Have you ever wished for a flatter, firmer, and more contoured abdomen? If so, you are not alone. Many people struggle with excess skin and fat in their abdominal area due to aging, pregnancy, weight loss, or genetics. This can affect their appearance, confidence, and comfort.

Fortunately, there is a solution that can help you achieve your desired look and boost your confidence: a tummy tuck. Tummy tuck Procedure, also known as abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the lower and middle abdomen and tightens the underlying muscles. The result is a flatter, firmer, and more contoured abdomen that looks more youthful and proportionate to your body.

A tummy tuck is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the United States, with over 130,000 procedures performed in 2019, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. A tummy tuck can provide many benefits for your appearance, health, and well-being, such as:

  • Improving your body contour and shape

  • Enhancing your clothing fit and comfort

  • Reducing skin irritation and infection

  • Correcting diastasis recti (separation of abdominal muscles)

  • Improving your posture and core stability

  • Boosting your self-esteem and confidence

However, a tummy tuck is not a one-size-fits-all procedure. It is not suitable or safe for everyone. It is not a weight loss surgery or a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. It is a major surgery that involves risks and complications, as well as a significant recovery process.

Therefore, before you consider a tummy tuck, you need to understand the candidacy criteria and considerations that can affect your eligibility and outcome. You also need to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon who can evaluate your condition, discuss your goals, and recommend the best option for you.

Understanding the Tummy Tuck Procedure

Before we dive into the candidacy criteria and considerations for a tummy tuck, let’s first understand what a tummy tuck procedure entails and what it can do for you.

A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that involves the following steps:

  • Anesthesia: You will be given general anesthesia or intravenous sedation to ensure your comfort and safety during the surgery.
  • Incision: Your surgeon will make a horizontal incision between your pubic hairline and your navel, as well as a circular incision around your navel. The length and shape of the incision will depend on the amount and location of excess skin and fat to be removed, as well as the type of tummy tuck you are having.
  • Skin and fat removal: Your surgeon will lift and separate the skin and fat from the underlying muscles and tissues. He will then trim and remove the excess skin and fat, as well as any stretch marks or scars in the area.
  • Muscle repair and tightening: Your surgeon will tighten and suture the abdominal muscles that have been stretched or separated due to pregnancy or weight loss. This will create a firmer and flatter abdominal wall and a narrower waistline.
  • Navel repositioning: Your surgeon will create a new opening for your navel and bring it through the skin. He will then suture it in place, ensuring that it looks natural and proportionate to your abdomen.
  • Incision closure: Your surgeon will close the incisions with sutures, staples, or skin adhesives. He will also place drains to collect any excess fluid or blood that may accumulate in the surgical site.
  • Dressing and bandaging: Your surgeon will apply sterile dressings and bandages to protect the incisions and promote healing. He will also wrap your abdomen with a compression garment to reduce swelling and support the healing tissues.

The tummy tuck procedure can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours, depending on the extent and complexity of the surgery. You will need to stay in the hospital or surgical center for at least one night, and you will need someone to drive you home and stay with you for at least 24 hours after the surgery.

The recovery process after a tummy tuck can take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks, depending on your individual healing and progress. You will need to follow your surgeon’s instructions on wound care, hygiene, medication use, activity restrictions, and diet and nutrition. You will also need to attend your scheduled appointments and check-ups with your surgeon and report any signs of complications or dissatisfaction as soon as possible.

The expected outcomes of a tummy tuck can vary depending on your individual condition, goals, and expectations. However, in general, you can expect to see a significant improvement in your abdominal appearance, contour, and shape. You can also expect to feel more comfortable and confident in your body and you’re clothing. The results of a tummy tuck are considered permanent, as long as you maintain a stable weight and a healthy lifestyle.

Candidacy Criteria for a Tummy Tuck

Now that you have a basic understanding of what a tummy tuck procedure involves and what it can do for you, let’s explore the candidacy criteria that can determine your eligibility and suitability for a tummy tuck.

The candidacy criteria for a tummy tuck are based on several factors, such as your general health, your skin elasticity, your muscle tone, and your body mass index (BMI). These factors can affect your safety, your healing, and your results.

