However, before you hurry to sign up for a tummy tuck, make sure it's the right surgery for you. Often, people think they get the same benefits from a tummy tuck as they do with liposuction, and that's not the case. Here's a quick overview on who makes the best candidates for a tummy tuck.
According to Miami plastic surgeon, Robert Hunsaker, M.D., there are three things that make a person a good candidate for this surgery. You may be if you have a
1. relaxation of the abdominal muscle wall, usually due to pregnancy;
2. desire to safely deal with extra fat; or
3. want to remove lax abdominal skin, or lower skin with a lot stretch marks.
Depending on which of the reasons above you have for getting the surgery, the procedure itself is handled differently, explains Hunsaker. For example, to correct a collapsed abdominal muscle wall, the surgeon would separate the skin from your abdominal wall in order to reach the muscle. He would then stitch them to re-tighten the muscles. Excess skin is stretched and surgically removed.
If your goal is to safely deal with extra fat, you may benefit from combining a tummy tuck with liposuction -- only if you're a good candidate for both. Liposuction can be used to remove fat in certain areas while a tummy tuck deals with the extra skin. Finally, if stretchmarks are the problem, the surgeon would surgically cut the skin where they appear.
Hunsaker says he's seeing both men and women seeking tummy tucks, many of which lost a lot of weight on their own, or underwent bariatric or gastric bypass surgery to lose weight, and now want to deal with the extra skin.
One final note, abdominoplasty is not the same thing as abdominal etching. Abdominal etching only addresses excess fat and skin, whereas abdominoplasty also deals with repairing abdominal muscles.