Do you suffer from lower back pain? Do you lose control of your bladder when you jump rope or cough? Do you wish you could ease lower abdominal or back pain? Do you want to feel better about yourself in a bikini, cocktail dress or business suit through a tummy tuck? The medical experts at Burt and Will Plastic Surgery and Dermatology in Plainfield, IL can help.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, known in the medical community as abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that tightens the muscles of your abdominal wall. This gives you a flat, toned, svelte look that you can be proud of. At the same time, it removes loose skin and up to 10 pounds of stomach fat.
Abdominoplasty is most often associated with a “mommy makeover” and combined with several other body contouring procedures, like liposuction and Brazilian butt lifts. However, abdominoplasty may also be performed as a stand-alone procedure.
Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
There are several physical and psychological benefits of abdominoplasty. Among these are the reduction of stress urinary incontinence, better posture and improved abdominal tone, correction of ventral hernias and a renewed self-confidence.
1. Stress Urinary Incontinence Reduction
Unfortunately, many women who choose natural childbirth develop SUI, or stress urinary incontinence. This bladder control disorder is characterized of uncontrollable leakage that occurs when the bladder is “stressed” or suddenly shocked. If you have ever leaked accidentally when laughing, sneezing, coughing or exercising, you’re not alone. You may be one of 34% of women who have SUI or 17% of women with OAB (overactive bladder disorder).
If you have never had a caesarian section and your condition does not improve with alternative therapies, abdominoplasty is extremely effective. It also reduces the frequency and severity of OAB symptoms by using the soft tissue found near the pelvic region to create a slight bladder obstruction.
2. Improved Abdominal Tone and Posture
A common side effect of both multiple pregnancies and drastic weight loss is stomach muscle distension. Unfortunately, diet and exercise alone are not enough to correct this. The primary benefit of abdominoplasty in women who have a distended stomach is the tightening of the abdominal wall muscles. However, there are ancillary benefits. Namely, excess skin and fat are removed, further flattening the abdomen.
Lower back pain is one of the most common side effects of weak abdominal muscles. This pain is caused by lordosis. Clients who received abdominoplasty often report that their posture is drastically improved. This is due to the tightening of the muscles that support their spine. You’ll be able to stand taller, stronger, and free from pain. The quality of life difference you will enjoy when your lower back pain is alleviated is priceless and indescribable.
3. Correction of Ventral Hernias
Ventral hernias are a medical condition occurring when abdominal tissue or the intestine penetrates the abdominal wall. This forms an extremely painful sack or pocket. Among the most common causes are rapid weight loss, appendectomies, and C-sections. The common thread is a compromised abdominal wall and excess pressure pushing against the skin.
Unfortunately, one of the most significant risk factors of a ventral hernia is having a previous ventral hernia. While your hernia is being repaired, we strongly recommend abdominoplasty, even if you don’t have loose skin or excess fat over your abdomen. It is absolutely essential that your compromised abdominal wall is tightened and pressure on your skin is reduced. Combining these two procedures is incredibly safe, cost-effective and practical.
4. Enhanced Self-Confidence
Whether you’ve recently given birth or lost 50 pounds in six months, you deserve to feel confident in your skin. Unfortunately, rapid, drastic weight loss often results in severe skin laxity.
Abdominoplasty allows you to enjoy elastic skin to accompany your new, healthy weight. Moreover, it can remove those last few stubborn pounds of fat that have resisted your best efforts for the past six months.
5. Weight Maintenance Is Easier
Loose skin doesn’t just lack a certain aesthetic appeal. It also makes exercise more difficult. According to a study conducted by Swiss researchers and published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, bariatric patients who underwent weight-loss surgery were four times more successful when they also got a tummy tuck.
Even if you don’t undergo sleeve gastrectomy, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, gastric bypass or the like, body contouring is extremely effective for helping you keep your excess weight off. Weak abdominal muscles and the associated back pain, as well as excess skin, can sap your motivation to work out. Abdominoplasty can reinvigorate your love of walking, running, or swimming by making it easier to move.
Cardiovascular exercise is essential for your physical and psychological well-being. So, if you’ve never found a form of exercise you liked, try some team sports or join a local club or specialized gym. If you keep an open mind, you’re sure to find a sport that suits you.
Am I a Good Candidate?
Abdominoplasty is a safe, FDA-approved, life-changing procedure. One of the questions we get most often about this procedure is am I a good candidate. You can’t get a definitive answer until you come in for your initial consultation. However, there are several signs that you may be a good candidate:
You Are in Good General Health
While tummy tucks are extremely safe, you should still hold off if you are currently fighting an active infection. Your body needs the time and energy to recover from the illness before you undergo any body contouring procedure. Your heart and lungs should be healthy as you will be sedated using general anesthesia.
