A flat, toned stomach is one of the most sought-after attributes for both men and women in society today. This is an aesthetically-pleasing body characteristic, which may be one of the reasons why there were approximately 122,000 tummy tuck (also called abdominoplasty) procedures performed in the United States in 2008, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
A tummy tuck procedure is a surgical method to remove excess fat and skin from the abdominal area on healthy, active patients. The surgery can also help to repair abdominal muscles that have become weak or separated due to pregnancy, extreme weight loss, heredity or aging. While tummy tucks can help both men and women achieve more contoured, attractive abdomens, this is not a procedure that should be viewed as a quick, easy way to lose abdominal weight.
Tummy Tuck Advantages
The number one advantage of having a tummy tuck is that the procedure will eliminate a protruding or sagging stomach and may create a smaller waistline. Often this area is the hardest to tone, especially for women who are trying to regain their pre-pregnancy bodies and people who have a great deal of excess loose skin after major weight loss, such as bariatric surgery.
Sometimes stretch marks can be eliminated by tummy tuck surgery. The affected areas may be removed entirely during the process or stretched tighter to lessen the stretch marks.
Belly fat can be dangerous to a person’s overall health. This type of fat can negatively impact nearby internal organs and increase a person’s chances of developing heart disease, diabetes or other health complications. Removal of abdominal fat can keep a person healthy from the inside out.
Feeling good in clothing or even a bathing suit may help to increase that person’s overall self-confidence. A flat belly can make a person walk taller, stand straighter and project a more positive attitude.
The effects of a tummy tuck can last for many years, providing the patient continues to follow a good, healthy lifestyle. Exercise and a balanced diet will keep the abdominal muscles strong and flat.
Tummy Tuck Risks and Complications
A tummy tuck is a serious, invasive surgery that should not be entered into lightly. The surgical procedure involves an incision along the bikini line that will run from hipbone to hipbone in many cases. There are different types of tummy tucks that may require smaller incisions. Regardless of the incision size, the patient must allow ample time to heal properly before performing certain activities. Even with proper healing, the patient should expect to have a scar along the incision line, which may or may not fade over time.
Other risks include:
* Accumulation of fluid or blood under the skin
* Anesthesia dangers
* Blood clots in the legs and/or lungs
* Improper healing of wounds
* Damage to nerves, resulting in sensation changes
* Persistent pain
* Changes in skin color
* Leg swelling