There’s no feeling quite like standing on the scales and realizing you’ve met your goal body weight.
After months of disciplined nutrition and exercise, the feeling of accomplishment is truly one to be celebrated.
Nonetheless, the hard fact remains that when the human body loses significant amounts of fatty tissue, our skin can be unpleasantly stretched without the ability to return to its former state. This issue is particularly problematic for the abdominal region, where stretched skin from significant weight loss causes loose, flabby skin folds which don’t do your hard work justice.
Fortunately, there are cosmetic procedures available to eliminate this excess skin. Here, Dr. Sayed discusses the options available to patients who have done the hard work but now need to add final touch-ups to their physique.
What causes loose skin after weight loss?
The human skin is our largest organ.
It is the first barrier between our bodies and the outside world, meaning it protects us from all manner of pathogens and illnesses. Composed of structural proteins, our skin grows and adapts to our body size and weight.
When we gain an excessive amount of weight, our skin compensates by stretching over the larger surface area. However, there is a point of no return, and once stretched too far, our skin loses its elastic properties and can’t return to its original formation.
This leaves loose skin in the areas that shrink after weight loss and pregnancy. As such, cosmetic surgeons must surgically remove the excess skin to provide a tight, smooth skin surface in these regions.
Abdominoplasty – The Tummy Tuck
The most common treatment for stretched skin after weight loss is the tummy tuck. A well-known procedure, the tummy tuck removes excess skin from the lower abdominal region to tighten up the entire area.
Not only does a tummy tuck provide a more aesthetically pleasing belly, but it offers structural support to the abdominal organs and lower back, which Improves the health and quality of life of the patient while making them look better at the same time.
In many cases, women who have given birth also consider an abdominoplasty or a more comprehensive approach to tightening their post-natal body with a mommy makeover, which includes a breast lift and can also include vaginal rejuvenation.
After doing the hard work and losing your excess body weight, you deserve to reward yourself with a physique that reflects your determined, empowered self. If you find yourself concerned with excess abdominal skin post fat loss, a tummy tuck with Dr. Tim Sayed in Newport Beach or La Jolla, CA, can help you realize the physique you deserve. Please don’t hesitate to reach out on 18582472933 or via this online form to arrange a quick virtual consultation to discover how we can help you look and feel your best.
Each year, plastic surgeons in the U.S. perform over 130,000 tummy tucks, making it one of the five most popular cosmetic procedures. Because the tummy tuck can fix cosmetic and medical concerns, it’s no wonder that it is such a sought-after cosmetic procedure.
For patients with an excessive amount of extra, loose skin surrounding their abdomen, the tummy tuck can remove this skin and provide a tighter, more aesthetically pleasing waistline. The procedure also tightens stretched abdominal muscles, which increases the structural support to the abdominal organs and spine. This improves posture, relieves back pain, and reduces other medical complications like hernias.
At his gold-standard plastic surgery practice in Newport Beach and La Jolla, CA, Dr. Tim Sayed is often asked how tummy tuck results can be further improved.
One way to dramatically improve the results from a tummy tuck is by combining the procedure with liposuction. Here, Dr. Sayed discusses the different motivations patients have for undergoing a tummy tuck and how liposuction can be a beneficial addition to the operation.
Why Do Patients Choose a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is performed either out of choice, to improve the abdomen’s aesthetic appearance, or out of necessity to solve medical complications caused by excess skin and tissue.
Aesthetic Tummy Tuck
Most tummy tuck patients choose the procedure for aesthetic reasons. After pregnancy or significant weight loss, the skin surrounding the lower abdomen can become stretched, loose, and unsightly, which motivates patients towards a tummy tuck. (In fact, two of the fundamental procedure in a mommy-makeover are the tummy tuck and liposuction!).
Combining liposuction in the right patient can help enhance the waistline, improve the flatness of the abdomen, reduce extra bulges around the flanks, and add definition to the skin surface, in some cases simulating a more fit-appearing, muscular abdomen. For some patients, getting high-definition liposuction will further improve the results.
Liposuction in certain zones of the abdomen must be done with caution, especially if patients with higher body mass index (BMI) and in the upper central area, due to blood supply and wound healing precautions.
A Tummy Tuck—sometimes referred to as an abdominoplasty—is a cosmetic surgical procedure that creates a significantly slimmer, tighter stomach profile. By removing excess skin, fat, and tissue while tightening your abdominal wall muscles, Dr. Sayed can transform your stomach in just a few hours. While patients love this procedure and its impressive results, a tummy tuck requires considerable financial and time commitment.
To see the best results, you’ll need to plan ahead and carefully follow every step of the post-op recovery process. While this might sound daunting, you’re not alone. Dr. Sayed and our entire team are here to help you at every stage of your journey. Dr. Sayed has worked with patients of all ages and genders and has extensive experience performing this nuanced surgery. If you ever have a question, chances are he’s heard it before. There is no detail too small or concern too mundane.
