In my more than 20 years performing tummy tuck surgery, I’ve heard lots of reasons for deciding to have this highly successful body contouring procedure. For many of my patients, removing loose skin, tummy bulges and stubborn pockets of fat that diet and exercise have not been able to erase helps them feel younger, slimmer, more energetic...and more beautiful.
For some, having a tummy tuck motivates them to live a healthier lifestyle and finally give up some bad habits, such as smoking or binge eating. For others, a tummy tuck removes loose, sagging skin that resulted from losing a significant amount of weight, along with the unpleasant emotions associated with being obese.
Whatever the reason, a tummy tuck can be a wonderful turning point in a person’s life, boosting their self-esteem and enabling them to feel confident about their bodies, sometimes for the first time.
The best patient is an informed patient
As a highly experienced plastic surgeon, I feel strongly that my patients should be as well-informed as possible before undergoing any kind of surgical procedure. In addition, they should be realistic about the results they are expecting to see after surgery. For that reason, I have put together this list of six important things to consider before having tummy tuck surgery. To learn more about the range of body sculpting procedures I offer, click here.
Make sure you’re having a tummy tuck for the right reasons
1. Examine your motivation
Before undergoing a tummy tuck, it's important that you feel positive about yourself in general and that what you are seeking is to lose unwanted fat and bulges in your midsection and gain a more sculpted, shapely silhouette. You should not expect this surgery to give you an entirely new life.
2. Manage your expectations
A tummy tuck won't make you look like a swimsuit model or your favorite movie star. Your age, muscle tone, skin elasticity, level of fitness, body frame and amount of fat and skin that you want removed will ultimately determine the end result. The goal should be to achieve the best you you can be.
3. Be aware of your emotional state
If you're going through an emotional trauma (divorce, depression, loss of a job, death of a loved one), I would strongly recommend against having a tummy tuck until you have had time to work through these emotional issues. For a few days after the surgery, you will experience a certain amount of pain, bruising and discomfort, possibly to a large degree. If you're already feeling down, this can make you feel worse. Your mental state can also negatively impact your healing by suppressing your immune system. The result? Your body will take longer to heal.
4. Have a good support system
While you are healing from tummy tuck surgery, it is very helpful to have supportive people around you who can see you through the challenging first few days and help with your ADLs (activities of daily living).
5. Know the risks
Like any surgery, there are routine risks associated with abdominoplasty, such as bleeding, bruising and infection. Make sure you are fully informed about what you are committing to and that you can handle a temporary setback. With some of my patients, what they at first thought was a potentially serious post-surgical problem was actually completely normal, or went away on its own, or healed without my intervention. If, however, there is an actual problem, you’ll want a strong doctor-patient relationship in order to undergo whatever action needs to be taken. Remember, we are partners going through this together.
6. Have a clear idea of what you want
An open and honest discussion of your goals and a review of (realistic, unretouched) before-and-after photos is critical to success. Most importantly, throughout the entire process from initial consultation to post-surgery recovery, I remind my patients to have realistic expectations of what their “new” body will look like so they will be truly happy with their results.
What happens during tummy tuck surgery
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin, contours fat, narrows the waist and tightens the muscles of the abdomen, giving you the appearance of a flat and toned midsection.
Requiring 1-2 hours in the operating room under general anesthesia, a typical tummy tuck is able to remove several pounds of stomach fat and excess skin and tighten abdominal muscles. Recovery times vary, but most of my patients are back to work in 1-2 weeks.
Who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
Having performed hundreds of tummy tucks, I have found that the best candidates:
- are in good health
- have sagging skin, loose muscle and excess fat which they want removed
- are within 20% of their ideal body weight
- have had significant weight loss and have kept it off for at least 6 months
- do not smoke
- men are also good candidates for a tummy tuck, especially if they have experienced extreme weight loss
For even better results, consider adding liposuction and a Brazilian Butt Lift
Many of my patients decide to have liposuction at the same time as tummy tuck surgery to achieve the trim, young-looking, hourglass silhouette they’ve always wanted. As well as removing fat and loose skin from your midsection and tightening your stomach muscles, I can also extract unwanted fat from around your hips, thighs and buttocks during the procedure. For more information on liposuction, download this free fact sheet.
In addition, I can re-use this unwanted fat and transfer it to your buttocks to enhance their size and shape for a Brazilian Butt Lift. For more information on Brazilian Butt Lift, download this free fact sheet.
If you are interested in a tummy tuck
I understand that choosing to have a tummy tuck is an important decision for a woman. I also know how much it means to each and every patient to achieve the results she wants.
If you are thinking about getting a tummy tuck and would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact me and I will send you additional information prior to your appointment. To make sure you are fully informed about your surgery options and understand exactly what results to expect, I will take all the time you need to make sure your questions are answered.
Learn more about body sculpting procedures
For further information on body slimming, toning and contouring procedures, you might find these pages on my website helpful:
- Body Procedures
- Mommy Makeover
- Butt Augmentation
- Brazilian Butt Lift
- Lower Body Lift
- Tummy Tuck
Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), Samuel J. Beran, MD is a highly accomplished plastic surgeon with offices in Manhattan, Harrison and Mount Kisco, NY. With more than 20 years’ experience and a thorough command of the most advanced techniques and technologies, Dr. Beran consistently provides his patients with the highest level of plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast, face, skin and body. Recently, Dr. Beran was named a “Top Doctor” by RealSelf for his dedication to responding to consumer questions and patient feedback. The “Top Doctor” designation is awarded to less than 10% of the RealSelf physician community.