A Tummy Tuck is considered major surgery. Abdominoplasty removes excess skin and fat of the abdominal area and tightens the abdominal wall. It is performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. While Tummy Tuck surgery can be performed in conjunction with liposuction, they should not be confused. Both are independent procedures. Liposuction may be performed in addition to abdominoplasty to assist in the removal of fat deposits. Tummy Tuck surgery is not a substitute for regular diet and exercise, and should only be performed after weight has been stabilized and all other methods exhausted.
WHAT IS A TUMMY TUCK?
Who is a good candidate for Tummy Tuck surgery?
A Tummy Tuck is suitable for patients looking to improve the appearance of their abdomen, specifically individuals:
- In good health emotionally and physically
- Who have lost their abdominal elasticity and have excess skin or flab, and do not see improvement with diet and exercise
- Who feel unattractive or are unhappy with the appearance of their stomach
- Whose stomach region has been affected by pregnancy or fluctuating weight loss
- With low self confidence due to their stomach contour
In addition, good candidates for Abdominoplasty should be within 25 lbs. of their ideal weight, hold realistic expectations concerning their results, and be non-smokers.
Both women and men can benefit from a Tummy Tuck since both can suffer from loose skin and excess fat in the abdominal area.
BENEFITS OF A TUMMY TUCK
- A flat abdomen, the tightening of loose skin and abdominal contouring
- A boost in confidence and satisfaction with your new appearance
- Abdominal tone that cannot be achieved through diet and exercise due to weakened abdominal muscles after pregnancy
- Better posture as poor posture can be linked to weak abdominal muscles
- The reduction of Stress Urinary Incontinence, which is the problem of uncontrollable leakage caused by exercising, sneezing, coughing and laughing
- The correction of a Ventral Hernia, which happens when the intestine or abdominal tissue breaks through the abdominal muscles forming a pocket or sack
TUMMY TUCK IN COMBINATION WITH OTHER PROCEDURES
Various plastic surgery procedures can be combined. The Tummy Tuck is a procedure that can be combined with any other procedure that together do not exceed the estimated blood loss and general anesthesia of six hours, since complication rates increase with multiple surgical procedures.
Many plastic surgeons like to combine the Tummy Tuck with a breast procedure and/or liposuction. The combination of a breast procedure, liposuction and a Tummy Tuck is called a mommy makeover.
Often performed together to improve abdominal contour results are a Tummy Tuck and liposuction. Liposuction is performed first to extract the fat deposits followed by a traditional Tummy Tuck, mini Tummy Tuck or circumferential Tummy Tuck.
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TUMMY TUCK FOR MEN
Men also suffer from excess fat and skin, and weak abdominal muscles. This can be a result of excessive weight loss where skin has lost its elasticity and cannot be toned with diet and exercise. A Tummy Tuck can help men regain their confidence by eliminating the sagging skin and tightening their midsection.
BEFORE & AFTER TUMMY TUCK SURGERY
- Quit smoking and any nicotine related products
- Keep a balanced diet of good nutrition and proper exercise; do not overeat, diet excessively or consume alcohol
- Take care of your skin appropriately with moisturizer and sunscreen
- Schedule the necessary time off work
- Make arrangements for household duties and childcare
- Arrange for pet care
- Purchase foods that help alleviate nausea such as toast or crackers
- Prepare to stay in a room that is close to a bathroom
- Secure transportation for your surgery and post op appointments
- Secure assistance from someone for your first few days after surgery
- Place items you’ll need at hip height since you will be limited in your lifting and reach
- Soft lighting is recommended since medication can be make you disoriented
- Have all your post surgery items ready
- Prepare extra bedding, and loose and comfortable clothing
- Gather your entertainment needs such as books, laptop, music, movies, etc.
- Take care of all your pre-op tests, procedures and clearances
- Purchase your prescriptions and dressings, and stop taking any medications as instructed by your doctor
- Wash your hair the night before surgery as it may be a while before your are able to do so after surgery
- Do not drink or eat after midnight the day before surgery
- Arrive on time for surgery
- Stay in constant contact with your doctor
PREPARING FOR TUMMY TUCK SURGERY
There are certain instructions you will need to follow to prepare for a Tummy Tuck. If you’re a smoker, you should not smoke for 6 weeks prior to the operation. Smoking increases your chances of complications. Take only the medications your doctor has instructed you to take and avoid Motrin or Aspirin. Maintain a balanced diet to assist the healing process. Eat fiber to avoid constipation and sufficient protein. Avoid crash diets as rapid weight loss can lead to a lower immune system, increasing the risk of infection.
TUMMY TUCK SURGERY
A Tummy Tuck is an outpatient procedure in which general anesthesia is administered. Abdominoplasty requires a horizontal incision above the pubic hairline generally extending from hipbone to hipbone. The volume of skin to be removed will determine the nature of the incision. The abdominal skin is then separated from the abdominal muscles and drainage tubes are placed under the skin to remove excess fluid after reattachment.
Once the abdominal skin is lifted, the abdominal wall is tightened with sutures to repair the weakened muscles. The tightening of the abdominal muscles serves to snatch the waist, similarly to the effects of a compression garment. Then, the skin is pulled down so that the excess skin can be extracted and the incision can be sutured together to close it. Afterwards, an incision is made to reposition the belly button, which is pulled through and sutured in place. Finally, tape and adhesives are placed on the closed incision to facilitate the healing process, along with a dressing and/or compression garment. A few days after surgery, your surgeon will remove the drains.
In addition to the standard Tummy Tuck surgery, there are other variations of the procedure that address specific cosmetic goals. It all depends on your particular situation and needs. Depending on the complexity of the procedure, abdominoplasty can take between two and five hours.
