Am I Eligible For a Tummy Tuck?

You're in good company if you're interested in a tummy tuck. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recently revealed that abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is one of the three most sought-after surgical cosmetic procedures. They've risen by 37% over the last few years. 

When determining whether you're eligible for a tummy tuck, getting an expert opinion and personalized advice matters most. At Walter D Gracia, MD, PA, that's exactly what we do. Dr. Gracia has more than three decades of tummy tuck experience, and he takes the time to assess your needs, explain your options, and recommend the correct procedure for you.

Many patients who come to our office for tummy tuck consultations have questions about their candidacy and whether this procedure suits them. So, for our December blog, we discussed what makes patients good candidates for a tummy tuck. 

It might be a good option if you answer "yes" to the following things. 

You’re bothered by extra skin and fat 

Many people focus on extra fat when thinking about a tummy tuck, but that's not the only factor in deciding whether you're eligible for the procedure. Many people have extra skin, too. 

This is very common in patients who recently lost a significant amount of weight, for example, people who undergo bariatric surgery. 

Many women who have a baby experience extra skin and fat in their abdomen, even years after the baby's birth. Alongside the extra skin and fat, it's quite common to experience abdominal muscle weakening and damage following pregnancy and childbirth. This is what leads to a "pooch" in the abdomen. 

Having extra skin and fat in your belly can make you feel frustrated, embarrassed, and discouraged. It may erode your self-confidence. If that sounds familiar, a tummy tuck could be a good procedure to think about. 

Dr. Gracia might recommend another alternative, like liposuction if you only have a limited amount of extra fat with good skin elasticity.  

You’re at or close to your ideal weight

You must maintain a healthy weight for 6-12 months before scheduling your tummy tuck. Ideally, this means being within 10-15 pounds of your goal weight. 

Being at a stable weight means you get more predictable and optimized results from the tummy tuck. So, if you have some extra weight to lose, we recommend working on that first. 

Similarly, if you plan to have another baby in the future, your weight will change significantly. So, it's best to wait until you're done having babies, and your weight stabilizes. 

Dr. Gracia is happy to discuss your future plans with you so he can help you decide the right time for a tummy tuck if you're a good candidate.

You have realistic expectations

A tummy tuck can dramatically slim your belly and give you a more toned and youthful look. 

But knowing that a tummy tuck isn't a substitute for eating healthy and exercising is essential. Without effort, the results of your tummy tuck can be undone as you gain weight.

After achieving your slimmed-down new appearance, you must be committed to keeping it. Staying close to your goal weight and exercising regularly to maintain abdominal muscle tone can help you get the long-lasting results you want.

It's also important to know that tummy tuck results aren't instantaneous. You'll have some downtime (usually 2-4 weeks away from work, depending on your job) and must abstain from strenuous activities for six weeks.

Healing is gradual, over several months, and it could take up to a year to see your full results. But, the wait is worth it, according to the many patients Dr. Gracia regularly performs tummy tucks for.  

The tummy tuck experience is different for everyone, and Dr. Gracia and our compassionate team help you understand what to expect and give you the support you need. 

Want to learn more or are ready to schedule your tummy buck consultation? Call our office or reach out online now.

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