Do you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your midsection? Do you wish your skin was a little tighter? Do you feel like you would be more comfortable if you had some excess skin removed? If so, a tummy tuck at Metairie Plastic Surgeons in Metairie, LA may be appropriate for you. Keep reading to learn more about this procedure, including how long the results last.
Is a Tummy Tuck Permanent?
While you can expect the results of a tummy tuck to last for a decade or more, there is a possibility you will need a follow-up procedure. The fat loss results of this procedure are permanent in the sense that your body can’t grow new fat cells if you’re at least 25 years old. Therefore, any fat cells excised during the procedure are gone for good. Furthermore, any internal sutures placed to repair torn stomach muscles can be expected to last indefinitely.
However, it is important to understand that you will need to stay on top of your diet once your procedure is over. The fat cells that remain in the midsection post-op can still expand to store excess energy if you eat and drink more calories than you need to maintain your body weight. Therefore, it is possible to notice negative changes in your improved contours.
What Other Results May Change Over Time?
If your skin is tightened during your tummy tuck, sometimes referred to as abdominoplasty, there is a possibility you will have loose skin in the future. The more weight you gain, the more your skin stretches to accommodate the expanding fat cells. If you become pregnant after your abdominoplasty, there is a very good chance that you will have loose, sagging skin that needs to be lifted in the future.
Like a rubber band, your skin loses elasticity over time. There are several components of your skin that keep it looking young, tight, and healthy. One of these components is a special type of protein called elastin. Unfortunately, the older you become, the slower your skin is to produce this protein. Furthermore, the constant force of gravity weakens your skin over time. Generally, you can expect your results to last longer if you get this procedure when you’re young.
What Can I Do to Keep My Skin Tight Longer?
One of the best things to do to keep your skin tight and smooth for as long as possible is to maintain your weight. If you don’t gain abdominal fat, your abdominal skin won’t stretch to accommodate the expanding fat cells. Therefore, your skin won’t weaken unnecessarily. Protecting your abdominal skin from UVC damage and dehydration will also go a long way in keeping your skin hugging your contours.
If you take hot showers or baths, make sure you moisturize your skin with lotion afterward. Exposure to hot water can dry out the skin significantly, but a moisturizer will help to lock moisture in and hydrate the outer layers of your skin. Also, make sure you keep the deepest layers of your skin hydrated by drinking lots of hydrating fluids and eating foods that have high water content. Moreover, eat plenty of protein to provide vital amino acids needed to make elastin.
How Much Fat Can I Lose With This Procedure?
You shouldn’t expect to lose much fat at all with this procedure because it is not a fat removal procedure. However, a small amount of fat can be excised while your excess skin is being excised. If you have a significant amount of excess abdominal fat but you are not obese, you may be a good fit for truSculpt iD or liposuction in addition to your tuck.
How Much Fat Can I Lose With Lipo?
How much fat you can lose with liposuction depends on a number of factors. If you’re targeting a large area, like your lower back, abdomen, or flanks, you can generally expect to lose around 26% of the localized fat near your skin’s surface. Visceral fat will not be affected by liposuction. Note that depending on how close you are to your ideal weight, anywhere from one to 11 pounds of fat can be removed in a single lipo session.
Am I a Good Candidate for an Abdominal Tuck?
To find out for sure whether abdominoplasty will be safe and effective for you, it is vital that you sit down with a plastic surgeon and discuss your current health, medical history, concerns, and goals. If you are concerned about a small amount of excess fat, loose skin, excess skin, or muscular problems, there is a good chance you will qualify. However, even if this procedure could be effective for you, we still need to make sure it will be safe.
This procedure is not appropriate for everyone, including women who may be pregnant, individuals with bleeding disorders, and individuals who cannot follow all preparation instructions. Furthermore, you may not be able to undergo this procedure if you suffer from uncontrolled diabetes, heart problems, or lung problems. If you need general anesthesia based on the scope of your goals, you must be able to fast for several hours pre-op and be intubated.
What Preparation Instructions Will I Need to Follow?
Not smoking is one of the most important preparation instructions to follow prior to your procedure. Regardless of the type of anesthesia that is ideal for you, it is extremely crucial that your blood pressure is not too high. Tobacco products constrict your blood vessels, increasing your blood pressure and increasing the length of time it will take you to heal after your procedure. For similar reasons, it is also important that you don’t drink alcohol pre-op.
If, based on the scope of your cosmetic and medical goals, general anesthesia will be right for you, you must fast for eight hours prior to your procedure. During most of this eight-hour fast, it will be safe for you to consume clear liquids, like pulp-free coconut water, apple juice, and white cranberry juice. The final two hours of your fast must be a dry fast, meaning you will not be able to drink anything.
What Can I Expect During My Recovery?
Every individual recovery timeline is unique, but you shouldn’t be surprised if you nod off regularly during the first one to three days post-op. Don’t fight the urge to take a nap. The more you rest, the faster you can expect to recover. Regardless of the type of anesthesia administered, you will not be able to drive for 24 hours post-op. Therefore, you will need someone to drive you home from your abdominal tuck. If possible, arrange for someone to stay with you for at least 24 hours.
In addition to napping when you feel groggy, it is important that you get plenty of deep sleep. Ideally, you should dedicate over a third of each day to sleeping even if you usually only sleep for six to 7.5 hours per night. If you can sleep for nine consecutive hours nightly, you will be able to spend a significant amount of time in the rapid eye movement stage of the sleep cycle. This is when your skin does most of its healing.
What Else Can I Do to Recover Faster?
Eating plenty of protein isn’t just necessary for getting the amino acids needed to make elastin. It is also vital during your recovery period because there is another important protein in your skin, collagen, that requires amino acids as building blocks for manufacturing. Collagen plays a number of very important roles throughout your body. In your skin, one of the most important roles it plays is encouraging your skin cells to repair themselves.
Getting lots of moderate exercise will also help you recover faster. Just be mindful when you’re exercising that vigorous physical exertion can slow your recovery. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
Some tummy tuck results, like fat removal and internal sutures, are permanent. However, other results, like improvements to your contours, may fade over time. If you think you could benefit from this procedure, find out for sure by scheduling an appointment with us today at Metairie Plastic Surgeons in Metairie, LA if you are in the New Orleans area. We welcome the opportunity to help you boost your self-confidence for years to come.