Who Is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

Abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a tummy tuck, is one of the most popular types of cosmetic surgery. This body contouring procedure is the most effective way to correct separations between the abdominal muscles, get rid of excess skin, or remove stubborn fat deposits. In other words, it’s the quickest way to a tight tummy.

Why Get a Tummy Tuck?

There are three primary reasons people cite for wanting a tummy tuck in Knoxville, TN:

  1. Repairing damaged abdominal muscles after pregnancy.
  2. Removing excess skin that occurs after pregnancy or weight loss surgery.
  3. Dealing with stubborn fat deposits beneath the belly button.

If you fall into one of these three categories, abdominoplasty might be a good option.

General Contraindications to Surgery

To be a good candidate for a tummy tuck, you must be able to undergo general anesthesia and recover safely from surgery. We follow the same recommendations as all medical professionals in deciding whether there are any contraindications for surgery in your case. Those could include:

  • Being a smoker, which reduces your body’s ability to heal post-surgery.
  • Having a weakened immune system.
  • Suffering from serious cardiovascular disease.
  • Being less than 18 years old.
  • Suffering from hemophilia.

You will also need to be in generally good health, meaning that your pre-surgical test results should all fall within normal ranges.

Who Is a Good Candidate?

The best way to find out if you’re a good candidate for a tummy tuck is to schedule a consultation with one of the expert plastic surgeons here at the Breazeale Clinic. However, there are a few general rules that we follow when it comes to determining whether you’ll be able to undergo the procedure safely and successfully.

Weight Stability

Some people erroneously believe that abdominoplasty is a bariatric procedure. It’s not, nor is it a substitute for diet and exercise. A tummy tuck won’t help you lose weight but can help you achieve a more contoured physique once you’ve reached a stable weight via other means.

We don’t set a specific BMI for tummy tuck candidates. However, we do expect you to be close to your target body weight and able to maintain it after your surgery. Significant fluctuations in weight can reverse the effects.

Skin Elasticity

Skin elasticity is a top requirement for anyone who wants to get body contouring procedures, including tummy tucks. Elasticity refers to the skin’s natural ability to shrink back to its original position, and it’s impacted by how much collagen and elastin your body produces. Collagen and elastin production tends to slow down with age. Certain activities can also accelerate the breakdown of these vital proteins, including:

  • Excessive sun exposure.
  • Rapid weight fluctuations.

If you don’t have sufficient skin elasticity to be a good candidate for a tummy tuck, don’t worry. We can help you come up with an alternative treatment plan.

Decision Not to Conceive

While it’s true that many women undergo abdominoplasty following childbirth, you should realize if you’re in this position that the results will not be preserved should you decide to conceive another child. To be clear, a tummy tuck won’t stop you from conceiving, nor will it affect your fertility or ability to safely bear a child in any way. However, we generally suggest waiting until after building a family to get the procedure done so that the results will last.

Types of Tummy Tucks

There are three different types of tummy tuck procedures. While all of them are similar, you may be a better candidate for one specific type of procedure.

  • Good candidates for mini tummy tucks are patients who are relatively fit but have minor excess fat deposits or loose skin on their lower abdomen.
  • Good candidates for circumferential tummy tucks are people who have lost tremendous amounts of weight and can maintain a stable weight post-surgery.
  • Good candidates for extended tummy tucks typically have loose skin or excess fat on the hips and sides in addition to the abdomen.

If you’re not sure what type of procedure you’ll need, don’t worry. We’ll go over all of your options for achieving the perfectly sculpted body you’ve always wanted during the initial consultation. In some cases, abdominoplasty may need to be combined with liposuction or a non-invasive procedure to achieve your goals.

Realistic Expectations

Tummy tuck procedures can offer impressive results, but they’re not going to work miracles. We want you to be completely satisfied with the results, so it’s crucial to make sure you have realistic expectations. Here’s what you should know:

1. A Tummy Tuck Won’t Get Rid of Stretch Marks and Cellulite

Some surgical patients come to us hoping that a tummy tuck will reduce the appearance of cellulite or stretch marks. For that, laser skin resurfacing or a chemical peel is a more effective and less invasive solution.

2. You Will Have a Permanent Scar

We do everything possible to minimize scarring following all forms of plastic surgery. However, there is no way to eliminate surgical scars from the equation entirely. If you’re concerned about this aspect of the recovery process, talk to our surgeons. The size and type of scar will depend on what kind of surgery we perform and in most cases it can be well hidden in the natural creases of the skin.

3. There Will Be a Recovery Period

Abdominoplasty is an outpatient procedure, but it’s still a surgical operation. You will need to take time off from work and should plan to have a family member or friend available for the first 24-48 hours after the procedure. Everyone’s healing process is different, but you should plan to limit your physical movements during this time and may need to follow significant activity restrictions for two to three weeks. If you can’t take the time off from work or family responsibilities to heal properly, you won’t be a good candidate for a tummy tuck.

How to Determine Eligibility

There’s only one way to know for sure if you will be a good candidate for abdominoplasty, and it’s to schedule a consultation. Call (865) 342-0300 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Breazeale today.

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