April 6, 2016
An abdominoplasty is often referred to as a tummy tuck. This procedure aims to remove excess fat and skin while tightening the abdominal wall and strengthening the abdominal muscles. People who have had significant weight loss and struggle to lose the remaining few pounds of excess fat and skin may be good candidates for the tummy tuck procedure. It’s performed on an outpatient basis and takes several hours depending on the extent of your procedure. The abdominoplasty procedure can be performed in varying degrees: a complete abdominoplasty is far more extensive than a partial or mini-abdominoplasty. Whatever type of tummy tuck you get, there are certain things you can do to ensure the results of your procedure are long-lasting and satisfactory to you.
The results of an abdominoplasty are intended to be permanent; however, there are factors that may affect a patient’s results. If the patient undergoes significant weight loss or weight gain, it may affect the surgical results in a negative way. Women who get pregnant after undergoing a tummy tuck may experience difficulty maintaining the results of the procedure. The natural aging process also causes changes in our bodies that may affect the results of the tummy tuck procedure.
One of the most important factors in determining your long-term success with the tummy tuck procedure is to follow your plastic surgeon’s post-operative care instructions with the utmost care. Immediately following the procedure, you will need a friend or loved one to drive you home after the surgery. They should be able to keep you comfortable during the few hours after the surgery, including reminding you to take any prescribed medications, find a comfortable seating position, and making sure you stay fully hydrated. In the days following the tummy tuck procedure, you will feel extra sensitive and sore. This is when your recovery is most critical, so it’s crucial to follow your plastic surgeon’s care instructions.
Be sure to schedule regular follow-ups with your plastic surgeon, following his or her directive. Your plastic surgeon will monitor your progress and help you with any difficulties you have experienced during your recovery period. This is the perfect time to ask questions of your plastic surgeon, address concerns, and develop a plan that will help you to achieve long-lasting results from your tummy tuck. If the plastic surgeon who performed your procedure prescribed you with any medications, make sure you finish the entire course of medications, even if you’re feeling better. Your body may need the medication even when your brain thinks you don’t.
Another important factor that determines your long-term success with your abdominoplasty results is your level of exercise. Immediately following the surgery, you will be advised to refrain from any vigorous physical activity. Your plastic surgeon may advise you to slowly re-acclimate to your regular physical exercise over the course of the weeks and months following surgery. Regular exercise several times a week will help you maintain a healthy weight and physique. For people who struggled with significant weight gain that led to obesity or medical problems will need to be extra careful to maintain regular exercise in order to keep the weight off.
The abdominoplasty procedure, at any extent, is not a replacement for healthy diet and exercise. Candidates should not use this procedure as the solution to their weight problems, but instead should consider it as a last resort to address the last few stubborn pounds of excess fat and skin that have not responded to healthy diet or exercise. Maintaining a healthy diet is another important consideration for patients who aim to keep their tummy tuck results permanent. It is tempting and far too easy to succumb to the allure of snacks, so be sure to be mindful of what you are putting into your mouth. It is also far too easy to resort to take-out because of a busy work schedule. It may be helpful to consult with a nutritionist to find out what kinds of foods and meal sizes will work best for your body type, especially if you aim to maintain your tummy tuck results. Healthy food choices are of utmost importance to maintaining your physique. Replace complex carbohydrates with healthy whole grains, and fill more of your plate with leafy, green vegetables.
Many people may experience difficulty with maintaining the results of the tummy tuck because they lead sedentary lifestyles. Plenty of people work at an office during the week, where they sit in a chair in front of a computer all day. They often eat lunch at their desks, and only get up out of their seat several times a day to go to the restroom. On the weekends, they spend most of their time on the couch in front of a TV. Sedentary lifestyles lead to rapid weight gain, fatigue, and overall loss of energy and excitement with life. It’s important for you to maintain an active lifestyle, getting outdoors a little each day, and stretching your legs more often while you’re at work. Change up your workout routine and do some exercises outside instead of inside the gym. Accompany your dog on longer walks. Drink more water, so that you stay hydrated and so that you have to walk to the bathroom more often. Make small changes to leading a more active lifestyle, and you’ll help to preserve the great results of your tummy tuck procedure.
At the end of the day, your plastic surgeon can only do so much in performing the tummy tuck procedure. After you go home, the rest is up to you. With determination and patience, you can create and maintain the body that you want. You will feel more confident and in control of your physique if you take several steps to maintaining regular exercise and a healthy diet. It’s easier than you’d think!
Dr. Amjadi MD, DDS, FACS
Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons
915 Gessner Rd #870
Houston, TX 77024
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