For many people, maintaining a svelte, youthful body remains a life goal. The urge becomes even more imperative after a pregnancy, a bariatric surgery, or as part of efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Where this happens, losing huge amounts of weight typically becomes the most attractive option.
However, it may be disappointing to discover that losing a substantial amount of weight does not help you achieve your desired abdominal profile. If you are in this position, you may need an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck.
A tummy tuck has been described as a surgical way to achieve a firm and flat belly. It can tauten a saggy tummy, which might be a result of weight loss, age, or pregnancy. More often than not, there are concerns about tummy tuck in terms of its benefits and side effects. There are similar questions on the average cost of tummy tuck and tummy tuck cost in Mexico, the U.S., and other top tummy tuck countries. These concerns are exactly what this article addresses. What’s more, it discusses the benefits and differences in cost between undergoing surgery in Mexico and the U.S.
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck, or as known technically, abdominoplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure used to make the abdomen thinner and more firm. It involves taking away excess fat and skin from the middle and lower abdomen to tighten the abdominal wall’s muscle and fascia. Patients with loose or sagging tissues typically seek this type of surgery after pregnancy or major weight loss.
The surgeon tightens the abdominal wall muscles manually and stitches them. He then gets rid of the surplus skin from the patient’s belly to make the midsection firmer and flatter. The procedure is tailored according to the patient’s needs and goals, which may sometimes include other body lifting procedures such as liposuction.
At this point, the million-dollar question is, why would a person be dissatisfied with their waist and abdomen they will need a tummy tuck?
Why Tummy Tuck?
The answer is simple.
Often, skin can lose elasticity because of the extreme variations in weight. Consequently, the skin becomes loose and begins to sag. Although sagging can happen in any part of the body, it develops mostly in the abdominal area.
Also, other factors that include pregnancy can have a severe negative effect on the abdominal muscles, which could cause the muscles to separate. It takes more than sit-ups and workouts to return these separated or damaged abdominal muscles to their previous firm and toned state. By implication, this threatens your goal to maintain that supple and youthful contour, which is why a tummy tuck becomes necessary.
Stages and Procedures of a Tummy Tuck
In this article, we have broken the procedure of a tummy tuck into four stages.
First, the surgeon will check to see if there is residual abdominal fat to remove and performs a liposuction procedure, if necessary. Then an incision is made across the lower abdomen, strategically placed near the pubic area to ensure it will be hidden under underwear.
Secondly, the surgeon removes what is deemed as superfluous abdominal skin and then repairs the supporting tissues and musculature underneath. All the permanent internal stitches along the abdominal wall are arranged in an overlapping pattern to achieve this. In the end, the manner in which the internal stitches are arranged allows it to keep the newly restored muscles fixed and in place, thereby creating a firmer shape.
Third, once the newly restored abdominal profile appears satisfactory to the surgeon, dissolvable stitches are used to close the incision. The surgeon then repositions the navel, using another inconspicuously placed incision, to ensure that the belly button corresponds with the firmer, flatter abdominal shape.
Fourth, the surgeon uses a compression garment and soft bandages to dress the treatment area. This helps to reduce the swelling around the area as it heals and provides extra tissue support. Usually, the surgeon put a drain in the treatment area to ensure that recovery happens within a short period. It is removed after some days in an appointment for follow-up.
So, a tummy tuck is not a weight-loss treatment like liposuction but rather a contouring procedure, although you can decide to get liposuction with it. It is also not of just one type; there are four of them.
Types of Tummy Tucks
Essentially, there are four main types of a tummy tuck, namely full tummy tuck, mini tummy tuck, extended tummy tuck, and circumferential mini tummy tuck. The type recommended depends on the amount of excess skin and its location.
Full Tummy Tuck
Here, a patient resolves the problems of excess and skin general roundness. It is done when patients wish to address the entire abdominal wall. So, the procedure attends to below and above the navel
The surgeon makes an incision on the lower abdomen from the left hip to the right hip. This way, the surgeon can have access to the tissues beneath. After this, the surgeon contours the muscle, tissue, and skin as necessary. Finally, the navel is removed and repositioned.
Mini Tummy Tuck
If what you want is to rid your belly of stretch marks around the abdominal area alone, then this procedure is for you. It is also called a partial abdominoplasty, and the procedure is less invasive.
Here, the incision is between three to five inches long. Although much smaller than a full tummy tuck, the surgeon has enough opening to reach the essential muscles and tissues. Under this procedure, patients recover more quickly. This is due to the tiny incision and the fact that the navel does not need to be repositioned.
Extended Tummy Tuck
Usually, an extended tummy tuck is for people with excess fat, which can be due to multiple pregnancies, as well as sharp weight loss from exercise, surgery, or diet. Here, the central focus is on the abdomen, but the hips and flanks are taken care of in the same procedure. The incision further stretches to the back, and the surgeon removes surplus skin on the sides as well as the lower and upper abdominal region.
Circumferential Tummy Tuck
The circumferential tummy tuck covers a much larger area than the standard tummy tuck. If you lost a lot of weight as a result of bariatric surgery such as gastric bypass or any other, this procedure is for you.
