Is Tummy Tuck For You? 3 Questions to Ask Yourself

Tummy-Tuck

The tummy tuck is popular because it can completely transform the abdomen, in a way that diet and exercise simply can’t. Columbia men and women turn to a tummy tuck to give them the smooth, strong look they desire, removing excess skin, selectively reducing unwanted fat, and even repairing and strengthening abdominal muscles.

That said, it’s not right for everyone, and like any procedure, it has its limitations. Here are 3 important questions I encourage any prospective tummy tuck patients to ask themselves.

Are my expectations realistic?

Any trustworthy plastic surgeon will tell you that a tummy tuck is not intended as a weight loss method. Patients who decide to undergo the procedure need to already be at or near their goal weight.

Weight loss is a side benefit at best (via the removal of unwanted fat), and in fact, patients who are significantly overweight may see unfavorable results. Instead, the best candidate for tummy tuck surgery is someone who is in generally good shape but would like a leaner, more toned abdomen or would like to repair muscle displacement and laxity. In particular, women who have had children often make good tummy tuck candidates, because pregnancy can lead to separated abdominal muscles and leave behind excess sagging skin.

For those significantly bothered by loose hanging skin throughout the body after a massive weight loss, a tummy tuck alone is not likely to produce the results you want. I offer an array of customized solutions to lift and contour different areas of the body.

You can see the results some of my patients have had, including the patient featured below, in the before-and-after gallery.

See before-and-after images from my tummy tuck patients in Columbia, MO.

Is it the right time in my life?

After a tummy tuck, it’s important to spend some time off your feet to allow your abdomen to fully heal. Tummy tuck surgery is surgery, and patients need to prepare for the immediate adjustments to daily life in the first weeks of the recovery period.

Trying to “beat the clock” and speed up recovery is a bad idea, too. Our core muscles support us throughout the day, and straining them too soon after surgery can lengthen your recovery time or even jeopardize your results.

Before you plan your surgery, be sure that you’re able to take enough time off from work, social, and family obligations to care for yourself. You should also be healthy enough to undergo surgery and be at a stable weight that you can easily maintain. If the thought of squeezing in time off sounds difficult, you may want to reconsider.

Would I be better served by an alternative?

There are plenty of other options available for people who want to refine and improve the appearance of their midsections. First, plastic surgery should be something you consider only after a diligent effort at healthy diet and exercise habits hasn’t led to the results you want.

The primary indication that tummy tuck is right for you is the presence of excess skin. If we find, for example, that your primary concern is excess fat, we may determine that you’re a better candidate for liposuction instead.

During your consultation, I’ll perform a thorough physical examination and discuss your goals with you.

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John J. Seaberg, MD, FACS