Moreover, abdominoplasty may not be ideal for you if you have a severe connective tissue disorder or autoimmune disorder. Finally, let us know if you have a skin condition that results in frequent thick, raised scars.
You Are Not Planning on Getting Pregnant Again
We strongly advise our clients to hold off on abdominoplasty until they are done having children. If you get pregnant in the future, the repaired abdominal muscles can separate again and the skin around your stomach can stretch again. Thus, a follow-up procedure would be necessary. It’s important to note, however, that a tummy tuck will not affect your baby’s health if you become pregnant unexpectedly.
You Are at Your Goal Weight
It is strongly recommended that you be within 15 to 20 pounds of your goal weight before undergoing abdominoplasty. There’s nothing wrong with losing a few extra pounds following your procedure. However, if you lose over 30 pounds, the muscles around your stomach may start to sag again and you may end up with more excess skin. This will negate the results of your procedure and require a follow-up.
You Have Had a Baby or Lost a Lot of Weight
Pregnancy and obesity are two of the most common causes of abdominal damage. Both of these can also lead to stretched skin around the stomach. Even after you deliver the child or reach a healthy weight, the muscles and skin remain damaged. Your tissues will continue to drape over the stomach loosely. A tummy tuck will repair these damaged tissues so you can look as healthy as you feel.
You Have Realistic Expectations
One of the most common misconceptions we hear is that abdominoplasty is a weight loss procedure. It is essential to understand that a tummy tuck is a body contouring procedure. You should also be aware that the results will be seen gradually.
Finally, keep in mind you need to be committed to a healthy lifestyle, including a nutritious diet and regular exercise routine. If you gain the weight back, your skin will stretch again and your abdominal wall may weaken and distend again.
You Have Loose Skin Around Your Abdomen
While abdominoplasty can remove up to 10 pounds of stomach fat, its most significant benefits are repairing damaged stomach muscles and removing excess skin around your abdomen. If you don’t have any loose, excess skin, this procedure may not be right for you.
What Type of Abdominoplasty Is Right for Me?
A traditional abdominoplasty, also known as a full abdominoplasty, is right for you if you have excess skin around your upper and lower abdomen. During this procedure, a horizontal incision is made around the navel and between the hips. Then the excess skin and adipose tissue is removed. Finally, the muscle tissue and skin are pulled tightly over the stomach. Finally, your navel is repositioned and the incision is closed with sutures.
Mini-abdominoplasty is right for people who are at a stable healthy weight and only have excess skin below the navel. We recommend this method for individuals who have a slender build and “belly pooch”. During this procedure, a small horizontal incision is made just beneath the navel. The excess skin is removed and the lower abdominal walls are tightened. However, there is no need for navel repositioning, and this procedure can be performed under twilight anesthesia.
Circumferential Lower Body Lift
A circumferential lower body lift, also known as an extended abdominoplasty, is right for clients who wish to improve the appearance of their hips and lower back along with their full abdomen. During this method, liposuction is used to remove excess adipose tissue from your hips and lower back, contouring them. The abdominal walls above and below the navel are tightened and excess skin is removed from your entire stomach.
What Should I Do to Prepare?
It’s important to stop smoking for two to six weeks prior to your abdominoplasty. Nicotine minimizes blood flow in the skin and slows the healing process. Moreover, you should avoid smoking for the first couple of weeks following your procedure.
Avoid Certain Medications
Before your procedure, you will need to stop taking certain medications and dietary supplements. For example, aspirin, vitamin E supplements and fish oil all thin the blood and should be avoided. When you come in for your initial consultation, we will provide you with a detailed list denoting everything you need to do to prepare.
Taker Certain Medications
Shortly before your procedure, you should begin taking an anticoagulant to prevent your blood from clotting during or after your procedure.
Arrange for a Ride Home
Abdominoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you won’t have to spend the night in the hospital. However, depending on the method used, you will be under general anesthesia or twilight anesthesia (moderate sedation and pain-relieving medication).
Since you can’t drive after receiving anesthesia, you will need to arrange for transportation home. We also recommend you have someone stay with you for at least the first night after your procedure to make sure you can rest in comfort.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
To learn more about the incredible benefits of a tummy tuck and determine if you’re a good candidate, contact the dedicated medical professionals at Burt and Will Plastic Surgery and Dermatology in Plainfield, IL today.