Abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure that can trim your waistline and improve the contours of your midsection. Though it is a popular procedure, you may have limited knowledge about the procedure and what it can achieve. Some common questions are addressed below.
A consultation with board-certified Las Vegas plastic surgeon, Dr. Stephen M. Miller, is a great first step in finding out if a tummy tuck is the best way to get the results you want. It is also a good time to ask any questions you have about the procedure. Dr. Miller’s approach to cosmetic surgery centers on patient safety and customized treatment to achieve your desired aesthetic.
What can a Tummy Tuck Treat?
Contrary to popular misconception, a tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure. While you will not see much movement on the scale after a tummy tuck, you will see a significant difference in your waistline since the procedure addresses:
- Stubborn fat deposits - Extra abdominal fat is a common concern of many women after pregnancy, and some of us are genetically prone to store fat in the abdominal area. You may find yourself frustrated or embarrassed about these persistent fat pockets that a tummy tuck can eliminate. If you have considerable fat, liposuction may be needed as well.
- Loose skin - Weight fluctuations—particularly those associated with rapid weight gain and loss and with pregnancy--can leave you with excess skin in your midsection. No amount of effort in terms of diet or exercise can restore skin elasticity, but a tummy tuck can eliminate extra tissue and create a more shapely stomach area.
- Abdominal muscle damage - Diastasis recti refers to the advanced separation of your left and right abdominal muscles. The result is a protruding belly that does not flatten with abdominal exercises or dieting. Pregnancy is a common cause of this condition, though improper weightlifting form, doing certain ab exercises in excess, and carrying extra weight in the stomach area can also cause diastasis recti. In your tummy tuck, Dr. Miller can tighten and repair the abdominal wall to reduce discomfort, strengthen your core, and flatten your tummy.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
If you are dissatisfied with the appearance of your abdomen due to excess abdominal skin or fat, or if you have diastasis recti, a tummy tuck may be a good treatment option. Dr. Miller considers multiple factors when determining if you are a good candidate, including:
- Your overall health. - You must be in good physical health and free of conditions that negatively affect your body's healing response.
- Your weight. - Being at or near a healthy weight prior to the procedure reduces the risk of complications and improves treatment outcomes.
- Smoking habits. - Smoking interferes with your body's ability to heal, so tummy tuck patients must be non-smokers or be willing to abstain from smoking for a period before the procedure and throughout the recovery period.
What Can I Expect After an Abdominoplasty?
You can expect some swelling and discomfort in the first few days after surgery. Dr. Miller will provide options for managing these symptoms and instructions for caring for the treatment site. Physical activity limitations are also necessary so as not to stress or strain your abdomen as it heals.
It will take several weeks for complete healing. The time frame for recovery will depend on:
- How extensive your procedure was - Mini tummy tucks affect a smaller area, so recovery times are shorter than with full tummy tucks.
- Your body's healing process - Everyone heals at a different pace. Closely following Dr. Miller's post-surgery instructions, eating a nutritious, balanced diet, and abstaining from alcohol and smoking are a few ways to support your body as you recover from surgery.
Schedule a Free Tummy Tuck Consultation in Las Vegas
Having a tummy tuck procedure is a highly personal decision, as is choosing a plastic surgeon to perform your surgery. Dr. Miller will meet with you at no cost to discuss your concerns, provide before and after photos of previous patients, and answer any of your questions about the procedure, his experience, and his qualifications. Take the first step in your journey to a slimmer abdomen by calling us at 702-369-1001 to schedule your complimentary consultation.