If you can’t seem to lose that stubborn belly fat, it might not be your fault. Belly fat is the hardest to lose because of uncontrollable factors like genetics, external stress, and hormones. Even if you are trying everything, sometimes things like hidden sugars and ineffective workouts are impeding your progress.
Don’t beat yourself up! In fact, if you stress about the size and shape of your belly, you may be making your health even worse. Instead of stressing about the size of your body, you have 2 options: go all #bodypositivity or consider getting one of these types of tummy tucks.
What is a Tummy Tuck?
Also known as a abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that is designed to permanently slim the belly and waistline. When you get a tummy tuck, a surgeon will remove extra skin and fat from the abdomen. This procedure also addresses weakened or separated abdominal muscles
According to Dr. Qazi, the ideal candidate for a tummy tuck is someone who:
- Is physically healthy and does not have any underlying conditions.
- Is at a stable weight and does not participate in yo-yo dieting.
- Has realistic expectations for the surgery.
- Does not smoke, drink excessively, or engage in recreational drug use.
- Is unhappy with the appearance of their belly.
- Has excess fat and skin on the stomach that is enough to justify a tummy tuck.
- Does not have a history of eating disorders or body dysmorphia.
If you are considering a tummy tuck, it is important to understand what this procedure can and cannot fix. A tummy tuck treats excess loose skin, fat build up on the stomach, weakened abdominal muscles, separated muscles, and in certain cases it can have a positive impact on the appearance of stretch marks. This procedure is only recommended for patients who have already tried to lose their belly fat on their own. However, if an underlying condition or a medication is contributing to your weight gain, then a tummy tuck may not be suitable for you.
Types of Tummy Tucks
1. The Standard Tummy Tuck
This type of tummy tuck is the most commonly performed procedure; it is suitable for most patients. If you get a standard tummy tuck, you can expect it to tighten, reshape, and tone the lower abdomen. Women who have stubborn fat from pregnancy often get this type of tummy tuck as part of a “mommy makeover.”
During this procedure, the surgeon will make an incision near the bikini line that runs from hip to hip. Depending on your unique needs, the surgeon will use liposuction to remove extra fat cells, trim away extra skin, and tighten the abdominal wall. In some cases, the belly button will need to be adjusted or repositioned so it looks more natural. For women who have had a C-section, the surgical team can go in through that old incision to minimize new scarring.
2. Mini Tummy Tuck
This option is for men and women who only need small changes made to their abdomen. Many people are able to achieve an overall toned and fit appearance on their own, but stubborn belly fat lingers and can’t be dieted away. If you have a small pooch below your belly button, this procedure may be able to help you.
A mini tuck is very similar to a standard tummy tuck, just with smaller incisions and without touching the belly button. Mini tummy tucks are great for providing natural looking results, with minimal scarring that can be hidden under a bathing suit.
If you are wondering if you may be a good candidate for a mini tuck, schedule a consultation at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic. In some cases, patients do not have enough of a pooch to justify a surgical tummy tuck. In other cases, patients only need a little contouring. If you are not a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck, Dr. Qazi may recommend liposuction or MicroLipo to contour your abdomen.
3. Extended Tummy Tuck
As it sounds, an extended tummy tuck is for patients who have more extra skin and fat than average, especially on the hips and waist. If you listen to This American Life, the “It’s a Small World After All” episode featured a story of a woman who had a similar procedure to an extended tummy tuck to lose 110 pounds. If you want that type of dramatic weight loss, schedule a consultation with Dr. Qazi to discuss your options and which procedure will best help you achieve your goals.
When you get an extended tummy tuck, you can expect a long incision to be made below the belly button. The surgical team will then liposuction out the extra fat cells and trim away extra skin. For this type of tummy tuck, the belly button is almost always repositioned.
Because an extended tummy tuck is more surgically involved than other types of tummy tucks, you will need to spend the night in the hospital afterwards for medical monitoring. Once you recover, the scars will be easy to hide under clothing.
4. Reverse Tummy Tuck
A reverse tummy tuck is not what it sounds like; don’t worry, it doesn’t involve adding fat to your abdomen. Instead, a reverse tummy tuck is about the region of the midsection just below the chest. Some patients are able to achieve a toned lower tummy, but still have loose skin or fat pockets on their upper abdomen.
A reverse tummy tuck is performed by making an incision just under the breasts or pectorals. The skin and extra fat is then trimmed away and tucked upwards. The scars will be easier to hide for female patients than for men because the incisions can easily be covered with a bikini top or bra.
Dr. Qazi’s surgical team often performs a reverse tummy tuck at the same time as a mini tummy tuck. The result is an overall transformation for your tummy and a tightened, toned look on both your lower and upper abdomen.
