Are you struggling with your middle section sporting a permanent belly pooch, loose skin, and an extra layer of fat? Are you finding that, despite your healthy diet and consistent exercise routine, that your lean, sexy stomach is as elusive as ever?
Well, it’s not your fault. Excess skin, stretched muscles due to pregnancy, stubborn fat, or both are conditions that many of us encounter. You might be a good candidate for a tummy tuck, or liposuction, or a combination of these. Combining the two procedures, known as lipoabdominoplasty, might the best choice if your goal is to tighten your abdominal area as well as remove excess fat.
Liposuction uses suction to remove isolated pockets of stubborn subcutaneous fat in those pesky love handles, belly fat, and back rolls. What it doesn’t address is excess skin or muscle laxity that may follow pregnancy or weight loss.
On the other hand, a tummy tuck removes excess skin and tightens loose or separated abdominal muscles, resulting in a smooth, toned physique. For those areas of stubborn fat surrounding the abdomen, on its own, a tummy tuck may not be the most effective option.
Liposuction, combined with other procedures, is safe and growing in popularity. For example, for the mommy makeovers procedure Dr. Florence Mussat offers, she may combine liposuction with a tummy tuck. Doing this in one procedure removes excess fat and reduces abdominal stretching, returning your body to its former, more desirable, sexy shape.
How Does Liposuction Complement a Tummy Tuck in Chicago, IL?
At the start of your tummy tuck surgery, Dr. Mussat first performs liposuction throughout the abdominal area to eliminate excess fat. A tiny tube, known as a cannula, is inserted through small incisions in the abdomen, and fat cells are removed with an aspirator.
Once the fat has been removed, the tummy tuck is then performed, removing excess tissue and skin, and tightening the abdominal muscles, resulting in a flatter, firmer abdominal profile.
What Are the Benefits of Adding Liposuction to Your Tummy Tuck?
The most significant benefit of adding liposuction to your tummy tuck is that exercise- and diet-resistant fat can be removed during the same procedure where loose skin is tightened, and stretched muscles are repaired.
Scheduling only one surgery with just one recovery period and less overall downtime is an excellent benefit for someone with a busy schedule.
Finally, when your tummy tuck is combined with liposuction, body contouring results are maximized. Removing excess fat and stretched loose skin at the same time is often the most efficient and effective approach in getting ready for that new bathing suit!
How Do You Decide to Add Liposuction to Your Tummy Tuck?
You can combine these two procedures following a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Florence Mussat, in Chicago, IL. She would be happy to help you make this decision and to plan for the procedure itself. Schedule a personal consultation online or by calling (312) 751-9000 today!
Pregnancy is an exciting time for new beginnings, and to bring a new life into the world can be a beautiful and life-changing experience for a woman. It is a blessing for a family and offers many joyful, exciting moments, as well as some challenging lifestyle adjustments.
Of course, life happens, and it’s not always possible to plan for all pregnancies. After you gave birth to your last child, believing you had completed your family, you had a tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty.
Now that you unexpectedly find yourself pregnant again, you start wondering how having had this procedure might affect not only the pregnancy itself or the delivery of your new baby, but also the results of your surgery.
Pregnancy After Your Tummy Tuck Surgery
Your health should not be a concern during your pregnancy. It’s essential early on to let your OB-GYN know about your abdominoplasty, as well as to inform Dr. Mussat that you are pregnant. Having taken care of this, you should be able to relax and enjoy the experience of preparing for the exciting arrival of your new baby.
Pregnancy and childbirth after a tummy tuck are safe for both you and your baby. Your precious little one will have plenty of room to grow and thrive. Avoiding gaining too much weight during pregnancy is the best way to preserve the results of your tummy tuck procedure well after the birth of your child.
Even after your abdominoplasty, your abdominal wall and tissue will still be able to stretch as usual to accommodate the new baby. You and your family and friends might even notice that your belly isn’t stretching out as much as it did before, or that your baby bump isn’t as prominent as it was during your previous pregnancy.
