Body image is important for most people. Many patients may consider the likes of plastic or cosmetic surgery to improve their appearance. The need for body restoration may be due to weight gain, pregnancy, or aging. Some people will undergo cosmetic surgery for purely image-based reasons while others will do it for reconstruction purposes. For example, those who have lost a lot of weight will often want to undergo the Tummy Tuck (TT) procedure to get rid of extra skin and restore their original looks.
The tummy tuck is often done as a standalone procedure for individuals that have changes below and above their belly button. However, it can be combined with other procedures like breast lift/breast augmentation as a part of the popular Mommy Makeover package.
Types of Tummy Tuck
To get a flat and well-toned abdomen, the Mexico plastic surgeon recommends one of the following varieties of Tummy Tuck to remove the excess fatty tissue and repair the abdominal muscle.
- Mini Tummy Tuck: Mini Tummy Tuck improves the lower belly with less extensive surgery
- Full Tummy Tuck: Classic or Full Tummy Tuck, an incision is made from hipbone to hipbone, improves the upper and lower abdomen
- Extended Tummy Tuck: Extended Tummy Tuck improves the upper and lower abdomen and flanks
- Circular Tummy Tuck: Circular 360 Tummy Tuck, incision covers the front and back, lifts the upper as well as lower body.
Tummy Tuck with or without liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss surgery and it does not prevent future weight gain. Patients are encouraged to maintain a healthy diet and exercise program after surgery to sustain their excellent results.
Tummy Tuck Explained
One of the most common ways of performing a Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty operation is giving the patient an anesthetic and making an incision on the lower belly. The idea is to remove extra skin and fat by pulling all the extra skin down to get rid of stretch marks. The skin is lifted off the muscles all the way up to the ribs in a triangle shape. The stomach is then opened up and the stomach muscles are exposed.
The Rectus muscles usually move apart due to weight gain. The muscles are sutured to be pulled together to give a flat and firm stomach. In a lot of cases, liposuction is also used. The liposuction is performed on the sides (love handles) and above the belly button.
The incision is generally made very low just above the pubic area (below the cesarean scar if present). The incision can be made in a number of different shapes; this usually depends on how the surgeon does it themselves. The belly button remains where it is and the surgeon cuts around it. Two drains are used to get rid of seroma, a blister-like fluid. Two layers of excess skin are then removed.
When this is done, the skin is then closed over the belly as a new hole is created. When everything is finished, the hood of the skin is closed over the stomach. The surgeon will then stitch this up so that the scars can heal properly. This is one of the most common forms of tummy tuck procedure out there, although there can be variations depending on where you go.
– 164,021 men and women had a tummy tuck in 2014
– Most patients return to work within 2 to 3 weeks
– Scars from a tummy tuck can be covered by a bikini bottom or tattoos
Tummy tuck vs fleur-de-lis
Traditional tummy tuck uses a horizontal incision line above the pubic hairline and below the belly button. Fleur-de-lis (also called butterfly) uses a horizontal incision line as well as a vertical incision line in the middle of the stomach.
This procedure is mainly proper for patients who have had massive weight loss such as bariatric surgery with a bigger upper body than the lower body – wider rib cage than the hip bone. Mexico Cosmetic Center board-certified surgeons are experts in Fleur-De-Lis abdominoplasty for a more contoured waistline.
Pre-Op and Post-Op Care
- DO NOT take Aspirin, Aspirin products, medications containing Ibuprofen or vitamin E for one week before the surgery date.
- Birth control pills should be suspended two weeks before the surgery date.
- DO NOT smoke at least four weeks before the surgery date.
- DO NOT drink alcoholic beverages at least three days before the surgery date.
- Eat a light meal the night before surgery. DO NOT eat or drink after midnight – even water.
- Bathing is allowed the morning of the surgery.
- Brush your teeth without swallowing any water.
- Keep at least one short nail without polish.
- Do not wear pantyhose, high heels or many layers of clothing. Wear casual or loose-fitting clothing with buttons in front. Bring a newly washed clothing to wear after surgery.
