22 Jun Client in Focus: Rebecca’s Story
Body contouring surgery such as abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is commonly of benefit after child-bearing or major weight gain. Both of these stretch the abdominal skin and the muscles and sheath of the abdominal wall, and commonly a layer of fat accumulates below the belly button. Liposuction can reduce the fat, but if skin tone is poor then the body can’t recontour and loose, floppy, wrinkly skin may result.
Abdominoplasty tightens the muscle wall which helps to pull the waistline in. In addition it removes the excess skin and the fat attached to it to leave the tummy taut and smooth again. Exercise can help you get your body back after babies, but if your muscle sheath has weakened too much then it needs repairing. Also, skin has no muscles in it so exercise can’t tighten up skin. It needs to be removed.
A tummy tuck is not a weight reduction procedure. It just makes your skin and muscle wall ‘fit’ you again. Think of it as like having a suit made. The slimmer you are, the tighter the cut of the suit and the better you look. In addition, the complications of tummy tuck, which can be serious, are reduced by having your weight in a healthy range. I generally recommend BMI (body mass index) less than 27, but the slimmer you are the trimmer I can make your figure.
In addition, sometimes we do some liposuction to areas such as the flanks. This helps to reduce and accentuate the waistline. And of course, these operations are commonly combined with lifting or reducing or enlarging the breasts – the “mummy make-over “.
Rebecca got her weight down to a range that made the surgery safe to perform (although she was pretty grumpy with me when I insisted on it), but it was only after surgery that she really ‘went to town’ reducing her BMI. The weight she initially put on after surgery really undid a lot of the improvement that she could have had. She was really sabotaging herself. When she did reduce her weight, her repaired muscle wall and tighter skin contoured nicely, giving you the lovely shape you see in the ‘after’ photo .
So, as you can see it’s a ‘team effort’. Plastic surgery helped her get her body back, tightening up her stretched muscle wall and eliminated the spare skin. But the dramatic result you see is largely due to her weight loss. To “be all you can be“ it’s not just your surgeon’s job . You have to ‘put in’ too.
Like most things in life, you get out of it what you put into it!
Rebecca before (left) and after (right)
I have been a patient of Dr Scamp’s for a while now, (I’m sure he sometimes wishes I wasn’t ) and have had several procedures done with him. This time, and with gentle prompting, Dr Scamp suggested and explained the benefits of weight loss before certain procedures. He was most insistent about this before my tummy tuck. I had very lax stomach muscles and on a regular basis, after a big meal or a bad day I was asked “when is your bub due”! Not a good look when you’re 45 years old and have three teenagers.
At the time I was 78 kg, however, Dr Scamp preferred for me to be around 70 kg in order to achieve optimal results from the procedure. Well I was “not happy Jan” but postponed my surgery until I was around 71kg. This was a struggle, a pain and I resented it. The procedure was done and I looked great, for a while. Unfortunately I had lost my weight unhealthily, and hadn’t learnt how to maintain my weight loss. After 15 months, I found myself having wasted my money and Dr Scamp’s time and effort as I had gained all my weight back, and some.
So at 80.2 kg I decided enough was enough. I joined an eating guideline group called Ashy Bines Bikini Body Challenge. I have found this plan to be easy, sustainable and most importantly, it actually works. It is Facebook forum and motivation-based group for women-only and I have found it to be the perfect solution to sustained long-term weight loss. It’s a lifestyle and I will never go back to my old habits.
I am sure Dr Scamp just wants to yell at his patients “you can’t handle the truth” regarding their weight loss before surgery, but he would never do that, as he’s a gentleman. However, he does know what is best for his patients and really wants the best possible results for them. This often means being your optimal weight before a procedure, as it is not only a significant financial investment, it’s also a significant surgery and requires considerable time and effort in recuperation.
My after photo is me at 64.7 kg. I am ecstatic with the new me, and I know Dr Scamp is proud of me and my new figure. So ladies and gentlemen, if your surgeon suggests you lose weight, trust me it’s for the best possible outcome. It’s important and you will feel amazing but ultimately it is an investment in yourself and your esteem.
For more information please phone my office on 07 5539 1000.