For those interested in a tummy tuck at my plastic surgery practice in Columbia, MO, the first step is a one-on-one consultation. During this time, patients can talk to me about any questions or concerns they may have. But some patients arrive a bit nervous and are unsure of what to ask.
Preparing for plastic surgery can be an overwhelming experience. But don’t worry—there’s nothing to be afraid of. This blog post will outline a few useful questions you can ask your doctor to help ensure a productive conversation.
Do I need a tummy tuck or only liposuction?
There are many options when it comes to body contouring. Liposuction is a good solution for those with decent skin elasticity and who want to remove unwanted pockets of fat. For patients with loose, saggy skin and separation of the abdominal muscles (diastasis recti), traditional tummy tuck surgery provides better results. Your doctor can walk you through your options and determine which choice is best for you.
What is the difference between a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck?
A mini tummy tuck is used for patients with a small overhang of skin on the lower belly. The surgery has a smaller incision and quicker recovery time than a full tummy tuck, but it can only tone the area immediately below the bellybutton. A full, traditional tummy tuck requires a larger incision, but it can tone the entire midsection, remove excess skin and fat, and repair issues such as muscle separation.
Most patients are best suited for a full tummy tuck because it can treat multiple problems in a single surgery. Discuss your surgery goals with your doctor so they can help guide you to the best option for your needs.
Do I need diastasis recti repair?
Pregnancy or significant weight loss can put a lot of pressure on the core abdominal muscles. Sometimes, this pressure causes the muscles to separate down the middle and create a permanent “belly pooch.” This condition is known as diastasis recti.
Diet and exercise alone aren’t enough to solve this common issue. Tummy tuck surgery is one of the few permanent solutions for tightening weakened abdominal muscles. If you struggle with a belly pooch that just won’t go away, talk to your doctor about diastasis recti repair.
How long will my tummy tuck recovery be?
Most patients can expect to spend 10 to 14 days recovering from tummy tuck surgery. However, you won’t be on bed rest during this entire time. Gentle movement (such as walking) 8 to 10 times a day will help the healing process. Your doctor will provide a more specific timeline for your particular surgery.
What kind of scars can I expect?
The location of your tummy tuck scars depends on the type of treatment you receive. A mini tummy tuck’s small scar is similar in location to a C-section incision. Traditional tummy tuck patients can expect a low hip-to-hip scar that sits below the bikini line.
Depending on the details of your surgery, your incision line and the resulting scar may be in a slightly different location. Your doctor can walk you through the process and let you know what to expect.
By prepping these questions and conversation points, you can feel more confident when talking with your doctor before tummy tuck surgery. Browse our before-and-after gallery to see examples of real tummy tuck patients. If you would like your own private consultation, request one online or call (573) 443-5500.