Many women consider having tummy tucks in order to reduce the appearance of bulging fat and excess skin around their stomachs. But what does a tummy tuck procedure involve? What are the risks and benefits associated with this procedure? And what does a tummy tuck cost?
What is A Tummy Tuck? Full versus Mini Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty as it is also called, is a plastic surgery procedure in which excess skin and fat from the abdomen area are removed. Tummy tucks also tighten the muscles of the abdomen wall.
A full tummy tuck targets the middle and lower abdomen. This cosmetic surgery procedure involves making an incision from hipbone to hipbone just above the pubic area followed by a second incision that frees the navel from the tissue. The skin is then separated and the abdominal muscles are tightened through stitching; excess skin is also removed.
A mini tummy tuck on the other hand, targets only the lower abdomen (located below the navel). Surgery involves one short horizontal incision that is made in order to firm up abdomen muscles and remove excess skin.
A full tummy tuck surgery takes two to five hours to complete, while a partial or mini tummy tuck takes one to two hours.
When is Abdominoplasty Recommended?
The most common reasons why a tummy tuck would be performed are:
- excess or sagging abdominal skin
- protruding abdomen
- separated or weakened abdominal muscles
- extra fatty tissue in the abdominal area
Tummy tucks are usually recommended when a woman is in good shape but has an extensive fat deposit and loose abdominal skin which cannot be significantly reduced through proper diet and exercise.
Many women consider having a tummy tuck after having multiple pregnancies, since after pregnancy women often find that their muscles have stretched, resulting in stretch marks as well as a loss of firmness and elasticity.
Older women may also consider having abdominoplasty due to the declining elasticity of aging skin. However, in the case of older women, a lack of skin elasticity can also be linked to slight obesity.
When assessing whether a woman needs a tummy tuck, a plastic surgeon will likely examine her abdominal area, both while she is standing and while she is lying down.
A tummy tuck is sometimes performed in conjunction with liposuction.
The Benefits of A Tummy Tuck
Tummy tucks usually have long-term results; they often lead to greater self-confidence and self-esteem in women, approving their overall sense of beauty and appearance. However, it is important to note that the results of tummy tucks are not always perfect. Always make sure to discuss your expectations and possible complications with your plastic surgeon before undergoing abdominoplasty.
Complications of a Tummy Tuck: The Risks and Side Effects
While thousands of tummy tucks are performed successfully each year by qualified plastic surgeons in the United States, there are some complications that exist when having a tummy tuck.
Post-operational risks include infection and blood clots. While these are rare, they do require antibiotics and drainage in order to be treated when they do occur.
Poor healing after a tummy tuck can lead to scarring and sometimes a second operation is required. Delayed healing after plastic surgery can be exacerbated by lifestyle factors such as smoking.
While experts usually recommend waiting until you no longer want children to have a tummy tuck, many women have had tummy tucks in between children, with no noted problems or complications in pregnancy or later on in life.
The Cost for a Tummy Tuck
Most insurance companies don't cover the costs of a tummy tuck.
The average cost for a tummy tuck procedure ranges from $5,000 to $9,000.