• 1 April 2020
  • Dr Masood Ansari

Not loving your look is frustrating enough. You need not also be frustrated by not understanding the complicated jargon of medical procedures. At My Cosmetic Clinic in Newcastle, NSW, we believe to make the best decision for yourself, you need to understand your options. That’s why we’re answering the most frequently asked questions about a tummy tuck.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tummy Tucks

Is an Abdominoplasty the Same As a Tummy Tuck? 

“Tummy tuck” is the colloquial phrase describing the body contouring procedure known in the medical community as abdominoplasty. This procedure is designed to remove excess fat and skin and tighten loose muscles and skin.

It is most often recommended for clients who have some excess skin and skin laxity. However, there is still a good bit of inherent elasticity to the skin. This procedure is not ideal for clients who have extremely tight skin because there needs to be some “give” for the incisions to be made.

Is Abdominoplasty Medically Necessary? 

Maybe. For the most part, abdominoplasty is a cosmetic procedure designed to help a client boost his or her confidence. Panniculectomy is a similar procedure. The goal of panniculectomy is to remove an incredible amount of excess skin hanging below the lower abdomen, usually after bariatric surgery.

Panniculectomy is considered medically necessary because the volume of excess skin drastically reduces quality of life and health after bariatric surgery. Contrastingly, abdominoplasty is usually considered medically necessary to correct weak muscles rather than to remove excess skin. Good candidates for abdominoplasty don’t often have that much excess skin.

What Medical Conditions May Be Addressed By a Full Abdominoplasty? 

The most common medical condition addressed by a full abdominoplasty is a certain of hernia where one of your intestines is penetrating your abdominal wall. Abdominoplasty is a good solution for this problem because it doesn’t just repair the hole. It also reinforces your abdominal muscles.

This surgical tightening of abdominal muscles makes abdominoplasty a solid option for people suffering from back pain, too. Many times, office workers suffer from significant chronic pain because they have poor posture due to weak abdominal muscles.

Will Abdominoplasty Help Me Lose Weight? 

If you have excess skin and fat to be removed during your procedure, you will lose some weight from that. If you have liposuction performed in conjunction with your abdominoplasty, you may lose up to five or six kilos, depending on your starting weight and how much excess fat you had.

However, the real benefit of abdominoplasty for weight loss comes after you have recovered from the procedure. Once you recover from abdominoplasty, the world is your oyster. Since you don’t have to worry about excess skin getting in your way during exercise, you may find that you have the comfort and confidence to exercise more and lose more excess fat.

Is Abdominoplasty a Weight Loss Procedure? 

Weight loss procedures are also known as bariatric procedures. These procedures are designed to force your body into weight loss by affecting how your body absorbs nutrients from food and drastically shrinking the size of your stomach. Abdominoplasty may facilitate weight loss by allowing you more freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Which Type of Abdominoplasty Is Right for Me? 

There are two types of abdominoplasty performed by Dr. Ansari: a partial (mini) abdominoplasty and full abdominoplasty. The type of abdominoplasty that is right for you depends on your aesthetic goals and medical needs. We will determine the right procedure for you after a thorough medical evaluation and in-depth discussion of your desired aesthetic.

Why May a Partial Abdominoplasty Be Right for Me? 

A partial abdominoplasty may be right for you if you have loose skin and excess fat below the navel, but you are confident in the appearance of your upper abdomen. This procedure does not address any concerns above the navel and does not result in the navel being separated from the skin and repositioned.

This procedure also does not address weak abdominal muscles. Therefore, it is usually recommended for clients who already have strong abdominal muscles and are not worried about muscle tone or functionality.

Why May a Full Abdominoplasty Be Right for Me? 

A full abdominoplasty may be right for you if you are concerned about the appearance of loose skin and excess fat above and below the navel. This procedure also goes another step further from a partial abdominoplasty by sewing your abdominal walls together to tighten them. This results in an improved aesthetic and enhanced muscular functionality.

Am I a Good Candidate for Abdominoplasty? 

If you are dissatisfied with the appearance of your abdomen, there is a good chance that you are a good candidate for abdominoplasty. However, there are other factors we must consider when determining candidacy. For example, your heart and lungs must be healthy enough for you to be put under general anesthesia or local anesthesia and sedation.

How Should I Prepare for Abdominoplasty? 

To prepare for abdominoplasty, you should be as healthy as possible. This means that you should take steps to ensure your blood pressure is within a healthy range, such as avoiding alcohol, tobacco products, excess caffeine, and excess sodium. If your blood pressure is normally on the upper end of healthy, buy an at-home monitor and use it regularly.

