11 Secrets to Getting the Tummy Tuck Results You Want
People get tummy tucks for different reasons. Women who struggle with a belly bulge after having children often find their ideal solution through abdominoplasty. People who have lost a significant amount of weight and are left with excess skin are often good candidates as well. Of course, each person’s anatomy is unique and not everyone is an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck. It’s important to learn as much as you can about the procedure before deciding if it’s right for you.
If you’re considering a tummy tuck, there are a lot of things you can do that will increase your chances of having an excellent outcome that stands the test of time. From choosing the right plastic surgeon to taking care of yourself after surgery, here’s exactly how to get good tummy tuck results.
1. Get to a Stable, Healthy Weight
If you plan to lose weight, do so before you have a tummy tuck. Your plastic surgeon will be able to remove more excess skin and you’ll get better results. It’s important, though, to lose the weight in a way that’s sustainable so you can keep it off. If you gain weight after your tummy tuck, it’s likely that your results will be compromised.
If you’re not sure whether you should lose more weight before having a tummy tuck, talk to a plastic surgeon about your concerns. If you need to lose a few extra pounds and aren’t having much success doing so on your own, your plastic surgeon may be able to offer some advice or connect you with experts who can help.
A tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure and you should be at or near your ideal weight before having one.
2. Choose the Right Plastic Surgeon
One of the most important factors in getting great tummy tuck results is choosing the right surgeon. Only select a plastic surgeon who is board certified. A board-certified plastic surgeon will hold the highest standards for health, safety and aesthetics. To maintain board certification, a plastic surgeon must not only undergo extensive training but also continue his or her education throughout the years. Check online reviews posted by patients to help you narrow down your search for the perfect plastic surgeon to do your tummy tuck.
3. Add Liposuction
In many cases, a person will see their best results by having a combination liposuction and tummy tuck. While a tummy tuck is the best way to address excess skin or separated abdominal muscles, it isn’t a solution for stubborn belly fat. Liposuction, however, can be a great way to get rid of fat pockets that don’t respond to diet and exercise. Since many people suffer from a combination of excess skin and fatty deposits around the midsection, combining these two procedures is often the best way to help them reach their goals. A skilled plastic surgeon can use a combination liposuction and tummy tuck to sculpt your waist and really create the shape you want.
4. Wait until You’re Done Having Children
While you can become pregnant and have more children after getting a tummy tuck, it’s not recommended. This is because you run the risk of losing your results and ending up back where you started before you had the tummy tuck. Some women who get pregnant after having an abdominoplasty may choose to have revision surgery in order to recover at least some of their initial results.
5. Eat Right
Eating a healthy diet is a key part of how to get good tummy tuck results, even before you ever have one. Maintaining a healthy diet before surgery helps get your body in top condition. You’ll need all those nutrients for recovery, too.
Post-surgery, it’s even more important to eat right. Not only do you need to fuel your body properly for your best and fastest recovery, you’ll need to keep up on the good eating habits in order to maintain your results over time. Being in great health can even help you heal faster. Here are some healthy eating tips to help you stay in shape and keep your tummy tuck results looking fabulous for many years to come:
- Put down the soft drinks. You’ve probably heard it before, but soft drinks are bad news for your health (and your looks!). They’re bad for your skin, your kidneys and your digestive system. Soda increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and is full of empty obesity-causing calories. Diet soda drinkers aren’t off the hook, either. People who drink diet soft drinks are still more likely to get Type 2 diabetes than people who don’t drink soda, and they are more likely to become obese.
- Practice moderation. While it’s perfectly fine to have a “cheat” meal or sneak a sweet treat once in a while, keep it to a minimum. If you work in an office, this might mean foregoing most of the birthday cakes, donuts and other goodies brought in by colleagues throughout the week.
- Have some fun in the kitchen. People who make meals at home are much more likely to stay in good shape. At home, you can have total control of the ingredients that go into your body. If don’t know your way around a skillet, consider taking some cooking classes as part of your commitment to living a healthier lifestyle.
