A Step-by-Step Guide to the Tummy Tuck Procedure

If you have trouble cinching your waistband, you’re far from alone. Over 70% of US adults are either overweight or obese, according to BMI classifications.

Unfortunately, while some people find themselves able to shed those excess pounds fast, many Americans struggle to lose weight—in particular the notoriously stubborn body fat that clings to the stomach area. For those people, there’s an easier option available: a tummy tuck procedure.

The chances are high that you’ve heard of this procedure before, but if you don’t know what it is—or what to expect from it—here’s what you should understand.

What Is a Tummy Tuck?

Also called an abdominoplasty procedure, a tummy tuck removes stubborn fat and skin from the stomach area. It can also help restore weak muscles, creating a more toned and flatter abdominal area.

Tummy tucks don’t take the place of exercise and healthy eating. Instead, they can help people who struggle with stubborn stomach fat—often due to factors like aging, pregnancy, or heredity—to lose it. After the procedure, it’s up to the candidate to continue keeping the weight off with healthy lifestyle choices!

Who Is a Good Candidate?

Both men and women are good candidates for this procedure. Most candidates will have once been overweight and will still have flabby, hanging, or loose skin around their bellies as well as stubborn fat deposits. However, you are not a good candidate if you smoke, or if you are still in the process of losing weight.

What Happens During a Tummy Tuck Procedure?

In general, your tummy tuck will take 2-4 hours to complete. Some candidates will need to stay overnight in the hospital, while others may be able to leave—though it’s important to have a friend or relative available to drive you. Here’s what to expect:

Before your tummy tuck procedure begins, an anesthesiologist will administer a sedative.

At the start of the procedure, your doctor will make an incision from hip to hip, curving toward the pubic hairline and away from the belly button. Depending on the placement of fat deposits and excess skin, your doctor may make additional incisions as needed.

Next, your doctor will remove the unwanted fat and skin. This sometimes involves liposuction. They will also need to reposition your belly button as needed.

Once they are finished, they will close the incisions, and the procedure is complete!

What Happens During Tummy Tuck Recovery?

After your procedure, you may experience pain and swelling. Your doctor should prescribe some pain killers and give you specific aftercare instructions to follow. You will also need to schedule at least one follow-up visit to confirm that you are healing as you should be.

Patients can expect to see a noticeable improvement in the appearance of their abdominal profile immediately after the procedure. Most tummy tuck incision scars fade over time, though some may require additional treatment.

Consider a Tummy Tuck for Your Stubborn Belly Fat

Instead of spending years fighting lingering belly fat, a tummy tuck procedure can help you make your cosmetic goals a reality. Though it won’t make up for exercise and healthy eating, these procedures can offer some much-needed assistance for those with excess skin or fat. Talk to your doctor today to see if this option is right for you.

Want more of the health and fitness tips you need to know? Check out our other posts for additional insights!

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