When Tummy Tuck Is The Answer

It’s the “pooch” that won’t budge. Sometimes, countless crunches, low-fat and no-carb diets, lasering, stretching, lotions and creams just can’t get rid of that area around your abdomen that’s sticking out or drooping. Shapewear can certainly help the outer appearance, but it only hides the reality.

Model by the pool

Despite all the recent advances in cosmetic treatments—abdominoplasty surgery remains the tried and true method for getting rid of the bothersome bulge. Tummy tucks at my plastic surgery practice in San Jose and Palo Alto have produced some of the most dramatic patient results and patient satisfaction.

Tummy Tuck, or abdominoplasty, ranks in the top 5 on the list of most frequent cosmetic surgical procedures. According to the annual American Society of Plastic Surgeons survey, more than 140,000 Americans chose this option in 2019.

What does a tummy tuck do? And, who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck?

Here’s some help in answering those questions:

·       Post Pregnancy: Women who have gone through pregnancy are often left with muscles and connective tissue that have stretched, and sometimes even separated from the abdominal wall. The over-stressed muscles and tissue will not “snap back” into place, leaving a sagging “pouch” of muscle and skin. A tummy tuck creates such dramatic results for women after childbirth that it’s often included in a Mommy Makeover.

·      Weight Loss: Losing a lot of weight is a great achievement, but a significant loss of fat will also leave loose skin. If you’re on a weight loss regimen, you should wait until you’ve reached your goal before having an abdominoplasty, to ensure your best result. You’ll also minimize some of the surgical risks by being at a healthier weight.

·       Contour Improvement: Sometimes, patients simply want smaller changes or tightening after being unable to reduce or flatten the abdomen.

Before tummy tuck

Before photo by Dr. Lepore

After tummy tuck

After photo by Dr. Lepore

What are the different types of tummy tucks?

As we mentioned earlier, both men and women benefit from tummy tucks.  That said, there are different types of tummy tucks to address various problems:

  • Mini
  • Standard
  • Extended
  • Circumferential  (a “body lift” type of procedure)

Can you get a tummy tuck and liposuction at the same time?

Yes. Liposuction is frequently performed in conjunction with a tummy tuck in the same surgical session. (The before and after photos of one of our patients, above, depict tummy tuck with liposuction) There are limits, of course, to how much fat can safely be removed. People most often have these procedures on an outpatient basis in accredited surgical facilities. You can learn more about the facts of liposuction in our related blog post.

How long is recovery from tummy tuck surgery?

It will take several weeks for your initial healing period. During this time, it’s very important to follow your doctor’s orders, including the directives for getting up and walking, even though you may be sore. Generally, it will be 4 to 6 weeks before you can resume strenuous types of exercise. Results vary with the individual but are usually long-lasting.

You will need to plan for your recuperation after this surgery. As always, we recommend that you do some homework before scheduling a tummy tuck. Your board-certified plastic surgeon will be happy to answer all of your questions. 

Dr. Vincent Lepore is a Stanford-trained, board-certified plastic surgeon. He performs tummy tuck and a full range of cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries in his AAAASF-accredited surgical suite in San Jose, CA. Our office and surgery center is conveniently located adjacent to Good Samaritan Hospital, and it’s easily accessible to all of Silicon Valley. Please use our online form to request a free cosmetic consultation or call us at (408) 356-4241.

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