Abdominoplasty, known more commonly as a “tummy tuck,” is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. Dr. Michelle Hardaway has found that this procedure can dramatically improve the appearance of a protruding abdomen. If you feel that you desire to have a flatter abdomen and desire to feel more comfortable in your form-fitting clothes, then a Tummy Tuck may be the procedure for you.
The best candidates for a tummy tuck are those who are in relatively good shape, but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won’t respond to diet or exercise. The surgery is particularly helpful to those who, through pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they cannot return to normal. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with slight obesity, can also be improved.
Complete tummy tuck surgery usually takes two to four hours, depending on the extent of work required. Partial tummy tucks may take an hour or two. Most commonly, Dr. Hardaway will make an incision from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area. A second incision is made to free the navel from surrounding tissue. The skin flap is then stretched down and the extra skin is removed. A new hole is made for the navel, which is then stitched in place. Finally, the incisions will be stitched, dressing will be applied, and a temporary drainage tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site. A tummy tuck does produce a permanent scar. However, its appearance can be minimized through the use of non surgical treatments.
For the first few days, your abdomen will probably be swollen and you’re likely to feel some pain and discomfort, which can be controlled by medication. Dr. Hardaway will give you instructions for showering and changing your dressing. And though you may not be able to stand straight at first, you should start walking even the night of surgery. A support garment should be worn for six weeks. If you start out in top physical condition, with strong abdominal muscles, recovery from a tummy tuck will be much faster. Some people return to work after two weeks, while others take three or four weeks to rest and recuperate. Always follow Dr. Hardaway’s instructions, and do not exercise until cleared by the doctor. However, some exercise will help you heal better, reduce swelling, lower the chance of blood clots, and tone muscles when cleared by Dr. Hardaway. Tummy tucks produce excellent results for patients with weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin. And, if you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly the results are long lasting. If you feel this procedure could enhance your look, please contact our office today!