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Is a tummy tuck right for you? 6 considerations to weigh

Lana Bandoim's picture

Before you get a tummy tuck to get rid of the annoying fat and flab, you have to consider these tips.


It is not easy to get a flat stomach, and few people have flawless figures. The extra pounds and fat in your abdominal area are some of the greatest challenges to eliminate. Even when you diet and exercise religiously, you are still not able to get rid of the bulge around your stomach and hips. In other cases, you may shed the extra weight, but there is excess skin around your abdomen due to the rapid weight loss.

Women who give birth often have difficulty getting their flat stomach back, so they start to consider a tummy tuck. Also known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is a procedure that narrows the waist and tightens the abdominal muscles that have loosened after pregnancy, with age or weight loss. This procedure can help restore your body to its former glory. Before you call your local plastic surgeon, there are several things you should know.

Are you a good candidate?

Not everyone is an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck. “The best candidates for abdominoplasty are in good physical condition with pockets of fat or loose skin that haven’t responded well to diet and exercise. We can also help older, slightly obese people whose skin has lost some of its elasticity,” says Dr. Salemy, MD, FACS.

The best way to assess your candidacy is to make an appointment with a respected plastic surgeon who can go over your medical history and determine if this is a good choice for you. You want to consider all the options available for eliminating the annoying fat and extra skin.

Consider recovery time

You have to make sure you take enough time off work and other responsibilities to have this procedure. You will also need to make arrangements for child, pet or elderly care because you will be out of commission for at least two weeks.

After the two-week mark, you should feel better and should be able to go back to work or resume many of your normal activities. However, you may still be fragile for up to six weeks following the surgery. You want to make sure you have at least two months to make a full recovery before engaging in anything strenuous. You should be aware that some patients require a full year to recover completely.

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Think about projected results

Abdominoplasty has a high success rate, and patients are generally happy with the results. However, you can only achieve a flat stomach when you combine surgery with a balanced diet and regular exercise. If those two things are in place, the results are long-lasting. Without them, you might be facing the same procedure down the road.

Consider potential risks

As with any procedure, there are risks. These may include infections, blood clots and long healing. In some cases, patients do not recover well and require a second surgery to fix the problems. Dr. Salemy also warns patients that scarring becomes more of an issue the more times an abdominal procedure is performed. There will be some scarring after any surgery, but it should be minimal. Good surgeons know how to make the incision low enough that it falls below the bikini line, which conceals the mark.

Change your lifestyle

You will need to adjust your lifestyle because a balanced diet and regular exercise are necessary for anyone who wants a tummy tuck to last. For the first few months after the surgery, your doctor may also put you on a special diet to facilitate healing and encourage your body to crave healthier food after recovery.

Why you need help

One of the most important issues is to find someone who can help you after the tummy tuck surgery. You will not be able to move much or perform simple tasks for the first two weeks after the surgery. If you have children, you will need someone to help you care for them. If you do not have anyone who can assist you, then you might consider hiring someone such as a home nurse or a babysitter.

A tummy tuck is a great option for raising your self-esteem and completing your weight loss journey, but you have to be prepared. You want to talk to your doctor about this procedure to see if you would be a good candidate, and you have to discuss potential risks and results.