The “tummy tuck”, more formally known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure for removing excess fat and skin from the abdomen. The procedure can also be used to restore weakened or separated muscles in the abdominal wall. While exercise and diet can help with getting and keeping a flat abdomen, they are not always enough. Various factors contribute to a sagging or bulging abdomen, including aging, pregnancies, and dramatic and recent weight loss. Tummy tucks on women are usually done because of either sagging skin, belly fat, or bulging abdominal muscles after pregnancy.
Despite a tummy tuck having been performed correctly, and the results (in principle) permanent, a positive outcome can be largely negated by certain post-operative factors, including substantial weight loss after surgery or pregnancy. A good exercise program and a sensible diet can help maintain the gains realized by the tummy tuck for women and men.
Types of Tummy Tucks
Two major types of tummy tucks are the complete tummy tuck and the partial tummy tuck (mini-abdominoplasty). With the complete tummy tuck, the surgeon makes an incision across the abdomen, spanning across the hips, while contouring muscle, skin, and other tissue. The naval’s position is usually adjusted, and a drainage tube is used for a few days. A partial tummy tuck is done on patients with extra fat below the naval. The naval’s position is usually not changed, and the procedure may only take a few hours.
Is a Tummy Tuck Right for You?
Generally, good candidates for a tummy tuck are those in good health (also refraining from smoking or drinking) with a stable weight. It will also help to have realistic expectations about the outcome, which can be addressed during consultation with the surgeon who will do the procedure. For example, realistically, a tummy tuck is meant for toning and tightening the midsection, not fat removal. For stubborn fat deposits, liposuction is often used with a tummy tuck.
For the best possible cosmetic result, potential scarring must be evaluated. Related to that, if the patient has scarring from a previous procedure, like a cesarean section, the possibility of combining the old scars with the abdominoplasty scars should be considered. After surgery, do not subject the incisions to excessive abrasion or motion.
Cost of a Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck is usually considered elective surgery, which insurance companies do not cover. An exception is when a medical condition like a hernia can be corrected with a tummy tuck; insurance may cover part of the cost. Otherwise, the procedure would be paid out of pocket by the patient. Costs include the surgeon, the facility, tests, anesthesia, and medications.
As one of the less risky surgical procedures, a tummy tuck can produce great and long-lasting results in one’s appearance, with relatively little risk.