We’ll provide you with all the knowledge and tips to ensure a safe and speedy recovery. Generally, we recommend patients take about six months to plan for their tummy tuck. Below, we’ve broken down each stage of the planning process to give you a full picture of what to expect. That said, every tummy tuck is custom-built to suit your aesthetic goals, lifestyle, and anatomy.
As such, no two surgeries will be identical. In some instances, a patient might need less (or more) than six months to prepare. More information will only help, but please note that the only way to determine what’s best for you is to schedule an in-person consultation with Dr. Sayed.
Four to Six Months Prior to Surgery
During this initial planning period, it’s up to you to get your body and mind ready for surgery—and life afterward. Though a tummy tuck will transform your body, it’s up to you to maintain results. It’s critical to begin making holistic, healthy lifestyle choices.
These include maintaining a nutritionally rich and balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate hydration, and stress management. Focus on incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into your daily meals and drinking water throughout the day. These habits will provide your body with the nutrients and vitamins it needs to heal as fast as possible and stay trim post-tummy tuck.
If you’re a tobacco smoker, you should also begin the process of quitting. Dr. Sayed recommends limiting how much alcohol you drink from this point on, as well. As both tobacco and alcohol consumption play a significant part in your body’s ability to heal and fight infections, these are incredibly important considerations to keep in mind.
Now is also the time to begin researching and determining prospective doctors. Many top surgeons book three to four months ahead, so getting an early start on scheduling consultations can only help make the process easier for you and your doctor.
By now, your fitness routine should be locked in, and you should ideally be quite close (or at) your ideal weight. As we’ve mentioned, maintaining a healthy body weight post-tummy tuck is the key to upkeeping lifelong results. And by starting ahead of time, you’ll ensure you have the skills and practice to make this possible.
It’s best to conduct your consultations at this stage and decide which doctor suits your needs best. These meetings are the perfect time to ask any questions you have. Once you’ve determined who’s best, you’ll work together with your board-certified cosmetic surgeon to build a unique treatment plan.
At this point, we provide our clients with a full picture of what to expect throughout the pre and post-op periods to ensure you have ample time to prepare.
Three Months Pre-Tummy Tuck
Once you’ve reached the three-month mark, you should have found a surgeon and chosen your surgery dates. It’s then time to begin setting up your recovery plan; schedule time off work, figure out childcare and pet accommodations, and build your post-op home support network.
Dr. Sayed will provide you with an in-depth list of everything you’ll need to take care of. For tobacco product users, you’ll need to quit altogether at the three-month point. It’s time to get excited about your new tighter tummy!
One Month Pre-Tummy Tuck
During these final weeks before your abdominoplasty, it’s vital to go over your plans for the big day and recovery. Purchase any supplies you’ll need (we’ll make sure you have everything), and start to craft your recovery environment. Staying cozy and comfy is a significant part of making your recovery as easy as possible.
We recommend patients purchase:
Firm pillows for elevated sleeping
Loose, comfortable clothing
Underwear that’s easy to remove
OTC pain medication and ice packs
Prescribed compression garments (if necessary)
Meal prepping at this stage can be a huge help, as well. Taking the stress out of figuring out what to eat during recovery will make everything easier. Plus, by preparing your meals ahead of time, you’ll help to ensure you maintain healthy eating habits as your body heals.
In the last few days before surgery, you should be checking off all your pre-op checklist items. Also be sure to wear comfy clothes on surgery day. Dr. Sayed will meet with you day-of to check-in and make sure all your last-minute questions are answered.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you want to learn more about a tummy tuck with Dr. Sayed, your next step is to schedule a consultation. We are currently offering both in-person and virtual consultations to ensure the safety of our patients. Get in touch with our La Jolla or Newport Beach, CA, offices by giving us a call at 858-247-2933 or contacting us online today.
Many of our tummy tuck patients are recent mothers, as pregnancy has a special knack for leaving behind loose skin, excess fat, and sometimes even splayed abdominal muscles. When possible, Dr. Sayed recommends all his patients wait to get their tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) until after they’ve finished building their family.
With that said, tummy tucks don’t change your ability to get pregnant or have a healthy child. Having an abdominoplasty won’t affect your fertility or cause any medical issues during pregnancy or childbirth. But, that doesn’t mean pregnancy won’t have an effect on the aesthetic results of your procedure.
Below, we’ll go into detail about exactly how pregnancy post-tummy tuck looks, figuring out the right time for a pregnancy, and why Dr. Sayed recommends waiting until after you’re done having children to receive this groundbreaking procedure.
