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How tummy tuck surgery works, as explained by a Fountain Valley, CA surgeon
By Thomas T. Nguyen, M.D
Atummy tuck or abdominoplasty isn’t a substitute for diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. But, this procedure can work wonders if you’ve spent hours in the gym and agonized over what you eat, yet still haven’t noticed a reduction around your middle.
You’ve come to the right place for information you can trust on how a tummy tuck works. A Board-certified specialist, Dr. Nguyen is a skilled tummy tuck surgeon in Fountain Valley, CA, and he and the team at The Institute for Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery are also experienced in a number of alternative or complementary procedures to overcome your unique challenges, and realize your goals. Restore your pre-baby body, or join our many patients who have enjoyed an even better physique than they had before pregnancy thanks to the lasting and surprising benefits of this procedure.
Why surgery works when fitness and food alone don’t
To get results with any procedure or treatment, the underlying or root cause of the concern or condition must be addressed. “Spot reduction” with targeted exercises isn’t always effective due to the special nature of localized fat, such as a baby “pooch” or love handles. Merely exercising targeted areas doesn’t mean you’ll lose fat in that particular pocket. Fat broken down to fuel by exercise can come from any part of the body, not just the part that is being worked the most. Likewise, exercises designed to target pudgy spots don’t always burn the number of calories needed for fat loss. Moreover, a sedentary lifestyle or poor food choices and over-indulgence may not be to blame for little pockets in formerly trim areas of your body. If other family members tend to store fat in the tummy area, you may have a genetic predisposition to do so as well. Falling estrogen levels can prompt changes in how weight is distributed across your body.
The “tummy tuck” is among procedures frequently combined to create a “mommy makeover.” Many women find they have a difficult time “retraining” abdominals after pregnancy. The reasons for this may have absolutely nothing to do with your approach to weight loss and fitness. Your lack of gym-based results may have everything to do with skin that has become stretched after giving birth. This process can also weaken the abdominal muscles. No amount of crunches or kale is going to remove that skin or tighten those muscles! This is when surgical intervention administered by a Board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Nguyen comes to the rescue.
All potential treatments start with a physician consultation at ICRS. These appointments are complimentary for every major procedure. If you and Dr. Nguyen decide to move forward with abdominoplasty, possibly in conjunction with other “mommy makeover” procedures like breast lifts or augmentation, instructions on pre-operative preparation will be provided. For example, you may be instructed to:
Stop using any tobacco products.
Avoid taking some herbal supplements or anti-inflammatory medications.
These types of modifications are necessary to promote healthy healing, speed recovery, and to minimize the risks of post-surgical complications like bleeding. You’ll also be instructed on what to expect the day of your surgery, which is performed at ICRS’ accredited surgical center located inside the Fountain Valley Regional Hospital Outpatient Services Building. The procedure takes about three hours, and our experienced, Board-certified anesthesiologist, Dr. Montoya, administers general anesthesia for a comfortable experience.
Generally, surgery involves making an incision to access the underlying muscles, eliminate excess skin and fat, and to reposition tissues. Sometimes, another incision is made to remove excess in the upper abdominal region. The precise technique and approach to surgery relies on the skill of Dr. Nguyen, and depends on any number of factors, including:
Thickness of the fat layer
Amount of loose skin
Presence of abdominal wall or muscle laxity
Abdominoplasty can provide additional benefits, on top of muscle tightening and removing excess skin and fat. The appearance of stretch marks may be improved, or they may be eliminated. C-Section scars may be integrated with the new scar, which fades over time.
Our patients have dropped up to four dress sizes, and have also noticed that future weight gain is distributed differently around the middle after surgery for long-term, attractive results.
As with before surgery, Dr. Nguyen will provide thorough instructions on after-care and follow-up visits, which are also complimentary. More information on what to expect before, during, and after is available at the “Patient Info” tab, or call (714) 421-4022 with your specific questions and to schedule a consultation.