Tummy Tucks And Weight Loss

Surgeon taking measurements of the patient's tummy while discussing tummy tucks and weight loss

Having a tummy tuck today is one of the most common procedures performed to help women and men feel better about their appearance. Abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is designed to firm and smooth the stomach area. This procedure removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen and tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall. One of the most common questions we get at our Atlanta plastic surgery office is about tummy tucks and weight loss.

How Much Weight Do You Lose with a Tummy Tuck?

It’s a common misconception that a tummy tuck is used as a method to lose weight. The amount of weight a person loses from a tummy tuck depends on the person, and this procedure should not be used as a weight-loss solution. In fact, tummy tuck procedures are meant for people who are within 10-20 lbs of their goal weight.

Although tummy tucks are an excellent body contouring option, it will take exercise and a healthy diet to achieve the desired flat-stomach look. If the patient is close to their desired weight and they have excess skin and fat that was caused by pregnancy, weight fluctuation, previous surgery, aging, or hereditary factors, they might be a good candidate for a tummy tuck procedure.

Do I Need A Tummy Tuck, And How Will It Benefit Me?

Many people have rounder and softer bellies than they would like to have. This can result from a pregnancy that separates and weakens the abdominal muscles, or it can be the result of massive weight loss. In some cases, it can be attributed to age or genetics.

If you fall into one of these categories, you may be a great candidate for this procedure. Here are several ways to find out if you need a tummy tuck or not. You may need a tummy tuck surgeon in Atlanta:

  • If you have good health and are in good physical condition with some stubborn pockets of fat hanging around your waist, you might be a candidate. A tummy tuck might be the only way to get rid of that fat! Just understand that fat deposits can return without maintaining a healthy lifestyle after a tummy tuck.
  • Your belly sticks out and doesn’t fit in proportion to your figure. A tummy tuck is a great way to contract those sagging abdominal muscles and create a leaner, properly balanced physique. This is done while the plastic surgeon, Dr. Deutsch, makes an incision along the pubic bone to the hip bones, gently loosening the stomach skin from the underlying tissues and suturing the tighter abdominal muscles.
  • You have post-pregnancy diastasis rectus (muscle separation). Diastasis rectus occurs when your muscle tissue does not move back to its original shape after childbirth and can cause a protruding belly, as well as back pain ad digestive problems. A tummy tuck can be done to reconnect the facia and repair the diastasis recti to achieve a flatter, firmer tummy contour.
  • You have had multiple pregnancies. It is easier for the body to recover (for most women) after the first baby than after subsequent pregnancies. The abdominal muscles continually loosen and weaken. A tummy tuck can reverse the effects of those pregnancies on the tummy, once again recreating a flatter, tighter stomach region.
  • You have a lot of flabby skin in the abdominal area. Today, this is commonly the result of losing a large amount of weight, around 100 pounds or more. As the fat and subcutaneous tissues contract and shrink, the skin itself has often lost some of its natural elasticity after years of stretching its ability.

While tummy tuck surgery can create a much more aesthetically pleasing appearance, it is not an exact science and will not produce the supermodel airbrushed abs you see in magazines. It is important to have a healthy projection of what the surgical procedure can do for you and understand that tummy tucks and weight loss are two separate issues.

Who Is Not An Ideal Candidate For Tummy Tuck?

If you are planning to have children or lose more weight, you are not the ideal candidate for a tummy tuck. You should also be in general good health and a non-smoker or at least be able to quit smoking six weeks before the procedure. Smoking prolongs the healing process with a greater potential for complications after a tummy tuck.

Also, keep in mind that people with large folds that hang down to the pubic bones or below the hips often require a more extensive procedure to achieve a flatter, firmer abdomen.

What Are The Tummy Tuck Options?

The medical name for a tummy tuck is abdominoplasty. There are different types of abdominoplasty procedures for those of you considering, depending on the weight and amount of skin that needs to be removed. A tummy tuck is when a plastic surgeon removes excess sagging skin around your abdomen. Dr. Deutsch includes liposuction of the flanks with both procedures for his patients to achieve optimal results. Also, if the patient has a hernia, Dr. Deutsch will also resolve it during the tummy tuck procedure. There are a few types of tummy tuck surgeries:

  • Full Tummy Tuck: This procedure removes excess skin and fat from the entire abdomen (above and below the navel) and tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall. With this procedure, the navel must be repositioned so that it continues to appear in a natural position. Because you have to undergo this procedure, it is not ideal for people with heart problems or other health problems.
  • Mini Tummy Tuck: With a mini tummy tuck, the skin below the navel is removed, which does not need to be repositioned for this procedure. There is still an incision in the pelvic bone, but it is a smaller incision.
  • Extended Tummy Tuck: An extended tummy tuck is similar to a full tummy tuck. However, the extent of the incision is the differentiator and allows for more loose tissue to be removed. With an extended tummy tuck, the lateral incision expands from the back of one hipbone, around the side of the hip, along the lower abdominal area to the other hip, and ends at the back of the other hipbone.

Generally, these are outpatient surgical procedures with a 10-14 day recovery period away from heavy activity. Whichever procedure you choose, you will be left with a flatter and firmer stomach. Due to the location of the incision, any minimal scarring will be barely noticeable.

What Happens During a Tummy Tuck Procedure?

When patients decide to undergo this procedure, they will have an initial consultation with their surgeon regarding the procedure. The doctor will gather information about your lifestyle, health, and what you hope to achieve with the surgery. Patients should be prepared to discuss things like what medications they are taking, whether they are participating in any substance abuse, allergies, previous surgeries, and more. If the doctor approves the patient for tummy tuck surgery, the surgeon will discuss what needs to be done before the surgery, such as lab tests, photographs, and medication adjustments.

Tummy tuck procedures are performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will begin by making an incision just above the pubic hairline. They will then tighten and repair the weakened underlying muscle before removing excess skin, tissue, and fat.

When patients are discharged from the hospital, it is recommended that they follow all of the physician’s instructions to care for the incisions, minimize swelling, and support the abdomen while it heals from this invasive surgery. They should make sure that they are taking the medications prescribed by the doctor.

What Can You Expect After Your Tummy Tuck?

After the procedure, patients receive a compression garment for the abdomen. Patients typically have to wear this garment for a total of six weeks. This compression garment is very important because it helps the skin shrink and reduces swelling and fluid retention. After the recovery period, patients can generally expect to see a firmer, flatter tummy. Although there will be a hidden scar on the lower abdomen, the scar usually fades over time and is hardly noticeable.

Boost your confidence with a tummy tuck

Physical appearance is very important to most of us. We do our best to be more presentable. We make sure to wear decent, clean, well-fitting clothing, accessories, exercise, and diet to lose weight or tone our bodies.

If you want to boost your self-esteem with a better appearance, cosmetic surgery can help. Now is the best time to reach out to a tummy tuck surgeon in Atlanta for the procedure. Dr. Deutsch is double board-certified and is a top plastic surgeon in Atlanta. Our team would love to speak to you about your desired results. Schedule a consultation today!