Tummy tuck, is a surgery that is performed in the abdomen region (mostly) to tighten the loosened muscles and sagging skin. The procedure is also called abdominoplasty. People who have lost a significant amount of weight are often left with weak muscles in the stomach region and in the abdominal region. The skin in these areas may sag giving an ugly look when undressed. Tummy tuck is a perfect procedure for such people that helps them get back their actual desired physical look.
Who is the right candidate for tummy tuck procedure?
- People who have lost a lot of weight in the tummy region. Losing little fat in the region won’t leave any sagging skin due to the elastic nature of the skin. However, when the weight lost in the mid-section is big, not the entire skin can shrink.
- People who underwent liposuction in the abdominal area and want to get the skin in the region tightened.
- The person should be in good health overall. If the person has any existing medical condition and taking medicines, the plastic surgeon should know about it at the time of consultation.
- The person should not smoke. At least, smoking should be paused (if not quit) a month before the scheduled surgery. Smoking hinders the healing process of the body.
- The person should be practical and must not expect 100% perfection. The plastic surgeon will let the person know about what to expect post recovery from the surgery.
For anyone who wants to undergo tummy tuck, they must always go for it after reaching their weight loss goals. If there is more weight to lose, the skin may sag or look loose after the procedure when further weight is lost.
Tummy tuck, how is it done?
There are two types of tummy tuck – full tummy tuck and mini tummy tuck.
Mini tummy tuck
Mini tummy tuck or full tummy tuck is performed under general anaesthesia. In mini tummy tuck, an incision is made near the bikini line (between the navel and the lower abdomen area / pubic bone region). The muscles in the region are tightened (stitched together if needed), the excess sagging skin is removed and the rest of the skin is stitched up. The abdominal area is bandaged tightly to prevent the accumulation of fluids. Mini tummy tuck can take about 2 to 4 hours.
Full tummy tuck
Fully tummy tuck is for those who have sagging / loose skin in the abdominal area as well as near the stomach region. In this case, after administration of full body anaesthesia, two incisions are made. One at the bikini line and the other above the navel.
Similar to mini tummy tuck, the muscles are tightened and the excess skin between the upper and lower incision is removed. The remaining skin is stitched up and closed. Adjustment or an opening for the belly button would be made. The site will then be bandaged tightly. Draining tubes may be fitted to remove the fluids that get accumulated in the area. Full tummy tuck may take anywhere between 3 to 5 hours.
Some doctors and patients go for liposuction followed by tummy tuck but we at Flood Gates Plastic Surgery clinic, don’t recommend combining the procedures. One can get the liposuction done and once it is completely healed, we (the plastic surgeons) will get a better idea on how much skin needs to be removed to perfectly tighten up the abdominal area. Combining tummy tuck with liposuction may not give the desired results as the skin can sag more during recovery from liposuction.
Risks of tummy tuck procedure
Tummy tuck is an invasive procedure. A surgery where the body is cut open is often prone to infections. Sometimes, infection can become so bad that the life of the patient may be at risk. That is one big reason why you should do proper and thorough homework in finding the best plastic surgeon for your tummy tuck procedure.
Loss of sensation of the skin or numbness can be expected for a few days after the surgery. The sensation on the skin should return. You should let your doctor know if you don’t have any sensation even after a week.
Scarring, bruising, swelling at the site is pretty common and you can expect this. If drainage tubes are placed, the fluids get drained and the site heals quicker. Otherwise, it may take some time for the body to remove the accumulated fluids. Pain medication will be given to manage pain.
Recovering after tummy tuck procedure
One should note that the results of tummy tuck procedure can last forever, provided a very healthy lifestyle is maintained. Regular workout and good food can always keep a person in good health and shape.
Recovering from a tummy tuck procedure is surely a painful one. Pain can be managed with pain medication prescribed by the doctor. Avoiding contact with water is very important to prevent possible infections. The site needs to be dressed up regularly and the person may take a bath or shower only when the doctor gives a green signal.
Prescription antibiotics must be taken without fail. Any painful incident or leakage of fluids must be reported immediately to the plastic surgeon. One can go to the office after a couple of weeks after the surgery.
Tummy tuck procedure cost in Chennai, India
Cost of tummy tuck procedure can range from Rs. 2,00,000 to Rs. 5,00,000 depending on the following factors:
- The clinic or hospital where surgery is performed.
- The doctor and his/her expertise in performing the procedure.
- Whether the procedure is a mini or full tummy tuck.
If the surgery is done for cosmetic reasons, the health insurance companies may not cover the cost. One needs to check with his/her insurance company before committing to undergo the procedure.