The shape of the abdomen tends to naturally change over time. This is due to aging and the loosening of muscle fibers throughout the body. Additionally, abdominal slackening may occur after pregnancy or in relation to weight changes. In some instances, the loosened muscles no longer contract to their former state, even with exercise. When this occurs, abdominoplasty may be an excellent solution for many people. Dial (403) 245-1228 today to speak with Dr. Frank and learn more about the tummy tuck procedure!
What Is An Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)?
An abdominoplasty, also called a tummy tuck, in Calgary AB helps flatten and shape the abdomen and waist by removing excess fat and skin and tightening muscles. Patients love the look of their new flat stomachs after surgery under Dr. Frank’s exceptional care.
Advantages of Abdominoplasty
There are several benefits to abdominoplasty. The primary benefit is that the patient feels more satisfied with and confident about their appearance. Tightening the abdominal muscles can change the way that clothes fit and may even change clothing size.
What patients often don’t realize about abdominoplasty is that this procedure achieves functional benefits, as well. For muscles to operate normally, they need to be in the right position. The abdominal muscles work along a straight line up and down the center of the abdomen. When these muscles separate or severely loosen, they lose their ability to contract as well as they once did. Furthermore, because the connection of the muscles has been significantly affected by stretching, exercise rarely achieves the desired outcome. Crunches and other core exercises may strengthen the muscles themselves but they cannot narrow the connection between them. Therefore, the abdomen is not likely to look flat and tight with exercise alone.
The surgical tightening of loose abdominal muscles restores proper position for functional purposes. After abdominoplasty, the core muscles are tighter and can be made stronger through future exercise.
Who Is An Ideal Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
The best candidates for abdominoplasty are in good physical condition with pockets of fat or loose skin that haven’t responded well to diet and exercise.
Abdominoplasty can also be useful for women with stretched skin and muscles during pregnancy. Results from the tummy tuck procedure will likely diminish if women continue to bear children, so we advise patients who plan to become pregnant to delay abdominoplasty.
We also encourage patients who intend to lose a lot of weight to wait before undergoing the procedure, since skin in the abdominal area typically loosens after substantial weight loss.
Customized Tummy Tuck Treatment Plan
Dr. Frank takes the time during every pre-operative consultation to learn what each patient wants to achieve from a tummy tuck, both for their bodies and for their self-confidence. By listening to what patients have to say and closely examining them rather than performing a one-size-fits-all procedure on every person, we provide patients with completely customized treatment that takes into account their specific goals.
How Is A Tummy Tuck Performed?
Abdominoplasty takes approximately two to three hours under general anesthesia. Dr. Frank will make two incisions: one from hipbone to hipbone close to the pubic area, and another around the navel. He will separate the skin from the abdominal muscles, which are then pulled together and stitched into place for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist.
Dr. Frank will then perform liposuction on the skin flap and the flank areas to achieve a more shapely waistline. Next, he will stretch the skin flap down and over the newly tightened muscles, remove excess skin, and reattach the navel in a natural position. Finally, Dr. Frank will close the incisions and apply sterile surgical dressings over the sutured areas.
Should I Lose Weight Before Tummy Tuck Surgery?
The best candidates for abdominoplasty are adults who have reached a reasonable weight for their preference and their body frame. Some studies suggest that people with a BMI of 30 or higher have a higher risk of complications after any surgery. Also, the primary objective of tummy tuck surgery is to tighten the loose muscles of the abdominal wall so they function better and look better. This procedure is unlikely to affect weight in a meaningful way.
If you have reached a weight that suits your body frame and your lifestyle; a weight that feels maintainable to you, you may be ready for abdominoplasty. If you’re unsure if your BMI, body mass index, is in the right range for a tummy tuck to be successful, schedule a consultation with Dr. Frank. A brief conversation about your concerns and goals can help you determine the best timing for your body-contouring procedure.
Can Other Surgeries be Combined With An Abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty is often combined with liposuction of the abdomen or surrounding areas. Liposuction is the procedure that is performed to remove stubborn fat cells that linger despite healthy dietary and exercise habits.
