Sometimes, despite our best attempts at diet and exercise, we struggle to firm up our abdomen. Women who have had children understand that pregnancy introduces its own set of challenges to that elusive, flat tummy. In cases like these, abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck as it’s commonly known, can help restore your body to a more youthful, toned appearance.
A tummy tuck addresses three primary issues: Excess skin around the midsection, stubborn deposits of fat in the abdomen, and separated stomach muscles. With tummy tuck surgery, board-certified Virginia plastic surgeon Dr. Roberta Gartside can firm and strengthen your midsection, while also enhancing the natural contours of your hips and waist.
If you live in Washington, D.C. or Virginia and would like to learn if tummy tuck surgery is right for you, please contact New Image Plastic Surgery Associates, PLC online or call us at 888-730-4113 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Roberta Gartside.
What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is a body contouring procedure used to restore your midsection to a more youthful, toned appearance. Patients who struggle with excess fat or skin in the abdomen, despite maintaining a healthy regimen of diet and exercise, choose abdominoplasty to achieve a slimmer, smoother look.
Our full tummy tuck addresses areas throughout the abdomen and is not limited to the area below the belly button. This procedure is popular among women who plan not to have more children or individuals who have loose skin following weight loss. Dr. Gartside often performs a full tummy tuck as part of a mommy makeover to restore a pre-pregnancy figure.
A few of the most common causes of abdomen protrusion include:
- Prior surgery
- Significant fluctuations in weight
Many patients choose to include liposuction as part of their tummy tuck procedure for enhanced results.
Mini Tummy Tuck
At New Image Plastic Surgery Associates, we’re pleased to offer our mini tummy tuck. Like the name implies, a mini tummy tuck is just like the traditional procedure, only smaller. The mini tummy tuck is perfect for individuals whose area of concern is largely in the lower abdomen. It’s a popular option for women who have delivered via Caesarean section or who have undergone hysterectomy surgery. In these cases, a protruding lower abdomen may be a patient’s primary concern.
Tummy Tuck Benefits
The most obvious benefit of tummy tuck surgery is slimming and toning of the midsection for significant improvement of physical appearance. The improvements from tummy tuck surgery can help create a more balanced look to your entire body. These improvements include the removal of loose and sagging skin, the elimination of stretch marks, and a general toning of the abdominal area. While aesthetics is often the driving force behind seeking tummy tuck surgery, good candidates for this procedure are primed to experience physical benefits as well.
During tummy tuck surgery, abdominal muscles are tightened. This not only draws in the waist, it strengthens and tones the core which, in turn, can improve physical function and balance. Tummy tuck surgery alone may not fully improve core strength, but it can act as a springboard for a more active lifestyle which can further tone, slim, and improve general quality of life.
You'll experience many benefits when you undergo a tummy tuck. Some of these include:
- Slimmer, more toned midsection
- Elimination of stretch marks
- Removal of loose skin caused by pregnancy or weight loss
- Tighten abdominal muscles
- Motivating tool to lead a healthier lifestyle after significant weight loss
- Look better in a bathing suit
- Increased self-confidence
- Safe and effective treatment
- Natural looking results
If you are unhappy with your abdominal area for any reason, board-certified McLean plastic surgeon Dr. Roberta Gartside welcomes an opportunity to meet with you, discuss your concerns, and help you better understand how tummy tuck surgery can assist you in reaching your goals. Please visit our tummy tuck before and after gallery to see our results.
Tummy Tuck Candidacy
It’s important to note that the tummy tuck procedure, while beneficial for many, is not perfect for everyone. Certain factors may inhibit you from being a candidate for this procedure, as your health and lifestyle play an important part in determining if this treatment is right for you.
Factors that disqualify you from candidacy include:
- Poor health
- Being overweight
- Are or are planning to be pregnant
- Being a smoker
Ideal candidates include those who:
- Are in good overall health
- Are at or near their ideal weight
- Have excess skin resulting from weight loss
- Have fatty deposits in the abdominal area
- Have loose skin or muscles from pregnancy
- Want a more toned and contoured waist
Preparing for Tummy Tuck Surgery
Tummy tuck surgery is a complex body contouring procedure. By preparing for it adequately, you can help reduce postoperative discomfort and the risk of some complications. Virginia tummy tuck surgeon Dr. Roberta Gartside and our friendly staff will work closely with you to ensure you are fully prepared for your procedure. We will continue to work with you after your tummy tuck to see that you remain cared for throughout your recovery period.
The most important step in preparing for tummy tuck surgery is taking care of your body. There are certain activities that will need to be avoided during your tummy tuck recovery period. It is a good idea to arrange for assistance from a friend or family member for the first few days of recovery. This will give you plenty of time to rest, an important part of the healing process.
In preparation for your procedure, it’s recommended you follow these steps:
- If you are a smoker, Dr. Gartside will insist that you quit at least six weeks prior to your tummy tuck surgery. The chemicals in cigarettes, even electronic cigarettes, can greatly increase the risk of complications following your tummy tuck procedure.
- Certain medications and supplements will need to be avoided prior to your surgery. Dr. Gartside will provide you with a list of medications that will need to be stopped during your tummy tuck planning phase.
- You will want to prepare an area of your house that is comfortable for resting. Stock this area with plenty of books, magazines, movies, and other things that will allow you to rest while keeping you entertained. Make sure everything you need is easily accessible in your resting area.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
After your procedure, bandages or dressings may need to be placed over your incisions and you may need to wear an elastic bandage or another compression garment to help control any swelling, as well as to support your abdomen to ensure proper healing. The results of your procedure may not be apparent until healing has completed. Once the swelling has subsided, roughly within a week or two, you’ll begin to see a flatter, slimmer midsection.
In the recovery period after your surgery, you may find that you are not able to stand fully upright. This is normal, as the tightening of the internal muscles limits mobility for a couple of weeks.
Your recovery will also consist of other restrictions and guidelines to make sure you heal properly. These include:
- It may be recommended to take time off from work to ensure proper healing
- Limiting strenuous activity for at least six weeks
- Taking prescribed medication for pain management and to promote healing
- Do not drive for one to two weeks while taking pain medication
- Walking is the preferred mode of light exercise during the recovery period
- Drains are placed to help alleviate excess fluid buildup. Dr. Gartside will instruct you how to properly treat and care your wounds
Following tummy tuck surgery, a healthy diet and exercise regimen will only serve to enhance results. These things can further improve self-confidence along with physical ability and life expectancy, making tummy tuck surgery the perfect motivator for a more productive and more enjoyable life. During your initial abdominoplasty consultation, Dr. Gartside can answer any questions you have about tummy tuck benefits and help you better understand the most effective ways to maximize your results.
Contact a Virginia Tummy Tuck Specialist Today
A tummy tuck delivers natural-looking results safely and effectively. If you’re ready to learn how a tummy tuck can help boost your self-confidence, Dr. Gartside can help you achieve the beautiful body you desire.
Please call 888-730-4113 or contact New Image Plastic Surgery Associates online today to arrange a consultation to discuss your tummy tuck candidacy. We proudly serve patients in Reston, Fairfax, McLean, and throughout the Washington D.C. area.