A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, involves repair of the abdominal wall muscles (rectus abdominus) which is often stretched from pregnancy, fluctuation in weight, aging, prior surgery or heredity. Tummy tuck surgery is often performed after weight loss surgery or pregnancy.
A Standard Tummy Tuck Procedure Does Three Things:
- Removes loose skin and
- Reshapes the contours and muscles of the stomach
- Removes excess fat around the waistline.
A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty involves repair of the abdominal wall muscles (rectus abdominus) which is often stretched from pregnancy, fluctuation in weight, aging, prior surgery or heredity. Diastasis recti is the medical term used to describe the stretching of the tissue between the muscles which most often occurs with pregnancy.
A tummy tuck can help alleviate or remove the appearance of stretch marks on the stomach, as well as tighten the muscles on the abdominal wall for a smoother contour. The procedure also repairs the stretching of the muscles and tissue that occurs with pregnancy.
Diastasis recti is the medical term used to describe the stretching of the tissue between the muscles, which most often occurs with pregnancy. When a tummy tuck is combined with breast surgery, it is known as a mommy makeover.
There is no precise age to get a tummy tuck. If you have lost a significant amount of weight or plan to lose weight, it is best to wait until you are close to your goal weight for the procedure. As well, if you are planning on getting pregnant, it’s best to wait until you are finished having children to get the procedure.
Full Tummy Tuck vs. Mini Tummy Tuck
A full tummy tuck involves a horizontal incision just above the pubic hairline. The skin and fatty tissue is lifted off of the muscles to the xyphoid (end of the sternum) and the muscles are tightened (sutured) from the xyphoid to the pubic area. The excess skin is removed. The abdomen appears flat and the skin is tight, many stretch marks are removed.
A mini tummy tuck involves a horizontal incision just above the pubic hairline. The skin and fatty tissue is lifted off of the muscles to the umbilicus (navel) and the muscles are tightened (sutured) from the umbilicus to the pubic area. The excess skin is removed from the umbilicus (navel) to the pubic area. At your consultation, Dr. Hardaway will suggest the procedure that will give you the best results.
The procedure can be performed as an outpatient procedure in an accredited office-based surgical center, a licensed ambulatory surgical center or a hospital with a 23 hour admission. This is often determined by your medical history.
Often, liposuction is performed to contour the back at the time of a tummy tuck. This is often called an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck 360.
What is the typical cost of a tummy tuck?
The cost of the procedure depends on the wants and needs of each specific patient. A tummy tuck can be combined with other procedures such as liposuction. Dr. Hardaway’s staff will discuss pricing with you during your consultation. Occasionally, insurance will cover removal of excess skin and fat on the abdomen after massive weight loss.
What qualifies you for a tummy tuck?
The best candidates for a tummy tuck are those who:
- Are in relatively good shape
- Are at a stable weight
- Are in good physical health in general
This procedure is for those who 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.
Is a tummy tuck worth it?
Tummy tuck results will last for many years if they are properly maintained. Weight gain and body changes can affect the results of a tummy tuck, and stomach fat can come back again. In general, it is important to maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise routine to maintain results for as long as possible.
Is Abdominoplasty A Major Surgery?
Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a major surgery. You should visit a board certified plastic surgeon for the procedure. For best and fastest results, make sure to follow proper aftercare instruction from your plastic surgeon after the surgery. Results from the procedure are visible immediately after surgery, though the full healing process will take longer. You will likely need to take a few weeks off of work to fully heal. Oral pain medication is required after a tummy tuck. This is often supplemented with a local anesthetic such as Exparel which can last up to three days. After one week post-op, narcotic pain medication should not be required and anti-inflammatory medication such as Motrin should be sufficient.
The healing process varies from patient to patient, and depends on the expanse of the surgery. You can shower when cleared by the doctor, usually about 48 hours after the drains are removed. You will need to sleep on an incline the first few days after surgery, and you will not be able to drive a few weeks after surgery. Do not exercise until cleared by the doctor, usually about 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. Follow up appointments will help make sure you are healing properly.
How much weight can you lose with abdominoplasty?
There’s no precise amount of weight, or number of inches, or sizes you lose after a tummy tuck. As much skin that can be safely removed to achieve your desired shape is removed. A tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure, and should not be used as a shortcut for weight loss. It is often wanted after dramatic weight loss to remove loose skin and help with body contouring.