Abdominoplasty is a procedure performed to smooth and tighten the abdomen by removing sagging skin or fat and tightening the underlying muscles. This is performed with a combination of liposuction and skin tightening techniques, designed not to cure obesity but to add firmness to the belly area in certain circumstances. This is a type of plastic, or cosmetic, surgery — although it may be instrumental and necessary for some, it is considered extraneous, and therefore not performed by most doctors. To get a tummy tuck, seek out professional plastic surgeons in your area, who are sure to do their best to inform you and see if you are right for the procedure.
There are two main types of tummy tucks: mini tummy tuck and full abdominoplasty. The full is the traditional type, and the one that you are most likely to have heard of. Tummy tucks usually include liposuction, a procedure in which lipids (fat) are literally sucked out of the body, but the main purpose of a tuck is not to remove fat. It aims more to tighten the skin and muscles of the abdomen in order to improve the overall appearance, making it more taut and firm, and smooth.
The mini tummy tuck features a C Section looking incision, just below the navel, and a tightening of skin and fat in that area only.
Tummy tucks are not for people with excess fat that they don’t feel like working off. This is for people, such as the elderly or recent mothers, who have issues with slack, loose bellies. Although most anyone can benefit from a tummy tuck, a plastic surgeon is less likely to operate if you don’t meet the ideal requirements — especially since a tummy tuck can prove useless if you are incapable of maintaining a healthy body weight.
According to Dr-Delgado, the best candidate is healthy, with a good weight, but is incapable of tightening their abdominal muscles and skin adequately through diet and exercise.
Tummy tucks are not for the “overweight” — they are not for people with genuine health problems who have issues losing weight. Tummy tucks can help you lose weight, but are not a substitute for proper diet and exercise. The effects of a tuck, whether full or mini, might not be long lasting to those whose overall health is poor.
Since tummy tucks are cosmetic, very rarely do insurance companies cover it. As such, they can be pricey, and are not for everyone.
When looking for a surgeon, there are many things to consider. Chief of these, is his or her obvious knowledge and willingness to share that knowledge with you. A good plastic surgeon should consult with you on how the procedure will go, as well as what any risk factors are, and whether you are an ideal candidate.
Miguel Delgado is a Plastic Surgeon in San Francisco, CA: Sonoma County, Napa County and Marin County