A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty is a cosmetic surgery procedure used to make the abdomen thinner and firmer. The surgical process involves the removal of excess skin and fat from around the middle and lower abdomen. This tightens the muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall.

Sometimes a healthy diet and regular exercise just aren’t enough to give you the flat, toned core you want. If this is the case, a tummy tuck may be just the answer for the sleek silhouette you have been craving. A tummy tuck is simply designed to remove excess fat and loose skin while restoring your abdominal muscles in the process. Here are five key things to know if you are considering a tummy tuck.

  • There is more than one tummy tuck procedure. The mini-tummy tuck focuses on the lower abdomen to tighten loose skin. A regular tummy tuck removes excess skin while tightening underlying muscles. The extended tummy tuck targets the entire lower torso. A qualified plastic surgeon can help you determine which procedure will best suits your needs and goals.
  • The recovery from a tummy tuck lasts several weeks as a tummy tuck is an extensive procedure. It requires more recovery time than a lot of other cosmetic surgeries. Recovery can take up the three weeks. The recovery is comparable to having undergone a C-section. Depending on type of tummy tuck you choose, you may require assistance at home for up to five days. You will be prescribed appropriate pain medication for a short duration and you will need to rest and recover for the length of time your surgeon indicates.
  • Tummy tucks are not a weight loss measure. You will need to lose weight before your procedure. You cannot rely on the surgery to resolve any long-standing weight loss issues. If you have already lost a dramatic amount of weight you should postpone abdominoplasty surgery for six months up to a year just to be sure your new weight is stable.
  • The results from tummy tuck are long-lasting. In order to maintain your results over time, you should avoid large variations in your weight. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons released a promising report in 2013 that stated many subjects in a post-abdominoplasty study sustained long-lasting weight loss after the procedure.
  • Tummy tucks are for men too! While tummy tucks are popular with women who have had multiple pregnancies, they can also really help those who have lost a lot of weight. Men also suffer from loose muscles and sagging skin that won’t be improved by exercise or diet—it’s not just a girl thing!
  • There are multiple benefits to a tummy tuck including feeling better about how you look and having the silhouette you want, your clothes will fit better, and you will feel better when you see yourself in the mirror. A tummy tuck is a wonderful gift to yourself after achieving your weight loss goals or after your childbearing days are over.