Abdominoplasty or most commonly known as tummy tuck is a popular surgery for women and men that want to remove excess skin and fat from their abdomen and flatten their stomach. It is a procedure where the cosmetic surgeon restores the weakened or separated abdominal muscles and removes excess skin to give a smoother and firmer abdominal profile. The results are always impressive, and you end with a flat tummy, with no stretch marks or loose skin.
Tummy Tuck & Liposuction
Many people are misinformed and consider a tummy tuck quite the same as a liposuction. Although a liposuction might be part of a tummy tuck, they are two different procedures that deliver different results. Abdominoplasty is the best option if you want much more than just fat being removed from problematic areas.
Causes that Can Lead to Loose or Sagging Tissues in the Abdomen
There are many reasons that can cause even people of otherwise normal body proportion and weight to develop a loose, sagging or protruding abdomen, such as:
- Excessive weight loss
- Significant weight fluctuations
- Prior surgery
No matter the reason, one thing is for sure. With an abdominoplasty, you can restore your youthful and great looking torso for as long as you wish (it does depend on how you treat your body afterwards of course – see below).
Are you a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck ?
The first thing that can make you a great candidate for a tummy tuck is whether you have realistic expectations or not. Other than that, it is also important you are physically fit and you don’t put on and lose weight regularly.
If you have lost a lot of weight and your weight is now stable, you can consider a tummy tuck, as long as you are committed to a healthy lifestyle and ideally don’t smoke.
Another crucial aspect we look at is whether the patient feels self-conscious about the appearance of their abdomen and has a desire to change for the better and maintain that improvement. Patients should be undergoing the procedure because it is what they want and are prepared to work for rather than being driven by the opinion of others. A tummy tuck procedure will make you feel better about your body.
When NOT to Have a Tummy Tuck
If you are considering starting a family in the near future or are planning to lose lots of weight, it might be better to postpone a tummy tuck. At this point, it should be noted that a tummy tuck is, by no means, a substitute for an exercise or weight loss program.
Tummy Tuck : The Consultation
Highly esteemed cosmetic surgeon Dr. Bugra will evaluate your surgical goals, as well as your overall health status and the risk factors. Any drug allergies, medical conditions or treatments you may be undergoing are also discussed, and the same applies to certain habits, such as smoking and drinking alcohol.
The doctor will also need to know if you have had any previous surgeries and whether you are taking any vitamins or other supplements (especially herbal ones) which must be stopped prior to tummy tuck. The reason for reviewing all these details is because the success of a tummy tuck is heavily dependent on the patient’s approach to recovery, not drinking and smoking for example will improve the recovery process and Dr. Bugra needs to make sure that a patient is perfectly fit for this type of surgery.
As soon as he has all the information required, he will discuss your options with you, recommend a course of treatment, and talk about potential outcomes of the procedure. Needless to say, feel free to ask any questions you feel you need to, so that you are confident you understand all aspects of the procedure and feel great about your decision and comfortable with Dr Bugra who will be performing the surgery. We totally understand that it is very natural to feel some anxiety before the operation or in relation your new look after the surgery.
So, don’t shy away from discussing these feelings with us. We can help you cope with them and provide all the answers to your concerns.
Tummy Tuck : The Preparation Stage
Dr. Bugra may ask you to have blood tests in advance of travelling to Cyprus to ensure that you are fully fit for the procedure. If you are on medications, he may request that they are adjusted. It is also paramount to stop smoking (if you smoke) and avoid taking herbal supplements, anti-inflammatory drugs, and aspirin, which could all increase bleeding during and after the procedure.
Tummy Tuck : The Procedure (in brief)
Dr. Bugra will perform the procedure under general anaesthesia. The procedure itself involves a horizontally-oriented incision, and the precise location of the incision is dictated by the patient’s body and whether it is a full or mini tummy tuck that is required. Dr Bugra will try to place the incision so that it can be hidden within underwear or bathing suit. The amount of excess skin will determine the length and shape of the incision.
Once Dr. Bugra lifts the abdominal skin, he repairs the weakened underlying muscles, if it is a man or a lady who is not of child bearing years. Then he pulls the upper abdominal skin down and trims the excess. Finally, if it is a full tummy tuck he will create a new tummy button and close the incision.
After surgery, you will be taken to your private room, where you will be provided with all the help and support you will need.
After Surgery: The Recovery
After the surgery, your incisions will be covered with a dressing and you will wear a compression garment that will help support your abdomen during the healing process and minimise the swelling at the same time. For the first few of days, you will also have tiny under-skin drainage tubes to help get rid of any excess fluids. Don’t worry you will be prescribed pain-killing medications, as required and antibiotics to protect against infection through the drains, however you will be surprised to learn that often patients do not require pain killers, tummy tuck is actually not a painful procedure.
Before you leave the hospital, we will give you specific instructions:
- The duration of the antibiotics to eliminate the risk of infection.
- How to take proper care of the drains and surgical site.
- When the dressings and drains and stitches holding the drains will be removed.
- When and how to bathe.
- How long you will need to wear the pressure garment.
- When you can return to your normal daily activities and exercise.
- When to follow up with Dr. Bugra.
What to Expect from a Tummy Tuck: Final Results
You won’t be able to see the final results of your tummy tuck until the swelling subsides. This will take some weeks and for the first week you must adopt a slightly hunched stance to protect the stitch line, gradually straightening up. Dr Bugra always advises that it can take 9 to 12 months to see the very final result when your abdominal contour will be firmer and flatter and more youthful.
- The effect of a tummy tuck depends on how determined you are to achieve a permanent result. For example, weight fluctuations can damage the positive outcome of such a type of surgery. If you follow your doctor’s pre- and post-surgery instructions, you can enjoy your new, flat and firm abdomen for a really long time!
- An abdominoplasty will remove the stretch marks that are located in the areas where the excess skin is removed.
- The incisions of a tummy tuck may be incorporated into the cesarean section scar if the patient has undergone one.
- It is crucial to follow the Dr Bugra’s post operative instructions and not subject your incisions to undue movement during the initial 2 month healing process, to prevent damage to the healing tissues and muscles, as appropriate, when you are on the road to recovery.
There is no doubt that with proper diet and exercise, you can enjoy the results of your tummy tuck for many years. If the time to realise that firmer and flatter abdomen and boost your self confidence has come, then you know you are ready to take that next step. And, when that time comes, we will be here to help you achieve your dream! Just contact Cosmetic Surgery Cyprus and let the countdown to a smooth, well-toned, great-looking abdomen begin!