Severe structural body changes caused by pregnancy or extreme weight changes result in excess fatty tissue and skin folds in the lower abdominal region. Diet and exercise often fail to improve the body appearance, so many people turn to a surgical technique known as abdominoplasty. Abdominoplasty is a simple procedure to tighten the abdominal support mechanisms and remove excess skin folds. Repair of the muscular structures is usually carried out at the same time. Equally suitable for both men and women, abdominoplasty takes about two hours and patients normally stay overnight in our surgical center or cottage. Discrete scars, which are hidden beneath the bikini line, heal in about six weeks, leaving the abdomen taut and attractive once again.
A protuberant abdomen can be a cause of distress for men and women alike. It can be the result of excess fat, weak abdominal muscles, pregnancy, or loose skin that has been overstretched and no longer responds to diet and exercise. For those who have experienced massive weight loss, their alternative to loose overhanging skin is surgery. A tummy tuck first tightens the muscles in the abdominal wall and then removes excess fatty tissue and skin. The procedure is very common and can benefit both men and women. Patients that have stabilized their weight loss program and feel that they are at an ideal weight are the best candidates for a tummy tuck. Many patients combine their tummy tuck with other cosmetic procedures such as liposuction, breast augmentation or breast reduction surgery.
During your private consultation, you will be asked your goals and expectations of the surgery. The surgeons at Chernoff Cosmetic Surgeons will assess the nature of your abdomen, your expectations, and explain the probable outcome of your procedure.
You will be shown several before and after photographs with similar abdomens, and your surgeon will explain the treatment and the results you can expect to achieve. Before and after photographs will be taken of your abdomen to document your improvement. Visit us to see some tummy tuck before and after pictures.
What Will My Tummy Tuck Recovery Be Like?
Bed rest is recommended for the first day. Most patients experience some numbness in the area of the abdomen, which may last as long as a year. Any pain or discomfort that follows surgery can be controlled with oral medication. If surgical drains are used, they may remain in place for three to seven days until discharge fluids decrease. Stitches will be removed in one to two weeks. However, bandages may remain in place somewhat longer. A special abdominal support garment is often necessary for several weeks. There will be some scarring that will fade significantly over time. During your recovery, you must refrain from strenuous activity or lifting. Most patients are able to go back to work within one to three weeks, depending upon the degree of surgery. Your surgeon will decide when you can resume normal activities.
The results of this surgery can be quite dramatic, and patients love their slimmer, trimmer figures, and flatter abdomens.
There are three basic techniques used to flatten a protuberant abdomen. The best technique for you will largely depend on your goals and your specific problem. You will discuss these details with Dr. Chernoff in his offices in Santa Rosa or Indianapolis before the procedure. Liposuction alone can produce a thin abdominal wall for some. If your laxity and excess skin are below your navel, a mini tummy tuck may be right for you. For those with severe laxity of their abdominal muscle or excessive skin, a full tummy tuck may be their only solution.
How Is Abdominoplasty Performed?
Abdominoplasty is usually performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. A full tummy tuck involves an incision around the bellybutton and another incision that runs from hip to hip over the pubic bone. Your entire abdominal wall is tightened with permanent stitches, and the excess skin and fat is removed. A circumferential tummy tuck involves an incision around the entire body with fat and excess tissue being removed in 360 degrees. A mini tummy tuck is usually performed in conjunction with liposuction of the upper abdomen and the flank areas. With a mini tummy tuck, a smaller incision is made in your bikini area, and no incision is made around your bellybutton. Your surgeon removes excess skin and fat through this incision. Permanent stitches will also be placed through this incision to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall.