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Tummy Tuck: Should You Stick With Tradition?

When it comes to improving your self-image and your body, diet and exercise always factor in. There’s undoubtedly room for improvement in both for most of us, and more often than not, a healthier diet and more exercise will help. Yet, there is such a thing as eating fairly healthy and exercising regularly and still finding that belly impossible to shape. In fact, it is often the case that after you lose weight, excess fat and loose skin stubbornly exist around the belly. In situations like this, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) might be the best way to tighten abdominal muscles and reduce the amount of excess skin.

Today, there are two options to choose from if you’re considering a tummy tuck procedure: Traditional and Avelar. The goal of both techniques is the same, that being a flatter belly, one that you will actually like to see in the mirror. Whichever technique you choose, it’s important to know how it might affect the overall experience and, of course, the results. Note that regardless of which technique you’re considering, you should already be in relatively good health. If you’re planning to get pregnant, it might be best to postpone plans for a tummy tuck, and same goes for if you’re planning to lose a significant amount of weight in the near future. Tummy tucks should not be viewed as an alternative to weight loss.

Traditional tummy tuck. Most important to note from the start is that a traditional tummy tuck is a major surgery. It includes both going under (general anesthesia) and going under the knife. That means risks that come with any major surgery, including a bad reaction to the anesthesia, bleeding, necrosis and infection. Once a patient is “under,” the cosmetic surgeon removes excess fat and skin from the middle and lower portions of the abdomen. There are varying degrees of how drastic the surgery can be, but a complete tummy tuck means an incision being made from hip to hip between the navel and pubic hairline. Weak stomach muscles can be repaired, and excess fat and skin can be removed. Depending on the level of the procedure, the belly button may or may not be affected – if it is, a new one is created by the surgeon – and temporary drainage tubes may be placed under the skin. The procedure can take up to five hours to complete, and recovery can be eight weeks or longer. Results generally last for several years.

Avelar tummy tuck. Created by and named for the Brazilian surgeon Juarez M. Avelar in the 1990s, the main advantage to this technique is its less invasive nature. Instead of general anesthesia, the procedure is typically done with only local anesthesia to numb the area to be operated on. While there are risks for the patient, namely temporary bruising and swelling, they are considerably fewer and less severe than those that come with the traditional tummy tuck technique. Tumescent liposuction is used to remove excess fat and, unlike with the traditional method, operation of blood vessels in the abdominal region is not disrupted. With the disruption of blood vessels taken out of the equation, it is actually sometimes possible to remove even more fat than the traditional method might allow. It also results in a faster, less painful recovery (back to work within a week and exercise within two) and cuts down on the use of drainage tubes. Finally, after the liposuction, an incision is made to remove leftover skin. Results of an Avelar tummy tuck will be relatively permanent, assuming no large weight gains or pregnancies.

At GLOW Skin Revived, our cosmetic surgeons utilize the Avelar tummy tuck method. With results that are as good as or even better than the traditional tummy tuck method, coupled with the drastically less invasive nature of the procedure, faster recovery time and reduced scarring, we view the Avelar tummy tuck as the best overall option for our patients.

No matter where you might be with your decision making process, one of our cosmetic surgeons will be happy to woak you through how the procedure works and answer any questions you may have during a free, no obligation consultation. Ultimately, the decision to get a tummy tuck procedure is entirely up to you. Our goal is simply to ensure that you have all the information you need to make the best decision possible.

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