5. Panniculectomy Surgery
This procedure is not quite the same as a tummy tuck because it does not involve tightening the abdominal walls. Sometimes, after massive weight loss, people are left with loose, hanging skin that forms an apron-like shape down their front. A panniculectomy is a surgery similar to a tummy tuck that removes that extra, hanging skin and trims away any lingering fat pockets.
A panniculectomy is not a weight loss procedure in the way that a tummy tuck is. This procedure is what comes after weight loss to complete your look by removing the unsightly extra skin.
Choosing The Best Type of Tummy Tuck For You!
The first step to learning which types of tummy tucks are right for you is to schedule a consultation at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic. When you meet with Dr. Qazi, he can help determine if you are a suitable candidate for a tummy tuck. Depending on your goals and the size of your tummy, he will recommend a certain procedure.
Here are some factors that can help determine which type of tummy tuck is best for you:
- Do you have fat, loose skin, or both? If you have fat and loose skin that you want to get rid of, then a tummy tuck can help! However, if you are primarily wanting to kiss your loose skin goodbye, then a panniculectomy may be what you need.
- Do you experience pain from a separated abdominal wall? It is very common for expecting mothers to experience a separated abdominal wall after pregnancy. It is also possible to damage the abdominal wall during exercise. This condition can be painful and can cause your belly to change shape. In some cases a separated abdominal wall will fix itself on its own after 6 months. However, if you are experiencing significant pain or it has not fixed itself, then you should definitely consider a tummy tuck.
- How much extra fat in the abdomen do you want to lose? This question will determine if a mini, standard, or extended tummy tuck is right for you. If you do not have enough belly fat to justify a tummy tuck, then Dr. Qazi may recommend MicroLipo instead.
- What are your goals? Certain types of tummy tucks will help you achieve your goals better than others. For example, if you want to improve the appearance of your upper abdomen, then a reverse tummy tuck may be right for you. If you want to prioritize having as little scarring as possible, then a mini tummy tuck is recommended.
- Do you want to combine a tummy tuck with another procedure? Patients normally combine a reverse tummy tuck with a mini tummy tuck, but it is also possible to pair one type of tummy tuck with another cosmetic procedure. For example, women often get a tummy tuck at the same time as breast augmentation. Men may choose to get a tummy tuck at the same time as liposuction on the chest or a fat transfer procedure.
How To Minimize Scarring After a Tummy Tuck
No matter which type of tummy tuck you choose, you will end up with some scarring. This is because tummy tucks require large incisions that, while they may heal to be almost invisible, may never fade completely. The surgical team at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic always hides incisions along the bikini line and in places where the scars can be hidden with a swimsuit.
There are things that you can do to minimize the appearance of your scars. The most important of which is to follow all preparation and post-op instructions from the surgical team. Before the procedure, you will be given specialized instructions for how to prepare, including when to stop eating before the procedure, how to clean your body the night before surgery, and which medications you should stop taking.
After the procedure, you can minimize scars by caring for the treatment area. This means properly cleaning your drains and changing your bandages, as well as taking your antibiotics and anticoagulants. You will need to wear an abdominal support garment for at least 6 weeks and avoid strenuous activity for the duration of that time.
Dr. Qazi and his team of surgeons tell all tummy tuck patients to sleep on their backs, show carefully or take sponge baths at first, avoid touching the treatment area no matter how tempting it may be, and to do as little activity as possible while you heal.
Once you are cleared to resume normal activities after several weeks, you can reduce the appearance of surgical scars by staying hydrated, moisturizing the area, avoiding excessive sun exposure, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and avoiding skin irritants. As you heal, you may need to remove harsh chemicals from your beauty routine, skip the tanning, and put a pause on the full-body seaweed wraps.
Are The Results of a Tummy Tuck Permanent?
Yes, the results of a tummy tuck will not wear off over time. However, it is possible for patients to accidentally reverse their results by re-damaging their abdominal wall, regaining weight, or becoming pregnant again. It is best for women to get a tummy tuck after they are done having children. Dr. Qazi also recommends that patients maintain a healthy lifestyle, avoid fad diets, and get yearly checkups from their PCP in order to catch underlying conditions early.
Please note: as you age it is completely normal for the body to change. No one looks the same way in their 50s that they do in their 20s. It is possible that your body will change with age even after your tummy tuck. If you want a refresher procedure, that can be an option if you are in good health. Another option is to accept that bodies change over time and focus on staying active as you age – not on the shape of your body.
Learn More About the Different Types of Tummy Tucks
If you want to start slimming down to get the body of your dreams, consider getting a tummy tuck at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic! Schedule a consultation today to learn which types of tummy tucks are tight for you!