Today, most people want a flat tummy, but several factors may get in the way of their goal despite having a healthy diet and working out persistently. Excess fat and skin are the most common barriers to getting your desired stomach, yet there are procedures that can address them. At Eric P. Bachelor, M.D. F.A.C.S in Danville & Pleasanton, CA, we can help you get your desired tummy through a tummy tuck procedure.
A tummy tuck, also called abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic contouring procedure that tightens the abdominal muscles by removing excess fat from the area. The result is a tighter and flatter midsection that will boost your self-confidence and make you feel comfortable in your skin. If you’re unsure whether you’re the right candidate for this procedure, here are the factors we consider when assessing patients.
What Qualifies You For A Tummy Tuck?
1. You Have Loose Stomach Skin
One important reason you choose this procedure is loose skin around your abdomen. Loose skin is caused by various factors, such as pregnancy, genetics, fluctuations in weight, among others. One fact remains: loose or excess skin makes you feel self-conscious and may be unattractive.
As much as abdominoplasty can address stubborn pockets of fat, one needs to have a significant amount of excess skin around the abdomen. Our plastic surgeon will create an incision to perform this procedure, but if you don’t have excess skin, then your stomach may be left with a “stretched” look. Therefore the right candidate must have excess skin. Patients targeting excess fat should consider liposuction.
2. You’re Fairly Healthy
Being in good health means that you are relatively healthy, have no underlying health conditions, and are not a smoker. Nevertheless, you should not undergo any surgery if you are not good overall health. A tummy tuck is a low-risk procedure, but an experienced and knowledgeable plastic surgeon should perform it.
Patients get sedated with general anesthesia during the surgery, meaning their heart and lungs need to be healthy. Also, it’s essential to be free from autoimmune disorders and connective tissue disorders to make sure your recovery is safe, short, and comfortable. Smokers will have to abstain from smoking for at least six weeks before and after the procedure.
3. You Have Realistic Expectations About the Results
Abdominoplasty is ideal for anyone that want to get a contoured profile, but it’s not intended to be a weight loss surgery. It’s only designed to remove pockets of excess abdominal fat. The surgery can do wonders for your figure, such as reducing stretch marks, looking better in swimwear and clothes, and improving issues like urinary incontinence and low back pain.
A good candidate will understand that as much as the results of this procedure are permanent, one needs to maintain the results, which might differ from one patient to another. While new fat cells never replace the removed fat cells, it’s essential to mantain a constant weight. Subsequent weight gain may make the skin stretch out again, while weight loss may result in more sagging and excess skin.
4. You’re Committed to a Healthy Lifestyle
As previously mentioned, it’s vital not to gain or lose too much weight to ensure long-lasting results of the abdominoplasty. As much as it is essential to eat, watching your diet and lifestyle is important to prolong the attained results. Do not drink excessive alcohol and avoid consuming any form of tobacco or tobacco byproducts.
Consume enough water daily, making sure your urine is translucent or at least very pale. Also, get enough skin-supporting minerals and vitamins in your diet, like vitamin E, vitamin C, and biotin. You could also maintain a regular exercise routine to stay fit. Ideally, committing to a healthy lifestyle means you’re a perfect candidate.
5. You Have Had a Baby or Been Obese
The perfect candidate for an abdominoplasty has loose skin in the abdominal area. The two most common causes of loose skin are obesity and pregnancy. Both pregnancy and excess weight can cause your stomach muscles to be damaged permanently, leaving behind tissues hanging loosely around the stomach.
Having loose and excess skin makes you look heavier than your actual weight. Often, the loosely hanging tissues resemble a kangaroo pouch, and no amount of exercise or diet can reverse it. Abdominoplasty is the option that will help put back the abdominal tissues, giving you a firmer look.
6. You’re Done Being Pregnant
Future pregnancies will come with the risk of significant weight gain, separation of repaired muscles, and re-stretching of the skin around your belly. Therefore you’ll have to undergo another surgery to restore the results of your first surgery. You are a good candidate for the surgery if you have no plans of being pregnant in the future.
Women are encouraged to wait until they have finished nursing and have children to undergo this surgery. However, the surgery may not affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant or carry a child safely.
7. You’re Not Planning To Lose More Weight
A good candidate for abdominoplasty should be at their ideal weight or within 15 to 20 pounds of their target weight. Patients can lose weight after the procedure, but losing more than 30 pounds may affect the surgery results. It may leave more excess skin and sagging muscles around your abdomen.
A patient that loses more weight runs the risk of saggy skin and undoes the achieved results. Supposing you’re planning on losing more weight in the future, then it’s advisable to wait before undergoing surgery. We recommend that you wait until you’re at or near your ideal weight.
8. You Suffer From Stress Urinary Incontinence
A tummy tuck goes far beyond enhancing your aesthetic and self-confidence. It can also solve other medical conditions, such as curing stress urinary incontinence (S.U.I.), which is the most common side effect of pregnancy.
S.U.I. is a condition where there’s a lot of pressure on the urethra and bladder. People who suffer from S.U.I. experience uncontrollable urine leakage when sneezing, laughing, coughing, or other forceful things. You may greatly benefit from an abdominoplasty if you have loose skin, excess fat, and bladder control disorder.
9. You Suffer From Back Pain
Back pain is a common problem that both men and women face. Multiple pregnancies and extreme weight loss, among other risk factors, may make your abdominal muscles become distended. Due to this, you may experience lordosis (swayback), resulting in a sore back.
After your abdominal muscles have been tightened through the surgery, you’ll find out that your posture improves significantly. A better posture may drastically improve your abdominal tone. Therefore, the result will alleviate several types of back pain.
10. You Have a Ventral Hernia
A ventral hernia is a condition that occurs when the intestine or abdominal tissue penetrates the abdominal wall. It typically results in a painful pocket or sack on the abdomen. Some of its risk factors associated include massive weight loss, a C-section, an appendectomy, or a previous ventral hernia.
Tightening your abdominal wall through abdominoplasty will help ensure you avoid a second ventral hernia. Assuming you have a weak abdominal muscle and you’re at risk of developing, or you currently have a ventral hernia, then you may be the perfect candidate for abdominoplasty.
11. You Need a Little Help Maintaining Your Weight
Some people with a significant amount of excess skin find it uncomfortable and difficult, if not impossible, to exercise. They may be committed to a healthy lifestyle but need a little extra help. You will gain the self-confidence you need to swim or wear certain clothes once the excess skin is removed.
Sometimes, compression shirts and compression shorts may not be enough to keep your excess abdominal fat and skin from bouncing around uncomfortably. The surgery may also make other forms of physical activity like cycling and running a lot easier.
Get a Smoother, Firmer Abdominal Profile
A tummy tuck can improve your self-confidence, appearance, and quality of life. The procedure is designed to address stretch marks and loose skin, tighten your abdominal wall muscles, and in other cases, contour your flanks. It may not help you lose a significant amount of weight, but it will help you achieve a fabulous physique that exercise and diet alone won’t.
The perfect candidate should have realistic expectations of what the procedure can and cannot do. Avoiding weight fluctuations, following a healthy diet, and committing to a persistent workout routine helps to maintain the results. To determine if you’re a good candidate for a tummy tuck, Get in touch with us today at the office of Eric P. Bachelor, M.D. F.A.C.S in Danville & Pleasanton, CA, to schedule your consultation.