It’s a lot of hard work to lose weight and slim down. While the results can be exciting, you might be left with excess skin in the process. No amount of diet and exercise can tighten up loose skin. For patients with these concerns, we often recommend a tummy tuck at our Washington, DC practice.
Curious if a tummy tuck is right for you? Here are a few tips for deciding how to obtain that final, fitter look.
Tummy Tuck 101
A tummy tuck (also known as abdominoplasty) flattens the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin. Using a horizontal incision that stretches from hip to hip below the bikini line, the surgeon removes excess skin to create a slimmer, contoured midsection. The surgery is best for people who have lost a significant amount of weight but who are now at or close to their target weight. It is important to remember that a tummy tuck is not “weight-loss surgery.” It won’t shave off pounds but will result in a flatter midsection.
But a tummy tuck does more than just remove skin. When gaining a large amount of weight—such as during pregnancy—your abdominal muscles can actually stretch and separate. What makes a tummy tuck special is that it repairs these muscles to firm up your abdomen. This helps eliminate that “tummy pooch,” something that a healthy lifestyle alone can’t fix.
Recovery and Benefits
While a tummy tuck can produce transformative results, the recovery period is a bit longer than most. Surgical tubes are placed under the skin to help drain fluid buildup and avoid complications. These tubes can be removed after a few days and your surgeon will give you a special garment to support your midsection. Within 7 to 10 days you can resume light activities and non-strenuous movements.
Tummy tucks have a 97% “Worth It” rating on RealSelf.com. Removing extra skin and tightening up muscles can dramatically improve the midsection and help boost self-esteem.
A tummy tuck mainly addresses the stomach area, so patients often combine it with other procedures to help different parts of the body. Combining procedures helps reduce recovery time, meaning fewer days away from work and home.
Liposuction is typically paired with post-weight loss surgery. While a tummy tuck can help remove excess skin, liposuction can do additional body sculpting for more noticeable results. Both of these procedures are often used as part of a mommy makeover package.
Tummy tucks (and other post-weight loss surgeries) are an excellent way to tone up your body after completing your weight loss journey. Discuss your options with a board-certified plastic surgeon to find the best procedures for your lifestyle.
Browse our before-and-after gallery to see examples of our past tummy tuck patients. If you’re interested in treatment or have any other questions, request a consultation using the online form or by calling (703) 560-2850 to schedule an appointment.