Home/Body/Tummy Tuck

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.

Candidates for a Tummy Tuck

An ideal candidate for a tummy tuck is an individual suffering from excess, sagging skin around the stomach region and weak muscles or separation of the muscles caused by the effects of aging, weight loss, or pregnancy. Patients who are interested in receiving the abdominoplasty procedure should be in good overall physical and mental health, aware of the associated risks, and have realistic expectations. Tummy tucks are not substitutes for losing weight through natural means of a healthy diet and regular exercise routine. Before having the surgery, patients who are losing weight should be near their targeted goal weight. If women considering tummy tuck procedures are planning to have more children, it is often recommended that they wait to undergo the surgery until after they have completed their families.

Patient Results

Video Image Placeholder

The Tummy Tuck Procedure

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.

“Drain-Free” Tummy Tuck

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.

Mini Tummy Tuck

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.

Preparing for Tummy Tuck Surgery

During your initial consultation, one of our physicians will gather all of the vital information necessary to achieve favorable results that align with your particular goals. In the consultation, you and your doctor will engage in an active discussion about your expectations, preferences, medical history, current medications, and any allergies. Since smoking, uncontrolled high blood pressure, blood clotting issues, and other health conditions can affect the procedure, it is essential that you share all of these details with us openly. At the consultation, you will also receive a comprehensive physical examination to assess your skin tone and sagging skin. It is also the perfect time to discuss whether other procedures you are interested in can be combined with the tummy tuck.

For a minimum of two weeks before and after your tummy tuck surgery, it is imperative that you do not consume any medications that contain ibuprofen, including aspirin or Advil®. Ibuprofen causes the blood to become thin, which will interfere with the normal blood clotting response and increase the dangers of excessive bleeding. In its place, it is suggested that you use medications that consist of acetaminophen for any painkiller needs. At least six weeks before the surgery, you should also stop smoking, because it has been linked to slowing the healing process and constricting the blood vessels within the skin. Do not consume alcoholic beverages for a minimum of two weeks before, as well as after, the surgery. Make sure that you also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, lower the amount of sodium in your diet to reduce swelling, and curb taking all vitamins for at least two weeks.

Recovering from Tummy Tuck Surgery

While those receiving a mini tummy tuck can typically return to work after seven to ten days, patients who receive the standard tummy tuck will need to wait two to three weeks before returning to normal activities. Bruising is commonly present right after the surgery, but it will usually disappear within the first three weeks. It is not unheard of for swelling to last up to nine months as well. Although skin sensations will gradually start to return, numbness in the operated abdominal area may last for a maximum of two years. It is normal for scarring to worsen for the first month or two; however, the scars should begin to flatten and become less noticeable after nine to twelve months.

For many individuals, bandages are typically removed after seven days. You will also be provided with a supportive binder garment to wear for a scheduled amount of time determined by the timeframe of your recovery. *After the tummy tuck, you can expect to notice immediate improvements in your shape and figure, but the final results will be seen between six and twelve months.

*Individual Results May Vary

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.