A woman with a slim waist after a tummy tuck

How Does a Tummy Tuck Work?

Many men and women are not fully confident with their body. This may be especially true if you have loose skin around your midsection. After extensive weight loss or after pregnancy, it’s common to have a “pooch” of excess skin around your stomach. Oftentimes, this area will not respond to diet and exercise, so you may require plastic surgery in order to achieve the look you want. A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, tightens your lower abdominal area to create a more sculpted appearance.

How does this surgery work and what should you know?

Complete vs. Partial Abdominoplasty

There are different options for a tummy tuck procedure and each one works slightly differently. A complete abdominoplasty requires your plastic surgeon to cut from hip bone to hip bone across your abdomen. In most cases, your surgeon will work with you to keep the scar lower on your abdominal area and less visible. After making the incision, your surgeon will perform body contouring by tightening your ab muscles and removing excess skin and fat. Your belly button will move during this process.

A partial or mini abdominoplasty is more suitable if you have more fat deposits below the belly button than above. Compared to the complete abdominoplasty, this cosmetic surgery takes a shorter length of time to complete. It may also leave less scarring. However, the results are not as dramatic as the full procedure. Alternatively, you can opt for an extended abdominoplasty, which alters your hips as well as your stomach. Your plastic surgeon can help you determine which type of surgery is right for you.

Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

Since tummy tucks and liposuction are both intended to give you a slimmer appearance, many people are confused about the difference. Although the goals are similar, these are actually very different procedures. A tummy tuck will remove excess fat and skin and tighten your abdominal muscles, whereas liposuction exclusively removes fat. Liposuction can also be done elsewhere on the body besides the abdomen, such as your lower back, your thighs, or even your face.

While these are two separate procedures, you may want to consider combining the two of them to achieve your desired look. Liposuction removes stubborn fat deposits that a tummy tuck will not. An abdominoplasty can tighten muscles and skin to complete the process. Adding liposuction to your tummy tuck can also reduce your recovery time, as your plastic surgeon can perform the procedure in such a way to minimize the need for drains during recovery.

Who Can Get a Tummy Tuck?

If you want to look slimmer and feel more confident, a tummy tuck can be a great option. However, this popular procedure is not for everyone. An abdominoplasty is not a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise and should not be used as an alternative to weight loss. In fact, a tummy tuck will only have the desired results if you are already at or very close to your ideal weight. You should also not get a tummy tuck if you are a woman who plans on becoming pregnant in the future, as pregnancy can dramatically shift your abdominal muscles.

Tummy Tuck Surgeons in Tucson

A tummy tuck is a serious surgical procedure and as a result, you need to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with the experience necessary to help you. At Hess & Sandeen, we take the utmost care to ensure you love the way you look after your surgery. We also work with you to minimize recovery time.

Call us today to discuss if a tummy tuck procedure is right for you.