Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
Abdominoplasty (also known as a tummy tuck) is a procedure designed to improve appearance of the abdomen by tightening of abdominal muscles and removing excess skin and fat. It can be performed alone or combined with other procedures - most commonly, liposuction.
It is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons ® Statistics Report, there were approximately 116,000 abdominoplasties performed in 2011 in the USA by board-certified plastic surgeons (an 85% increase since 2000).
This procedure is popular among mothers because it can help restore weakened or separated muscles in the tummy area, creating a smoother, firmer, and flatter abdominal profile. Many women choose to combine a tummy tuck with other procedures - such as liposuction, breast augmentation, or breast lift - in what is called a mommy makeover.
It is also popular among patients (both men and women) who have undergone substantial weight loss, who struggle with excess skin or loose muscle tissue.
Although safe and effective, a tummy tuck is not a small procedure. Patients should expect a few weeks of downtime and plan ahead to ensure a smooth, restful recovery.
WHO IS A CANDIDATE?
An abdominoplasty is a good option for patients close to their ideal weight who struggle with excess fat and skin and/or problematic muscle tissue.
A good candidate for abdominoplasty meets the following criteria:
- In reasonably good health
- Has some established weight loss
- Has realistic expectations and a positive outlook
- Is not a smoker
If you smoke, you will be asked to quit smoking two months prior to treatment as well as during recovery to reduce risk of bleeding. If you do not follow these instructions, your surgery will be cancelled for your safety.
During the procedure, patients are placed under anesthesia for their comfort and safety. A fully tummy tuck requires a horizontal 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 to be removed. A second incision might be necessarily to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen.
Once the abdominal skin is lifted, the underlying weakened abdominal muscles are repaired.
Once all excess skin and fat have been removed and muscles have been repaired, the incisions are closed and recovery begins.
Tummy tuck recovery typically lasts several weeks.
During your tummy tuck recovery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and you may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling and support your abdomen as it heals following surgery.
Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
It’s important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion or motion during the time of healing.
You will be given specific instructions that include:
- How to care for the surgical site and drains
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
- When to come in for your follow-up appointments
Make sure that both you and whoever might be assisting you understand your care instructions and ask any questions you may have. This will ensure a quick and smooth recovery.
After an active recovery time of two to four weeks, you will be able to start seeing the results of your procedure. Similarly to liposuction, you’ll experience some swelling for one to three months after surgery. When this swelling subsides and your skin tightens around the treated area, you’ll be able to see the full results of your surgery.
A tummy tuck does involve a larger incision - sometimes two. With proper scar care, scars will usually fade as much as they will after about one year. It is important to begin scar care as soon as the wound closes to ensure the scars fade as much as possible.
Dr. Majewski will provide his recommendation for a scar gel that will encourage your scars to heal quickly. As with all scars, keep your scar out of direct sunlight. Always apply sunscreen if your scar will be exposed to sunlight - the SkinMedica Essential Defense Mineral Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 35 formula is specifically formulated for post-procedure sun protection.
Ready to Get Started?
You can use our online scheduler to set up an appointment at any time.