Some of the general candidacy criteria for a tummy tuck are:

Being in good overall health

You should be free of any medical conditions that can impair your healing or increase your risk of complications, such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or blood disorders. You should also have a normal blood pressure and blood sugar level, and a normal blood clotting and bleeding tendency. You should also have a strong immune system and a good wound healing capacity.

Being a non-smoker

Smoking can impair your blood circulation and tissue regeneration, which can delay your wound healing and increase your risk of infection, skin necrosis, and poor scarring. Smoking can also interfere with your anesthesia and increase your risk of cardiac and pulmonary complications. Therefore, you should quit smoking at least 6 weeks before and after your tummy tuck surgery, or better yet, quit smoking altogether.

Having good skin elasticity and muscle tone

Your skin elasticity and muscle tone can affect your tummy tuck results and satisfaction. Ideally, you should have enough skin elasticity and muscle tone to allow your skin and muscles to conform to your new abdominal contour and shape. If your skin is too loose or saggy, or your muscles are too weak or separated, you may not achieve a smooth and tight abdomen, and you may need additional procedures or treatments to improve your outcome.

Having a body mass index (BMI) within the normal range

Your body mass index (BMI) is a measure of your body fat based on your height and weight. It can indicate your overall health and well-being, as well as your tummy tuck eligibility and suitability. Ideally, you should have a BMI within the normal range, which is between 18.5 and 24.9, according to the World Health Organization. If your BMI is too high or too low, you may not be a good candidate for a tummy tuck, as it can affect your safety, your healing, and your results.

These are some of the general candidacy criteria for a tummy tuck, but they are not the only ones. There are also some specific considerations that can affect your tummy tuck eligibility and suitability, depending on your individual situation and goals.

Specific Considerations for a Tummy Tuck

Besides the general candidacy criteria for a tummy tuck, there are also some specific considerations that can affect your eligibility and suitability for a tummy tuck, depending on your individual situation and goals. Some of these specific considerations are:

Post-Pregnancy Tummy Tucks

Many women choose to have a tummy tuck after pregnancy, as pregnancy can cause significant changes in the abdominal area, such as stretching and weakening of the muscles, sagging and excess skin, and separation of the muscles (diastasis recti). A tummy tuck can help restore the pre-pregnancy appearance and function of the abdomen, as well as improve the self-esteem and confidence of the mother.

However, before you decide to have a tummy tuck after pregnancy, there are some factors that you need to consider, such as:

  • Timing: You should wait at least 6 months after giving birth before having a tummy tuck, as your body needs time to heal and recover from the pregnancy and delivery. You should also wait until you have finished breastfeeding, as breastfeeding can affect your hormone levels, your breast size and shape, and your weight.

  • Future pregnancies: You should postpone having a tummy tuck until you are done having children, as future pregnancies can reverse or compromise the results of your tummy tuck. Future pregnancies can also increase the risk of complications and difficulties during the pregnancy and delivery. If you do get pregnant after a tummy tuck, you should consult with your surgeon and your obstetrician for advice and guidance.

  • Childcare: You should arrange for someone to help you with childcare and household chores for at least 4 to 6 weeks after your tummy tuck, as you will need to rest and avoid any strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and bending. You should also explain to your children that you will need some time to heal and recover, and that you will not be able to play with them or hug them as usual.

By considering these factors, you can plan and prepare for your tummy tuck after pregnancy and optimize your outcome and satisfaction.

Weight Loss and Tummy Tucks

Many people choose to have a tummy tuck after weight loss, as weight loss can cause significant changes in the abdominal area, such as loose and excess skin, stubborn fat deposits, and loss of muscle tone. A tummy tuck can help remove the excess skin and fat and tighten the muscles, creating a smoother and firmer abdomen that matches the new body shape.

However, before you decide to have a tummy tuck after weight loss, there are some factors that you need to consider, such as:

  • Ideal weight: You should be at or near your ideal weight before having a tummy tuck, as your weight can affect your safety, your healing, and your results. If you are overweight or obese, you should lose weight through a healthy diet and exercise program before having a tummy tuck, as this can reduce the risk of complications and improve the outcome of your surgery. If you are underweight, you should gain weight through a balanced diet and nutrition program before having a tummy tuck, as this can improve your health and well-being and enhance the appearance of your abdomen.