Another key step you should take to prepare for abdominoplasty is to aim for drinking 3.8 litres of water per day. The more hydrated you are, the better off you will be during your recovery. If you find that you are urinating excessively, make sure you are drinking at least 1.9 litres of water daily and check your urine to ensure it is clear or very pale.

Will Abdominoplasty Remove Enough Excess Fat to Help Me Contour My Body? 

Dr. Ansari usually performs liposuction in conjunction with abdominoplasty to help his clients feel more confident in their contours. Abdominoplasty removes excess fat via an excision. Therefore, it is not always possible to remove as much fat as you may want to be removed.

Moreover, many people who are concerned about excess abdominal fat are also concerned about excess fat on the hips and flanks. Liposuction is good for removing fat from these areas, as well.

What Can I Expect After Abdominoplasty? 

Immediately after your procedure, you will be observed as you come out from under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. Once you wake up fully, you are free to have someone drive you home. You may not drive within 24 hours of being put under one of these drugs because each is known to cause drowsiness.

The only way you could drive yourself home after your procedure is if you received local anesthesia but you stayed awake the entire time. After a brief recovery period, you will be free to return to your daily routine. However, until your stomach is fully healed, it is important to limit your activity level.

What Should I Avoid During My Recovery Period? 

During your recovery period, you should avoid anything that can slow your recovery or affect the results of your procedure. You’ll get a comprehensive list of instructions during your initial consultation. But to summarize briefly, you should avoid strenuous exercise, excessive heat, unprotected sun exposure, and sleeping on your stomach or side.

Am I a Good Candidate for Liposuction? 

It used to be that you had to have at least an inch of pinchable fat to be a good candidate for liposuction. However, technology and techniques for this procedure have advanced so far that you don’t even need that much fat anymore to be a good candidate. With that being said, there is still a minimum amount of excess fat you must have to be a good candidate.

It is equally important that you do not have too much fat to be removed. At the end of the day, we want you to be satisfied with the results of any procedure or treatment you choose. Unfortunately, if you are too far from your ideal weight, you may not be satisfied with the results of your procedure. During your first appointment, we’ll help you decide if this procedure is right for you.

How Close to My Goal Weight Should I Be? 

To be a good candidate for liposuction, you typically have to be within 14 kilos of your goal weight. However, depending on where you carry your excess fat and the results you are looking for, you may still be a good candidate if you are over 14 kilos from your goal weight. As long as you’re healthy and have realistic expectations, you should be a decent candidate.

What if I’m at My Goal Weight? 

Many of our clients who seek abdominoplasty and liposuction are at their goal weight. The weight and volume of fat on your body required for good health falls into a range. Therefore, you may want to weigh 68 kilos and hit your target but still feel self-conscious about the size, shape, and texture of your stomach and hips.

It is perfectly normal for people to feel that they can look better and feel better about themselves. And even if they are no longer trying to lose weight, they are well within their rights to pursue body contouring, be that with liposuction, liposuction and abdominoplasty, or other body sculpting procedures or treatments.

What if I Have Excess Fat and Loose Skin Elsewhere On My Body? 

Again, liposuction can be used to remove excess fat from virtually any part of the body. Therefore, if you struggle with stubborn, excess fat on your chest, back, buttocks, legs, or underarms, we can address that. Moreover, if you have any excess skin or very loose skin on your upper arms and thighs, you may benefit from a thigh lift or arm lift.

In fact, combining an arm lift or thigh lift with a tummy tuck and liposuction is so popular it is known as a “mommy makeover.” The goal of combining these procedures is meant to restore a younger-looking aesthetic to women who have given birth. However, you are not a good candidate for any of these procedures if you are nursing or have delivered in the past six months.

Learn More About How to Tighten Your Tummy Today

We hope you have enjoyed learning about abdominoplasty and now have a clearer understanding of the procedure and how it can benefit you. If you have loose, sagging skin, weak abdominal muscles, and excess belly fat, a tummy tuck may be the ideal procedure for you.

To learn more about this procedure, or find out if you’re a good candidate, contact us today at My Cosmetic Clinic in Newcastle, NSW to schedule your initial consultation. Dr. Ansari will tailor a body contouring plan to help you reach your goals, whether that involves abdominoplasty, liposuction,–– or another body contouring procedure entirely.

Dr Masood Ansari
About The Author

Dr Masood Ansari

Dr Ansari has undergone nine years of extensive surgical training around the globe. He received his initial surgical training under the auspices of the National Health Services (NHS) in the United Kingdom and obtained Membership in the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh) in 2006. Due to his particularly keen interest in surgical research, Dr Ansari has been involved in multiple academic research projects and was awarded a Masters (MSc) in Advanced Surgical Practice from Cardiff University in the United Kingdom.

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