How Much Weight Will I Lose After Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Abdominoplasty is not intended for weight loss. Some patients notice as much as a ten-pound difference on the scale, while others notice a loss of 5 pounds or less. The primary physical changes that are achieved with abdominoplasty surgery are seen in the mirror, clothing sizes, and confidence, not on the scale.
Tummy Tuck Results
Abdominoplasty will leave a scar spanning the lower abdomen from hip to hip. We are very careful to make the incision low enough for even a bikini to conceal the scar. With a balanced diet and regular exercise, results are long-lasting.
Are Results of Tummy Tuck Surgery Permanent?
The results of abdominoplasty are considered permanent because the fat and skin that are removed during surgery do not come back. Furthermore, the suturing that is done to tighten weak abdominal muscles remains intact indefinitely.
It should also be known, however, that weight- and age-related changes in skin and tissue can affect the shape of the body and firmness of the skin over time. If a substantial amount of weight is gained after a tummy tuck, fat cells anywhere on the body can be expected, including the abdomen. Depending on how much weight is gained, it is even possible for the body to produce new fat cells. Additionally, post-abdominoplasty pregnancy can once again stretch and loosen the abdominal muscles.
It is possible to maintain long-lasting results after a tummy tuck. To do so, patients must prioritize weight management with healthy dietary and exercise habits.
Recovery after Abdominoplasty: What To Expect
It is important to understand that every patient’s recuperation from abdominoplasty is influenced by several factors. These include body weight, general health, and age. Recovery is also somewhat dependent on the type of tummy tuck one has. It is only natural to wish to get back to normal activities right away after surgery. However, it is important that the body be allowed to heal in its own time.
If drains are placed, they may be left in for a few days. Patients are instructed how to empty and care for the drains until they are removed.
An abdominal compression garment may be worn for up to 6 to 8 weeks. This helps support the abdominal muscles and also inhibits fluid buildup.
Tightened abdominal muscles will take time to settle. Until then, patients may need to sleep at an incline to keep the upper body curved slightly forward. It can also help to sleep with the knees bent by placing pillows under them.
Rest is critically important, as is walking a little every day. Patients should expect to feel more tired than usual as they recover from surgery. This can last a few months.
It takes several weeks at least to feel back to normal after abdominoplasty. Driving, strenuous exercise, and sex will all be resumed gradually.
Returning to Normal Activity after Tummy Tuck Surgery
- Patients should expect to need 4 to 8 weeks to heal sufficiently to resume most normal activities after a tummy tuck.
- At first, it is likely that standing upright will be a challenge.
- It is important to try to walk a little each day. Walking supports circulation to tissues that are healing and also inhibits blood clot formation and constipation. Aside from walking, no other physical exercise should be performed until cleared by Dr. Frank.
- Showering may resume 24 to 48 hours after surgery, though assistance may be needed, especially when prescription pain medication is still being taken.
- Baths, hot tubs, and swimming should be avoided for a few weeks.
- Patients should not drive until they are no longer taking prescription pain medication.
- Work may be resumed 2 to 4 weeks after surgery.
- NO lifting that requires any amount of strain should be conducted. No heavy grocery bags or backpacks, etc.
- Abdominal exercises may need to be avoided for several months, but weight training in other areas may be resumed gradually over a 6 to 8-week period.
What Are The Risks of Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Though rare, post-operative complications from tummy tuck surgery are possible. They may include infection, blood clots, and poor healing, which may require further surgery.
Patients who have had previous abdominal surgery should know that their old scars could be raised, stretched or generally more noticeable after the procedure. A scar revision procedure after abdominoplasty may minimize the appearance of an unsightly scar.
“Dr. Frank and his wonderful staff are extremely thoughtful, respectful, thorough and fairly priced! From the first point of contact they were professional, and really took concern to the procedure at hand. Upon my first visit with Dr. Frank, he was very cordial, whilst showing a personal interest in getting to know a bit about his patient. He also does work with the Children’s Hospital, and stays active in the community. I could not have asked for a better experience. Thanks! :)” – D.S.