- Be prepared with healthy snacks. Banish the junk foods lurking in your and replace them with ready-to-eat snacks that are healthy and nutritious. Have plenty of healthful goodies like fruit, nuts and cut-up veggies around, and it’ll be a lot easier to stay away from the junky stuff.
- Embrace carbs. Unfortunately, carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap. Thanks to some popular fad diets advocating a low or no-carb approach, many people have been led to believe that eating carbs is a one-way ticket to obesity. In reality, our bodies need carbs. Carbohydrates are a primary source of energy for human beings. That said, it’s important to recognize the difference between types of carbs.
So-called “bad” carbs, also known as simple carbohydrates, are found in foods such as white bread and pasta, baked goods and many processed foods. This kind of carb is broken down by your body very quickly and provides you with very little nutritional bang for your buck.
Complex carbs (the “good” ones) are found in foods such as whole grains and legumes. Your body breaks these down much more slowly, providing more sustained energy and usable nutrition. You can also get healthy carbs from foods like green vegetables, beans and potatoes.
- Stay hydrated. Since you won’t be drinking those dastardly soft drinks anymore, you can focus on getting plenty of water. Hydrating well keeps your skin looking better, and it can help you fight off tough cravings. In fact, getting your daily dose of water may help you to look great in several ways.
- Get plenty of sleep. Good news! Research shows that getting plenty of sleep actually helps you maintain a healthy diet and stave off obesity. So, don’t ever feel bad for insisting on having your beauty sleep. When you’re well-rested, your workout will be more effective and you’ll be a lot less likely to reach for unhealthy foods throughout the day.
Just because something has the word “diet” in its name doesn’t mean it’s good for you. “Diet” does not equal “healthy.”
6. Exercise Regularly
Along with eating right, regular exercise is a key component to getting and maintaining great tummy tuck results. If you don’t pay attention to your physical fitness, it’s only a matter of time before your newly-slimmer midsection pays the price. Keeping a workout regimen will help you keep excess weight off so you can enjoy your new figure for many years. Regular exercise also has a host of health benefits and can help keep you looking great all over. Follow these tips to ensure that your exercise regimen is effective and enjoyable.
- Work out at least 3 times per week. You may want to be more aggressive than that at times, especially if you’re pushing hard to get to your goal weight. Once you’re there, 3 gym sessions each week will probably suffice to keep it up. Less than that, and you may not be successful in staving off unwanted pounds.
- Lead an active lifestyle. Just because it’s not a designated workout day, you shouldn’t just sit around. Go for walks, take the stairs instead of the elevator and try to make choices that keep you moving.
- Don’t forget strength training. While cardio is important, make sure to mix it up with some strength training sessions. Some women are afraid that working out with weights will make them look bulky or masculine. This is not true. Building muscle will help you burn fat more efficiently, and will help you become more toned.
- Do things you enjoy. If exercise is a chore you dread, the odds are stacked against you. The good news is that there are lots of ways to make working out more fun. Fill your schedule with activities you like to do, such as biking or swimming. If you’re stuck in the cardio room at the gym, put on motivational music or watch a TV show you’ve been meaning to catch up on.
7. Have Healthy Expectations
If you enjoy your workout, you’re much more likely to keep doing it.
It’s not just what you do that affects the outcome of your surgery, but what you think. Another way to ensure you get good tummy tuck results is to have reasonable expectations. This means that you understand what can and cannot be achieved through abdominoplasty. For instance, you should be aware that a tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure and can’t remove stretch marks (unless they happen to be on the parts of the skin that are removed).
