Common lifestyle experiences, such as childbirth, weight fluctuations and aging can create issues in the midsection that are hard to address with exercise alone. An abdominoplasty, also referred to as a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure designed to remove loose skin and fat from the abdomen, smoothing and slimming the waistline. A tummy tuck is often also used to repair separated abdominal muscles, further tightening the stomach.
While the reasons this procedure is needed may differ, both men and women can benefit from a tummy tuck. However , it is important to remember that a tummy tuck is a major surgery and patients usually need to take at least two weeks off of work to recover. Because the abdominal skin is pulled tight during the procedure, many patients are unable to stand up straight for the first 7-10 days afterward until the skin relaxes. Patients will need help for at least the first several days after surgery. Most patients will have drainage tubes coming from your abdomen attached to bulbs that collect the fluids that build up following your surgery. This fluid is normal and drainage tubes are necessary to remove it after the procedure. (While a “drainless” tummy tuck is possible for some patients, you may not be a candidate. Your surgeon will explain the pros and cons of using a drainless tummy tuck and will determine if it is appropriate for you.)
Following a tummy tuck, you will have a permanent scar from hip to hip. Drs. Leveque and Butler work to keep the scar minimal and place it so that it would be hidden by a typical bikini. We also offer special scar treatment gel to all tummy tuck patients to help insure that the scar heals well.
For women who have had children and have loose skin, stretch marks and/or separated abdominal muscles, an abdominoplasty could be just what they need. However, if a woman plans on having more children, it is best to wait. During surgery, the abdominal muscles are sutured together to tighten them. Additional pregnancies after this type of surgery could separate those muscles again.
If you are someone that carries some extra weight around your midsection that bothers you, but you do not have loose skin or separated abdominal muscles, liposuction may be a better choice for you. This is a much easier procedure, with an easier recovery. Your doctor will help you determine if liposuction can give you the desired result or if a tummy tuck is necessary.
For patients planning to lose a large amount of weight should lose the weight before having an abdominalplasty. Tummy tucks are not for weight loss. Rather, a tummy tuck can be performed after significant weight loss to remove excess skin and tighten the abdomen area, providing a more appealing shape.
Regardless of what problem you are facing, our award-winning, board-certified plastic surgeons work hard to give our patients a body they will love. If you have any questions about a tummy tuck or any other procedures, schedule a consultation with Dr. Jocelyn Leveque or Dr. Peter Butler today.