If you’re considering a tummy tuck, it’s natural to wonder whether the results will be permanent. While aging and personal choices can affect your results, the dramatic changes produced by tummy tuck surgery are designed to last for many years. Here we’ll take a closer look at what determines the permanence of tummy tuck results and how you can maximize your chances of achieving lasting success.
What Exactly Does a Tummy Tuck Do?
Tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that involves removing excess skin and fat from the abdominal area. The procedure can also tighten the underlying abdominal muscles and reposition the belly button. By so doing, the surgery can help to reduce the appearance of a protruding tummy and creates a firmer, flatter, and better-contoured waistline.
Are the Effects of Abdominoplasty Permanent?
Abdominoplasty changes a person’s abdominal contour in real and significant ways. Excess fat and skin are permanently removed, the belly button is permanently repositioned, the muscles are mended and tightened, and the tissues are pulled flat. All of these changes tend to be long-lasting to permanent.
However, certain things will affect how long your results will last. These include how you care for your body during recovery, the choices you make after surgery, and the natural aging process.
How Your Postoperative Care Can Affect Your Tummy Tuck Results
Your tummy tuck results depend heavily on how well you take care of yourself after surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions on how to help your body heal and recover, including eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of rest, and avoiding strenuous physical activity. Patients who follow their surgeon’s instructions carefully and who discuss any concerns with their surgeon are most likely to maintain excellent results. Conversely, patients who are careless during their recovery are more likely to have problems that can affect their results.
How Your Lifestyle Choices Can Affect Your Tummy Tuck Results
One of the most important factors that can affect tummy tuck results is your overall lifestyle choices. This includes things like how much exercise you get, what foods you eat and drink, and how well you take care of yourself in general. For example, if you lead a relatively sedentary lifestyle and do not exercise regularly, your tummy may develop a new pooch or rolls at some point after your abdominoplasty. Similarly, if you drink or smoke heavily, or if you spend too much time in the sun, your abdominal skin may again become loose, wrinkled, and flabby. But if you commit to a healthy lifestyle and diet, you are helping to keep your tummy tuck results looking great long-term.
The two most impactful things that can negatively affect tummy tuck results are pregnancy and weight gain. If you become pregnant or gain a significant amount of weight after getting a tummy tuck, this can undo your tummy tuck results. It is best to postpone tummy tuck surgery until after you have finished having children and until after your weight has stabilized and you are at or near your goal weight.
How Aging Can Affect Your Tummy Tuck Results
If you follow your postoperative instructions carefully and maintain a healthy lifestyle after your tummy tuck, you should be able to enjoy your results for many years. Nonetheless, aging will always be a factor in how we look. As you age, your body naturally loses some of its elasticity and tone, which can cause the tummy to loosen and become less firm over time. This is why it is so important to make the right lifestyle choices, so that the effects of aging have a minimal impact on your body contours.
Is the Tummy Tuck Scar Permanent?
During your tummy tuck, your surgeon will make a large incision across the lower abdomen from hipbone to hipbone. This incision is necessary and will leave a permanent scar, but because of its inconspicuous location it can be hidden by most clothing (including bathing suits). In most cases, the tummy tuck scar will fade over time.
You can help to minimize your tummy tuck scar by following your surgeon’s recommendations during recovery. Take medications as directed, and follow all instructions regarding exercise, movement, wearing the compression garment, emptying drains, and keeping the incision clean and dry. You should also avoid sun exposure to the scar for at least one year, as the sun’s rays can darken new scar tissue.
Tummy tuck results are generally permanent, as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle and follow your surgeon’s recommendations during recovery. If you are considering tummy tuck surgery, ask your surgeon about what to expect during recovery and how you can best maintain your tummy tuck results in the long term.
To learn more about tummy tuck surgery and how to have ensure long-lasting results, schedule your consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Richard Mouchantat. Call (303) 232-8585 or contact us online today.