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Many people who want to achieve a flat abdomen are frustrated when their efforts to diet and exercise are unrewarded. Aside from overweight and obesity, people also develop a fat belly due to aging, loose skin from weight fluctuations, and loss of abdominal muscle tone due to pregnancy or previous surgery. One of the fastest ways to lose belly fat and achieve a flat abdomen is to have a tummy tuck, also technically known as abdominoplasty.

What is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck is a type of abdominal wall surgery that aims to improve the appearance of a flabby belly, and results in a flatter, firmer abdominal profile. It involves removal of excess fat, manipulation of the skin, fat tissues, and muscle, and repair of weak abdominal muscles. It may be combined with liposuction, another method of removing fat by suctioning. Tummy tuck procedures may vary from a mini- tummy tuck, which involves small skin incisions to remove pockets of fat, to a more extensive procedure that cuts through both ends of the lower abdominal wall near the navel. These procedures are done under general anesthesia and takes at least a couple of hours to perform.

What to Expect from a Tummy Tuck

Just like other cosmetic procedures, one must have realistic expectations from a tummy tuck.

Doctors explain that a tummy tuck can improve your appearance after you have lost a significant amount of weight by removing fat and tightening the skin and muscles of the lower abdomen. However, a tummy tuck cannot be used as an alternative for a weight loss program, and that it does not offer a permanent way to maintain your figure after many years.

Abdominoplasty is a major surgical procedure, which is helpful when one's best efforts to diet and exercise do not improve abdominal muscle tone. This commonly occurs in women who have had multiple pregnancies or in obese people who have lost a significant amount of weight. However, the procedure does not guarantee that your weight will not come back, especially if you neglect to maintain a healthy diet and exercise program.

Although a tummy tuck results in technically permanent flattening of the lower abdomen, this positive outcome can diminished when you have significant weight fluctuations after the procedure. Therefore, women who are looking forward to future pregnancies are advised to postpone having a tummy tuck.

Experts also explain that removal of fat cells from the abdomen does not mean that fat cannot be regained. Fat cells can grow in other parts of the body, such as the upper abdomen, the breasts, the arms, and other areas of the body. Fat can also accumulate around the abdominal organs (viscera). This is why when one regains weight after a tummy tuck, unusual patterns of fatty accumulation can occur, which may result in dissatisfaction.

To avoid regaining weight after a successful weight loss program and cosmetic procedure such as a tummy tuck, one should maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced, low calorie diet and regular exercise. One study shows that compensatory fat accumulation may be prevented by months of exercise training.

Consult your doctor if you feel there is a need to revise your surgery or if you need more advise about maintaining a healthy weight loss program.

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