A well-sculpted, flat stomach is the goal for millions of Americans. Yet, despite spending hours in the gym and carefully counting calories, it can still seem like a distant dream. Kadz Plastic Surgery of Beverly Hills, CA, wants to make that dream a reality. With a tummy tuck by Dr. Bruce Kadz, you can restore your youthful shape to your body.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
Although the term “tummy tuck” is used colloquially, the proper medical term is abdominoplasty. “Plasty,” as a suffix, refers to the shaping of body tissue, and the rest of the word you likely recognize as referring to the abdomen, or tummy.
Like all parts of your body, your abdomen contains three main layers of tissue. First are the muscles, which are attached to your bones. Above the muscles are fat deposits, and finally, your skin sits on top of your fat cells.
If you’ve worked out, then you know that your muscles define your form. Strong muscles are often visible even with a high percentage of body fat. Naturally, losing fat will make the muscles stand out even more and create a more appealing appearance.
Abdominoplasty recognizes that both muscles and fat determine your overall look. Therefore, we shape both of these, as needed, and remove excess skin where needed. The end result is a firm, flatter stomach that is often unattainable for many people otherwise.
Why Is Abdominoplasty Necessary?
Although the procedure is purely cosmetic, for many people, it’s the only way to achieve the results they want. While losing weight can reduce the fat around your abdomen, weight loss alone does not reshape the structural muscles. Your abs form the foundation of the entire midsection, so these also need to be contoured.
Nevertheless, spending every day in the gym might not be enough, either! Muscles can become distended from injury, lack of use, or even improper training. When this happens, even a strong set of abs can appear to be bloated or stick out far away from the abdomen instead of keeping the muscles tight against the body.
Abdominoplasty is also the only way to get rid of excess skin—skin that you might have from pregnancy or excessive weight loss. No matter how much weight you lose or how many sit-ups you do, that skin is there to stay unless we intervene.
Fortunately, abdominoplasty is a relatively simple procedure that is apt for most people. In just a few hours, you can greatly improve your appearance and turn back the clock on your body.
Who Should Get an Abdominoplasty?
It should be noted that abdominoplasty is not a substitute for natural weight loss. Patients who have trouble losing large amounts of weight should consider other options. Once you have reached a weight close to the ideal amount for your build, then abdominoplasty becomes a much more suitable option.
In general, the results of your procedure and your recovery time will be better if you’re already in good shape prior to the operation. Many patients first try to achieve the look they desire naturally, and then turn to this procedure once they are no longer seeing improvement from diet and exercise alone.
After Losing Weight
Abdominoplasty is also right for people who have lost large amounts of weight in a short time. When you carry a lot of weight, your skin stretches and expands to accommodate the extra fat. This is what causes stretch marks.
Furthermore, when you have excess weight on your stomach, gravity pulls your abs down and forward, causing them to loosen and get further away from your body. This is why, even if you begin a strict training regimen, you might find your abs are not tightening up as you expected.
When you lose that weight, your skin doesn’t simply snap back, and your abs don’t automatically tighten up. An abdominoplasty is the best option to restore your natural shape and undo the damage done.
The effects of pregnancy are very much like what we have just described. In fact, pregnancy creates more problems for the abdominal muscles than natural weight gain, because weight, in this case, comes from behind the abdominal wall. The growing baby pushing out on the abdomen will usually separate the abdominal muscles, resulting in what is sometimes called “mommy tummy.”
Abdominoplasty can be performed at any time after pregnancy, although doctors recommend waiting until after breastfeeding is over. If you had a C-section delivery, you should wait until you are fully healed before undergoing another surgery.
History of Abdominoplasty
It might surprise you to know that surgeons have been practicing this type of procedure for over 100 years! The first cases go all the way back to 1870, when modern surgical techniques became commonplace. Over the next several decades, doctors experimented with a number of methods.
Many of the first abdominoplasty surgeries were not performed with aesthetics in mind. The goal, in many cases, was to repair damage to the body, such as a hernia or wound from an object.
As a result, many of the old methods left large scars—something that we absolutely avoid in modern surgery. It wasn’t until the 1960s that abdominoplasty began exclusively using an incision from hip to hip, which would be easily covered by clothing afterward.
In the 1970s, liposuction became an established technique that doctors could use to sculpt the body by removing or adding fat where needed. Naturally, this became a part of abdominoplasty almost overnight. We use liposuction to create a natural shape across the abdomen.
More recent advancements have made the procedure even safer and less invasive. Recovery times are faster than ever. There’s never been a better time to get a tummy tuck than now.
How Does the Procedure Work?
Abdominoplasty can be performed in a matter of hours, making it an out-patient procedure for most patients. With good preparation and a skillful surgeon, your tummy tuck will go over smoothly.
Before the Procedure
Before performing an abdominoplasty, you’ll come in for a consultation. We will analyze your body’s structure and shape in order to determine the best course of action for you. We will also discuss your goals and desired outcome.
If you meet the criteria for the procedure—and most of our patients do— we’ll set a date for the operation. You’ll receive instructions for the weeks leading up to the procedure. This may include a healthy diet to promote healing afterward. The days before the surgery, we will give you specific instructions regarding food and physical activity.
During the Procedure
Abdominoplasty requires some anesthesia, though what kind and to what extent depends on the nature of the procedure and your preferences. A “Mini abdominoplasty” can be performed with local anesthetic for minor procedures. More commonly, epidural anesthesia is used, although general anesthesia is an option for patients who prefer to be completely unconscious during the operation.
After being prepared for the operation, you’ll proceed to our operating room, where we will administer the anesthetic and ensure that everything is going perfectly. A careful incision is made across the abdomen from hip to hip. Another is made in your navel to allow your skin to be adjusted.
What We Do
Loose skin gets trimmed while excess fat may be removed with liposuction. The abdominal wall is strengthened and tightened in the process. Your skin is placed back over the abdominal muscles in their new location and meticulously stitched into place.
Your belly button is the final detail. The original material underneath your skin that forms your belly button is preserved, and a new navel is crafted into the skin above.
After the Procedure
You should arrange for someone to pick you up, as you won’t be able to drive right away. The doctor will have applied a dressing and given you some easy-to-follow instructions for how to keep the incision clean. You’ll also need to use an abdominal garment for a few weeks to help everything heal in the correct location.
You’ll also receive prescriptions for antibiotics to prevent infection. Our staff will coordinate follow-up visits with you to ensure that you are recovering according to plan. Before long, you’ll be ready for beach season.
Are You Ready for Your Tummy Tuck?
If you’ve been thinking about getting an abdominoplasty or simply want to know more about the procedure itself, we’re here to help. We also work closely alongside CareCredit and Alphaeon to provide financing options for our clients.