  • Weight stability: You should maintain a stable weight for at least 6 months before having a tummy tuck, as your weight stability can affect your eligibility and suitability for a tummy tuck. If your weight fluctuates significantly before or after your tummy tuck, it can compromise or reverse the results of your surgery. Weight fluctuations can also increase the risk of complications and difficulties during the surgery and recovery. Therefore, you should follow a healthy lifestyle that helps you control your calorie intake and expenditure and balance your macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats).

By considering these factors, you can plan and prepare for your tummy tuck after weight loss and optimize your outcome and satisfaction.

Age Considerations and Realistic Expectations

Age is another factor that can affect your eligibility and suitability for a tummy tuck, as age can affect your skin health and elasticity, your muscle strength and tone, your healing capacity, and your overall health and well-being. While there is no specific age limit for a tummy tuck, there are some age-related considerations that you need to be aware of, such as:

  • Younger patients: Younger patients tend to have better skin elasticity and muscle tone, which can enhance the results of a tummy tuck. However, younger patients may also have future plans for pregnancy or weight loss, which can affect their tummy tuck eligibility and suitability. Therefore, younger patients should consider their current and future goals and expectations before deciding on a tummy tuck.

  • Older patients: Older patients tend to have poorer skin elasticity and muscle tone, which can affect the results of a tummy tuck. However, older patients may also have more realistic expectations and satisfaction with their tummy tuck results. Therefore, older patients should consider their current and desired appearance and function before deciding on a tummy tuck.

By considering these age-related factors, you can determine if a tummy tuck is right for you and what you can expect from the procedure.

Consultation and Evaluation Process for a Tummy Tuck

The best way to find out if you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck is to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon who can evaluate your condition, discuss your goals, and recommend the best option for you. The consultation and evaluation process for a tummy tuck involves the following steps:

  • Medical history review: Your surgeon will review your medical history, including any medical conditions, medications, allergies, or previous surgeries that you have. He will also ask you about your lifestyle habits, such as smoking, drinking, or drug use. He will also ask you about your family history, especially any history of blood disorders or clotting problems.

  • Physical examination: Your surgeon will examine your abdomen, including your skin quality, fat distribution, muscle tone, and scar presence. He will also measure your height, weight, and body mass index (BMI). He will also assess your overall health and well-being, including your blood pressure, heart rate, and blood tests.

  • Goal discussion: Your surgeon will discuss your goals and expectations for your tummy tuck, including your desired appearance, contour, and shape of your abdomen. He will also discuss your motivations and reasons for wanting a tummy tuck, as well as your concerns and fears. He will also explain the benefits and risks of a tummy tuck, as well as the alternatives and limitations of the procedure.

  • Procedure recommendation: Based on your medical history, physical examination, and goal discussion, your surgeon will recommend the best type of tummy tuck for you, whether it is a full, mini, or extended tummy tuck. He will also explain the details of the procedure, such as the anesthesia, the incision, the skin and fat removal, the muscle repair and tightening, the navel repositioning, the incision closure, the dressing and bandaging, and the recovery process. He will also show you some before-and-after photos of his previous patients who have had similar procedures, and he will give you an estimate of the cost and the expected outcome of your tummy tuck.

  • Question and answer session: Your surgeon will answer any questions that you may have about the tummy tuck procedure, such as the preparation, the surgery, the recovery, the results, and the complications. He will also address any doubts or worries that you may have about the procedure. He will also ask you to sign a consent form that states that you understand and agree to the procedure, the risks, and the expectations.

The consultation and evaluation process for a tummy tuck is an important and essential step that can help you make an informed and confident decision about your abdominal enhancement. Therefore, you should choose a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon who can provide you with honest and professional advice and guidance, such as Dr. Kenton Schoonover, a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in tummy tuck procedures at Kansas Plastic Surgery.

Benefits and Risks of a Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck is a major surgery that involves both benefits and risks that you should be aware of before making your decision. The benefits and risks of a tummy tuck can vary depending on your individual condition, goals, and expectations, as well as your surgeon’s skill and experience. However, in general, you can expect the following benefits and risks from a tummy tuck:

Benefits of a Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck can provide many benefits for your appearance, health, and well-being, such as:

  • Improving your body contour and shape: A tummy tuck can remove the excess skin and fat and tighten the muscles in your abdomen, creating a flatter, firmer, and more contoured abdomen that looks more youthful and proportionate to your body. A tummy tuck can also improve the appearance of your navel, making it look more natural and symmetrical to your abdomen.

