Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, is a procedure designed to slenderize, flatten, tighten, and remove excess skin from the abdominal area. This surgery is particularly beneficial to persons who have lost some of their skin elasticity due to significant weight loss, pregnancy, or aging. These circumstances frequently cause the musculature and connective tissue in the abdominal wall to stretch, and can also lead to loose or sagging skin. Diet and exercise are usually inadequate means of correcting these anatomic changes.
Patients often choose to undergo an abdominoplasty in combination with other body contouring procedures such as liposuction, breast augmentation and mastopexy. When performed after child bearing, this combination of procedures is commonly referred to as a “mommy makeover.”
In this video, Dr. Scott talks about tummy tuck surgery, including candidacy and benefits.
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Surgery
Prior to an abdominoplasty, it is important to be at a relatively stable weight. Cigarette smoking should be discontinued for three to four weeks before surgery. The procedure is usually performed under a general anesthetic in an ambulatory surgery center.
A horizontal incision is discretely made just above the pubic bone, which allows it to be hidden by clothing and bikinis. The length of the incision is dependent upon the extent of skin laxity. Excess skin is removed, and the rectus muscle and connective tissue of the abdominal wall are tightened, creating an internal corset that narrows the waist. After removal of the excess skin, the belly button is returned to its original anatomic location. Dr. Scott specifically takes great care in achieving a very natural and feminine appearance to the belly button, thus avoiding the “operated on” look. Small drainage tubes are left in place for a few days after surgery in order to prevent excess fluid from collecting.
Variations of this procedure include a “mini” tummy tuck and a “panniculectomy.”
Mini Tummy Tuck
A “mini” tummy tuck is performed for men or women with minimal skin and muscle laxity. This surgery involves a shorter incision without any alteration to the belly button.
A “panniculectomy” or dermatolipectomy is performed for individuals who have skin laxity, but tight abdominal muscles. Because there is no need for muscle tightening, the recovery time for this procedure is shorter than that of an abdominoplasty.
Dr. Jeff Scott will be able to advise you as to which procedure would be optimal for your unique needs.
Find out about the differences between full and mini tummy tuck surgery.
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Recovery
After an abdominoplasty, it is important to ambulate the day of surgery. In order to reduce discomfort and increase mobility, Dr. Scott often delivers a local anesthetic (Marcaine) directly into the tightened muscles through a pain pump system. A compression garment should also be worn in order to reduce swelling and support the abdomen.
Exercise is encouraged as soon as possible to help achieve a quicker recovery, but heavy lifting should be avoided for approximately four weeks after surgery. Most patients are able to return to work within seven to fourteen days depending upon the degree of physical exertion required at the workplace. The incision scar typically requires six to twelve months to fully mature and fade in color.