What To Know About A Tummy Tuck After Significant Weight Loss
The hard work, dedication, and willpower it takes to achieve significant weight loss are traits to be applauded. It is exciting to celebrate reaching your weight loss goal, but oftentimes the excitement is overshadowed by lingering reminders of your former body. These symptoms, including excess skin and stubborn pockets of fat, can hold you back from enjoying the results of your weight loss. Patients with sagging excess skin after weight loss are often self-conscious about wearing certain styles of clothing and are unable to comfortably participate in various physical activities. Fortunately, cosmetic surgery can help these patients get rid of excess skin and fat, giving them the freedom to move on to the next stage of their lives with comfort and confidence.
At Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery in Huntington, NY, board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. James Romanelli and Dr. John Layliev have helped numerous Long Island, NY patients reach their final goals with after weight loss surgery. One of the most commonly performed procedures for patients after significant weight loss is a tummy tuck. This plastic surgery procedure can produce dramatic and stunning results for men and women looking to take the final step in their weight loss journey.
What is a tummy tuck?
The tummy tuck, formally known as abdominoplasty, is an invasive surgical procedure designed to contour a patient’s midsection. By removing excess skin and tightening the underlying abdominal muscles, an experienced surgeon is able to give patients a firmer, sleeker, and smoother abdomen. A tummy tuck is ideal for men and women who have lost weight but are left with stretched-out skin, and it is extremely popular for mothers who want to restore their bodies after pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. For the latter, a tummy tuck is often performed as part of a larger mommy makeover procedure, which may combine the tummy tuck with breast augmentation, a breast lift, and liposuction.
How can a tummy tuck help me after weight loss?
For patients who have been overweight for an extended period of time or undergo significant weight fluctuations later in life, the skin is often unable to bounce back to its original state. This can be due to the number of years the skin has been stretched out as well as a natural loss of skin elasticity that occurs as we age. The stretched-out skin usually occurs around the abdominal area but can also be seen in the arms, thighs, neck, and other areas. Through cosmetic corrective procedures such as a thigh lift, arm lift, or lower body lift, Dr. Romanelli and Dr. Layliev can surgically remove this excess skin.
The tummy tuck, however, can often produce the most dramatic results, in part because the abdomen is typically where the largest amount of excess skin remains. When performed by a skilled and experienced surgeon, a tummy tuck can correct these common issues:
- Excess skin: The stretched-out, sagging skin left on the abdomen after weight loss
- Stubborn fat: This can be removed via liposuction performed with a tummy tuck
- Diastasis recti: The separation of the abdominal muscles, common after weight fluctuations and pregnancy
What can I expect from a tummy tuck procedure and recovery?
A tummy tuck, which is performed under general anesthesia, typically takes about 2 – 3 hours, but this can vary depending on the patient, the surgeon, and any additional procedures being performed. Dr. Romanelli or Dr. Layliev will make a long, horizontal incision just above the pubic area. This placement makes it easy to conceal the resulting scar under clothing or a swimsuit. The length of the incision will depend on the amount of excess skin that needs to be removed. Your surgeon will correct any separation in the abdominal muscles, remove the excess skin, reposition the belly button, and close the incision with sutures.
Following the procedure, Long Island-area patients should expect some level of discomfort for the first week or so. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication and recommend other methods for relieving your symptoms. Bruising and swelling are also normal but should subside after 2 – 3 weeks. Your mobility will be significantly limited in the first week, so it is important that you arrange for help around the house. Most patients are able to return to work after two weeks and begin feeling more like themselves after about a month. The final results will begin to appear around 4 – 6 weeks after surgery, once the swelling has resolved.
What is the first step toward a tummy tuck after weight loss?
Patients considering a tummy tuck should be within 5 – 10 pounds of their ideal weight and have maintained that weight for at least six months. Women should also be sure that they are done having children before pursuing a tummy tuck, as future weight fluctuations can compromise the results of the procedure. In addition, candidates for a tummy tuck should be non-smokers and have no contraindications to anesthesia or surgery.
The first step in finding out how a tummy tuck after weight loss can help you is to be evaluated by a qualified, experienced plastic surgeon. Contact Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery in Huntington, NY today to schedule your consultation with Dr. James Romanelli or Dr. John Layliev, and learn more about how a tummy tuck can give you the body you have worked so hard to achieve.