Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin and, in most cases, restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.
We all want to have a firm, flat abdomen because it makes us look more physically fit. Sometimes exercise and weight control cannot achieve our goals. Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. The most common causes of this include aging, heredity, pregnancy, prior surgery, significant fluctuations in weight.
Pregnancy will also cause the muscles of the abdominal wall to spread and stretch. This will cause a bulging of the upper and lower abdomen. This cannot be corrected with exercise since this is a separation of the abdominal muscles in the midline of the abdominal wall. This condition needs to be repaired surgically, so the anterior muscles can be brought back together, giving a tighter flat abdomen with a smaller waist. Abdominoplasty surgery focuses on three main goals: (1) removing loose skin and excess fat of the lower abdomen, (2) tightening the underlying muscles to restore the foundation of the abdomen, and (3) suspending the pubic area for a more youthful look.
A tummy tuck cannot correct stretch marks, although these may be removed or somewhat improved if they are located on the areas of excess skin that will be excised.
Abdominoplasty is not a substitute for weight reduction. This surgery is best performed either at or “near” your ideal weight. It is also best to finish your family before having abdominoplasty surgery. Pregnancy is possible after abdominoplasty surgery, but the tissues will again be stretched, thus diminishing the results of the surgery.
In most cases cosmetic goals can be accomplished in a single surgery. However, in a very small number of patients it is not possible or safe to do everything needed at a single surgery. In such cases an additional surgery may be required. Most of the time we will be able to predict ahead of time if you will need one or two procedures to meet your goals. The additional surgery most commonly consists of liposuction, excision of additional extra skin, or scar revision.
Often patients will have fullness of the hips that need attention at the same time as abdominoplasty surgery. We often perform concurrent liposuction of those areas at the same time to optimize the overall results of your surgery.
What is a Mini Tummy Tuck?
This procedure removes the excess skin and fat below the navel (belly button). The belly button is not repositioned (a major difference with full tummy tuck or abdominoplasty). he ideal candidate for a mini tummy tuck has most of his or her issues below the belly button, and it is usually recommended for patients who have always been in pretty good shape but have plateaued with diet and exercise. This procedure is ideal for people who have excess skin or fat that is localized in the lower abdomen area and want to tighten the abdominal area below the belly button. Liposuction is performed in the whole abdomen before the skin is resected.
All my surgeries are performed with local anesthesia, nerve blocks and oral sedation. The surgery consists of an incision just above the pubic area and an incision around the navel. The length of the final incision will depend on the amount of excess skin, and it is placed below the bikini line. The underlying wall muscles are then tightened, and then excess skin and fatty tissue are removed to create a firm and flat abdomen. Drains are sometimes placed which are removed within 7 days, depending on the amount of drainage observed. All sutures are “dissolving.” You will also be placed in a special elastic compression garment called an abdominal binder for support and protection. The binder also keeps the dressings in place.
Post- Operative Recovery
I inject local anesthesia during the surgery so that when the surgery is finished you have a complete abdominal wall block and are essentially pain free when the surgery is complete. You start the pain medication immediately so you will have a pain free recovery process. Total recover time will depend largely on the amount of surgery performed. Discomfort is minimal. Your “down time” will be between 1 and 2 weeks. You will need to wear your garment for 6 weeks.
There are scars as a result of this surgery. The scars usually take at least 6-12 months to fade.
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