Individuals in this category end up with excess skin on their flanks, backs, and abdominal regions. Also described as the lower body lift, the circumferential body lift technique works like the tummy tuck. It flattens the stomach and lifts the back, flank, buttocks, and lateral thighs.
An incision is made by the surgeon that covers the whole circumference of the torso of the patient. The surgeon then gets rid of the excess fat or skin and tautens the muscles. He can also lift the buttocks and outer thighs, and may create new navel.
Benefits and Side Effects of Tummy Tuck
There are several benefits accruing to you as a result of a tummy tuck. These benefits include achieving your ideal abdominal profile, reduction of stress urinary incontinence, improved abdominal tone, and better posture and correction of ventral hernia caused by massive weight loss or surgeries.
However, since this is a surgery, like any other, there are few risks. These include anesthesia risks, infection, under-skin bleeding, poor healing of the wound in the abdomen, raised scars due to the incision in the lower abdomen, accumulation of fluid during recovery, and asymmetry in the stomach. Also, if you have liver or heart disease, diabetes, or poor circulation, you may be more likely to develop complications.
At the same time, you can reduce the possibility of risks associated if the surgery is carried out by a plastic surgeon that is experienced in body contouring procedures and has board certification. Also, ensure that the surgeon works with a qualified anesthesiologist to ensure you are safe and comfortable during the whole operation. Finally, after surgery, your surgeon will give you a list of dos and don’ts. Ensure strict adherence to these instructions.
In the end, however, a perfect tummy tuck experience bores down to efficient and specialist health care delivery that is both affordable and comfortable – and this is why Mexico is your ideal country to undergo a tummy tuck surgery. We’ll explain why.
Tummy Tuck Cost
Tummy tuck cost represents the most asked questions on tummy tuck today. It is not rare to find questions like “how much is a tummy tuck?” “how much does a tummy tuck cost?” and “average cost of tummy tuck?” This is understandable. As much as a tummy tuck is cosmetic surgery, many are curious to know if they can afford it and enjoy an optimal tummy tuck experience. This affordability and optimal experience are the ultimate reasons why Mexico is the ideal place to undergo tummy tuck surgery.
According to an International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) survey, Mexico is part of the five top countries in the world based on the number of procedures performed annually. That’s not all. Plastic surgery, such as tummy tuck, has remained Mexico’s niche for a long time now.
For instance, the average cost of tummy tuck in Canada is $10,000, $15,000 in the United Kingdom, $12,000 in Australia, $7,000 in India/Thailand, $6,000 in the United States, and the lowest is $4,000 in Mexico. Mexico’s low price is complemented by excellent healthcare delivery, which ranks it as one of the best.
U.S. V. Mexico – the Better Tummy Tuck Option?
Ranking next to most asked questions such as “how much is a tummy tuck?” and “how much does a tummy tuck cost” is the question, “better tummy tuck option U.S. or Mexico?” In other words, there are similar questions on the comparative benefits of undergoing a tummy tuck in the U.S. and Mexico. Notably, tummy tuck costs may include anesthesia fees, hospital or surgical facility costs, medical tests, post-surgery garments, and a prescription for medication.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeon claimed in 2019 that, in the U.S., $6,092 is the average cost of a tummy tuck. It should be noted that this cost is, in fact, merely a part of the total price. The cost of operating room facilities, anesthesia, or other related expenses is not included. In the U.S., health insurance plans do not usually cover tummy tuck surgery or complications, but patients can get financing plans from most plastic surgeons. Typically, what you will pay for tummy tuck surgery will depend on the surgeon’s procedure, experience, and geographical location.
On the other hand, the average tummy tuck cost in Mexico is $4,000, covering the total price. For instance, a traditional tummy tuck costs around $4,300 in Tijuana, Mexico, including operating expenses (surgeon fees, facilities) and anesthesia, though subject to individual preferences.
Similarly, mini tummy tuck costs an average of $3800 in Mexico. Notably, it is your particular needs and requirements that determine the actual cost. But the total price will always include anesthesia, surgery, pre-operation consultation, anesthesiologist fees, facility fee, nursing care for your time in the clinic, and, in some cases, transfer between the airport and the clinic.
This difference in cost is attributable to a number of reasons. First, the cost of living in Mexico is lower than in the U.S. Secondly, the office rent, staff wages, and other overheads are lower in Mexico than in the U.S. Finally, surgeons in Mexico do not have to pay for malpractice insurance, unlike their U.S. counterparts.
Now, let’s crunch the data.
Surgeons in Mexico charge less than their U.S. counterparts, with a difference of over $2000. What’s more, the average $6,092 tummy tuck cost in America as stated by the 2019 ASPS data does not cover the total price, as it does not include anesthesia, operating room facilities or other related expenses, unlike what obtains in Mexico. In fact, in some cases in Mexico, tummy tuck costs cover operating expenses such as surgeon fees and facilities and anesthesia, nursing fee, and sometimes, free shuttle from the airport.
In conclusion, when excess, sagging fat threatens your body goals, what you need isn’t as routine workouts or sit-ups. You need a tummy tuck in Mexico.