Abdominoplasty, or “Tummy Tuck,” is a commonly performed surgical procedure that addresses excess skin, muscle weakness and fatty “adipose” tissue in the mid and lower abdominal wall. Many of life’s changes including weight loss or multiple pregnancies may leave you feeling frustrated with excess hanging skin or a low abdominal pouch that is many times resistant to diet and exercise.
Increased abdominal girth from weight gain or pregnancy also weakens the abdominal musculature and allows laxity to persist even after the weight has been lost. Because the muscle and tissues may have been stretched beyond their ability to recover naturally, attempts at muscle tightening with sit-ups may be futile.
An abdominoplasty is performed under general anesthesia so the muscle is relaxed and can be tightened by special suturing techniques. Excess skin and fat are removed and the resulting scar is hidden in the low abdomen and around a more youthful appearing belly button.
The procedure takes approximately three hours and is usually performed as an outpatient hospital procedure, meaning you go home the same day. The recovery is approximately two weeks, but many patients return to work as quickly as five days.
The office consultation takes about 45 minutes starting with an evaluation of your health. Particular attention will be paid to the degree of skin and muscle laxity and the amount of abdominal fatty tissue present to design a surgery that is right for you. Some patients may require abdominal liposuction alone while others will need a mini or full tummy tuck.
Those who plan to become pregnant should not have a tummy tuck until after pregnancy. At a scheduled pre-operative visit, two weeks prior to surgery, you will receive prescriptions and instructions on what medications to avoid, pre- and post-operative instructions and be measured for a garment to be worn after surgery.
Many patients prefer to schedule surgery in the winter when they can take time off, the post-surgery garments are hidden in winter clothing and to be fully healed for the summer time. Make a consultation with a trusted, board-certified plastic surgeon to see if you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck.