Encino, plastic surgeon George Sanders, has performed more than 10,000 procedures in more than 30 years of practice, and the Harvard-trained surgeon says his number one goal is to educate his patients about what plastic surgery can and can’t do. “I want my patients to be happy with the end result and for part of that success to begin before we go into the operating room,” he explains.
While advances in surgery have made some procedures easier for a patient to undergo, Dr. Sanders says there are still many misconceptions about tummy tucks and what really goes into these transformative treatments. “There are some significant improvements in body sculpting surgery and patients often come up with questions based on what they see on social media or conversations they have with friends,” he says. “The best thing to do is make an appointment to see a qualified surgeon to discuss any questions you may have.” Here, Dr. Sanders shares answers to the most important questions his patients ask before and after a tummy tuck.
Do you have to be at your ideal weight for a tummy tuck?
“Sometimes patients bring in pictures of a 20-year-old model, a 55-year-old who is slightly overweight, not exercising, but striving to achieve this dramatic transformation. There are many issues with that, but perhaps it’s about One of the most important is the type of fat we can treat with a tummy tuck. It’s the fat just under the skin. It’s not fat around the organs, and it’s not fat within the abdominal muscle layer. We’re above muscle in terms of our approach to fat intake. So, if you want to get Best outcome, we always encourage patients to try to reach their ideal body weight or at least be within 10 pounds of it.”
How much fat can be removed?
“The fat we target is in the upper abdomen. A lot of people with a lot of fullness come in the upper abdomen, in part because of muscle relaxation, which we correct with surgery. However, there may also be a large amount of fat Right under the skin in that area.We can only safely take out a certain amount of fat in that area at the time of tummy tuck because of the blood flow to the skin.Not only does the blood come from the upper body, but it also comes directly from the muscles underneath.When we disrupt the part Coming from the muscles, because we’re lifting the skin, the blood supply we need is now coming from the top. If we’re doing a lot of liposuction, it’s going to damage that blood supply.”
Do I need a muscle strain?
“Not every patient needs a muscle stretch. During some tummy tucks, we tighten two large muscles on either side of the abdomen called the rectus muscles. When you’re pregnant, these muscles tend to stretch. In many women, they come back a small distance, but if they have People who have had multiple pregnancies, this distance tends to remain extended and we call this diastole straight.In those cases, the muscles need to be corrected by surgical tightening.If there is no separation there, we do not always need to stretch the muscles, so It’s part of the screening we do beforehand.”
Will I recover for several months?
“I always point out that you’ll be pretty much just a potato for two weeks. You’ll be able to get up and do a little bit of walking, but no exercise. After those two weeks you’ll be able to start driving in and out of the car, but I don’t encourage any kind of cardio. Important vascular at that point Give it four weeks before you do cardio again. Then six weeks go by before you’re completely allowed to do anything you want. And the reason for that is that when you tighten your abs, we do it with a stitch that holds things together for six Approximately weeks. By then the body has formed scar tissue that allows it to hold the string. We need to give the body a chance to achieve strength and that is why you should also avoid lifting weights.”
Will my scar be larger than that of a caesarean section?
Another question patients often ask is, “How long does a scar have to be?” Often times, they will compare it to a C-section scar and ask if they can have a scar of the same length with a tummy tuck. The scar associated with a tummy tuck procedure is usually longer if you need to tighten your abdominal muscles. The second issue relates to how much skin you remove in the upper and lower directions. In most tummy tucks, we remove all the skin between the navel and the pubic area and this is of a certain length.”
Will you make me a new belly button?
“We don’t actually make a new belly button. What we do is cut off the old navel and lift the skin that allows us to tighten the muscle and then pull that skin down. Normally, the belly button is opened all the way to the area where we cut the skin, so that those are removed The opening. Then we take out your belly button exactly where it was before we started the surgery. So, it’s still your belly button, but because the skin around it is tighter and firmer, it tends to be rejuvenated.”
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