Remember that the skin on your abdominal wall was elevated up & then pulled tight, your abdominal muscles and connective tissue (or fascia) are tightened, and your belly button moved. Swelling can be a significant part of the tummy tuck as your abdomen will probably be swollen and feel sore. Massive weight loss patients can have even more swelling. Your recovery time will depend on the extent of your surgery and how physically fit you are before the surgery. You may not be able to walk straight for at least two weeks after surgery. If you are in good condition, you can enjoy a faster recovery time. Some patients can return to light activity, including work, after about two weeks, while others might take 3 to 4 weeks.
- The surgeon may place one or two drains in your abdomen to help remove fluid that oozes out after surgery, allowing you to heal faster. Either the doctor or nurse will remove your drains 5-10 days after surgery.
- For the first few weeks, you will need to wear a compression garment to provide stability and minimize swelling to result in a smooth, compact abdominal shape. The clothing must be worn at all times following surgery and only taken off temporarily to clean the garment or bathing.
- Make sure to drink plenty of fluids and keep hydrated. Don’t eat fatty foods or drink carbonated, alcoholic beverages for the first few days.
- Eat easily digested foods like Jell-O and soup.
- The surgeon will instruct you to walk around after surgery to encourage blood flow and healing.
- Manual lymphatic massage expedites the healing process. Normally 4 to 6 weeks after surgery as long as you are healed well enough to tolerate it.
- Refrain from lifting anything or doing weight-bearing exercises.
- Sponge bathe only.
Medical Tourism and Cosmetic Surgery
International patient travel is nothing new, although it is typically thought of as individuals from lesser developed countries going to a more developed country in order to avail of superior healthcare service. These days, however, medical costs in the United States and Canada have hit a phenomenal level. As a result, there are many patients who are considering moving down to Tijuana, Mexico in order to avail of much cheaper solutions. This is either to save money or even just to avail of something that is affordable.
Medical Tourism, Liposuction, and Tummy Tuck
Whether you are planning on getting cosmetic surgery in the United States or in Mexico, it is a good idea to make sure that you undergo a consultation. You will need to sit down with your surgeon and ask as many questions as you can. Your surgeon will then run you through the procedure. In the case of tummy tucks, he or she will inform you about the different techniques that will be used as well as the risks that are involved. The same can be said for other procedures such as liposuction. If you are unsure about what sort of procedure you want to undergo then the surgeon will have a look at you. He or she will have a look at your body and give you advice regarding the best procedures that are available.
Costs and Research
While sitting down with your surgeon and speaking about it is a good idea, it is also recommended that the patient performs a bit of independent research. Depending on the procedure you are looking at, you will want to take a look over some of the medical literature that is out there regarding the numerous techniques.
A lot of these procedures have been drastically improved over the years due to experience and therefore when it comes to risks, patients have very little to worry about. It is, of course, important to remember that during procedures such as liposuction (the surgical removal of fat from the body) there is going to be a limit to how much fat can be removed. This is something that you will need to be aware of and something that your surgeon will inform you about.
When it comes to the cost, there is a significant difference. A tummy tuck can cost over $20,000 depending on the geographical location and surgeon whereas a significantly lower price can usually be found in Mexico. It is these lower costs that will often drive people in that direction.
Research Your Surgeon
Before going to Mexico, it is also a good idea to research the surgeon that you have. You need to make sure that he or she is fully accredited and licensed by a recognized medical organization. They will also need to coordinate with your primary care physician in the states to ensure your post-op experience is successful.
List of Physicians Who Perform the Tummy Tuck procedure:
Mexico Cosmetic Center is working with top hospitals and certified surgeons in Tijuana, Mexico. MCC offers plastics, cosmetics, reconstructive and post-bariatric body contouring including Tummy Tuck. Here is the list of Mexican Board Certified Plastic surgeons who perform Tummy Tuck.
Planning for Your Surgery
First, send the picture(s) of the areas needed to be contoured to our patient coordinator. Then, fill out our online health questionnaire. The surgeon will review the picture(s) along with the health history and make recommendations. The patient coordinator then will contact you and consult with you about the surgeon’s suggestions.
We personalize tummy tuck to your needs to help you improve your abdominal shape and your beautiful body image. Contact us to learn more about this life-enhancing procedure from our Mexican Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeons.