What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen. During the procedure, your surgeon can also tighten weakened muscles to improve your body’s contour. This section of the procedure can also be called an internal corset as it tightens the core and brings your muscles together. Our tummy tuck procedure targets loose skin around the stomach, but every surgery is tailored to fit our patient’s specific needs. At your consultation, you and your provider will discuss exactly what our tummy tuck procedure can do for you.
Who Can Have a Tummy Tuck?
If you have loose skin due to age, pregnancy, or significant weight loss, this surgery can work for you. However, a tummy tuck is not an alternative to weight loss nor is it a fat removal procedure. If you are planning on losing more weight, or a significant amount of weight, we recommend that you have a tummy tuck only after your weight is stabilized. A tummy tuck’s purpose is to correct loose skin and tighten the core. If you are looking for a permanent fat removal solution, your provider can work with you to find an alternative option that works for you. That could include performing liposuction alongside a tummy tuck or creating a Coolsculpting Elite® treatment plan. At your consultation, your provider will ask about your goals to determine the best time for your tummy tuck.
What Causes Loose Skin?
Excessive sun exposure can damage skin cells and deteriorate these proteins. Certain lifestyle habits like smoking, improper diet, heavy drinking, and other pollutants can also exacerbate the breakdown of collagen and elastin.
Other factors contributing to saggy skin include loss of tissue volume and the force of gravity as we age. Loose skin can also be a result of genetics, prior surgery, pregnancy, and significant or rapid weight gain or loss. Those who’ve had multiple babies at once, like twins or triplets, are more likely to have looser skin. If you’ve had a C-section, your surgeon will replace your C-section scar with the tummy tuck scar.
Before a tummy tuck, your provider must evaluate your candidacy for the surgery. At your consultation, you and your provider will go over your health history, previous surgeries, and your medication list so we can make your procedure and recovery is as safe and smooth as possible. You and your provider will also discuss your goals, concerns, and any questions you might have. Our job is to listen to your desires and expected results to deliver them in the safest way possible.
Tummy Tuck Risks
Our experienced team of medical professionals has your safety as their number one priority. We do everything we can to reduce the likelihood of risks, but for full disclosure, we want our patients to be aware of every facet of surgery. Before you proceed with your tummy tuck surgery, you and your provider will discuss all risks associated with tummy tucks at your consultation. If any of the risks concern you, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your provider.
Your Trusted Resource
All bodies are beautiful, no matter their shape or skin. Tummy tucks may not be for everyone, or maybe they are right for you. It doesn’t matter whether you want to change your appearance or if you are happy in the skin you’re in; we provide quality services and expert knowledge backed by years of experience. Our patient satisfaction means the most to us, and we pride ourselves on delivering results that keep you happy and safe.
Tummy Tuck Procedure
For all procedures, we are with our patients every step of the way. You and your provider will discuss all aspects of your surgery at your consultation, so you know what those steps are ahead of time and you can decide if you want to take them. Once you schedule your surgery, you’ll have your first pre-op with a nurse. This meeting will be two to four weeks before your procedure. At this time, the nurse will go over your medications, previous surgeries, and health history to make sure there are no complications. The nurse will also give you your pre and post-op care instructions and answer any questions you may have.
Your second pre-op will be with your surgeon, also two to four weeks before your tummy tuck. Your surgeon will walk you through your procedure again to make sure you are fully informed. If you have any questions or concerns, you are encouraged to ask. On the day of surgery, you will meet with the OR nurses who will prepare you for surgery and you will meet with the anesthesiologist. This will give you an opportunity to discuss any past issues with anesthesia. Your surgeon will answer any last minute questions and do any markings if necessary. Once that’s done, you are ready for surgery.
A tummy tuck is a relatively straightforward surgery. It can take anywhere from four to six hours, depending on how much skin needs to be removed. After the surgery, your surgeon will bandage the area and have you wear a compression garment. Tummy tucks are an outpatient procedure, so patients will need someone to pick them up and spend at least one night with them. We want you to feel comfortable and confident when taking your next steps, if you have any questions about the procedure, don’t hesitate to ask.
Recovery After a Tummy Tuck
To make sure you recover properly after your tummy tuck procedure, your provider will give you instructions for aftercare tailored to your needs and lifestyle. For a full recovery, it’s important to follow their instructions. You also need to allot yourself an adequate amount of time to recover before you resume your daily schedule. Each patient heals at their own pace, so only you and your provider can determine how long that might be for you.
During your recovery period, you might experience some side effects. Common side effects include bruising, numbness, soreness, and swelling. These side effects are temporary and should resolve over time.
As your body heals, you will begin to see the results of your tummy tuck. You should see your full results in six months. A scar will form along the bottom of your abdomen, but it will be in a place that is easily hidden by your bikini line. After your tummy tuck, it is important to continue a healthy diet and exercise to maintain your results. To make sure your incisions are healing properly and there are no complications, you and your provider will schedule post-ops.