Abdominoplasty, known as a ‘tummy tuck’, is a transformative cosmetic surgery procedure which helps restore a smooth, firm abdomen by removing excess skin and fat, and tightening abdominal muscles. As a result, it is often requested following significant weight loss or multiple pregnancies, which can lead to bothersome skin laxity. In addition, as a result of the natural aging process, many patients seek abdominoplasty to correct unwanted changes such as saggy, loosened skin and pockets of stubborn fat that create an abdominal bulge.
While each patient’s experience is unique, and abdominoplasty can be performed at various life stages, the following factors should be considered when determining your best time to get a tummy tuck.
Phase Of Life
Although pregnancy is safe following a tummy tuck, it may impact the results of the procedure as it stretches the abdomen considerably. For this reason, it is advisable that patients wait until they have finished bearing children before undergoing abdominoplasty in order to prevent the need for a revision. In addition, while many patients pursue a tummy tuck after childbirth, it is crucial to first allow your body time to heal.
Prospective patients are advised to wait four to twelve months following delivery in order for tissues to retract and to lose weight gained during pregnancy. It is also necessary to discontinue breastfeeding prior to undergoing abdominoplasty in order to ensure the regulation of hormones and prevent further stretching of the skin.
Another important consideration when determining the best time for a tummy tuck is weight. While patients often experience loose, excess skin following pregnancy or significant weight loss, it is crucial to wait until your weight has stabilized before undergoing abdominoplasty, because weight fluctuations after the procedure can negatively impact the results. It is recommended that patients maintain their target weight for 3 to 6 months prior to the procedure and have a healthy body mass index (BMI) before undergoing a tummy tuck (less than 25 – 30).
Since this procedure requires a general anesthesia and a significant recovery period, it is crucial that candidates are in good, overall health. While people of various ages can safely undergo abdominoplasty, your surgeon will assess your overall health ahead of time to be sure that you are an ideal candidate.
Time Of Year
Some patients may also wish to consider the time of year when deciding when to undergo a tummy tuck. Because it is necessary to schedule at least two weeks off of work post-operatively, it is important to schedule your surgery when you will have the time necessary to recover.
While you may be able to resume work after 2 weeks, the entire recovery process often takes several months so it is important to consider this when determining the best time of year for you. In addition, the procedure often requires patients to wear a snug, compression binder which can be uncomfortable during the hot summer months.
As a result, some patients may wish to schedule their procedure during the winter, when the compression garments can easily be covered with loose winter clothing. This also allows sufficient time to heal before outdoor activities begin in lighter clothing, when they will want to show off their new figure.
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