The Right Time for a Tummy Tuck
Having a baby changes so much about your life and body. Aside from the emotional growth, life-altering love, and plain magic of creating a life, your body’s natural changes can make even the strictest diets and exercise routines feel futile. Pregnancy’s stretching of the body can also often lead to a condition called diastasis, which is the technical term for the rectus abdominis muscles separating. Abdominoplasty surgery removes loose and excess skin while tightening the abdominal wall and is a perfect solution to get your pre-body baby back in a single operation.
So why wait until after you’ve had all your kids to get a tummy tuck? Any significant amount of weight fluctuation can affect tummy tuck results in unpredictable ways. With pregnancy, not only will you experience rapid weight gain, but the stretching of the skin a second time can also lead to unwanted cosmetic results, especially after you lose your baby weight.
Of course, every body is unique and responds differently to pregnancy after a tummy tuck. If you plan on getting pregnant in the future, be sure to talk with Dr. Sayed to learn about all the options available to provide sculpting and fat removal. That way, we can determine a safe and effective treatment plan to provide ideal results.
The Benefits of Waiting
Aside from avoiding skin stretching and weight fluctuation, postponing your tummy tuck offers some other benefits as well. One of the most convenient is combining your abdominoplasty with a sterilization procedure like tubal ligation. If you combine these procedures, you’ll only need to deal with one operation and a single recovery period. Dr. Sayed can also employ several techniques to specifically target the reduction of stretch marks and C-section scarring caused by pregnancy.
Dr. Sayed understands life is unpredictable, and things change. Sometimes, that includes deciding to become pregnant after a tummy tuck. If you find yourself in this position, be sure to talk with Dr. Sayed to chart the best path forward and answer any of your questions.
Generally, if you become pregnant post-tummy tuck, you may not “show” as early as an average pregnancy. This phenomenon is usually due to the tightened abdominal muscles and skin and should not cause any medical concern. There is no evidence that getting pregnant after a tummy tuck poses any risk to the health of you or your baby.
How Soon Is Too Soon?
Often our patients ask Dr. Sayed if he can perform a tummy tuck at the same time as their C-section. The answer, unfortunately, is no. In the initial period after your pregnancy, the body needs time to heal before you can have a successful tummy tuck. Why? Immediately after delivering a baby, the uterus is still larger than normal, which can prevent Dr. Sayed from optimally tightening your abdominal muscles and removing skin. Further, most women need a few months to return to their ideal body weight to maximize their results.
Finally, tummy tuck patients need to avoid lifting any heavy objects for a few weeks following the procedure, which can be particularly difficult with a newborn in the home. Giving yourself the necessary time to fully heal and recover ensures Dr. Sayed can provide the results you want.
Schedule a Consultation
Deciding to get a tummy tuck after pregnancy is a significant decision. Our entire team is here to help you feel confident in your choice and answer any of your questions and concerns.
If you think a tummy tuck could be right for you, the next step is to schedule an in-person consultation at our San Diego, CA, offices. To get in touch, give us a call at 858-24SAYED or contact us online today.
For many women, abdominoplasty helps them regain a beautiful, feminine figure. While the treatment itself is critical, recovery makes up an essential part of the overall process. If you don’t recover correctly or safely, you may not enjoy the full potential of your treatment.
When you have an abdominoplasty completed by our San Diego plastic surgeon, this is the process you can expect for recovery:
Immediately After Surgery
Once the procedure is over, you’ll spend a few hours in the postoperative suite as we monitor your vitals. We’ll keep an eye out for blood clotting and other common side effects that may compromise the healing process.
You’ll be discharged in the care of a friend or family member and sent home with a set of post-procedure instructions. In the first 24 hours after surgery, you may get a few phone calls from our staff checking in, and we’ll provide an on-call number for you to reach our team or Dr. Sayed in case of emergency.
Having someone to help you maneuver around your home the first few days following your abdominoplasty is especially important. The pain medication you’ll receive can make you dizzy, which makes basic tasks more difficult than usual. Having an extra pair of helping hands will ensure you can concentrate on rest and recovery.
1 Week after Surgery
The first weeks after surgery are the most challenging. Patients often find that they are slightly stooped and that their skin feels tight. While we don’t recommend strenuous physical activity, Dr. Sayed strongly suggests walking around your home a little bit every day, starting the day you return home. This light activity helps stimulate circulation and eases the soreness that often accompanies this treatment. Beyond walking around your home, we strongly recommend patients take at least two weeks off from work and put their social calendars on hold for the first month after treatment.
As with any surgery, patients may experience physical discomforts, such as abdominal pain, cramping, nausea, and back discomfort. These side effects are completely normal, and our plastic surgeon can provide you and your caregiver with suggestions for alleviating your discomfort without compromising your recovery.
