What is a tummy tuck? Plastic surgeon in Miami, FL explains
Genetics, pregnancy, and weight gain can all lead to storage of extra fat and loose skin in the abdominal area. If self-consciousness about your stomach is holding you back from wearing a swimsuit, walking into social or work situations with confidence, or simply feeling and looking your best, a tummy tuck may be a great option for you! Below, Dr. Nirmal Nathan, a board-certified plastic surgeon at The Nathan Clinic in Miami, FL, explains what a tummy tuck is, who is a good candidate, and what to expect.
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that helps patients feel more confident by reducing extra fat and skin in the abdominal area and tightening the rectus abdominis muscles. It is also called an “abdominoplasty.”
A less invasive procedure called a “mini tummy tuck” is also available that does not tighten the muscles but reduces extra fat and skin beneath the navel. With a mini tummy tuck, a shorter incision is necessary, so it has a shorter recovery time.
Dr. Nathan will discuss the two options with you in the context of your unique shape and goals to determine which tummy tuck procedure is best for you.
Who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
Tummy tucks can be a great choice for patients who have:
- Stretched skin and muscles in the abdominal area due to pregnancy
- Lost a significant amount of weight, resulting in extra skin in the abdominal area
- Pockets of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise due to a genetic predisposition for storing abdominal fat or natural aging processes
Because tummy tucks are considered invasive surgeries and do carry risks, patients who are non-smokers and are in good physical condition are the best candidates for recovering well from the procedure. If you are planning to lose more weight or may become pregnant again, we recommend that you wait until you have reached a stable weight and are not planning to have any more children before undergoing the procedure so that your results are not diminished. It is important to have realistic expectations about the results and to understand that a tummy tuck is not designed to be a weight-loss tool, but rather a stomach flattening procedure.
How the procedure works
A tummy tuck is performed under general anesthesia for your comfort, so we will give you detailed instructions on how to prepare for the surgery. Once you are completely relaxed and numbed, Dr. Nathan will strategically create an incision along the crease of the thighs and pubic mound so that scarring is easily hidden, as well as around the navel. He will then carefully remove the extra skin, and if you are undergoing a full tummy tuck, tighten the underlying muscles. If you have suffered from a separation of muscles called rectus diastasis due to pregnancy or weakened muscles, Dr. Nathan will move your abs back together for a more natural “six-pack” appearance. At this point, extra fat can also be removed to promote a more shapely, thin figure. Dr. Nathan will then close and suture the abdominal area and protect it with sterile dressings. We provide you with thorough post-op instructions to aid in healing and recovery.
Tummy tuck results
Many patients see an immediate improvement in their abdominal area after surgery, but there will be some swelling that hides your true end results. After you have begun to heal and are able to stand with a fully upright posture, your stomach will be flatter, firmer, and more balanced in comparison to the rest of your body. Even if the amount of weight lost from the procedure is minimal, many patients feel like their whole body looks many pounds lighter!
While aging and genetics will continue to play a role in how your stomach appears in the years after your tummy tuck, an ongoing commitment to a healthy lifestyle can help you maintain your results for your lifetime.
Schedule your personalized consultation
The first step in achieving your new slimmed abs is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Nathan. Our pre-planning process is designed to consider your unique body shape, medical history, and cosmetic goals to help you achieve the best results, as well as ensure that you are comfortable with the procedure and know what to expect before, during, and after your tummy tuck. We love to answer patients’ questions, so they are well-informed and confident about their treatment plan! If you are in the Miami area, call our Miami, FL office today at (305) 680-5121 to schedule your appointment!Back to Tummy Tuck Page