Call it what you will—a paunch, pooch, or pot belly—but if your mid-section won’t shrink no matter how much you diet and exercise, it might be time to consider a tummy tuck. The procedure—also known as abdominoplasty—is an ideal way to tighten and reshape your abdominal area especially after pregnancy or dramatic weightloss, says Dr. Mark McClung, who has done thousands of these successful procedures in his 25-year career. “A tummy tuck can help you achieve a more aesthetically pleasing, slimmer appearance,” he says. “Having a flatter, firmer midsection can vastly improve the way clothing fits—which, in turn, can help you feel more confident and comfortable in your body.”
If your protruding belly is the bane of your existence, a tummy tuck can ensure a flatter and better toned midsection. During the procedure, abdominal muscles are tightened, and pesky excess skin is eliminated. It’s become a common, effective weapon in the battle of the bulge. “Abdominoplasty is such a popular procedure because it’s the best way to deal with problematic abdominal fat, muscle laxity, and skin laxity which no other operation can achieve,” says McClung.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions McClung answers during his complimentary consultations:
Who’s the best candidate for a tummy tuck?
“For the most part, a tummy tuck can help patients who suffer from an ever-present, protruding abdomen. Sure, the patient may diet and exercise, but they always have a belly that sticks out—despite being in decent shape. It’s also an ideal remedy if your abdominal muscles and skin are stretched and sagging following pregnancy. In addition, results of an abdominoplasty are long-lasting as long as one maintains a stable weight.”
Who’s perhaps not the best candidate for a tummy tuck?
“Patients that have predominantly intra-abdominal fat—i.e., a beer belly—are not good candidates because that fat isn’t accessible, and the abdominal wall is stretched by the intra-abdominal pressure. The subcutaneous fat layer is relatively thin in these types of patients.
I don’t recommend patients with DVT or a history of pulmonary embolus as they are typically at higher risk. Plus, there are important general health factors to consider—such as being a non-smoker and having no significant cardiac or pulmonary issues.”
Every procedure is different, but what is downtime typically? And what should I expect for recovery?
“I tell my patients a typical recovery is around a couple of weeks to feel comfortable doing normal activities around the house. I allow people to resume light cardio exercise at three weeks. With the abdominal wall repair, you have a 10-pound lifting restriction for six weeks.
Also, I’ll commonly use an injectable local anesthetic called Exparel which gives time-released pain control for three days.”
Are there risks/complications?
“The main risks are bleeding or infection—which is found less than one percent of the time in patients. Deep vein thrombosis is a small risk and seroma formation is not unusual, which is a fluid collection of serum under the skin.”
Can a tummy tuck be combined with other procedures?
“Yes! I’d suggest additional liposuction or breast surgery. The combination of abdominoplasty and a breast procedure—such as implants with or without a breast lift—is referred to as a mommy makeover. It’s common for women in the postpartum ages of 30s and 40s. Liposuction of the thighs and circumferential waistline is quite common.”
At Associated Plastic Surgeons, all of our doctors are well-versed in various cosmetic surgery procedures—including abdominoplasty. Want to learn more or schedule a surgical consultation? Call us today at (913) 451-3722 or visit here.