Before-and-after photos of a plastic surgeon and reviews posted by real patients are two of the most popular tools used by women and men considering tummy tuck surgery before selecting a surgeon. While reviews provide self-explanatory first-person accounts of a patient’s experience, knowing what to look for in before-and-after photos is not as obvious.
When reviewing a surgeon’s abdominoplasty before-and-after photos, we believe there are three key elements to look for, and we’ll explain why in this blog post.
What is the purpose of a tummy tuck?
Before we get into what to look for in before-and-after photos, it’s important to understand why people get tummy tucks in the first place. Women and men who have lost a significant amount of weight, or women who have had one or more pregnancies, are frequently left with stretched abdominal skin that does not “snap back” to fit their bodies’ new contours. Exercise and dieting are ineffective. It can be disheartening for someone to work hard to lose weight only to feel self-conscious about his or her body due to excess skin.
A tummy tuck is a transformational procedure that removes excess skin and, if necessary, repairs abdominal muscles that have been stretched during pregnancy.
3 Elements of Good Abdominoplasty Results
If you look at the “after” photos of tummy tuck patients, you’ll notice that there is no excess skin. That in and of itself is quite impressive. However, there are nuances that distinguish good results from great outcomes.
Scar should be low and inconspicuous.
A tummy tuck incision should be made just above the pubic area and should extend from hip bone to hip bone. It should be easily hidden within the under garments and should not show when you wear your swimming clothes.
A natural appearing belly button.
Few people give much thought to the appearance of their belly-buttons. However, during a full tummy tuck, they can be crucial to patient satisfaction. When the surgeon stretches and removes a significant amount of your abdominal skin during a tummy tuck, your proportions shift–and your former bellybutton is lost in the process. Surgeons make a new opening to accommodate the existing umbilical stalk.
An excellent plastic surgeon spends extra time in the operating room to ensure that the belly button appears natural. It should not resemble a circle, but a slit that is too narrow is also undesirable. It should appear as if the patient was born with this belly button. Additionally, during surgery, the skin and fat around the belly button should be “tacked down” to create a natural “funnelling” effect. A tummy that is “too flat” is also a dead giveaway that someone has had a tummy tuck.
A beautiful contoured abdomen.
Plastic surgeons used to think that a flat, featureless abdomen was the ideal tummy tuck outcome. That is no longer the case, as surgeons use a more artistic eye to create more natural-looking contours and curves. This is achieved by incorporating liposuction into the tummy tuck procedure. Liposuction, also known as liposculpture because surgeons use it to shape figures as well as extract fat, is an important technique for sculpting the area above the bellybutton.
If you intend to lose weight after a tummy tuck and lipo, the results may be affected. During your consultation, you should discuss your plans with your plastic surgeon.