A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a major cosmetic surgery procedure that is not necessarily appropriate for all patients. While there are no laws about who can receive a tummy tuck and who is not a prime candidate, many surgeons proceed with caution on patients who do not fit the requirements of the ideal candidate for both the safety and the satisfaction of the patient herself.
Candidates for a Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck is a procedure designed to remove excess skin from the lower abdomen, tighten the muscles and then smooth skin down over the abdomen to create a flatter stomach where there may have been excess skin and fatty pouch previously. In general, most patients seeking a tummy tuck are women, but men may opt for a tummy tuck as well if they have lost significant amounts of weight. Women seeking a tummy tuck should be finished having children. If a woman becomes pregnant after a tummy tuck, she is risking stretching the skin out over her abdomen again and negating any benefits she had from the procedure previously.
While it’s not physically impossible or even dangerous to become pregnant following a tummy tuck, those who do wind up wasting the thousands of dollars spent on the surgery to correct the damage pregnancy left behind by becoming pregnant again.
Weight and Tummy Tucks
A tummy tuck does remove some fat and loose skin, but it is not a weight loss procedure. The tummy tuck is generally only performed on patients who have maintained a steady weight for a long period of time, at minimum six months. Once the tummy tuck is performed, the patient risks stretching the skin again and losing the definition of the flat tummy should she gain large amounts of weight.
Patients seeking a tummy tuck should be able to maintain a healthy weight into the indefinite future. It is permissible, of course, for the patient to lose weight should she want to lose another five or ten pounds, but weight gain will reduce or eliminate any benefits gained from the surgery.