If you have loose and sagging skin in the belly after weight loss or pregnancy, you may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck.
A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, trims extra skin and fat from the abdomen to provide a flatter appearance. Also, your surgeon will tighten the abdominal muscles with sutures for even better results.
A tummy tuck also may be performed because of aging, heredity, and prior surgeries. In addition, it has a high satisfaction rate and can give you a significant boost in your self-confidence.
Dr. Smita R. Ramanadham can perform a tummy tuck to give you the slender, youthful look you crave. She is a double board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in tummy tucks and other cosmetic procedures in the New Jersey, New York City, and Tri-state areas.
Tummy Tuck Procedure
There are two types of tummy tucks, and Dr. Smita will advise you about which is your best option. Both of the procedures below require general anesthesia and several weeks of recovery.
Complete Tummy Tuck
This procedure is best for patients who need the most skin removed. The incision is made from hip to hip at the bikini line, but the size of the cut depends on how much tissue must be removed.
Dr. Smita will manipulate and shape the skin and fat as required, and she also will tighten the abdominal muscles with sutures. She may place drains under the skin that will be removed in a few days.
Partial Tummy Tuck
This procedure is performed on patients who only have loose skin below the belly button. It involves shorter incisions and is done on patients with less sagging skin.
Tummy Tuck Benefits
Some of the benefits of a tummy tuck are:
- Flatter Abdomen
The most significant benefit of this procedure is having a flat belly again. In addition, the procedure removes extra fat and skin and tightens the abdominal muscles to provide a slimmer, younger appearance.
- Strengthens Core
This procedure tightens the abdominal muscles, which gives you a stronger core and better flexibility. Also, having a firmer abdomen can improve your posture and reduce back pain.
- Reduces Health Risks
Losing extra skin and fat in the midsection can improve your health and reduce the risks of diabetes, heart disease, gallstones, and sleep apnea. In addition, having a tummy tuck can be part of a generally healthy lifestyle as you age.
- Prevents Hernias
When Dr. Smita strengthens the abdominal muscles, this can reduce the stress on the stomach muscles that can eventually cause a ventral hernia.
- Improved Bodily Function Control
Aging, being pregnant, and losing weight all can reduce our control over the bladder and bowels. These issues can be resolved by losing extra fat and skin in the belly. In addition, many patients report that they have better bowel and bladder control after a tummy tuck.
- Relieves Incontinence
After pregnancy, some women may have problems with accidental urine leaks when they sneeze, cough, or laugh. This is known as urinary incontinence, and a tummy tuck can reduce the problem.
Before and After Images
Ideal Candidates For A Tummy Tuck
Tummy tucks are good for men and women who are in good health and near their ideal body weight. You also should not smoke or have any serious health problems that could compromise your recovery or results.
You should not confuse this procedure with liposuction, which removes extra fat from the abdomen. But Dr. Smita can perform liposuction while doing the tummy tuck. Doing liposuction with a tummy tuck can provide outstanding results for most patients.
Good candidates are often women who have had children and have extra fat and loose skin in the belly they cannot lose with diet and exercise.
Other good candidates are men or women who have lost weight but have loose fat and skin in the abdomen.
If you plan to get pregnant again, you probably should wait to have your tummy tuck; pregnancy will undo your results.
Surgery Preparation For Tummy Tuck
Smoking can boost the chance of complications and slow healing, so you need to stop several weeks before and after the procedure. You also need to stop using any type of nicotine for at least a month before surgery and two weeks after.
It’s also essential to eat healthy, well-balanced meals before and after surgery. You should not be dieting when getting ready for a tummy tuck because good nutrition is necessary for healing. In addition, there can be complications if you don’t eat a healthy diet. Talk to Dr. Smita for eating tips after the procedure.
Dr. Smita also may have you stop taking certain medications before surgery that thin the blood. These include aspirin and NSAIDs. She will let you know when it’s safe to retake these medications.
Before surgery, you should set up a comfortable recovery area at home that includes comfortable clothing, plenty of movies and books, a handheld shower, and a telephone within reach.
Surgery Preparation for Breast Augmentation
There are several things that you will need to do before your breast implant surgery. First, as noted above, you should not smoke for several weeks before and after the procedure.
You also will need blood tests to ensure that you’re in good enough health to have surgery. Some doctors also may want to have you take a mammogram or stress test to check your cardiovascular health.
It’s also critical not to take aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications before and after surgery because they can cause bleeding.
Tummy Tuck Risks And Complications
Most tummy tucks are done with excellent results and few complications. However, you will have some pain and swelling after your tummy tuck, and Dr. Smita will prescribe pain medication if needed.
You will be sore for several weeks, and you also may experience numbness, bruising, and fatigue. These issues usually resolve after one or two months.
As with all surgeries, there are risks; you have a higher chance of complications if you have diabetes, lung cancer, heart disease, liver disease, or poor circulation.
Some potential complications are:
- Excessive bleeding
- Fluid accumulation
- Blood clots
- Poor incision healing
Some patients also may experience fat necrosis, wound separation, and asymmetrical results. In addition, a revision procedure may be necessary for some complications.
