Beverly Hills surgeon explains the important facts about a tummy tuck and what to expect
For patients in and around Beverly Hills, Dr. Dennis Dass offers cosmetic procedures to help patients achieve the figures they desire. Age, pregnancy, and weight gain and loss are factors that contribute to a changing figure or loose, sagging skin. Cosmetic surgery such as a tummy tuck may help patients get their bodies back. Patients who are interested may consult with Dr. Dass to learn the important facts about a tummy tuck.
Reasons for a tummy tuck
A flat, toned abdomen is a desired part of having a fit figure. Diet and exercise are not always enough to achieve and maintain this shape. Even being at or near your ideal weight may not be enough to get rid of the sagging skin or fat around the belly. An abdominal pouch may be the result of age, genetics, pregnancy, previous surgery, or significant weight loss.
This pouch may be caused by excess skin or fat. An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is performed to remove the fat and loose skin. If the abdominal muscles were damaged or separated, they are corrected to firm the abdominal profile. The skin is pulled tight to complete the smooth new shape. This procedure is not meant to be a weight loss program, but it will help you regain your shapely figure. Patients who may be considering additional weight loss or future pregnancies may be advised to wait until they have achieved their goal weights or have finished having children to proceed with a tummy tuck.
Most commonly, abdominoplasties are performed after pregnancy or weight loss. Whether you have given birth to one child or multiple, your skin and body have changed. It is difficult to regain the same toned, pre-pregnancy body. Your individual needs determine if a full or mini tummy tuck is needed. A full tuck addresses the entire abdominal wall. A mini tuck is performed when only the area below the belly button needs to be addressed and tightened.
What to expect
If you are considering a tummy tuck or changing your shape, a consultation with Dr. Dass is necessary. This gives the physician time to discuss your medical history, your current needs, and your goals or expectations from the procedure. Your size, shape, and desired goals help determine whether a full or mini tummy tuck is needed. Qualified candidates for a tummy tuck should also be in good health, have realistic expectations, and be a non-smoker. The consultation is also your time to ask questions so come to the appointment armed with any questions or concerns you may have.
As with any procedure, you need to have realistic expectations about your procedure and your anticipated outcome. This is a surgical procedure, so it is important to understand the pros and cons and to know how to take care of your body after the procedure to ensure proper healing and optimal results.
Prior to the surgery, you may be asked to stop taking certain medications such as aspirin or blood thinners. Blood work or other testing may be needed from your primary physician to clear you for surgery. If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking to aid the healing process. You will need to arrange ahead of time for someone to drive you to and from the surgery and to stay with you the first night after the procedure.
Dr. Dass performs tummy tuck surgeries in an accredited surgical facility. This ensures the highest standards for safety. During the procedure, you will be placed under general anesthesia. For a full tummy tuck, an incision is placed between the belly button and pubic hairline. The size of the incision depends on the amount of excess skin. The skin and fat are lifted. If necessary, the muscles are repaired. The skin is tightened, and any excess is excised. The belly button is placed in the same position but now is surrounded by tighter skin. Finally, the incisions are closed.
After surgery, a compression garment is wrapped around the abdomen. This helps minimize swelling and provides abdominal support. A drain may be needed to collect excess fluid or blood. You will be given detailed instructions on how to care for the drain, garments, and surgical site. Medication may be prescribed to help control any discomfort and to aid in healing. Restrictions may be placed on your movement and exercise plans. Follow your surgeon’s instructions. This downtime is necessary for proper healing and faster recovery.
You can expect to feel some initial discomfort following the surgery. Other side effects may include bruising, swelling, or numbness. These effects will fade out as the body heals. Within a week or two, you should be able to stand tall and should be noticing a slimmer profile. There will be a scar from the incision. This will also fade over time allowing you to show off your firm, flat tummy. Adhering to your doctor’s instructions increases the likelihood of a successful procedure and outcome.
Benefits of a tummy tuck
As your body heals following surgery, you will start to notice some of the medical and aesthetic benefits associated with the procedure.
- Improved abdominal tone – Weight changes and pregnancy alter the abdominal wall. The muscles stretch, weaken, or become swollen. A tummy tuck tightens the weakened muscles and removes the excess fat and skin to produce a flatter, more toned abdomen.
- Better posture – When the abdominal muscles are weak, the individual’s posture suffers. During a tummy tuck, the muscles are tightened so to support the spine and improve posture. This also gives the patient relief in any back pain felt prior to a tummy tuck treatment.
- Reduction in stress urinary incontinence – Childbirth causes some women to develop stress urinary incontinence. Urine leakage may occur with coughing, sneezing, exercising, and laughing. A tummy tuck can improve the problem.