  • Enhancing your clothing fit and comfort: A tummy tuck can improve the way your clothing fits and feels on your body, as it can eliminate the bulges, sags, and rolls in your abdominal area. A tummy tuck can also allow you to wear more styles and sizes of clothing, such as fitted tops, dresses, jeans, and swimsuits, without feeling self-conscious or uncomfortable.

  • Reducing skin irritation and infection: A tummy tuck can reduce the risk of skin irritation and infection in your abdominal area, as it can remove the excess skin and fat that can cause chafing, rashes, or fungal infections. A tummy tuck can also improve your hygiene and cleanliness, as it can make it easier to wash and dry your abdomen.

  • Correcting diastasis recti: A tummy tuck can correct diastasis recti, which is the separation of the abdominal muscles that can occur due to pregnancy or weight loss. Diastasis recti can cause symptoms such as a bulging or protruding abdomen, lower back pain, poor posture, urinary incontinence, or hernia. A tummy tuck can repair and tighten the abdominal muscles, restoring their function and appearance.

  • Improving your posture and core stability: A tummy tuck can improve your posture and core stability, as it can strengthen and support your abdominal wall and spine. A tummy tuck can also help you prevent or relieve back pain, as it can reduce the pressure and strain on your lower back. A tummy tuck can also help you improve your balance and coordination, as it can enhance your core muscles and alignment.

  • Boosting your self-esteem and confidence: A tummy tuck can boost your self-esteem and confidence, as it can improve your appearance and comfort. A tummy tuck can also help you feel more positive and optimistic about your body and your life, as it can enhance your mood and well-being. A tummy tuck can also help you achieve your personal and professional goals, as it can increase your motivation and performance.

These are some of the benefits of a tummy tuck, but they are not the only ones. A tummy tuck can also provide other benefits that are specific to your individual situation and goals. To learn more about the benefits of a tummy tuck, you can consult with Dr. Kenton Schoonover, a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in tummy tuck procedures at Kansas Plastic Surgery.

Risks of a Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck is a major surgery that involves some potential risks and complications that you should be aware of before making your decision. The risks and complications of a tummy tuck can vary depending on your individual condition, goals, and expectations, as well as your surgeon’s skill and experience. However, in general, you can expect the following risks and complications from a tummy tuck:

  • Infection: Infection is a possible complication of any surgery, especially when the surgery involves large incisions and tissue removal. Infection can occur at the site of the incision, under the skin flap, or in the abdominal cavity. Infection can cause symptoms such as fever, chills, redness, swelling, pain, pus, and foul odor. Infection can also delay wound healing and increase scarring. To prevent infection, you should follow your surgeon’s instructions on wound care, hygiene, and antibiotic use. You should also avoid smoking, drinking, and taking anti-inflammatory drugs, as they can impair your immune system and blood circulation. You should also report any signs of infection to your surgeon as soon as possible, as early treatment can prevent serious complications.

  • Hematoma: Hematoma is a collection of blood under the skin or in the abdominal cavity that can occur after a tummy tuck. Hematoma can cause symptoms such as bruising, swelling, pain, and pressure. Hematoma can also increase the risk of infection and skin necrosis. To prevent hematoma, you should avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and bending for at least 6 weeks after your tummy tuck. You should also wear a compression garment for 4 to 6 weeks to reduce swelling and bleeding. You should also report any signs of hematoma to your surgeon as soon as possible, as some cases may require drainage or surgery.

  • Seroma: Seroma is a collection of fluid under the skin or in the abdominal cavity that can occur after a tummy tuck. Seroma can cause symptoms such as swelling, pain, and bulging. Seroma can also increase the risk of infection and skin necrosis. To prevent seroma, you should avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and bending for at least 6 weeks after your tummy tuck. You should also wear a compression garment for 4 to 6 weeks to reduce swelling and fluid accumulation. You should also report any signs of seroma to your surgeon as soon as possible, as some cases may require drainage or surgery.

