Is a Tummy Tuck Right for You?
For most Houston women and men, achieving that firm, flat and defined midsection is simply unattainable through diet and exercise alone. While rigorous calorie counting and weight loss regimens are the most effective way to shed pounds and tone your figure, more often than not they fall short of reducing the embarrassing pockets of fat that stubbornly cling to the belly or subsequent loose, stretched skin. Fortunately, abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is a specialized surgical procedure that is designed to specifically target this difficult region of the body by removing excess fat and skin while also addressing weakened abdominal muscles.
Each year, tummy tuck procedures are consistently one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries requested by both men and women alike who wish to reshape, flatten and tighten a protruding stomach. In the hands of a qualified, board-certified Houston plastic surgeon Dr. Rappaport, a tummy tuck can not only remove the flab on your abs but also restore the firmness of underlying stomach muscles for results that last for years to come. However, while a tummy tuck may seem like the perfect solution for achieving a smoother, slimmer silhouette, it isn’t right for everyone. During your initial consultation at Houston Center for Plastic Surgery, a thorough exam of your medical history, weight and expectations for the procedure will be considered to determine if the procedure is right for you – but in the meantime, we’ve compiled the following information to help you understand if a tummy tuck can help you achieve your goals.
What Can a Tummy Tuck Treat?
The reasons an individual may consider tummy tuck surgery are personal and can range from wanting to eliminate unshakeable fat pockets from the belly to addressing more drastic changes to the abdomen caused by pregnancy, weight loss or aging. In general, the best candidates for a tummy tuck procedure are in good overall health, do not smoke, are at or near their goal weight and are unsatisfied with the appearance of their stomach. A tummy tuck may be the ideal treatment for you if:
- You have abdominal fat that has not responded to diet and exercise
- Your abdominal muscles have been weakened and stretched by pregnancy or significant weight gain
- You have a rounded, protruding stomach that is disproportionate with the rest of your figure
- You have excess skin above or below the belly button
- You are bothered by the overall appearance of your midsection
Regardless of your reasons, a tummy tuck procedure may be able to help you achieve a sleeker and more aesthetically-pleasing abdominal contour, improving how clothes fit on your body and restoring your self-confidence for years to come.
Is a Tummy Tuck Right For Me?
You may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck if:
- You Are at or Near Your Goal Weight
Contrary to popular belief, an abdominoplasty is not a weight-loss procedure, nor is it an adequate substitute for leading a healthy lifestyle. Ideal candidates are individuals who are already at their goal weight or are within 15-20 pounds of their goal weight. Patients who wish to lose more than 30 pounds after their procedure risk gaining additional excess skin on the stomach and negating their results. It is of the utmost importance to continue eating right and working out regularly to effectively maintain your figure after your surgery.
- You Have Excess Skin on the Abdomen
While abdominoplasty surgery works to remove stubborn belly fat, ideal candidates for this procedure must also have a significant amount of excess skin present on the abdomen, typically above and below their belly button, to qualify. Patients who only have mildly stretched skin below the belly button may opt for a mini tummy tuck to achieve a more toned, smooth stomach.
- You are Not Planning Future Pregnancies
Patients who are healthy may choose to undergo tummy tuck surgery at any stage of their life; however, if having children is apart of your future it is recommended to wait to have the procedure until you are no longer planning on getting pregnant. Pregnancy can separate repaired abdominal muscles and can re-stretch the skin around your middle, reversing the outcome of your surgery. While previous tummy tuck procedures will not have any adverse effects on the health of your baby in the event of an unplanned pregnancy, it is more beneficial to the final outcome of your procedure to wait.
- You Can Take Time Off for Recovery
An abdominoplasty can be an extensive cosmetic surgery, taking a significant toll on the body, so you should be aware that you will face a considerable amount of downtime after this procedure. Tummy tuck surgery is not an ideal option for patients who cannot afford to take off time for recovery or who are hoping for a more minimally-invasive body-shaping treatment. Following your surgery, you will be required to wear a compression garment over your stomach and will have surgical drains in place for several days to promote faster healing. While you should be able to return to your normal day-to-day activities after about two to three weeks of healing, strenuous activity is usually discouraged for up to six to eight weeks to achieve the most successful results.
- You Have Realistic Expectations and Goals
The enhancements made to your figure during a tummy tuck procedure are designed to be lasting, barring any future pregnancies or significant weight fluctuations. However, this procedure is not a quick-fix for your appearance and results will become apparent gradually over the course of several weeks. The best candidates for a tummy tuck understand that while the procedure can provide substantial improvements to your overall figure and self-esteem, it will not drastically change your appearance. If you realize that tummy tuck surgery is only used to target troubling problem areas on and around the stomach, you will be highly satisfied with your results.
If you are ready to put an end to the struggle for a tighter, smoother stomach, you may be the perfect candidate for an abdominoplasty. Contact Houston Center for Plastic Surgery today at 713-597-5935 and schedule a consultation to explore your body-contouring options.