Should you have any concerns about experiencing a healthy pregnancy following your tummy tuck, contact Dr. Florence Mussat in Chicago, IL, and schedule a consultation.
What Will Happen to Your Tummy Tuck Results?
During your consultation with Dr. Mussat, she will confirm that most of her patients who become pregnant after their abdominoplasty continue to be thrilled with the results of their surgery after the birth of their baby. Don’t be surprised if you look even better than the last time you were pregnant as a result of your tummy tuck.
Providing you don’t put on too much weight during the pregnancy, having had a tummy tuck, your midline connective tissue shouldn’t stretch very much. The strong scar tissue holding the abdominal muscles together from the previous abdominoplasty can still extend outward, allowing the baby to grow. Of course, another benefit of this strong scar tissue is that, after birth, it can retract again without causing the same gap between your abdominal muscles that you had before.
And even if you end up with some excess abdominal skin due to pregnancy stretch, Dr. Mussat will be able to remove it and tighten up this region of your body.
Will a C-Section Affect Your Tummy Tuck?
As the time arrives to give birth, there is a chance you might need a cesarean section. While your existing scar tissue can affect having a C-section after a tummy tuck, keep in mind that having a C-section after abdominoplasty isn’t much different from having a repeat C-section. Either way, your OB-GYN will still be working with scar tissue from the previous procedure, be it from an earlier C-section or an abdominoplasty. Of course, this possibility means you should let your OB-GYN know that you have already had abdominoplasty surgery, as sometimes the scar may not be noticeable.
One thing to keep in mind is that that sometimes, your OB-GYN might not be able to close your new cesarean section incision with the skill of a plastic surgeon, and this might affect the appearance of the scar. Consulting with both your OB-GYN and Dr. Mussat in advance can prepare all parties for this possibility.
Get Ready for Your Big Day!
As a mother with numerous responsibilities, self-care can often feel like a luxury; however, by putting yourself first, you’ll find you can look forward to the arrival of this baby just as you did the last!
To learn more about how to best prepare for the birth of your new child or to discuss your post-pregnancy tummy tuck, contact Dr. Florence Mussat in Chicago, IL, to schedule a private appointment. As an innovator in abdominoplasty techniques, Dr. Mussat will be happy to work with you on your surgical plan.
A tummy tuck can change your look in wonderful ways — giving you a flat belly, a curvy waist, more defined abdominal muscles, and smoother skin. But, like all plastic surgery, it also leaves scars, in this case, hidden below the panty line. What can you do at home, as you recover from the procedure, to make tummy tuck scars less noticeable? Here are some important tips.
Follow Your Doctor’s Recovery Instructions
The most important thing you can do to minimize the appearance of tummy tuck scars is to follow your doctor’s recovery instructions.
- Care for the incision as instructed. That will include changing the dressings and gently cleaning the healing wound.
- Get up to walk soon after the surgery and engage in some gentle activity every day as you recover. This reduces swelling and the risk of blood clots by stimulating circulation in the treated tissue.
- Drink plenty of fluids and eat a healthy diet during your recovery. This promotes skin health and healing.
- Avoid heavy lifting and other strenuous activity that can strain or put pressure on your abdomen. This is to prevent pulling at the sutures and stretching the skin.
- Don’t smoke. You will have had to stop smoking for several weeks before the surgery. You also need to stay smoke-free for several weeks after to allow the incisions to heal well.
Use Topical Treatments at the Right Time
Topical treatments, including silicone and vitamin E, can promote healing and help minimize scarring, but only if applied at the right time — neither too early nor too late in the recovery timeline. Used too early, they can enter the wound and increase the risk of infection. Used too late, they don’t do as much good.
Follow your doctor’s advice and apply silicone gel, cream, or sheeting once the incision is completely closed and is no longer scabbing. Silicone applications maintain healthy hydration in the developing scar tissue and may send a signal that curbs the production of excess collagen.
Vitamin E (in the form of 100 percent vitamin E oil) may also improve the appearance of scars and can help to keep the tissue moisturized when used after the incision is closed. (If you experience any irritation or skin reaction from the oil, stop using it right away.)