About a week following your appointment, you’ll visit our San Diego or Newport Beach offices for a follow-up appointment. During this visit, we’ll check on the incision site and remove any stitches that have not yet dissolved. We may take out the surgical drains at this time as well, depending on how the healing progresses.
Post-Abdominoplasty Four Weeks and Beyond
Between weeks four and six in your recovery process, you’ll start to notice post-surgical bruising and swelling begin to subside. To continue healing safely, you’ll keep wearing a compression garment around the treated area. This helps the newly positioned abdominal tissues adapt to their contours while controlling swelling. Although you may still experience some discomfort, sudden pains will become less frequent.
Depending on how you’re healing, Dr. Sayed may give you the go-ahead to resume an exercise plan. However, we recommend taking it slow to protect a healing abdomen and muscles that haven’t been stretched strenuously for several months. Walks and light cardio are great ways to get back into an exercise routine as your body continues to adjust to its new figure.
Successful Recovery is Unique
Every patient has a unique abdominoplasty experience. While some heal entirely within three to four months, others may take longer. As a result, our San Diego plastic surgeon takes great care to create individualized treatment and recovery plans for every patient. Doing so allows Dr. Sayed not only to provide excellent care but also ensure that our patients enjoy the results of abdominoplasty for years to come. To learn more about this procedure, contact our locations in San Diego or Newport Beach today and schedule a consultation.
Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery, is one of the most popular procedures chosen by men and women every year. With its ability to sculpt and contour the abdomen, this transformative surgery is especially popular for those who want to get a tight, toned tummy just in time for summer.
When considering tummy tuck surgery, it’s important to know what to expect so you can plan accordingly. This helpful guide discusses everything you’ll need to know about the entire process – from your initial consultation to flaunting your new shape at the poolside.
Tummy Tuck Timeline: Your Personal Guide
Week 1: Consultation
Scheduling a consultation will be your first step. This meeting will allow you to have any questions or concerns addressed in detail by a plastic surgeon. Your candidacy for the procedure will be evaluated, and the surgeon will let you know which surgical approach would best meet your goals. Patients seeking this procedure typically have the following cosmetic concerns:
Sagging abdominal skin
Stubborn abdominal fat that does not respond to diet or exercise
Over-stretched abdominal muscles, usually caused by pregnancy
If you decide to take the next step, you will be provided with a customized treatment plan. The surgery is typically scheduled out 2-3 weeks from your consultation, but this can vary.
Week 3-4: Prep and Surgery
Before your surgery date, you may be required to undergo routine lab tests or obtain a medical evaluation. You might also have some pre-operative guidelines to follow, including minor dietary adjustments and taking or avoiding certain medications.
On the day of surgery, you can expect the procedure to take around 2-3 hours to complete, but this all depends on the extent of treatment needed. Some patients may only require 90 minutes, while others may need up to 4 hours to complete the procedure.
During the procedure, your surgeon will make an incision along the lower abdomen. The length of the incision will vary depending on your cosmetic goals and the amount of excess tissue present. Excess tissue will then be removed, and the abdominal wall and muscles will be tightened. Sometimes the procedure is also performed with liposuction to produce an ideally sculpted look.
Week 5-6: Beginning of Recovery
In the beginning of the recovery period, it’s common for patients to experience abdominal pain, bruising, and swelling. It’s also common for patients to walk in a slightly bent-over position for the first week or two after surgery. This is because the body needs to adjust to the tightened muscles.
For an optimal outcome, this part of your recovery should be spent resting, and you will be asked to wear a surgical compression garment to reduce swelling. This should be worn for about 3 months for best results. It’s best to take 2-3 weeks off from work, and you should also avoid driving during this time.
If any drains were placed after the procedure, they will be removed by your surgeon about 10-14 days after surgery. Most sutures used in tummy tuck surgery are dissolvable, but you may need to return to your surgeon’s office to have certain sutures removed at around 2-3 weeks after surgery.
Week 7-8: Getting Back to Normal
By this point, you will be past the peak of your recovery and back to some of your regular activities, including work. You can also start incorporating light fitness into your daily routine at around 4 weeks after surgery. Strenuous exercise can usually be resumed about 6 -7 weeks after surgery. You should still be wearing your compression garment as much as possible during this time.
Week 9-10: Enjoy Your Results!
At this point, you will be about 6 weeks post-op. That means you’ll be able to resume your regular exercise routine – and you’ll also be ready to flaunt your new shape! Most of your swelling should resolve by this point, but it’s still recommended that patients wear their compression garment as much as possible until around 3 months after surgery.
Overall, abdominoplasty is an effective way of restoring a fit, youthful appearance for those with excess skin and exercise-resistant fat on the abdomen. Ready to take the next step? Contact board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Tim Sayed to schedule your personal consultation today. Dr. Sayed serves both the Newport Beach and San Diego areas, and he would be happy to discuss your full range of surgical options.