A tummy tuck procedure works to flatten a patient’s abdomen by tightening the muscles of their abdominal wall while also removing extra fat and skin from the area. Despite the treatment’s ability to provide desirable results it is still major surgery and shouldn’t be entered into lightly. Patients are advised to carefully consider whether or not a tummy tuck is right for them and remember that the procedure isn’t an alternative to traditional weight loss achieved by exercise and healthy eating. Remember these points when asking yourself, “should I get a tummy tuck?”
However, a tummy tuck isn’t always appropriate. Here are four reasons why tummy tuck doctors may avoid treating you:
You Want to Have (More) Children After Surgery
Women who are considering having children in the future are advised to reschedule their tummy tuck until after they no longer plan to have children. Future pregnancies can take a large toll on the abdominal muscles and skin, causing unfavourable complications. During tummy tuck surgery the vertical abdominal muscles are tightened. Pregnancy can cause these muscles to separate and, sometimes, form a hernia. Childbearing also stretches the scar left over from the surgery, making it more visible. At worst, it may also cause the point of incision to split entirely. After the stomach has distended during pregnancy the abdominal skin will also re-stretch and require additional surgery to correct. As a result, a tummy tuck before pregnancy is not recommended.
Incorrect Post-Natal Timeframe
The growth of a baby can cause the abdominal muscles to separate, leading many women to pursue a tummy tuck after pregnancy in order to regain their abdominal strength and definition. In these situations, it’s important to schedule the tummy surgery for the correct timeframe. While tummy tucks are usually safe within four months to one year after delivery, waiting until the patient has achieved a stable target weight (and decided not to have children again in the future) is essential to the success of surgery.
Women who are nursing must also wait until they are finished breastfeeding and their hormones have re-regulated to avoid further skin stretching. The best way for mothers to determine if they’re ready for a tummy tuck — and to learn about possible risks — is through a medical consultation.
Prior Extensive Abdominal Surgery
Patients who have undergone extensive abdominal surgery in the past (especially procedures involving high transverse incisions under the rib cage) may suffer from complications such as decreased blood supply and an increased risk of skin loss. Consultation with a Plastic Surgeon can help determine whether a tummy tuck may still be performed.
Patients must wait until their weight is stable (for a minimum of six months) and within a healthy range (ideally a BMI – body mass index – less than 25) before moving forward with tummy tuck plastic surgery. Losing additional weight after the procedure creates more loose skin and offsets many of the benefits of the abdominoplasty. Gaining weight can also lead to significant problems. When a patient gains weight after their tummy tuck, extra tension is placed on the incision, often widening the surgical scar. The new adipose tissue that develops with weight gain also stretches the abdominal skin and negates benefits. For all of these reasons it is highly recommended that a potential patient maintain a stable target weight before undergoing abdominoplasty or any other form of body reshaping.
Patients with a BMI of less than 25 in the normal range are considered to be ideal candidates. However, if you are a body builder, very muscular, or have lost more than 100lbs, a BMI of less than 30 may also be acceptable.
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