For many individuals, working hard in the gym and eating right just isn’t enough to shrink their midsection to what it once was. Changes in the body such as weight fluctuations over the years or childbirth can cause excess skin and weakened abdominal muscles, resulting in a round and sagging abdomen.
When diet and exercise aren’t enough to produce a slim waist, a tummy tuck may be the next best step to redefining your figure. A tummy tuck can help address the loose skin and stretched abdominal muscles and ultimately help you reduce your waistline.
What Does a Tummy Tuck Do?
When you gain weight, your abdominal skin and muscles stretch. However, depending on how quickly you’ve gained weight, how much you’ve gained and how long you’ve carried it can affect the way your skin and muscles bounce back.
Often with significant weight gain and loss, the skin and muscles have been stretched beyond their limits and does not respond to diet and exercise. This is when a tummy tuck may help fix them and restore a slimmer midsection.
During your tummy tuck procedure, your plastic surgeon will remove excess skin in the targeted area while also repairing the weakened muscles to achieve a more natural and beautiful contour to your waistline.
During the procedure, sutures placed along the fascia, or connective tissue, along the abdominal muscles helps restore and repair muscle separation and helps create a flatter abdominal profile. In addition, sutures laterally in the muscles can gently coax them together to offer a more hourglass shape.
Your Natural Build Contributes to the Results You Can Expect
Not everyone can expect to get a significant waistline reduction or achieve an hourglass figure from a tummy tuck. The main goal is to reduce sagging and excess skin while tightening abdominal muscles. Doing this enhances your existing proportions and helps enhance your natural shape.
Those with a greater distance between their rib cage and pelvis, as well as those that had a curvier physique before weight changes, are likely to see a greater reduction and a more hourglass look.
However, if you have a short waist or your body type has always been straight, it is not likely that a tummy tuck alone can provide you with curves or an hourglass figure. For that, you may need a combination of body contouring procedures such as a tummy tuck and liposuction as well as fat transfer to achieve your desired look.
A Tummy Tuck is Not a Form of Weight Loss
While you may experience a loss in inches around the waistline due to the removal of excess skin and fat, you are not likely to see a significant reduction in weight. A tummy tuck is not a form of weight loss, but rather a procedure to address loose skin and muscle that diet or exercise cannot fix.
To maximize your tummy tuck results, you’ll want to be at or near your ideal healthy weight before your procedure. In addition, a tummy tuck will not stop you from gaining weight and waist circumference, so in order to maintain your tummy tuck results, you should eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
Don’t Expect a Smaller Waist Immediately
A tummy tuck is a major procedure with significant downtime, and it will take time for your body to heal after the procedure. You may have drainage tubes in place for couple of days after the procedure. You will likely need to wear a compression garment for 6 weeks or more. This helps prevent fluid buildup and provides support to your abdomen which helps promote healing.
During this time, it is essential to follow your plastic surgeon’s post-procedure instructions carefully. While you may achieve a smaller waistline after your procedure, the full results may not be noticeable for a few months due to normal swelling associated with healing.
Enjoy Your New Silhouette
Once your healing completes and your tummy tuck scar fades, it is time to enjoy your new contoured figure. After the swelling goes down, you can see the real difference and enjoy your flatter stomach and reduced waistline. In some cases, the removal of excess skin and stronger muscles from the tummy tuck is significant enough to require a reduction in pant or dress size.
Dr. Daniel G. Kolder is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. As a highly-trained plastic surgeon serving Ventura County, his specialties include tummy tucks; liposuction; breast augmentation, lifts, and reduction; facelifts; upper and lower blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), as well as a variety of non-surgical aesthetic procedures. He is best known for his warm, easy manner, compassionate care, and beautiful, natural results.