7 Facts About Tummy Tuck Surgery

Tummy tucks, or an abdominoplasty, are the fifth most popular cosmetic surgical procedure following eyelid surgery, nose reshaping, liposuction and breast augmentation. If you’re self-conscious about roundness or excess skin folds around your belly button, tummy tuck surgery might be an option to consider.


A tummy tuck helps to tighten and reshape the abdominal area, giving you a slimmer, more aesthetically-pleasing appearance. A flatter, firmer midsection can drastically change the way your clothing fits, which helps you feel better about yourself.


If you’re considering getting a tummy tuck, here are a few facts about this procedure.


  1. Tummy Tucks Existed in the 1800s

The first tummy tucks were performed to cover up open wounds. However, tummy tucks for aesthetic or cosmetic purposes came into existence in the late 1800s. Through the years, tummy tuck surgery has become a highly common surgery, and the modern tummy tuck procedure is safer and more effective than it was in its early stages, thanks to more sophisticated surgical techniques.


  1. You May Get a New Belly Button

In the early, performing a tummy tuck without removing the belly button was thought to be impossible. However, advancements in the 20th century proved that this wasn’t true. Not only is belly button repositioning and repair routinely incorporated into tummy tuck surgeries, but there is an entire line of cosmetic surgery dedicated to creating “designer belly buttons.”


During a tummy tuck procedure, a surgeon removes any excess fat and skin that has been stretched out. They then sew up any loose muscles before closing the incision. In some cases, the surgeon may also make a small incision near your belly button.


The remaining skin is pulled up as high as the ribcage and pulled down like a window shade to the side of the pubic bone. It’s tightened and then the surgeon chooses a new ideal location for where to insert the bladder base.


In most cases, the surgeon will create a new opening for the belly button using a small incision. Your belly button stalk stays connected to these muscles and the opening will be sealed after surgery.


  1. You Can Still Get Pregnant Safely Following a Tummy Tuck

Not all pregnancies are planned and sometimes, and sometimes a woman may decide she wants another child, even after having had tummy tuck surgery.


It is generally recommended that women wait until after they have had all their children before considering tummy tuck surgery. However, being pregnant after a tummy tuck is still considered safe for both the mother and the baby.


Of course, it is not advised to get pregnant following a tummy tuck, for the sake of your results. Some women who get pregnant after having surgery on their stomach may have to have another tummy tuck operation to recover their initial results.


In order to achieve the best results with a tummy tuck, a plastic surgeon will make sure that their scars are as undetectable as possible. This includes placing them low on the abdominals to ensure that swimsuit bottoms and underwear cover any scarring.


Tummy tucks can also be performed by themselves or are often combined with other procedures to create a “mommy makeover.” They reshape your body after pregnancy and childbirth. Dr. Thaxton can provide a tummy tuck or a complete mommy makeover surgery, depending on your needs.


  1. Men Get Tummy Tucks, Too

Though traditionally women have gotten tummy tucks, that doesn’t mean men don’t, too. Men who are unhappy with their abdominal area can also benefit from a tummy tuck procedure. This can be a good option for a man that has lost some weight and maintained that weight loss for several months, yet still feels dissatisfied with their abdominal area.


  1. Your Weight Needs To Be Healthy & Stable

Tummy tuck surgery is not a type of weight-reduction surgery. It simply helps sculpt the abdominal area. It’s ideal for those who no longer wish to get pregnant but want to restore their abdominal area to be more like it was before having children. It’s also an option for people who have perhaps lost weight and then maintained a healthy weight for some time, typically six months or longer.


  1. Not Everyone Is A Good Candidate

If you are overweight and hoping to lose that weight, it’s best to do that first, maintain it for several months and then consider the tummy tuck surgery. Again, tummy tucks are not weight-loss solutions, so we typically only perform these surgeries on healthy people at a stable weight.


If you are younger and hoping to get pregnant at some point, it is recommended that you wait until you have had children and finished breastfeeding before considering this surgery.


While it’s obvious that pregnancy can stretch out your abdominal skin, breastfeeding also can cause changes in the body and it’s best to complete breastfeeding and wait a few months before opting for a tummy tuck or mommy makeover. For some people, breastfeeding can help tighten up the abdominal area, so you may find that with targeted exercise and breastfeeding, you might not need a tummy tuck or you might be satisfied with a non-invasive procedure, such as Coolsculpting®.


Tummy tucks also are not recommended for smokers, as smoking affects the body’s ability to heal. If you are a smoker, it is always recommended that you quit smoking, especially if you hope to undergo any cosmetic surgical procedures.


Tummy tuck surgery is also not a good option for people with immune system issues and people with blood-clotting issues. For these people, we might consider other non-surgical body sculpting procedures such as Coolsculpting® or perhaps ThermiTight®.


It is important to remember that the surgery is a cosmetic procedure and shouldn’t be performed if you have underlying health issues. A doctor will determine whether or not you are a good candidate for the surgery based on your medical history and appearance.


  1. Tummy Tucks Are Major Surgery

With any type of cosmetic procedure, it is important to have realistic expectations, both of the outcome and final results, as well as what to expect following the procedure. Tummy tuck surgery is considered major surgery, and there is a significant recovery period associated with this surgery.


While the surgery is typically an outpatient procedure, and it will be several days and perhaps more than a week before you can return to work, and you will need to have someone drive you home after surgery. You also need to avoid exercise and lifting heavy items for at least a month and often six weeks. You will need plenty of rest to help your body heal from the procedure.


Because this is major surgery, you can expect some pain during recovery, and pain medication may be needed. The first few days typically are the most uncomfortable, and there is some after-care for the incision site, which may include caring for drain tubes the first few days. You also will need to wear a pressure garment for several weeks after surgery.


We will go over all of the care instructions as well as any recovery expectations during your consultation, but all patients need to understand that this is a major procedure and there is some pain or discomfort to be expected, as well as altering your normal routine for several weeks.


Get a Consultation for a Tummy Tuck Today

At Thaxton Plastic Surgery, we offer a wide range of surgical and non-surgical procedures to help you look and feel your best. If you are interested in tummy tuck surgery or perhaps a mommy makeover, give us a call today and set up a consultation. Dr. Thaxton is a board-certified plastic surgeon and also a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.