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Plastic surgery associations

Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
Fellow, American College of Surgeons

5 Facts You Should Know About Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tucks)

When a healthy diet and regular exercise don’t produce the flat, toned core you want, a tummy tuck may be just the answer to give you a sleek silhouette.

Also called an abdominoplasty, the tummy tuck is designed to remove excess fat and loose skin as well as restore your abdominal muscles.

We encourage all of our patients to learn as much about a procedure as they can—so if you’re looking into a tummy tuck, here are five key things to know:

1) There is more than one tummy tuck procedure (*see Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck).

A mini-tummy tuck focuses on the lower abdomen to tighten loose skin. The standard procedure removes excess skin and tightens underlying muscles, while the extended tummy tuck targets your entire lower torso.

Your plastic surgeon can help you decide which procedure will help you reach your goals.

2) Your recovery from a tummy tuck will last several weeks.

A tummy tuck is an extensive procedure that requires more recovery time than many other cosmetic surgeries, perhaps up to three weeks. (If you’ve had a C-section before, your recovery from a standard tummy tuck will be comparable.)

Depending on the extent of the surgery you undergo, you may need help at home for up to five days. You’ll be on pain medication for a while and need to rest while your body recovers.

3) If you're wondering "Can I only get a tummy tuck after weight loss?"

You should know that a tummy tuck is not a weight loss measure. You should lose weight before a tummy tuck (*but there are no specific tummy tuck weight requirements), and not rely on the surgery to resolve any long-standing weight loss issues.

If you’ve already lost a dramatic amount of weight—good for you!—you should postpone an abdominoplasty for six months up to a year, to be sure your new weight is stable.

4) The results of a tummy tuck are technically permanent.

This is good news! But to maintain your results over time, avoid big fluctuations in your weight. An encouraging January 2013 report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons stated that many subjects in a post-abdominoplasty study sustained long-lasting weight loss after the procedure.

5) Tummy tucks are for men, too.

Though tummy tucks are popular with women who have had multiple pregnancies, they are also offered for those who have lost a significant amount of weight. Men can also suffer from loose muscles and sagging skin that aren’t improved by exercise or diet—it’s not just a girl thing!

There are many benefits of a tummy tuck: You will have tighter abdominal muscles, your clothes will fit better, and you’ll feel good about seeing your silhouette in the mirror once again.

The procedure is a wonderful gift to yourself after achieving your weight loss goals or after your childbearing days are over. Set up a consultation today so that we can share your likely results from the tummy tuck procedure with you.

**Article by Dr. Roak of La Jolla Surgery Centre
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