  • Poor wound healing: Poor wound healing is a possible complication of any surgery, especially when the surgery involves large incisions and tissue removal. Poor wound healing can cause symptoms such as delayed closure, separation, dehiscence, or necrosis of the wound. Poor wound healing can also increase scarring and infection. To promote wound healing, you should follow your surgeon’s instructions on wound care, hygiene, and dressing changes. You should also avoid smoking, drinking, and taking anti-inflammatory drugs, as they can impair your blood circulation and tissue regeneration. You should also eat a balanced diet that provides your body with the nutrients it needs to heal faster and better. You should also report any signs of poor wound healing to your surgeon as soon as possible, as some cases may require additional treatment or surgery.

  • Scarring: Scarring is an inevitable consequence of any surgery, especially when the surgery involves large incisions and tissue removal. Scarring can cause symptoms such as redness, itchiness, tightness, and irregularity of the skin. Scarring can also affect your appearance and self-esteem. To minimize scarring, you should follow your surgeon’s instructions on wound care, hygiene, and dressing changes. You should also avoid sun exposure, smoking, drinking, and taking anti-inflammatory drugs, as they can impair your skin healing and increase pigmentation. You should also apply silicone gel or sheets, massage therapy, or laser treatment, as recommended by your surgeon, to improve the appearance and texture of your scars. You should also be patient and realistic, as scars can take up to a year or more to fade and mature.

  • Changes in skin sensation: Changes in skin sensation are a possible complication of any surgery, especially when the surgery involves large incisions and tissue removal. Changes in skin sensation can cause symptoms such as numbness, tingling, burning, or hypersensitivity of the skin. Changes in skin sensation can also affect your comfort and pleasure. To cope with changes in skin sensation, you should follow your surgeon’s instructions on wound care, hygiene, and dressing changes. You should also avoid sun exposure, smoking, drinking, and taking anti-inflammatory drugs, as they can impair your nerve function and recovery. You should also massage your skin gently and regularly, as recommended by your surgeon, to stimulate blood flow and nerve regeneration. You should also be patient and optimistic, as changes in skin sensation can improve over time and may even return to normal.

  • Asymmetry: Asymmetry is a possible complication of any surgery, especially when the surgery involves large incisions and tissue removal. Asymmetry can cause symptoms such as unevenness, disproportion, or misalignment of the abdomen or the navel. Asymmetry can also affect your appearance and satisfaction. To prevent asymmetry, you should choose a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon who can perform the tummy tuck with precision and skill. You should also follow your surgeon’s instructions on post-operative care and follow-up. You should also avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and bending for at least 6 weeks after your tummy tuck, as they can cause swelling and distortion of the abdomen. You should also report any signs of asymmetry to your surgeon as soon as possible, as some cases may require revision surgery.

  • Fluid accumulation: Fluid accumulation is a possible complication of any surgery, especially when the surgery involves large incisions and tissue removal. Fluid accumulation can cause symptoms such as swelling, pain, and pressure. Fluid accumulation can also increase the risk of infection and skin necrosis. To prevent fluid accumulation, you should avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and bending for at least 6 weeks after your tummy tuck. You should also wear a compression garment for 4 to 6 weeks to reduce swelling and fluid accumulation. You should also report any signs of fluid accumulation to your surgeon as soon as possible, as some cases may require drainage or surgery.

Ready to Achieve a Flatter, Firmer Abdomen?

Transform Your Abdomen. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Kenton Schoonover to explore your tummy tuck candidacy and enhance your confidence!

SCHEDULE CONSULTATION

In this article, we have explored the candidacy criteria and considerations for a tummy tuck, a cosmetic procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the lower and middle abdomen and tightens the underlying muscles. We have explained what a tummy tuck procedure entails and what it can do for you. We have also discussed the general and specific factors that can affect your eligibility and suitability for a tummy tuck, as well as the consultation and evaluation process. We have also discussed the benefits and risks of a tummy tuck, and how Dr. Kenton Schoonover, a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in tummy tuck procedures at Kansas Plastic Surgery, can help you achieve your abdominal enhancement goals.

To learn more about tummy tuck procedures, please visit our website and explore the resources we have provided. You can also schedule a consultation with Dr. Schoonover by filling out our online form or calling us at (316) 305-9618. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you achieve your abdominal enhancement goals. Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day. 😊

Request A Consultation!

Call us at (316)305-9618 to schedule an appointment or use our contact form to request more information. Or you can Fax us at (316) 462-9964.