• 03 May 2016

For those who are planning on going under the knife for the first time ever, remember the most important of all ground rules of cosmetic and non-cosmetic procedures.  Have 5Ws of the procedure on your tips. 5Ws?... Who, what, where, when and why are questions that you should be very clear about.

Once you have all these answered, you’ll be able to keep most of the anxiety, uncertainty and confusion at bay (Except for the one related to the operation room, any phobias or the much anticipated new look). In this article we are going to address all of these, some in detail, some superficially and make the decision making process a bit easy for you.

Who?

An experienced board certified surgeon. This sentence answers the most important question! If you choose the wrong person for the procedure, you shouldn’t be surprised at a botched up result. The American Board of Plastic Surgery requires doctors to complete training in cosmetic surgery along with five other categories. Likewise, the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery requires the board certified plastic surgeon to be trained in the following categories;

  • Breast surgery
  • Liposuction
  • Face surgery
  • Tummy tuck
  • Other cosmetic procedures

When you rest your case with a non-qualified person (non-plastic surgeon) you basically turn a blind eye to the single most important factor that determines the success of surgery. Don’t do this. Bottom line: Who? Only a board certified plastic/cosmetic surgeon. You can choose amongst them through word of mouth referrals or rely on your instincts based on the internet research you carried out after your research.

To make it easier for you, we have come up with a short checklist of questions that you should ask your surgeon before a Tummy Tuck.
Click Here to Download Your Free Checklist

Where?

I take my words back. How about beginning the question answering process from this question? This will automatically make answering the ‘who’ part easy. Where to go for procedures? Miami, Florida, home to the most qualified professional surgeons. Once you choose this place, finding a surgeon (qualified and experienced) becomes a piece of cake. This amazing and huge medical tourism destination will not only provide you with a place to get your procedure done, but will also serve as a vacation spot, since it has;

  • Beautiful beaches
  • Nightlife! Your kind of stuff is surely to be found here
  • An amazing port for cruise lines

Bottom line: Miami! The ultimate spot for vacationing with your new look.

Why?

Now this is something only you or your surgeon can answer. But we can surely list some common reasons for which people opt for the body changing tummy tuck. For example;

  • Sticking out belly
  • Excess skin that sags
  • Excess fat
  • Laxity in abdominal wall
  • Excess skin and/or fat that doesn’t respond to exercise and dietary modifications.

You won’t be able to get a ‘good to go’ signal from your doctor despite having one or more of the following if you’re a smoker, not in good health, beer-belly or have extremely unrealistic expectations.

When?

Leave that to your surgeon because until he/she is satisfied with your history, done with your examination and made sure that your lab investigations have turned out fine, he won’t let you be anywhere near the operation theatre. Pre-operative clearance, a detailed discussion on possible outcomes, complications and risks and setting your expectations on a level that could be met are few of the tasks that need to be done before you’re actually ready for the tummy tuck. Once this is done, congratulations it’s time to go under the knife.

What?

We left this one for the end deliberately because this is the most detailed one. You will  be having some idea of the basics of the procedure by then the end of the article and you’ll have a fair knowledge of what the procedure really is, how it is performed, its variations and differences between them.

Tummy Tuck- Definition

Abdominoplasty aka tummy tuck is a surgical procedure performed to get rid of excess skin and/or fat in the belly area that is often a consequence of multiple pregnancies, massive weight reduction or a protruding mid-section of body. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia. It begins with incising the skin above pubic bone which is raised as a car’s bonnet to reveal fat and subcutaneous tissue. Excess fat and skin are removed and muscles may be tightened or repaired resulting in a firmer and flatter looking abdomen. Appearance of scars and how well they’re hidden is something determined by your surgeon’s expertise. Often the scar is too low and is hidden below the band of bikini bottoms. Scars however, cannot be avoided completely and their size depends on;

  • Amount of skin and fat removed
  • Previous scars (c-section scars or any other surgery)

Ever since the procedure came into existence, there have been variations in techniques addressing needs of people seeking the surgical procedure for various reasons. No two people present with the same set of complaints, which is why a consultation may be required more than once to see which type of tummy tuck would best suit the client. The following are some types of abdominoplasty;

Full abdominoplasty

This type serves to be an ideal option for people who are concerned about presence of excess skin above and below belly button and have gone through extreme weight loss through bariatric surgery. It involves addressing the full length of the abdomen and requires giving two incisions;

  • A horizontal incision on lower abdomen
  • An incision around navel

After incising, the excess skin and fat are removed, muscles are tightened and skin is stretched over to cover the removed areas. The resulting scar is long, at times extending from hip bone to hip bone. Its benefits include;

  • Flatter and smoother abdomen
  • Reduced stretch marks
  • Better fitting swim suits

B) Mini abdominoplasty

A small scale tummy tuck, which requires a single incision and that too on the lower side of the tummy, followed by fat and skin removal as well as muscle tightening. It is often considered a better option for people with loose skin and not for bariatric surgery patients. The scar is smaller and thinner as compared to a full procedure. Its benefits include;

  • Shorter procedure
  • Not so extensive
  • Quicker recovery
  • Flatter abdomen
  • Slimmer abdomen

C) Extended abdominoplasty

Extended or lateral tension abdominoplasty involves removing skin and fat from the love handles as well as hips. It offers the benefits of lifting hips and thighs and involves deeper tissue maintaining support and posture. While the scar may not be covered entirely, it can be hidden by most of the swimsuits. Now that you know the five Ws of tummy tuck, you’ll have a better idea of what your surgeon might be suggesting after examining you. Remember the most important of all ground rules next time you collect information on any procedure. The best way to get a clearer picture however is by consulting a board certified surgeon! Feel free to contact us anytime.