A Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty) is a plastic surgery procedure designed to flatten the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat, and to tighten the abdominal wall.
Am I a candidate for a tummy tuck?
Women and men who have excess skin and/or fat around the abdomen which does not respond to diet and exercise are candidates for abdominoplasty. Many patients complain that they cannot flatten their abdominal muscles through exercise, which also means a tummy tuck may be right for them. Abdominoplasty candidates have:
- excess abdominal skin which may sag
- a disproportionate or protruding abdomen
- weakened or separated abdominal muscles
- excess fat concentrated in the abdomen
Other tummy tuck patients may recently have lost a lot of weight and need to have excess skin and tissue removed. Many women choose to have an abdominoplasty following pregnancy. Older patients may be candidates for a tummy tuck due to reduced skin elasticity.
How is a tummy tuck done?
A variety of tummy tucks are available. Patients who only need a tightening of the abdominal muscles or removal of a small amount of skin may be best treated with a “mini-tuck.” Patients who have undergone massive weight loss, on the other hand, will probably require more extensive surgery.
An abdominoplasty is usually done under general anesthesia. An incision is made along the lower abdomen at about the pubic hair line, and another incision is made around the belly button which stays attached to the muscle.
Mini-abdominoplasty tightens the lower abdominal wall and skin below the umbilicus, belly button, only (shortest scar).
Modified abdominoplasty addresses conditions where just the muscle wall or just the abdominal skin requires repair.
Standard abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin and muscles above and below the belly button. The scar can be altered or lowered to be hidden by most panty lines and bathing suits. (Standard scar).
Extended abdominoplasty tightens the abdomen and the flanks or sides (longest scar extending around the flanks onto lower back.)
A general anesthetic is most common, although mini-tucks may be done with local anesthetic and intravenous sedation. A standard abdominoplasty is generally an outpatient procedure, but extended abdominoplasty may require a short hospitalization of 1–2 days.
Additional procedures that may enhance the result are Liposuction, Breast Procedures, or Thigh Lift.
Tummy Tuck Recovery and Results
Within a few hours following surgery, abdominoplasty patients will walk in a slightly bent-over position. Strenuous activity and lifting of more than 10 pounds should be avoided for six weeks after surgery. Most patients are able to return to work and daily activities within two weeks of surgery.
It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Our expert surgeons can tell you specifically how long your recovery will take.
For more information
To speak to our knowledgeable staff or to ask a specific question, get in touch with us by phone by calling (949) 720-3888.