Is a tummy tuck the best way to achieve a flat stomach?

Man abs

Tummy tucks remain popular for a reason. Whether used as a standalone procedure or as part of a body lift or mummy makeover, tummy tucks offer multiple benefits.

By removing excess skin and unwanted fat, surgeons are able to create a flatter abdomen that you can feel confident about. 

However, whether or not this is the best way for you to achieve a flatter stomach needs to be determined.

Tummy Tucks for Flatter Abdomens

According to tummy tuck specialist from the Gold Coast, Dr Mark Magnusson, abdominoplasty is designed to create a flatter midsection by getting rid of unnecessary, sagging skin and excess fat. However, it doesn’t stop there. A tummy tuck also addresses stomach muscle separation that occurs during pregnancy. Once the muscles are repaired, the abdomen also looks firmer due to the increased support.

Abdominoplasty can be cosmetic or reconstructive in nature and is most often undertaken after pregnancy, extensive weight loss or for medical reasons. Depending on how much excess skin is present, it can decrease range of movement and cause rashes and infections. 

What a tummy tuck isn’t is weight loss surgery. It’s not possible to create a flatter stomach if a patient hasn’t achieved a healthy weight. 

To be considered for this procedure, patients need to rely on diet and exercise to first bring their BMI into a healthy range. From there, a tummy tuck can be used to complete their weight loss goals by creating a slimmer midsection. 

Obese patients should discuss a personalised treatment plan with their surgeon to ensure they’re approaching weight loss and surgery in a safe and healthy way.

The Basics of the Procedure

A tummy tuck isn’t overly complicated but it does need to be performed under general anaesthesia. The average tummy tuck lasts anywhere from 2 – 3 hours and requires a hip-to-hip incision. Once excess skin and fat are removed and the abdominal muscles are tightened, the remaining skin is sutured, and a compression garment is applied.

Most patients are able to return to work after 2 – 3 weeks – recovery is different for everyone though. Even once you’ve returned to your normal routine, strenuous exercise is discouraged for at least 6 weeks. 

In most instances, if the recovery goes smoothly, patients will see the final results of their tummy tuck after about 6 months. 

While there will be some scarring after this surgery, it is hidden in the bikini line. Scars also fade over time, so this is not a reason to avoid surgery. 

To maintain your abdominoplasty results, it’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle. If you decide to have children following surgery, understand that this will affect your results. The surgery will never prevent you from having children in the future though.

Planning Your Tummy Tuck Surgery

Once you decide to go ahead with abdominoplasty, the first step is to find a surgeon in your area and schedule a consultation. It’s important to note that you may need to meet with more than one surgeon before you settle on someone you feel comfortable with.

The surgeon you decide on should have specific experience with abdominoplasty. Once your goals are discussed during your consultation, you may find that you would benefit from additional procedures. For example, many women choose to undergo a lower body lift, which address the thighs, buttock and abdomen. 

The benefit of combining procedures is that it’s more cost-effective and you only need to plan for one recovery period. With this being said, any surgeon who pressures you into undergoing more than one procedure is probably not the best fit.

During your tummy tuck consultation, go through any questions and concerns you might have. If the surgeon isn’t able or willing to answer all of your questions, it’s better to continue your search.

Along with reviewing a surgeon’s qualifications and experience, it’s important to look through before and after images and read through reviews from past patients. This will tell you a lot about what you can expect as a prospective patient. 

Lastly, take some time to think about your options before you go ahead and schedule your surgery. Reputable surgeons will never encourage a patient to book a surgery directly after a consultation.