Many patients who rapidly lose significant weight via bariatric surgery or other conventional methods find that they develop a sagging, flabby look in the abdominal area. This is because the skin there can become permanently stretched out due to significant volume creating bulges. With less fat to push this inelastic skin outward, it instead hangs loose. Because of this problem, women and men who were previously overweight or obese may still not feel completely satisfied with their appearance after surgery to become thinner. Losing more than 100 pounds feels good and can lower the risk of multiple obesity-related health problems, but leftover rolls of flesh can be a constant reminder of a previous look. Chapin Aesthetics sees many patients in this situation, coming to the Philadelphia area for abdominoplasty surgery. Here are five things to know about the procedure more commonly known as a tummy tuck:
It’s Very Different from Liposuction
Liposuction and tummy tucks are sometimes used interchangeably by patients, as both surgical procedures create a smaller, flatter abdominal area—but they are not the same. Liposuction removes fat cells, while a tummy tuck does a lot more. In addition to getting rid of fat, the surgeon excises redundant and sagging skin, tightens the remaining skin and fascia, and repairs separated muscles to sculpt a firmer abdomen.
Having a High BMI Increases Risk of Complications
If your BMI is high, this can make you more likely to experience surgical complications, such as wound healing problems and infections. Surgeons prefer to work with candidates who are at a healthy weight, so if you’re overweight but seeking an abdominoplasty, it makes sense to wait several months until you’ve lost a sufficient percentage of your body weight and are able to maintain your new weight long term.
It Can’t Fix Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are bands or lines that sometimes form on the skin when you have sudden, rapid weight fluctuations. A tummy tuck won’t necessarily improve stretch marks, unless they are part of the skin that is removed or repositioned.
Expect Some Scars
Tummy tuck patients will typically have a scar beneath the bikini line area. This is likely to fade after several months, and you can take steps to improve its appearance. Keeping it out of the sun is ideal, since ultraviolet radiation can cause scars to darken.
You’ll Need to Stop Smoking
Most doctors strongly advise that patients quit smoking cigarettes and other similar products long before surgery—and after. Nicotine inhibits blood flow, thereby decreasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to tissues. This decrease can inhibit ideal healing and aesthetic results.
Philadelphia area-based Chapin Aesthetics is here to help you reach your abdominoplasty goals and offer support throughout each stage of the process. Reach out to us today by calling (267) 880-0810 or send us a message online for more information.