Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, can help you achieve a flatter and firmer abdomen. In a tummy tuck procedure, excess fat and skin are removed from the belly and, in many cases, weakened and stretched stomach muscles are tightened. Popular tummy tuck procedures include mini and standard full tummy tucks. Liposuction is commonly performed in combination with a tummy tuck to help slim and shape the waistline.
When to Consider a Tummy Tuck
A large or sagging stomach can be the result of heredity, pregnancy, aging, changes in weight, or a combination of all these and other factors. Getting rid of a belly can be challenging even for those who are otherwise satisfied with their weight and body proportion.
Sometimes diet and exercise can’t achieve the smooth, toned tummy that so many strive for. Depending on your desired results, a tummy tuck can help you achieve your goals when other weight control efforts and methods just don’t seem to be enough.
However, a tummy tuck is not intended for weight loss, and it can’t take the place of healthy eating and exercise habits. Generally, it also can’t correct stretch marks, although it may reduce the number and appearance of stretch marks when excess skin is removed during surgery. It’s best to postpone tummy tuck surgery if you are planning to lose weight or are considering future pregnancies.
Consulting Your Plastic Surgeon
A tummy tuck is a highly individualized procedure, meaning the outcome will vary for each patient. Everyone should have a clear understanding of what to do and expect before, during, and after their procedure.
Schedule a consultation with Kelsey-Seybold plastic surgeon in advance and be prepared to discuss the following:
- What you want to achieve
- Health conditions, allergies, and risk factors that may affect success or safety
- Use of medications, vitamins/supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs
- A list of questions and concerns you might have
What to Expect in a Tummy Tuck Procedure
Prior to the procedure, your doctor may instruct you to not consume alcohol, certain medications, and other substances that can cause complications during the procedure. A tummy tuck can be completed in two to three hours and is usually an outpatient procedure.
There are three general steps in the procedure:
- Surgical removal of the excess skin and stretch marks in the lower abdomen
- Tightening of the abdominal muscles
- Closure by sculpting and shaping the upper abdomen and waistline
Common procedures performed with abdominoplasty are liposuction and belly button hernia repair.
For women who are undergoing gynecologic procedures, such as hysterectomy or fibroid removal, they may also consider getting a tummy tuck at the same time so recovery can happen simultaneously.
For a more detailed explanation of the surgical process, consult a Kelsey-Seybold Clinic plastic surgeon or visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website.