Ask Dr. Whiteman: Am I A Good Tummy Tuck Candidate?

I genuinely enjoy seeing patients happy with the results tummy tucks offer and try to help educate not only my patients but other doctors.  I’m very interested in improving my surgical techniques and overall safety and satisfaction for my body contouring patients and have been developing techniques that I hope will inspire other doctors to do the same.  In fact, recently, tummy tucks have been the focal point for much of my research and I wanted to share some great news I recently found out.  The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has accepted, and will be publishing, my abstract on the Scarpa fascia technique I developed and on top of that, I was awarded the honor of Best Plastic Surgeon for Tummy by Best Self Magazine this month thanks to a collective vote by those in our community.

When we get questions from potential tummy tuck patients, one of the most common ones we hear at Southern Plastic Surgery is, “Dr. Whiteman, am I a good tummy tuck candidate?”  First I would need to physically evaluate a patient’s abdominal area before I can determine whether they are a good candidate, but a self-evaluation exam can give you some insights as to if you may or may not.  If you can answer yes to many of these questions, then perhaps it’s time to explore your own personal tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) options:

  • Do you have extra fat, skin or stretch marks in your abdomen that won’t budge with exercise and diet?
  • Does your stomach have a pooch that protrudes from your abdomen?
  • Are you self-conscious about the way your stomach looks when not covered up?
  • Has your abdomen been affected by pregnancy/childbirth?
  • Have you lost a significant amount of weight and are left with a lot of excess skin?
  • Do you have trouble finding properly fitting clothes because of your midsection?
  • Have you reached a stable weight? (Body contouring is not a weight-loss procedure)
  • Are you generally healthy?
  • Have you finished having kids?
  • Do you want a flatter stomach?

Patients can fall into two categories: tummy tuck candidates and mini tummy tuck candidates.  The main goal for any tummy tuck result is to create a flatter abdomen that is free of the loose skin and excess fat that tends to be a common concern.  The main difference between a mini tummy tuck and tummy tuck lies in the muscle repair.  Mini tummy tucks are for patients who have not experienced muscle separation, or only experience a mild amount of muscle separation below the navel, and are mainly focused on eliminating the skin and fat.  Tummy tucks are more involved and require me to retighten the weakened/separated muscle before the excess skin removal process.  I mentioned this briefly at the beginning, but I like to utilize a special Scarpa fascia technique I developed to further enhance the tummy tuck results for my patients.  What this technique allows is for me to contour the waist to give patients more curvature and definition of the abdomen.  Prior, combining liposuction was the way to help get this hourglass shape, but with Scarpa fascia technique, the waistline is shapelier in addition to having a flatter stomach.

Lots of patients are attracted to tummy tucks because it helps them get that body they remember having when they were younger.  Body contouring has always remained one of the top five most popular treatments and it’s really not a surprise.  In fact, tummy tucks are one of the main procedures chosen during a mommy and Grammy makeover mainly because of the benefits it can provide to mothers and grandmothers who are done having kids and want to do something for themselves.  I want every woman to have the chance to make themselves feel beautiful and excited about with the reflection they see in the mirror.  Luckily tummy tucks can help with just that.

To learn more about tummy tuck benefits or the body contouring procedures I perform, contact Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C today to schedule your complimentary consultation and check out our monthly specials featuring this procedure.  You can always join us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube for more plastic surgery tips and updates; we hope to connect with you soon!