The Tummy Tuck is very popular, ranking among the top five most requested cosmetic procedures. Also referred to as abdominoplasty is used to make the abdomen firmer by removing excess skin and fatty tissue. This tightens the muscles of the abdomen and results in a firmer stomach. Often, liposuction is used in conjunction to reform and contour transition areas. A complete abdominoplasty can take upwards of four hours, while a partial abdominoplasty can be completed within one or two.
Abdominoplasty can also be done in different degrees depending on how much tissue and skin is removed. The complete procedure involves an incision from hip to hip as well as an incision to free the navel. Excess skin and tissue is detached from the abdominal wall and the belly button is sutured into place. Unlike liposuction alone, the removal of this skin greatly assists patients with stretch marks in the area. Liposuction is used to touch up the transition areas. A partial abdominoplasty follows the same process but on a more limited scale with smaller incisions. An extended abdominoplasty follows the complete procedure but extends into the thighs and/or flanks.
As with any surgical procedure, adequate recovery time is essential. A support garment may be worn to minimize swelling and bruising. Experts recommend one to four weeks of low impact activities for initial recovery. Full recovery will take three to six weeks with the scars fading in the following months.
Tummy Tuck FAQs
Full And Mid Abdominoplasty
Q: What is the difference between a full and a mid abdominoplasty?
A: A complete or full abdominoplasty consists of an incision made from hip to hip with large amounts of skin being removed. A mid abdominoplasty is less invasive and little or no skin is removed. Both involve tightening the abdomen wall muscles.
Tummy Tuck Or Liposuction
Q: Do I need a tummy tuck, or can I just have liposuction performed?
A: This is greatly dependent on your overall goals and lifestyle following the procedure. Since liposuction does not involve skin removal or muscle tightening, it would be paramount (to fully benefit from the procedure) to maintain a healthy lifestyle following the procedure. If excess skin and muscle laxity are a problem, liposuction will not suffice, a full or mid abdominoplasty would address these issues.
Tummy Tuck Scarring
Q: What is the scarring like after a tummy tuck?
A: The resulting scar from a tummy tuck depends greatly on how much skin is removed. As with any scar, it will fade with time. There are ways to assist the fading of scars as well. Vitamin E cream and specialized skin rejuvenation creams are widely available. Also, the horizontal incision made during the abdominoplasty is performed below the panty line. Due to these techniques, the resulting scar unnoticeable.
Return To Normal Life
Q: How long after an abdominoplasty procedure can I expect to be back in the gym?
A: This is dependent on the extent of the surgery and whether the muscles were tightened or not. Typically, patients are active within 1 to 2 weeks and can expect to back in the gym in approximately 1 month.
Tummy Tuck And Pregnancy
Q: If I have a complete tummy tuck performed, will it affect me having a baby in the future?
A: The tummy tuck will NOT interfere with you having a baby. However, the pregnancy may reverse some of the benefits of the procedure.