A tummy tuck is the layman’s term for the surgical procedure doctors call an abdominoplasty. This surgery is an effective way to address all the common concerns of patients who wish to regain a toned, flat tummy after experiencing pregnancy, age, or weight changes.
During a tummy tuck, a cosmetic surgeon can help tighten lax abdominal muscles and remove excess skin and fat from the belly area. Many patients choose to add cosmetic procedures such as liposuction or breast augmentation to further enhance the results of this technique.
A tummy tuck remains a trendy surgery, with nearly 130,000 procedures performed in 2017, according to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. It’s likely someone you know has gotten an abdominoplasty without you even knowing it! But despite this popularity, some myths and misconceptions persist.
1. If I diet and exercise diligently, I can get my flat tummy back on my own.
As we age, our bodies go through a variety of changes – we gain and lose weight, our skin loses elasticity, and our ability to burn stored fat may decrease. While a healthy diet and fitness regimen are essential to aging gracefully, it may not be enough to hold off all the changes your body may have in store for you due to factors like heredity and childbearing.
You certainly can exercise to tone your abdominal muscles. However, a woman who has had one or more babies will have lax, separated muscles that all the core exercises in the world won’t be able to restore. Likewise, physical activity can’t tone skin that has been stretched through weight fluctuations. An abdominoplasty can complement your healthy lifestyle by helping you regain a fit-looking appearance.
2. Only women can get a tummy tuck.
While a tummy tuck can be an ideal procedure for a post-pregnancy woman, there’s no reason men can’t also get this procedure to look and feel more confident. After all, popular culture puts just as much of an emphasis on a toned abdomen for men as it does for women, if not more.
Many men are genetically predisposed to gain stubborn belly fat as they age, which makes the abdominal region a common problem area for male patients, even if they don’t tend to gain weight in other parts of their bodies. An abdominoplasty is a solution for men who are struggling to maintain a flat belly, despite their efforts to diet and exercise.
3. Abdominoplasty will help me lose weight.
Though a tummy tuck is designed to remove excess skin and fat, you should not confuse this surgery with a weight-loss procedure. In fact, patients who are already at or near their target body weight experience the best results from abdominoplasty.
The goal of a tummy tuck is to improve the contour and shape of the abdominal region. While a well-performed surgery will result in notable improvements to your appearance, you won’t see much difference, if any, when you step on the scale. There’s still no substitute for good old-fashioned dieting and exercising when it comes to helping you lose weight.
4. Any doctor can perform my tummy tuck.
While there’s no law that limits the type of procedures a surgeon can perform, you should always seek a board-certified cosmetic surgeon to perform your abdominoplasty surgery. It is a cosmetic procedure, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a serious operation requiring proper preparation and care. A qualified surgeon who is experienced at performing tummy tuck surgery will be able to ensure your safety during and after the surgery and give you the best possible outcome.
5. There is only one type of tummy tuck surgery.
You have options when it comes to abdominoplasty. A full tummy tuck is ideal for patients with excess skin and lack of muscle tone throughout their entire abdomen. However, if your muscle laxity and unwanted skin are only below your belly button, we recommend a mini-tummy tuck. This procedure requires a smaller incision and eliminates the need to reposition your navel.
The Best Tummy Tuck Results in Baltimore and D.C.
If you’re exploring the benefits a tummy tuck surgery can offer, contact us at the Maryland Institute of Plastic Surgery. Our four leading surgeons have been serving the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area for more than 20 years, and we will perform your abdominoplasty in our fully accredited surgical center to maximize your safety and comfort during the procedure.