Does a tummy tuck remove fat or just skin? Our Chicago-based team often hears this question from patients who are interested in plastic surgery.

If you’re considering the procedure formally known as an abdominoplasty, it’s normal to have plenty of questions about what the surgery will be like. Of course, patients should never undergo any surgical procedure without first finding out what it will involve and what the recovery process will be like, so you should take the time to do your own research, as well as consult with an experienced and board-certified plastic surgeon, like Dr. John Q. Cook.

In the meantime, check out our answers to some more of the most common questions we get about tummy tucks. 

What Does a Tummy Tuck Involve?

Tummy tuck surgery is intended to make the midsection slimmer, sleeker, and more defined. During the surgery, excess skin and fat will be removed from the belly area while weakened muscles will also be repaired as necessary. Liposuction is used to remove excess subcutaneous fat from the abdomen and flanks, and the remaining skin is re-draped and sutured into place for a more toned look.

Who Is an Ideal Tummy Tuck Candidate?

Dr. Cook will help you decide whether a tummy tuck is the most suitable choice for you based on your aesthetic goals. The best candidates for this procedure include those who have loose, excess skin and separated abdominal muscles, as well as pockets of diet-resistant fat in the abdominal area. Patients should be in a good state of health, at a stable weight, within their ideal weight range, non-smokers, and have realistic expectations.

What Is Recovery Like After a Tummy Tuck?

Patients will need to plan to take time off from work and typical activities while recovering from surgery. Discomfort, swelling, and bruising are typical side effects seen in the initial days after the procedure. During your recovery, you should limit your activity and avoid any strenuous exercise. Going for light walks around the house is a good idea to keep your blood flowing and prevent blood clotting.

How Long Do Tummy Tuck Results Last?

The results from abdominoplasty surgery are lasting—especially if you maintain a stable weight. Weight fluctuations or pregnancy could change the results since an increase in fat on the midsection or a growing baby can cause the skin to stretch again, separate the abdominal muscles, and cause other unwanted changes.

The team at the Chicago-based Whole Beauty® Institute can provide answers to questions you have about tummy tucks and other types of cosmetic surgery. Call 312-751-2112 (Chicago Gold Coast Office) or call 847-446-7562 (North Shore Winnetka Office), or send a message online if you would like to request a consultation.