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A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is an invasive surgical procedure that alters the appearance of the abdomen. Anyone that wants to slim down their abdomen could be a candidate for a tummy tuck procedure, but they are commonly performed for women who want to regain their pre-birth pregnancy after having children. Especially after giving birth, many women develop excess skin and find that the muscles have widened, which can’t be treated with diet and exercise. Tummy tucks are often included in “mommy makeover” surgeries. The procedure removes excess fat and skin and restores weakened muscles to create a smoother, firmer abdominal profile. Connective tissue in the abdomen (fascia) usually is tightened with sutures. Surgery will involve moving your belly button for a full tummy tuck.
Due to weight changes, giving birth, aging or genetics, over time you may find your abdomen lacks firmness and definition. A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that alleviates loose skin and reshapes the abdominal profile to enhance and contour the stomach area. Also referred to as an abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck surgery can remove excess fat and skin as well as tighten the abdominal wall muscles.
A tummy tuck procedure involves liposuction and excision to remove fat, plus a large excision of skin. Tummy tucks are versatile and can be adapted to suit the patient’s goals, whether it be trimming excess fat, tightening loose skin, or strengthening the muscles of the abdomen. A full tummy tuck involves a horizontal incision along the area between the pubic hairline and the belly button. The skin is lifted and the weakened muscles are repaired. Sometimes, a second incision around the belly button is made to remove excess skin around the upper abdomen. The surgery is an outpatient procedure and is usually performed under general anesthesia for the patient’s comfort.
Tummy tucks are typically performed for four main purposes:
During the procedure, the connective tissue in the abdomen (fascia) usually is tightened using sutures. A tummy tuck can be combined with other procedures such as breast augmentation to improve the body’s portions and profile all around.
Patients who are in good physical and emotional health and who are unhappy with a protruding abdomen or the loose skin around the stomach area are the best candidates for a tummy tuck. It’s important that patients have realistic expectations about what a tummy tuck, or any cosmetic surgery, can offer them. Women who are planning to have children may want to wait to have this procedure until they are done with pregnancies for ideal results. Patients seeking to lose a significant amount of weight (30+ lbs.) may also choose to wait to have this procedure until they reach their desired weight. Schedule a free consultation and inform your provider and surgeon of your full medical history to ensure you are a good fit and the procedure is safe for you
Depending on your job, you should plan to take around 2-4 weeks off to recover properly. After 4-6 weeks, you can resume more strenuous activities, with most patients making a full recovery around 3 months. Swelling should fully subside after about 3 months. If your surgery requires post-op drains, they will be removed around 2 weeks post-op.
Yes, a tummy tuck will scar due to the long incision that is made across the lower abdomen during the procedure. After 12-18 months the scar will diminish in color and size. Following your surgeon’s after care instructions and keeping your scar out of the sun will allow for it to heal as much as possible.
Results will be permanent as long as long as the patient maintains their weight post-procedure. Becoming pregnant after a tummy tuck will affect the results, which is why it is only recommended for women to have a tummy tuck after they are done having children.
Like all surgeries, there are risks to performing a tummy tuck that must be considered. Going to a reputable surgeon who has experience performing tummy tucks will reduce the risks of a complication during the procedure.
A tummy tuck is performed under general anesthesia, so you will not feel any pain during the procedure. Within the two weeks following surgery, you can expect some discomfort in the abdominal area. Swelling, tenderness, and bruising are all common as the area heals. Your doctor will provide you with medication to help ease the pain.
For the first 30 days post-op, your only form of exercise will be walking. After this, your doctor will advise you on how to return to your normal workout routine and activity level. When at home, moving around as much as possible will speed up the recovery process.
Yes. Tummy tucks are frequently performed with other procedures to create a “mommy makeover,” although anyone could be a potential candidate for a tummy tuck along with an additional procedure. Breast augmentation and breast lifts are frequently performed with tummy tucks.