A sculpted six-pack abdomen and zero fat around the waist and hips…aren’t these the dreams for most people? But instead, you have a jiggling tummy and love handles that protrude embarrassingly over the waistband of your pants. You’ve tried rigorous exercise and strict diets – but the fat is still stubbornly sitting on your abdomen. Maybe it’s time for a tummy tuck?
What is a tummy tuck?
Simply put, a tummy tuck is a surgical procedure in which the excess fat in the abdominal area is removed. This gives the area a more sculpted and defined look. It is done when the excess fat creates bulges around the midriff, most commonly known as a ‘muffin top’. Apart from removing the fat, the tummy tuck also tones the ab muscles and reduces stretch marks in the skin.
The procedure is performed under either general or local anaesthesia, depending on the size of the fat removal being considered.
Is it risky?
Though the procedure itself is safe, there may be some potentially harmful side effects for those with pre-existing health conditions. Surgical removal of fat can be quite a shock to the system, and those with heart, lung, liver, and kidney conditions are advised to stay away from it. Those with good immunity and with all major organs in good condition may consider it. However, let your physician take a health scan to check your vitals before clearing you for the procedure.
Also, a full fat removal often leaves scars around the navel, while a mini tummy tuck has minimal scarring. The doctor is best placed to advise you on the type of tummy tuck you require.
Types of tummy tuck procedures in Dubai
Dubai is one of the most sought-after destinations for tummy tucks. You can find multiple options for tummy tucks in Dubai, which include:
- Conventional Abdominoplasty: This is a traditional and common procedures, in which the belly button is repositioned after the incision is made around it and the bikini line.
- Mini Abdominoplasty: This procedure is done to repair loose skin in the lower abdomen area. It also repairs the loose muscles around the belly button for a firmer look.
- Lipoabdominoplasty: This procedure involves both a mini tummy tuck and liposuction. It sculpts the waist and removes bulges from the sides. After liposuction removes the excess fat, the tissue is ‘pulled’ to create a firmer look and feel.
- Reverse abdominoplasty: In this procedure, excess skin is removed by making an incision under the breasts. It is useful for removing loose skin.
- Circumferential abdominoplasty: This procedure removes all the loose skin in the abdominal area. The doctor makes an incision around the entire waistline. This procedure is commonly used with people who have lost a lot of weight and who have loose folds of skin in the tummy area.
How to care for yourself before the procedure
The doctor will clear you for the procedure after a full health and skin analysis, and after studying any medication you may be on. Change your diet a few days before the procedure: consume light meals, and stay away from high calorie junk food and fizzy drinks. If you smoke, it might be a good idea to stop smoking for at least 10 days prior to the procedure. Keep yourself hydrated and get enough sleep every night.
Does it hurt after the procedure?
You will feel some intense pain for a few days after the tummy tuck – this is normal and can be controlled by taking doctor-prescribed painkillers. Every time you stand up, you will feel like your tummy is being ‘pulled’ downwards. This causes some discomfort and you may feel this for a few weeks or even a couple of months. However, you will feel less pain as the days pass. If the pain is unbearable even after taking the pain meds, consult your doctor who can look at the incisions and dressings and check for possible signs of infection.
Post-procedure care is most important!
Once the procedure is over, the doctor will keep you in the clinic for a few hours to observe you. You will be made to walk in a few hours after the procedure so that there is adequate blood circulation in the treated area. Once you are home, you are advised to be on the move but not to exercise – moderate activity around the house prevents blood and fluid from pooling in the treated area. The chances of blood clots in the legs are also reduced.
Take good care to see that the dressings on the stomach and the little drains at various points are not disturbed. The drains remove any excess fluid build-up. These are removed in 48 hours after the procedure. After this, a binder or compression garment is put around the treated area to keep the tuck in place. You must wear this binder for at least 6 weeks.
Do not exercise or lift heavy objects for at least a month after the procedure. The body needs time to heal, and intense activity can hamper the recovery process. If all goes well, you can expect complete recovery in about 6 to 7 weeks.
Your diet in the post-procedure state determines your healing rate. Help your body heal faster by consuming Vitamins A and C via food or supplements, drinking green tea to provide antioxidants, eating papaya and adding turmeric to food to reduce inflammation, and so on. The doctor may put you on Staphysagria supplements to allow the incisions to heal faster. If the medicines make you sick, you can have mint or ginger tea to relieve nausea. Give yourself adequate time to heal and rest after the procedure, making sure you walk about a few times a day, sit up to eat a meal, etc. Consume light meals and avoid being in bed all day. However, don’t go out to shop for groceries or pick up the kids from school or resume your outdoor activity right away.