Avoid Sun Exposure
We all know that UV radiation from the sun damages the skin, causing tanning or burning. It can also cause permanent discoloration in developing scar tissue. Avoid exposing the scar to the sun for at least a year after your surgery. Use a sunscreen formula that’s SPF 30 or higher, preferably a product made specifically for scars. (These include Mederma Scar Cream Plus SPF 30, Dermaflage Scarscreen SPF 30, and Bioderma Photoderm LASER SPF 50+ Cream.)
Watch for Signs of Infection
Infection can be a nasty setback to healing. Without prompt treatment, it can also intensify scarring. Follow instructions for changing dressings and cleaning the incision, and see your doctor right away if you notice any signs of infection. These can include:
- New or excessive bleeding along the incision
- Redness, swelling, or bruising in the area of the incision that is getting worse instead of better
- Yellowish or greenish discharge from the incision, or any discharge with an unpleasant smell
- Fever or chills
- Severe pain
It’s normal for scars to form with a darker red or purple color. That’s because the tissue has an additional flow of blood as it is healing. After about three months, this dark coloring will gradually begin to fade. You’ll see improvement by six months and near-final results by about a year after surgery. The scars will continue to fade even more for years. So don’t worry if scars are visible in the early stages of healing. That’s to be expected. Have patience and give your body time.
Get a Free Professional Consultation
Dr. Florence Mussat is a board-certified plastic surgeon in downtown Chicago. Call our office at (312) 751-9000 today or contact us online to schedule a personal consultation.
A tummy tuck is one of the most transformative plastic surgery procedures. It can make your midriff look years younger. But it’s also an extensive procedure involving the muscles of your abdomen, and it requires both rest and the right kinds of activity to bounce back. As you consider a tummy tuck or plan for the procedure, it’s a good idea to look ahead to the recovery timeline.
The First Day After Your Tummy Tuck
You’ll need someone to drive you home after the procedure and someone to stay with you there to help with basic tasks.
Expect to feel some discomfort at first. Your doctor will prescribe appropriate pain medication. You’ll find it difficult to bend at the waist, lift objects, or stand for any length of time. You’ll find it more comfortable to stand with a slight bend at the waist. Right away Some movement will be encouraged, such as a little bit of walking around the house. This activity keeps the tissues from stiffening and tightening.
You’ll need to rest in an upright position. A comfortable arrangement is to rest with two or three pillows under your head and shoulders and another under your knees.
Days Two and Three
You’ll still need help around the house for the first two or three days of the recovery timeline. You’ll probably need a hand getting up from bed, for example. Continue gentle activity, such as walking around the house, to promote healing. You’ll need to avoid all strenuous activity.
Choose clothes that don’t put any pressure on your belly — robes and dresses rather than pants. You may be given a compression garment to reduce swelling and provide support. An ice compress can help reduce pain and swelling.
If you don’t have drainage tubes, you can take a shower two days after your surgery. Or you may want to take a sponge bath to clean yourself. If you have drainage tubes, showers won’t be allowed until 48 hours after the tubes are removed.
Days Four Through Seven
As you heal, your range of movement will gradually increase, though you’ll still experience some discomfort. Your doctor will instruct you to change your dressings periodically and gently clean the area until the skin is fully healed.
If you’ve had drainage tubes, these will probably be removed toward the end of the first week. Once the holes from the tubes have healed, you’ll be cleared to take showers. If you feel unsteady on your feet, you may want to sit in a chair for showering.
Drink plenty of water during your recovery, and avoid alcohol and smoking.
The dressings will come off after the first week and you’ll be instructed on how to clean and care for the incision to minimize scarring. Expect some continued swelling, but the pain, bruising, and feelings of tightness will begin to fade. You might continue to wear a compression garment through this second week after surgery.
You’ll be able to stand upright more comfortably now, and you’ll be able to drive and do light shopping. If you have an office-type job you should be able to return to work after a week or ten days, though you’ll need to take it easy. If your job has physical demands, plan to take more time off from work.
