Your Best Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck is a common procedure to improve the contour and shape of the abdomen. Often, the abdomen changes with age, weight loss, or pregnancy. While diet and exercise can help, sometimes it is not enough. Each tummy tuck involves removing excess skin and fat, while also tightening up the abdominal muscles to achieve the optimal shape and contour. Whether you are considering a tummy tuck or any other type of plastic surgery, a successful cosmetic surgery requires planning and diligence.
Patients considering tummy tuck surgery, may not realize that the success of the procedure largely depends on how well a person may be suited for it. Candidacy requirements for patients undergoing tummy tuck surgery take into account body mass index (BMI), expectations for results, lifestyle habits, and other factors.
We will administer medications for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. We will recommend the best choice for you depending on the specific procedure you are going through. A full tummy tuck requires a horizontally-oriented incision in the area between the pubic hairline and belly button. The shape and length of the incision will depend on the amount of excess skin.
Once we lift the abdominal skin, we will repair the underlying weakened abdominal muscles. A second incision around the navel may be necessary to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen. We then pull the upper abdominal skin down like a window shade. The next step is to trim the excess skin and suture the remaining skin together. We will then create a new opening for the belly button.
The belly button is popped through to the surface and sutured into position. Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips are used to close the skin incisions. Now that your procedure is over your tummy tuck will result in a flatter and firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with your body type and weight.
After Your Tummy Tuck
This is not a simple little ‘nothing’ procedure as the name ‘tummy tuck’ would suggest. A tummy tuck is a much more complex surgery than some people realize. In an abdominoplasty, we completely separate and lift the skin and tissue from the muscle and underlying tissues starting from just under your breasts to your pubic bone.
Obey the surgeon’s ’10 lb. rule’ and do not move around too much after the procedure. If you have special conditions where we determine you are a risk of blood clots, follow your post-op instructions. If you move too much, and this includes walking, shopping, driving, even getting dressed or cooking supper, the two surfaces slide against one another and in response your body will send fluid to cushion friction due to the sliding. This pocket of fluid is called a seroma.
If you develop a fluid pocket the plastic surgeon will need to draw the fluid out using a syringe. Make sure you lay low for a good 10 days. Keep your binder firm while you are vertical and loosen it while laying down flat. Watch shows from the bed, with 2 or 3 pillows under your knees, a couple behind your back, one under each arm to create a cradle type position. Drink plenty of water and double up on protein so your body has plenty of materials in order to heal itself. You will get a much better result if you do not create any issues for yourself by being up and about for these first 10 days while the tissues reattach themselves.
Tummy Tuck Vs. Liposuction
Many patients ask what the difference is between a tummy tuck and liposuction. After all, both procedures can drastically help clients improve the abdominal area by creating a tone and tight midsection. However, liposuction and tummy tuck procedures are actually very different in terms of the results they provide. While both a liposuction and a tummy tuck are excellent body contouring procedures, it is extremely important to determine what specific issues we must correct to determine the best course of treatment.
If the problem is excess skin or loose abdominal muscles from excessive weight loss, then a tummy tuck may be your best option. For individuals who just need to improve isolated areas, liposuction is usually the best course of treatment.
Quick Tips for Effective Results
- Be close to your target weight
- Ask lots of questions
- Stop smoking immediately
- Listen to your surgeon before and after your procedure
Make sure pregnancy is not in your future. While you can certainly become pregnant after a tummy tuck, the pregnancy will really change the appearance of the abdomen and almost certainly require another procedure down the road.
If you would like to learn more about tummy tuck and the various treatments we provide, call (814) 676-8000 to schedule a consultation.