American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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How a tummy tuck can get you ready for summer


Now that it is almost spring and the weather is getting warmer, many people are starting to consider plastic surgery so that they have time to recover and look great for the beach season in the summer. One of the most common body contouring procedures that men and especially women consider is a tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty. A tummy tuck creates a firmer, flatter mid-section by removing excess skin and fat, while additionally tightening the abdominal muscles. Sometimes, liposuction can be added to a tummy tuck to create additional contouring to the flanks.

The ideal candidate for a tummy tuck is someone who is at their ideal weight, in good medical health and has realistic expectations. There should be enough excess skin and fat that can be removed with this procedure. A tummy tuck is not designed to be a weight loss procedure, and is not a substitute for a proper diet and exercise regimen. A tummy tuck is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. During the operation, your plastic surgeon will make an incision in the lower part of your abdomen, and then elevate the abdominal skin and fat off of the underlying tissues. Oftentimes the abdominal muscles will need to be tightened back in the midline of the abdomen. Your plastic surgeon will then remove and excess skin and fat from the lower half of the abdomen. The skin and tissues are then sutured back together, with the end result being a firmer, flatter abdomen.

Most people are able to go back to work within 2 weeks after the procedure. However, it may be about 6 weeks before you can resume exercising. Some surgeons may opt to leave surgical drains for a defined period of time after the surgery. The scar is usually placed in the lower part of the abdomen and is usually inconspicuous, even in a bikini. Swelling is common after surgery, and many plastic surgeons will recommend that the patient wears a compression garment for a defined period after surgery to assist in control of fluid buildup.

After the healing process has occurred, you may expect to find the abdomen has a flatter shape and contour. Most patients are pleased with the results after surgery and feel more confident in showing off their bodies, especially on the beach. Any individual considering a tummy tuck should ask for the training, qualifications and experience of the board-certified plastic surgeon performing the procedure, and also make sure that the surgery will be performed in an accredited facility.

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