People are motivated to get tummy tucks for a variety of reasons: removing loose skin, opening up their wardrobe possibilities and looking better without clothes. As soon as patients and their doctor settle on abdominoplasty as the right choice for them, they start envisioning what they will look like once the procedure is done.
While this is perfectly natural, it can also be a major pitfall of plastic surgery. When people picture unrealistic results, they set themselves up for disappointment, and potentially post-surgery depression. But this begs an important question: What are realistic expectations for a tummy tuck?
Improvement, Not Perfection
If there is one sentence that could best encapsulate realistic expectations for a tummy tuck, or any form of body contouring, it is: Expect improvement, not perfection.
If you have looked at tummy tuck before and after photos, you have no doubt noticed how transformative the procedure can be. Pounds of excess skin and fat tissue can be removed, and muscles tightened.
You have also no doubt picked up on the tummy tuck scars left behind, as well as the limits to the surgery. Ultimately, the patient’s starting point has a major impact on their end point. For example, only so much fat can be safely removed, and skin blemishes, such as stretchmarks and other scars can remain.
Expect significant changes after your tummy tuck, but don’t set your mind on looking like your favorite model.
Head into Your Procedure with the Right Mindset
Before scheduling your surgery, get into the right headspace. Tell yourself your goal is to be a better version of yourself, not the image of perfection. Look at true before and after photos, and focus on those where the before closely aligns with your current appearance.
Be aware of your emotional state. If your sense of worth is tied up in getting a tummy tuck, take a pause. It is perfectly fine to speak with a therapist and work on your sense of self and then get abdominoplasty.
If you are struggling to conceptualize what realistic expectations are, now is the time to talk to an expert. To sit down with Dr. Chang, call 410-740-9330 or reach out through our contact form.