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Huntington Beach surgeon explains whether you should lose weight before a tummy tuck
By Thomas T. Nguyen, M.D
Pregnancy and normal aging processes can take a big toll on a person’s body, and one of the areas that is most affected is the abdomen. Gravity, hormones, dramatic weight loss, and pregnancy can all lead to loose, saggy skin, abdominal bulges, and stubborn pockets of fat that don’t go away despite a healthy diet and hours in the gym. The good news is that with a tummy tuck, you can get your slim, toned stomach back! Below, Dr. Thuan Nguyen, plastic surgeon in Huntington Beach, CA answers common questions about tummy tucks, including whether you should lose weight before getting one.
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck formally called an “abdominoplasty,” is an outpatient surgical procedure designed to help you achieve a flatter, tighter, and more toned abdominal area. It is designed to help people who have stretched, bulging, or sagging abdominal tissues due to:
Significant weight loss
Stubborn fat pockets that are not responding to diet and exercise
In a tummy tuck, the abdomen is flattened by removing excess fat in the area, trimming away extra skin, and tightening the abdominal muscles. The incision is typically created in a discreet area that is easy to hide, such as underneath your swimsuit.
Should I lose weight before a tummy tuck?
Yes and no! If you intend to lose weight, we recommend that you be as close to your ideal weight as possible before you undergo a tummy tuck, but it is best not to go on a crash diet right before the procedure. Instead, we recommend that you maintain your weight for about six months to a year before undergoing a tummy tuck to ensure that your weight is stable. A tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure in and of itself, though the removal of extra skin and fat in the abdomen can result in a loss of up to ten pounds. Sometimes, patients find that starting a regular exercise routine and losing those last few pounds actually eliminates the need for a tummy tuck due to the growth of new muscle and loss of fat.
Yes! While many women seek out tummy tucks due to the after-effects of pregnancy, men can suffer from excess abdominal skin and loose muscles after significant weight loss and can benefit from abdominoplasties as well.
Is there only one type of tummy tuck?
There are actually several types of tummy tucks that can be performed, depending on your desired results and how much extra skin you have. A tummy tuck can range from being focused solely on removing extra skin in the lower abdomen to a more extended procedure that tightens the muscles and removes extra skin from the entire lower torso area. Our board-certified plastic surgeon can provide a recommendation based on a thorough consultation and evaluation. We understand that cost is an important factor and will discuss all your options to help fit within your budget.
What results should I expect afterwards?
Patients love the new contours and slimmer figure that a tummy tuck provides! Your clothes will likely be looser and you may even go down one to four clothing sizes. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons released a report in 2013 that stated that long-lasting weight loss is often sustained in patients after abdominoplasties. Even if you don’t lose a lot of weight, which can happen if only a minimal amount of skin or fat is removed, you will likely look slimmer. It is important to note that while tummy tucks are considered permanent, a commitment to a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine is important to maintain optimal results.
How do I learn more?
If you are tired of seeing loose skin or a bulging belly when you look in the mirror, you can take steps today to get a slimmer, tighter abdomen by calling The Institute of Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery. We offer both tummy tucks and full mommy makeovers to address the common body concerns that women have, and take pride in the personalized, one-on-one care that we provide to help women achieve their cosmetic goals. Our warm, inviting office is conveniently located in Huntington Beach, CA, and can be reached at (714) 444-4011 Call us to schedule your consultation today!