Tummy tuck surgery combines science and art in which the goal is to contour the abdominal area in a way that it looks natural, smooth, and gender appropriate. By definition, the procedure removes the hanging skin and excess fat, and reshapes the deeper muscle to further eliminate the saggy appearance.
Tummy tuck Los Angeles expert Dr. Tarick Smaili shares his tips on how to choose your surgeon, or specifically, the qualifications that you should look for to achieve impressive results.
- Demand the right board certifications.
With the proliferation of professional-sounding groups, it may be hard to identify which “holds weight.” However, the general rule of thumb is to pick a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, which assures that he has completed at least six years of surgical training and a minimum of three years of plastic surgery residency, and has graduated from a reputable medical school.
ABPS members have also passed the rigorous oral and written exams and are required to continue their medical education each year.
- Look at his before-and-after photos.
The “after” photos should look natural—i.e., the navel has a slight hooded appearance on its upper side, the valleys and contours of the abdomen have been preserved, the waist looks proportionate to the hips, and the skin is smooth, with no asymmetries or “dog ears.”
- Select someone who acknowledges your anatomical limits.
Be wary of any surgeon who promises perfect results since plastic surgery cannot deliver such goal, but only some level of improvement. For this reason, a prudent doctor will tell you honestly that the postop results will also depend on your anatomies, and their limits as well.
Any surgeon who knows how to “respect” the anatomies tend to be conservative, meaning he will not attempt aggressive surgical maneuvers despite of his impressive qualifications and trainings.
- Pick a surgeon whose priority is his patient safety.
Performing unrelated procedures at the time of your tummy tuck surgery could lead to increased bleeding and higher surgical trauma. While a combo procedure is not uncommon these days, a prudent surgeon will always weigh the pros and cons of such approach.
- Select someone who knows how to refuse a patient.
Patients with healing problems, unrealistic expectations, and unstable weight are poor candidates for tummy tuck surgery or any type of body contouring. Any ethical surgeon knows these risk factors and will not attempt to perform any surgical enhancement on these individuals.