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What a tummy tuck can and can't do


Most people carry a little extra fat around their stomach. Sometimes, diet and exercise can do the trick – sometimes, it can't. But, that's not the only reason patients undergo a tummy tuck procedure. Things like pregnancy and significant weight gain or loss can create excess skin or weakened abdominal muscles, which can most easily be corrected by a tummy tuck procedure.

Still, there are some common misconceptions about this procedure, especially concerning what it can and can't fix. Below are some of examples of what a tummy tuck can do and what it can't do.

A tummy tuck can create a new, flat abdomen by removing extra fat

This can be a great, life-changing procedure if you've been carrying extra fat around your stomach area and can't get rid of it. However, it can only do so much in giving you a toned, contoured abdomen. A tummy tuck does often repair and suture weakened and separated abdominal muscles, especially after pregnancy or childbirth. But, if you're looking for muscle tone or abs, a tummy tuck won't get you there. Most results show a slimmer, less flabby version of the same profile, which can be a great, confidence-boosting jump-start to a new, healthy lifestyle.

A tummy tuck can't prevent future weight gain

If you've put on weight due to pregnancy or lack of exercise, a tummy tuck can be a great way to feel like you've got your body back. However, a tummy tuck should only be performed if you're at a stable weight because your results can be greatly diminished by significant weight gain afterward. Although excess fat is removed from the stomach, it can't prevent more being added later on. So, you'll need to make sure you're living a healthy, active lifestyle and have no future plans for pregnancy to get the best out of your tummy tuck.

A tummy tuck can remove extra skin

Especially in cases of pregnancy or significant weight loss, extra skin can be left behind that is saggy and impossible to get rid of. Many patients try and fail to get rid of it through exercise, where a tummy tuck or other nonsurgical skin tightening procedures would be better suited for removing it. However, only a certain amount can be safely removed, and your plastic surgeon can help you determine whether your aesthetic goals are in line with a safe procedure.

A tummy tuck can't remove most stretch marks

Many people also carry stretch marks around their abdomen, hips and thighs. These are usually caused by the skin being unable to properly accommodate rapid growth and the skin tears at a deep level. They can be very difficult to remove, especially through a tummy tuck. As there is only so much skin that can be removed from the abdomen, only stretch marks that are located on the excised skin can be removed (usually below the belly button). If you're uncomfortable with stretch marks located outside the navel area, you can speak with your plastic surgeon about your treatment options.

A tummy tuck can be a transformative procedure for those who are self-conscious about their pudge and feel like there's no way to get rid of it. If you're considering a tummy tuck, always ensure you seek out an experienced and personable board-certified plastic surgeon.

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