only assist in removing the excess fat but if you are hoping to also tackle lax skin then abdominoplasty is your best option. Skin laxity can be caused by pregnancy which makes your skin to expand and lose its elasticity. Laxity can also be caused by excessive weight loss. Once the flexibility is lost your skin will never be able to contract back into its original shape and size. That is why lax skin can never be tackled with dietary plans. Exercises and dieting can only control the fat behind the skin, but the skin will remain the same. To efficiently deal with the problem you will, therefore, have to undergo abdominoplasty.
- Loose muscles in the midsection
Loose muscles are characterized by their inability to offer support which leads to sagging skin. This problem is best tackled through a surgical operation by an experienced doctor. The cosmetic surgeon will have to separate fat and skin layers from the muscles and proceed to bring the muscles together around the midline. This creates stable muscles capable of supporting your stomach and the entire abdomen.
- Increased stretch marks
Stretch marks are caused by a change in body size. If you had a significant weight and then started doing exercises and gym works then your body will naturally respond by reducing in size. The reduction will cut down your body fat but the damage made to your skin will remain. This damage is generally in the form of stretch marks and very little can be done to remove the marks. When there are so much of these lines on your skin it means that there is also too much loose skin on your body. This is a sign that you may need an abdominoplasty to remedy the condition. A tummy tuck surgery can also assist in removing a few stretch marks as they come off with the loose skin being removed.
- A change in lifestyle
Another indication that you may be needing a tummy tuck procedure is an unexpected change in lifestyle. This can be in form of clothing decisions and how you feel about your body. Some women, for instance, will continue wearing maternity clothes months after delivering. This group of women will also be complaining that regular clothes are uncomfortable or no longer fit even after engaging in robust gym exercises. This is a clear indication that there are too much skin and fat in your body that you have to lose and the best way to do so is through a tummy tuck.
How one feels about their body can also show what they need. If for instance, you have insecurities about wearing a bikini in the beach because of your stomach then abdominoplasty might be the solution you need. If you also feel uncomfortable about wearing high waist cloths because of a protuberant abdomen, then that’s another indication that you are due a visit to a cosmetic surgeon.
Tummy Tuck Cost
How much is a tummy tuck in NY? The price of a tummy tuck can cost between $3000 and $12500. The average price is $5500, depending on the surgery. Looking for a cheap tummy tuck in NYC? Make sure to go for quality instead of a cheaper price.
Tummy Tuck Techniques
Just because a friend you know got excellent results from a particular abdominoplasty technique doesn’t mean that you will enjoy the same outcome by undergoing a similar method. These methods and their effectiveness vary from one individual to another. Several factors determine which of the various techniques will be both successful regarding achieving the intended results and also to be safe enough to avoid any complications. These factors include; the patient’s anatomy, amount of skin to be removed, the exact location of skin removal and the patient’s desired outcomes of the procedure. The location of incisions to be made is also dependent on these factors. The following are the commonly used tummy tuck techniques:
- Standard Tummy Tuck
Standard or Full tummy tuck is ideal for women and men who are looking to dispose of excessive fat from the abdomen. This procedure will flatten your tummy both below and above the belly button. To achieve this, two horizontal incisions are made around the umbilicus or belly button and another one between the hips. The surgeon then proceeds to extract excess skin tissue and pull the underlying muscles and remaining skin tightly just above the stomach. Since there is a lot of skin to remove this technique usually demands that the belly button is also repositioned for it to be proportional to the rest of the abdomen.
The operation is typically done under general anesthesia and takes around two hours to complete. Full recovery takes approximately two weeks.
- Mini Tummy Tuck
This technique is less invasive and will consequently deliver subtle results, unlike the standard tummy tuck. Mini tummy tuck surgeries are meant for patients who are targeting the area below the belly button. It’s hence recommended for slender women and men that have a protruding bulge or belly pooch located at the lower midsection between the belly button and the mons pubis.
The procedure involves making a tiny horizontal incision below the belly button. The surgeon will use this area to excise the excessive skin tissue and tighten up the muscles before closing it up. Since the position is less invasive and removes moderate amounts of skin, a belly button repositioning process is never necessary.
Mini Tummy Tuck procedures typically use twilight anesthesia and recovery time will also be a bit shorter if the patient’s body responds positively to the operation.
- Circumferential Tummy Tuck
This is a highly invasive abdominoplasty procedure meant to completely reshape the abdomen area. The operations need a highly qualified surgeon to make two incisions both horizontally and vertically. It’s for this reason that the process is only done on patients that are incredibly healthy. The patient should also be fully aware of the predictable results that this procedure will deliver and that the scar will be visible mainly from the vertical incisions.
The horizontal incision is done on the lower belly while the vertical one goes on the belly button. This approach gives the surgeon better access to remove a lot of surplus skin tissues and to tight up all the loose muscles in the abdominal region. Liposuction can also be carried out with this technique which will assist to remove even more fat from the hips and the lower back. This technique makes enormous alterations to the abdomen, and hence a belly button repositioning is always necessary.
The operation is carried out under general anesthesia and recovery period also tends to be longer than other abdominoplasty techniques.
Tummy Tuck Complications
Pulmonary embolism and wound healing complications are some of the problems associated with abdominoplasty. Cosmetic surgeons will always be keen to issue you with a directive on how you can prepare for the surgery to avoid these and other complications.
People who should avoid Abdominoplasty
Smokers and people with severe medical conditions are advised to avoid undergoing this procedure. With smoking, your doctor can recommend that you avoid cigarettes for a month or so and then you’ll be okay to undergo the operation. There’s however rarely any method that can be used to avert preexisting serious medical conditions.
Women that are still planning to get pregnant in future should also stay away from tummy tuck surgeries.
Abdominoplasty and Insurance
Insurance reimbursement from some carriers may apply if you have a protruding umbilical or abdominal area (a hernia).