8. Communicate with Your Plastic Surgeon
A good relationship with your plastic surgeon is a huge factor in how your results will look. Beyond making sure they have the right credentials, you should feel comfortable talking to your plastic surgeon. Tell him or her about your particular goals and concerns. Talk to him or her about which things bother you most and what your best possible outcome would be. If you ever feel like a plastic surgeon isn’t listening to you, it’s time to find a new one. Be honest about your lifestyle and your goals—and don’t be afraid to ask questions. In fact, it’s advisable that you ask a lot of them. Here are some to get you started.
- Are you board certified? As previously mentioned, you should choose a plastic surgeon who maintains board certification.
- Where do you operate? Be sure to work only with surgeons who have hospital privileges and/or use only accredited operating facilities.
- How many years have you been doing tummy tucks? It’s a good idea to choose a surgeon who has some years of experience under his or her belt.
- How often do you do tummy tucks? If a plastic surgeon says they have 10 years of experience doing tummy tucks, this doesn’t necessarily mean he or she has done lots of them. Find out if abdominoplasty is a procedure commonly performed at the practice.
- Can I see before and after photos? Looking at photos of tummy tuck patients before and after surgery is a big help for people deciding on whether a particular plastic surgeon is right for them. It’s also a good way to decide whether abdominoplasty is in fact the procedure that will best help them achieve their goals.
9. Just Say “No” to Smoking
Smoking stains your teeth and causes premature aging, not really great ways to complement your tummy tuck results.
Smoking is just a bad idea in general. Most plastic surgeons will require that you stop smoking for several weeks before having a tummy tuck. This is because smoking increases surgical risk factors, and can also inhibit your body’s ability to recover from surgery. As far as maintaining your results long-term, you’ll be working against your best interest if you choose to smoke.
It’s not that smoking will necessarily make you gain weight, but smoking can lead to health problems. Dealing with any one of them is definitely going to take your focus away from enjoying a slimmer figure. Plus, a smoking habit isn’t exactly conducive to getting those regular workouts you’ll need to keep your waist slender.
10. Follow Your Post-Op Instructions
It’s one of the most basic things you can do, and it’s also one of the most important. Your plastic surgeon will send you home from surgery with very specific instructions for taking care of yourself as you recover. Adhere to any activity restrictions and don’t overdo it by trying to get back to your normal routine earlier than advised.
Wear compression garments and take any prescribed medications as directed. If you have any questions about what you should or shouldn’t do during recovery, don’t hesitate to call your plastic surgeon’s office. Failing to follow your post-op instructions could result in a prolonged recovery time and could even end up affecting how your final results look.
There are very specific reasons behind each requirement and recommendation your plastic surgeon gives you. If you are unsure of why your surgeon has included a particular instruction, just ask. For instance, some people might think wearing compression garments isn’t really necessary. In fact, they can help to reduce swelling after a tummy tuck and they can aid in giving you a smoother, slimmer final result.
11. Go Drain-Free
One of the biggest complaints people have about recovering from a tummy tuck is dealing with the surgical drains that usually accompany it. Drains have traditionally been used to collect excess fluid that builds up behind the abdominoplasty incision and, until recently, it wasn’t an option to forego them.
There are several potential issues with having surgical drains:
- Drain lines can become clogged, kinked, tangled or catch on things.
- If a drain line gets pulled out, a return trip to the plastic surgeon’s office will be in order.
- The risk for infection is higher with drains.
- Recovery time tends to be longer when drains are used.
- Drains can be uncomfortable and even painful.
When your recovery is faster and less stressful, you’re much more likely to get good tummy tuck results.
Today, some plastic surgeons offer a drain-free tummy tuck. This is achieved by using a specialized stitching technique and an innovative type of sutures called progressive tension sutures. By closing the incision this way, the pocket where fluid would normally collect is closed. This eliminates the need for drains altogether. Not only does going drain-less make for a much more comfortable recovery, it may help you to enjoy better results. Drainless methods can certainly make traditional tummy tucks seem old-fashioned.
Getting the most out of your tummy tuck takes discipline and effort on your part, but getting incredible results that last will be well worth it.