A tummy tuck, otherwise known as abdominoplasty, is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the world. At Southwest Michigan Plastic and Hand Surgery in Portage, MI, we are proud to offer this procedure to help our clients improve their self-confidence and quality of life. Today, we are discussing some of the factors we consider when determining who is a good candidate and answering some FAQs.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
The only way to determine definitely whether you are a good tummy tuck candidate is to come in for an initial evaluation. However, there is a good chance you will qualify if you are concerned about your abdominal region and are relatively healthy. Here is a closer look at some of the signs that you may be a good fit for this procedure:
You Are a Non-Smoker
It is also important that you do not consume nicotine during the first two weeks after surgery. If you do not feel confident you can go 28 days without smoking or consuming other forms of nicotine, let us know during your initial conversation. It may affect your candidacy.
You Can Abstain From Alcohol Consumption
Another sign abdominoplasty may be right for you is that you can abstain from alcohol consumption for 14 days prior to surgery. Like nicotine, alcohol can increase your blood pressure measurably. To reiterate, it is important that your blood pressure is normal at the time of your surgery. It is also important that you feel confident going 14 days without alcohol after surgery.
In addition to mitigating the risk that your blood pressure is too high at the time of surgery, abstaining from alcohol mitigates the risk that you are dehydrated or lacking vital nutrients when you come in for your procedure. Two very important preparation steps you must take prior to surgery are ensuring you are hydrated and well-nourished. You should also avoid eating unhealthy foods, like highly processed breakfast bars or excessive amounts of sodium.
You Are Relatively Healthy
To reiterate, a sign that abdominoplasty is right for you is that you are relatively healthy. We will discuss your health during your initial consultation. Certain chronic conditions, like cancer or uncontrolled diabetes, will disqualify you. Furthermore, you will be considered a poor fit for this procedure if you are suffering from an acute illness, like the flu or an acne outbreak, at the time of surgery.
You Are Concerned About the Appearance of Your Lower Abdomen
Another sign that abdominoplasty will be deemed a good fit for you is that you are concerned about the appearance of your lower abdomen. If you are only concerned about the appearance of your lower abdomen, you will be considered a better fit for a mini tuck. The scope of this procedure entails improving the appearance below the navel by tightening loose skin, removing excess skin, and excising a small amount of excess fat.
If you have concerns about a significant amount of excess fat, liposuction will also probably be a good fit for you. Liposuction is a fat removal procedure designed to improve the appearance of just about any region of your body with excess subcutaneous fat.
You Are Concerned About the Appearance of Your Upper Abdomen
Yet another sign that abdominoplasty may be right for you is that you are concerned about the appearance of your upper abdomen. You’ll need to opt for a complete tuck if you have concerns about your upper and lower abdomen. If you opt for a complete tuck, you will be able to tighten loose abdominal wall muscles and address other concerns, like stress urinary incontinence, lower back pain, and a ventral hernia.
Other FAQs Answered
How Long Will My Procedure Take?
If you opt for full abdominoplasty, it may take approximately two to five hours for your procedure to complete. On the other hand, if you opt for a mini tuck, your procedure won’t take as long. We will give you a better idea of how long to expect your procedure to take during your initial consultation. Your procedure will also take longer if you get multiple procedures, like liposuction, during your abdominoplasty session.
How Long Will My Recovery Take?
For all intents and purposes, your recovery period will only take between six and eight weeks to complete. It is only during this time that you should expect to be restricted in your activities. However, it can take closer to a year for your incision sites to heal completely. How long your recovery takes to complete depends on several factors, including your age, post-op diet, and post-op lifestyle choices.
If you want to recover from surgery as quickly as possible, it is very important that your diet is on point. You will need to make sure that you stay hydrated, and you also need to make sure that you eat nutritiously. Furthermore, it is important that you minimize your consumption of junk food. You should also do your best to sleep on your back for at least 7.5 to nine hours nightly.
Will I Need to Fast Before Surgery?
We’ll advise you on whether fasting before surgery is necessary during your initial consultation. Whether you need to fast pre-op depends on the type of anesthetic you will receive to keep you comfortable during your procedure. If you only opt for a mini tuck to improve your confidence and quality of life, there is a good chance you will only be given a sedative and local anesthetic.
On the other hand, if the scope of your procedure is significant, there is a better chance that general anesthesia will be recommended. If you only need a local anesthetic, you will be able to eat and hydrate yourself normally prior to surgery. If you need general anesthesia, you will need to fast for a third of the day prior to surgery. Similarly, you must commit to a two-hour dry fast during which you do not even consume clear liquids, like water and white tea.
What Other Preparation Steps Will I Need to Be Aware of?
We will give you a complete set of preparation instructions during your initial consultation. In addition to maintaining a healthy diet and refraining from nicotine and alcohol consumption, it is extremely important that you take steps to mitigate the risk of skin irritation in your abdominal region at the time of surgery.
For example, you should do your best to minimize your exposure to UV rays. Do not visit any tanning beds, and do not sunbathe. If your abdominal region will be exposed to sunlight, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor that is adequate based on your family health history. If you have pale skin or a family history of melanoma, you may need an SPF of 55. If you have dark skin, you may only need an SPF of 35.
What Other Procedures May Help Me Improve My Self-Confidence?
During your initial consultation, we will discuss all of your aesthetic concerns. We’ve already touched on liposuction being potentially effective for the treatment of excess abdominal fat. You should know that this procedure can also be effective for the treatment of excess fat in other areas, like the upper arms and chest.
If you are concerned about the appearance of your upper arms, you may be considered a good candidate for liposuction and brachioplasty (an arm lift). Brachioplasty involves removing excess arm skin and tightening loose localized tissues through a small incision.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
There is a good chance that you will be considered a good tummy tuck candidate if you want to move your navel, tighten loose skin and muscles, and remove excess skin and fat. With that being said, you’ll need to discuss your health and goals with a plastic surgeon to verify your candidacy. Contact us today at Southwest Michigan Plastic and Hand Surgery in Portage, MI to schedule your initial abdominoplasty consultation.