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Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction Surgery

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Am I a good candidate for tummy-tuck surgery?

Author: Letty's Staff Writer

Before we talk about what you can do to prepare for this kind of abdominal surgery – we first must talk about whether or not you are an ideal candidate for the surgery.

There are some folks who are not good candidates for a tummy tuck.

Among them are people who have diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cardiac conditions.

Also if you are a woman who plans to have children in the future – you should not have this surgery. Pregnancy after a tummy tuck can cause muscle and skin laxity to reoccur after the surgery.

So while it doesn’t alter your fertility – pregnancy after a tummy tuck is not advisable as it may "undo" the surgery.

And finally, NOT expecting miracles is important. In fact - you become a better candidate for tummy tuck surgery if your expectations are realistic and have healthy self-esteem no matter what you look like.

How do I prepare for my tummy tuck?

Once you’ve determined whether or not you are a good candidate for the surgery – there are things you can do to prepare yourself and your state of health for surgery.

  1. 1. Number one piece of advice to prepare for surgery is to tell the doctor the truth!

    Sounds simple – but you would be surprised to know that many folks lie to their doctors.

    My theory on this is that people aren’t necessarily trying to be deceptive – they are embarrassed about certain things and prefer not to self-disclose or to let others know what’s really going on.

    But when someone has the power of life and death (yours especially) – and decisions they make are based on the information that you’ve given them – you should do everything in your power to communicate accurately and truthfully. Even if that means that you will have to delay surgery (or maybe even forgo the surgery entirely) – you should still strive to be honest. It could save your life.

  2. 2. Next item on the list is if you currently smoke – STOP SMOKING!...

    Smoking prolongs healing and can cause complications during the actual surgery.

    It can also put you at greater risk for problems such as blood clotting and pulmonary embolism. So stop smoking at least 2 weeks prior to surgery date and plan not to returned to smoking until your wounds are completely healed (which can take up to several months).

    This would be a great time to quit smoking if you can. But the bottom line is that cigarettes should definitely be off the menu during this process.

  3. 3. Finally, you should be in good general health when you have your surgery.

    Well rested individuals who have had proper nutrition, and normal exercise patterns prior to surgery tend to do better both before and after surgery.

    If you are the type of woman (or man) who doesn’t put herself first very often – take time to reverse that trend before your date of surgery. Be a little selfish. You should eat well, rest a lot and avoid sources of stress when you are able. Taking care of yourself can pay big dividends not only in the your final, post-surgical appearance, but in your experience of the whole process as well.

Tummy tuck motivations...

What happens during the procedure?

When you show up the day of surgery a number of pre-surgical steps will be taken.

The incision sites will be marked (the patient should have some input as to where the placement of the final incisions will be). The surgeon may encourage the patient to wear her choice of revealing garment to determine where the safe regions for incisions will be.

After the patient is marked and prepped the patient is anesthetized.

Both general and regional anesthesias are options for this surgery. During surgery incision is made into the lower abdominal region and the underlying muscle is assessed and repaired. Next excess regions of skin and fat are removed. And finally the umbilicus is repositioned. When all of that is done silicone drains are placed in the mid- and lower abdomen. Then the layers of skin and tissue are closed.

Finally, to prepare the patient for recovery – a non adhesive dressing and absorbable gauze is used with mild compression for comfort.

So as you can see this is major surgery. You easily see why you want to be in the best health before voluntarily putting yourself in this position.

How is Tummy Tuck surgery different from lipo?

For starters - there are just some things that liposuction cannot do.

If you have grossly overhanging skin of the abdomen after extreme weight loss, or multiple pregnancies - liposuction will not be able to remove that skin and restore a flat appearance to your belly.

But tummy tuck surgery can!..

Liposuction is terrific at fine-tuning "nearly perfect" physiques. Which is not much use to someone how has recently lost 150 pounds.

There are times when the two surgeries can be combined. Say for instance - an individual who has both overhanging skin of the abdomen - AND who has smaller areas of fat somewhere else on their body - a combination surgery may be what your surgeon recommends.

The bottom-line is that liposuction and tummy tuck surgery address two different problems. And because of that they are not interchangeable surgeries.

What is the take-home here?

Tummy tuck surgery is NOT an alternative to liposuction.

Liposuction and tummy tuck surgery do two different things. Liposuction is a surgery involving more surface layers of fat. While abdominoplasty is a surgery that involves, muscle, fat, and skin tissues.

So, the most important thing to do is take your time. Get all of the information. Consult with a terrific, board-certified surgeon who can help you decide which surgery is right for you.

You HAVE to Watch This:

This deserving Mom of two gets an extreme makeover:

About Tummy Tuck Surgery References:

  • "Tummy tuck." Lee A. Mancini. Clinical Reference Systems. Nov 2008 v2008 i3 pNA.

  • Bhargava, Dinesh. "Abdominoplasty today." Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery 41.3 (2008). 20. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 20 Jan. 2010.

  • "Abdominoplasty." Stephanie Dionne Sherk. and Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD. The Gale Encyclopedia of Surgery and Medical Tests. Ed. Brigham Narins. 2nd ed. Detroit: Gale, 2009. 4 vols.

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