Mini Tummy Tuck, or partial Tummy Tuck, is used to treat a smaller area of fat deposits and excess skin of the abdomen. This procedure requires a shorter incision below the naval and usually there is no need to reposition the belly button. As with a full Tummy Tuck, excess skin is removed and the two remaining skin areas are reattached forming a flatter abdomen. The smaller incision allows for a quicker recovery. A mini Tummy Tuck is most effective for patients who suffer from excess skin and fat in the lower abdomen.
Circumferential Tummy Tuck, also called a body lift or belt lipectomy, is performed when in addition to excess abdominal skin and fat, there is excess back fat. The procedure provides full 360 degree contouring, targeting the stomach, hips, waistline and back. Thus, the incision for this procedure is all around the waistline. The excess skin and fat is removed and then the upper and lower skin tissue is reattached creating smoother tighter surfaces all around. As with a standard Tummy Tuck, the abdominal wall is also tightened.
Extended Tummy Tuck is when a standard Tummy Tuck expands to include the region of the hips and flanks. The procedure was developed to tackle problematic love handles in addition to a protruding abdomen.
HOW IS THE RECOVERY FOR A TUMMY TUCK?
Recovery for a Tummy Tuck varies with each patient, depending on health, age and elasticity of skin among other factors. Remember to prepare with the appropriate care and time off work.
It is crucial to follow your doctor’s orders for a safe recovery. During the first days of surgery, it is recommend to take short walks to stimulate circulation although you might not be able to stand upright, and avoid sitting for lengthy periods of time. Certain activities should be avoided altogether to reduce the chances of bleeding and swelling, such as lifting, bending and straining. For the first six weeks, avoid any strenuous activity. In addition, you should have specific instructions from your surgeon on how you should lay down. Medication will be prescribed by your surgeon to help alleviate any pain and discomfort.
You may experience a tugging sensation in your abdominal region, as well as bruising and numbness. Your compression garments will help to reduce the swelling, tighten the muscle and prevent scarring. Swelling should subside within 3 to 6 months. Your drains will help prevent the build-up of fluid.
As time passes, your scars should heal and fade, sometimes darkening or turning pink before lightening. Scars should mature within a year; however, some incision scars may be permanent.
Occasionally, patients may experience mood swings after being operated including depression and hyperactivity.
The road to recovery is not an easy one. It can take time to feel normal again. However, listening to your doctor will facilitate your recovery.
While there are risks associated with a tummy tuck, the end result can be amazing. Generally, patients feel extremely happy with their new appearance. And to maintain their look, patients should follow a healthy diet and exercise.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS INVOLVING A TUMMY TUCK?
While Tummy Tuck surgery is a frequently performed procedure due to its high satisfaction rate, there are still risks, complications and side effects to be considered as with any surgery. In the first couple of days after surgery, you may experience bruising, tiredness, swelling and/or pain, for which your doctor can prescribe pain medication if needed. Bad reactions or side effects including bleeding and infection are also a possibility due to anesthesia and poor healing. Other common occurrences include soreness which can last weeks or months in some cases, and numbness which can last well up to a year. The possibility of tissue loss along the incision can occur on the more extensive Tummy Tuck procedures. Hematomas may result in patients who have diabetes or smoke. Hematomas is the build-up of fluid underneath the skin once the drains have been removed. The fluid must then be removed with a needle and within a month the drainage should stop. For patients who smoke or suffer from heart problems, lung or liver disease, poor circulation or diabetes, the associated risks and complications are greater. These include: scarring, skin color changes or skin loss, bleeding, accumulation of fluid, long-term swelling, infection, numbness, an adverse reaction to the anesthesia, wound separation, fat necrosis, and blood clots.
In order to minimize the possibility of complications during your Tummy Tuck surgery, you must follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully.
AVOID A TUMMY TUCK IF
- You do not want abdominal scars since a Tummy Tuck requires an incision along the abdomen
- You are not at your ideal weight and plan on losing weight, since you may have additional loose skin after the weight loss
- You plan on having more children as this reverses the procedure – a tummy tuck tightens the abdominal muscles and pregnancy can detach them
- You smoke or have recently been exposed to second-hand smoke as it decreases blood flow to the body tissue and can result in increased scarring, skin loss, infection, prolonged wound healing and other complications.
HOW MUCH DOES A TUMMY TUCK COST?
The national average price of a Tummy Tuck Miami can range from $4,000.00 – $10,000.00. Make sure to research your physician and select one that is Board Certified. Learn about our financing options.
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Frequently Asked Questions
While it depends on the location of the stretch marks, a tummy tuck procedure generally does improve them. Particularly, if the stretch marks are located on the abdomen below the naval, which is the area of skin that is removed with a tummy tuck.
As long as patients remain at a stable weight, tummy tuck results last a long time. Results are only affected by pregnancy, excessive weight gain or natural aging, of which the latter generally does not affect the skin so much where it reverts to its pre-surgery condition.
Tummy Tuck incisions vary by technique, which should be discussed with your plastic surgeon prior to surgery. A traditional tummy tuck scar would be located above the public hairline and easily covered by a bikini.
Since this operation includes the reparation of muscles, a tummy tuck can be painful. Pain management options should be discussed with your plastic surgeon and a plan set in place so that you're able to have a smooth recovery.
During your plastic surgery consult, your plastic surgeon will make the appropriate recommendation for either a tummy tuck or liposuction. A tummy tuck is favored when there is an excess of loose abdominal skin in addition to fat deposits.
While there is no age requirement for a tummy tuck, this procedure is typically performed on individuals suffering from excess skin and fat who have reached their ideal weight after excessive weight loss and on women who do not plan on not having any more kids.
After liposuction surgery, you should avoid intensive activities for at least 6 to 8 weeks. Apart from that, most patients return to their regular routine two weeks after their surgery.