The tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that is designed to give patients a narrower, firmer, and flatter abdomen. Tummy tucks are meant to tighten the abdominal musculature that has been stretched and cannot be improved with an exercise regimen. The procedure is an excellent option for patients who have a protruding abdomen with excess skin, especially as a result of dramatic weight loss or pregnancy. When combined with liposuction, the abdominoplasty can also deliver contouring to achieve a desired stomach shape that can flatter one’s figure.
Our physicians utilize advanced techniques that make it possible to avoid placement of post-operative drains following tummy tuck surgery, which can make the recovery process more comfortable and convenient. Please find more information on this popular procedure below, and contact us today with any questions you may have.
Unlike other tummy tuck techniques available, our preferred method is the high lateral tension abdominoplasty because it enables a more optimal placement of thinner scars. With the innovative procedure, our plastic surgeons can greatly reduce the chance of visible scarring by placing incisions within your underwear or bikini bottoms. The high lateral tension abdominoplasty also involves less undermining and loosening of the skin to ensure continued blood supply to the tissues in the area being operated on. Therefore, our tummy tuck procedure is designed to protect against unsightly scars and the risk of wound healing issues after.
Depending on the individualized plan that your physician implements to meet your specific needs and goals, the tummy tuck surgery can last between one to three hours. In order to begin the procedure, your surgeon will make an incision in the lower abdominal skin from one hip bone to the other, slightly above the pubic region. A second incision is made around the navel to free it from the surrounding tissues of the abdomen. Then, your surgeon will separate the excess skin from the muscles of the abdominal wall up to the ribs and begin tightening the weakened muscles. Similar to an internal corset, the muscles will be pulled close together and sutured in place for a tighter appearance. All extra skin is removed as the skin is stretched back down and the navel is placed in its new position. Finally, the incisions are sutured closed. For your safety, you will be required to stay overnight in the hospital and receive numbing solutions or painkillers to prevent discomfort.
Our physicians can perform what’s known as a “drain-free” tummy tuck for most patients. This technique utilizes progressive tension sutures to effectively secure abdominal skin to the underlying tissues, which can create a tighter seal and diminish the possibility of excessive fluid build-up. This special suturing technique helps patients avoid the need for the temporary placement of drains in the treatment area while the abdomen heals, which can ultimately make the recovery process much more comfortable.
If you and your physician decide on a mini abdominoplasty to achieve your desired results, the procedure will be slightly modified. A shorter and smaller incision will be made above the pubic region, but it will not extend from hip bone to hip bone. Since the mini abdominoplasty is intended for patients with weakened muscles in the lower part of the abdomen, only the muscles from the pubic bone to the belly button will be repaired. Although the mini tummy tuck does not tighten skin above the navel, it can be extremely effective for those needing to improve the contour of the specific targeted lower abdomen.
If you would like more information on our advanced tummy tuck options, or if you are ready to schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons, please don’t hesitate to contact our practice.