What is Tummy Tuck Surgery?
A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is designed to remove loose, excess skin around the abdomen while also repairing any stretched or torn abdominal muscles, creating a smoother and flatter abdomen. This is done to resolve the look of a hanging or protruding abdominal profile for a sleeker and more defined body contour.
Often, the effects of pregnancy, weight fluctuation, gravity, the aging process, and genetics can cause skin laxity and a separation of the abdominal muscles from their original position in the midline. Many individuals find that dieting, exercise, and toning efforts do not adequately improve these concerns, or only produce limited results. Tummy tuck surgery performed by experienced plastic surgeon Scott Miller, MD can remove loose abdominal skin and tighten stretched musculature to achieve your desired aesthetic. If needed or desired, liposuction can also be incorporated during surgery to reduce localized pockets of stubborn fat in the area.
What are the Benefits of a Tummy Tuck?
While the benefits of a tummy tuck can vary from patient-to-patient depending on one’s cosmetic goals, the final outcome of an abdominoplasty is a flatter stomach with a firmer and more defined appearance. The best candidates for a tummy tuck typically include:
- Individuals who are at or near their ideal weight, but struggle with extra skin around the lower abdomen in spite of good dieting and exercise habits
- Patients who have undergone massive weight loss and would like to tighten loose or excess skin
- Women who wish to restore their pre-pregnancy abdominal appearance
For women who have had one or more pregnancies, a tummy tuck can be an essential component to regaining a pre-pregnancy figure. Weight gain, weight loss, and repeated stretching and scarring of the abdomen can take a tremendous toll on the body after one or more pregnancies. By repairing the abdominal muscles with a tummy tuck, women can achieve a tighter appearance in the abdomen that dieting and exercise alone could never accomplish. Depending on your individual cosmetic goals, Dr. Scott R. Miller may recommend combining a tummy tuck with one or more additional procedures for a fully comprehensive Mommy Makeover.
How is the Tummy Tuck Procedure Performed?
The tummy tuck procedure typically begins with an incision made across the lower abdomen, just above the pubic area and beneath the bikini line. An incision may also be made around the belly button. At this time, the underlying abdominal muscles can be tightened, providing a stronger abdominal wall and reducing overall waist size. The skin and fat between the pubic area and the belly button is usually removed, and any loose tissue from above is pulled down and to the center. Finally, a new opening is made for the belly button at the proper position.
The entire abdominoplasty procedure generally takes about two to three hours to complete, but this may vary based on each patient’s unique needs. The night of surgery, you will be provided with a caregiver and hotel stay. With the help of a close friend or family member, most individuals are able to return home the day after their surgery.
Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction
As liposuction and tummy tuck surgery are two of the most popular procedures to improve the look of the abdomen, many patients have questions regarding which of these body contouring treatments can fulfill their goals most effectively.
In general, a tummy tuck is usually the most effective treatment for patients who wish to tighten loose or sagging abdominal skin. If you experience a bulging abdomen in spite of good exercise and lifestyle habits, this may be a sign of separated musculature — a concern which can only be resolved with tummy tuck surgery. In contrast, if stubborn fat pockets in the abdomen are the main reason for treatment, liposuction may be enough to achieve your desired aesthetic. Liposuction can remove excess fat for excellent results, but it is only suitable for men and women with minimal to no skin sagging and good skin elasticity. Both procedures can also be performed together to achieve the best possible outcome. Ultimately, the best way to determine the most ideal procedure for your needs is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Miller. He can provide his recommendation after your needs are evaluated. Together, you both can decide which treatment to pursue.
What is Tummy Tuck Recovery Like?
Dr. Miller and his team will provide detailed after-care information regarding your medications, approved activities, and the nature of the normal healing process. The role you play in the recovery period is pivotal to your results, and adhering to Dr. Miller’s post-operative instructions can ensure scars heal properly and minimize the amount of downtime necessary. Following surgery, a firm elastic dressing is placed over the treated area and medication is provided to alleviate soreness and discomfort. You may experience tightness, tingling, or numbness, but these reactions are normal and should dissipate as your recovery progresses.
Patients are typically up and walking around in a day or two, although movement should remain limited to light activity and short periodic walks. After about one week, most individuals can expect to move around normally but strenuous activity should continue to be avoided for three to four weeks. Scars and incision marks usually fade over time; within three to six months, any visible scarring should be flatter and lighter. Additional instructions will be provided at the time of operation.
By removing the sagging, excess skin of the abdomen and repairing stretched or torn musculature, patients can enjoy a flatter, firmer abdomen as well as a thinner waistline. While the procedure is designed to provide a long-lasting result that does not require retreatment, patients can further extend the longevity of the cosmetic outcome with healthy lifestyle and exercise habits.
The best!!!! He did my tummy tuck a few years after having twins.
Kersten Flydal Galambos
March 18, 2014
For more information about tummy tuck surgery, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Miller, please contact our office today.