Continue to avoid strenuous activity and housework.
Weeks Three and Four
You’ll be feeling much better by this stage of the recovery timeline, and can gradually resume light exercise following your doctor’s guidance. Heavy lifting, including lifting and carrying young children, is still off-limits.
Continue to follow your doctor’s instructions for cleaning and treating the incision to minimize scarring. That will include avoiding exposure to the sun.
Six to Eight Weeks After Surgery
Most of the swelling will be gone by now. You’ll be able to resume normal levels activity, including more strenuous exercise. Follow your doctor’s guidance and pay close attention to how your body feels as you start to use your stomach muscles more vigorously. Sit-ups and weight lifting may take a little more time.
Get a Free Professional Consultation
Dr. Florence Mussat is a board-certified plastic surgeon in downtown Chicago. Call our office at (312) 751-9000 today or contact us online to schedule a personal consultation and find out if a tummy tuck might be right for you.
Tummy Tucks Can Lead To Long-Term Weight Loss
Anyone who’s struggled with their weight knows that shedding excess fat is only half the battle. For many people, keeping weight off over the long term is the most challenging aspect of dieting. Fad diets have a very high failure rate (over 95% of these diets fail within three years), and even medically-supervised weight loss doesn’t work for everyone. As such, any tool that might encourage lifelong weight stabilization is very much worth investigating.
Abdominoplasty for Sustained Weight Loss
Though it cannot replace a healthy lifestyle, emerging evidence shows that abdominoplasty (tummy tuck surgery) can help eligible candidates maintain a healthy weight. According to a study published in the medical journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, women who undergo tummy tuck surgery after successful weight loss are much more resistant to subsequent weight gain than women who have had no plastic surgery.
The 20 patients examined in this study had an average BMI of 30 (indicating obesity) before they began preparing for tummy tuck surgery. One year after recovering from surgery, an impressive 14 of those patients had achieved an average BMI of 23, which is safely within the “healthy” range. This is significant when you consider the fact that the normal odds of recovering from obesity are just one in 124 for females (and one in 210 for males).
The amount of weight loss experienced by the study group greatly exceeded the amount of tissue removed during abdominoplasty. (Only five to ten pounds of tissue are removed during tummy tuck surgery.) This indicates that most tummy tuck patients continue to lose weight even after having surgery and therefore clearly buck the trend of weight regain.
How does Tummy Tuck Surgery Aid in Weight Maintenance?
The role that abdominoplasty plays in long-term weight loss is more than just psychological. Researchers believe that having tummy tuck surgery may actually increase satiety (the ability to feel full after eating a standard portion of food). Three fourths of all patients who have undergone abdominoplasties say they experience greater satiety after meals. They also report that they’re less likely to snack during the day.
Researchers aren’t completely sure why abdominoplasty improves appetite regulation. This effect may be linked to the realignment of patients’ abdominal muscles and connective tissues. During tummy tuck surgery, the linea alba (the band of tissue that joins the lateral halves of the abdominal muscles) is strengthened and repaired. This allows the abdominal muscles to exert a strong “corseting” effect on the stomach, potentially reducing its capacity. Another theory suggests that removing abdominal tissue alters the neuroendocrine system, lowering the amount of appetite-promoting hormones excreted by the body.
Regardless of the mechanism of action behind it, this reduction in appetite has powerful implications for weight maintenance. Most people who diet experience an increase in appetite that’s directly proportional to the amount of weight they’ve lost. (The human body prompts the consumption of 100 extra calories for every two pounds of fat lost.) Circumventing this inevitable surge of hunger is probably key to preventing weight regain.
It’s far too early to recommend tummy tuck surgery to all patients who have struggled with obesity in the past. However, eligible candidates who require abdominoplasty (to repair damaged abdominal muscles and remove loose skin) should take these facts into consideration when assessing the pros and cons of surgery.
To learn more about the benefits of abdominoplasty, contact Dr. Florence Mussat to arrange a personal consultation. She can assist you surgically and provide safe, effective medically-supervised weight loss to help you maintain your results.