It’s important to attend your follow-up appointments with Dr. Smita to ensure your recovery is going well.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
The tummy tuck is one of the most invasive cosmetic procedures, and you will need several weeks to recover. So expect to give yourself plenty of time to heal and have a rest from certain activities and responsibilities for a while.
If you have small children, you will need help with them for at least two weeks; you cannot lift anything more than 10 pounds during this time.
Dr. Smita will give you an abdominal binder to wear for four to six weeks to reduce fluid buildup and support your belly. She also may give you an antibiotic and an anticoagulant.
You will probably need to avoid strenuous activities for about six weeks, but taking a daily walk is good for your health and healing. Also, you should not drink alcohol if you’re taking pain medication.
It will be several weeks before you get back to normal, and you won’t be able to drive for about a month. Dr. Smita will check in during your recovery to determine when you should start to increase your activity level.
For patients interested in other procedures, please discuss your goals with Dr. Smita. Having more than one procedure at a time allows you to have all your recovery done at once, and it’s most cost-effective.
Tummy Tuck FAQ
Some of the most common questions about tummy tucks include:
What Does A Tummy Tuck Do?
This procedure can remove loose skin and fat, as well as tighten the abdominal muscles. It also can remove stretch marks from pregnancy and extra skin below the belly button. But a tummy tuck won’t change stretch marks outside this area.
Will A Tummy Tuck Make My Waist Smaller?
Your waist may be smaller after Dr. Smita removes extra fat and skin. However, if you have too much excess fat in the belly or flanks, Dr. Smita may also recommend liposuction.
Can I Climb Stairs After A Tummy Tuck?
You cannot engage in heavy exercise or lifting for about six weeks, and you can drive after about two weeks. But be careful when climbing stairs, especially when you’re taking prescription pain medication.
What Is The Average Cost Of A Tummy Tuck?
Prices vary by city, but the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports the average cost is $6,154. That price does not include general anesthesia and operating room costs.
Is It Worth It To Get A Tummy Tuck?
While you need to wait several months to see the full results, the good news is most patients are delighted with their tummy tuck. Furthermore, the results will last for many years if you keep a steady weight.
Also, the tummy tuck has a 97% ‘worth it’ rating on RealSelf.com.
Can I Sleep On My Belly?
You cannot sleep on your stomach for three to four weeks after a tummy tuck. So, before your procedure, try to get accustomed to sleeping on your back.
Can I Do Sit-Ups After A Tummy Tuck?
After seven to 10 weeks, you should be able to get back to many forms of exercise, including sit-ups, crunches, and planks.
What Will My Scar Look Like?
The scar generally runs from hip to hip and can’t be seen if you’re wearing underwear or a swimsuit.
How Long Will My Tummy Tuck Last?
A tummy tuck is considered a permanent procedure because the skin and fat that Dr. Smita removes cannot come back. However, if you maintain a steady weight, you can expect your tummy tuck to last 15 years or more.
However, if you gain weight or become pregnant, you may undo your tummy tuck results.
Is A Tummy Tuck Painful?
You should be prepared for a one to two-month recovery from a tummy tuck, and you may experience mild to moderate pain. Dr. Smita will prescribe pain medication for the first one or two weeks, and then over-the-counter medication should suffice.
How Long Do I Have To Be Bent Over?
It is recommended to stay hunched over while walking for about two weeks after the procedure. This will increase your comfort and allow the body to heal.
Will Fat Come Back After A Tummy Tuck?
The fat that is removed by a tummy tuck cannot grow back. But there still will be fat left in the abdomen that can grow if you gain weight. You also can gain weight in other parts of the body. That’s why it’s essential to maintain a steady weight after your tummy tuck.
You can ensure that your results last for 10 years or more by maintaining your weight. If you gain or lose a lot of weight, it could undo your results.
Am I Too Old For A Tummy Tuck?
There isn’t a cutoff age for having a tummy tuck. More important than your age is your physical fitness, weight, and overall health. There are many patients well over 50 who have a successful tummy tuck.
How Many Sizes Can I Lose With A Tummy Tuck?
How many sizes you can lose depends on your starting point and how your body reacts to the procedure. Most patients lose at least two or three pants sizes after a tummy tuck. However, if you had a lot of loose skin, you may go down up to four pant sizes.
Why Is My Belly Not Flat After A Tummy Tuck?
Some people may not have a completely flat abdomen after the tummy tuck. This is because the contents of the abdomen are pushing out behind your abdominal muscles. Dr. Smita will tighten your abdominal muscles as much as possible to give you a flat stomach.
How Long Will My Abdomen Feel Tight After A Tummy Tuck?
Most patients have a tight feeling in the skin and muscles of the abdomen for six to 12 weeks. However, some patients need longer for normal sensation to come back as the tissues heal.
How Much Skin Will Be Removed During A Tummy Tuck?
This varies by case. Some factors that influence how much skin is removed are how much loose skin you have, your weight, and the type of tummy tuck Dr. Smita performs.
Patients usually lose between four and 15 pounds during a tummy tuck.
Tummy Tuck Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at
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Tummy Tuck Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at