A Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty) is a plastic surgery procedure designed to flatten the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat, and to tighten the abdominal wall.
After a tummy tuck, the result is often a smoother and flatter abdomen with lasting results as long as you maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
This is an operation designed to improve the appearance of the abdomen, which may be overly protruding, or may have excess loose skin and fat. There are variations of the standard operation, including "mini-tucks," which may be of benefit to patients who require removal of a small amount of skin and/or tightening of the abdominal muscles below the umbilicus (belly button). This can be done in conjunction with an umbilicoplasty, improving the size/shape of the belly button. Most patients with massive weight loss require a more extensive operation. Frequently, additional enhancing surgeries such as liposuction to improve the waist line or other regions, pubis lift or breast surgery can be performed at the same time without delaying your recovery period. Please discuss with your doctor if this applies to you.
Under general anesthesia, an incision is made across the lower part of the abdomen at the pubic hair line extending to your hips. A circular incision is made around the navel which stays attached to the muscle. The skin is then separated from the muscle up toward the ribs, so that it can be pulled down like a window shade. The tummy is then "tightened," (narrowing and flattening the abdomen) by stitching the muscles together to a position of youth and pre-pregnancy. "Mini" tummy tucks can benefit patients who have a small amount of excess skin and fat or protruding of the lower abdomen. Liposuction may be used alone or in conjunction with a tummy tuck to benefit selected patients. A pubis lift can reduce the redundant pubis skin or excess amount of hair bearing tissue.
Types of Tummy Tucks
Following surgery, you will be walking in a bent-over position to keep tension off the newly tightened skin incision site. Although strenuous activity, and lifting more than ten pounds, must be avoided for 6 weeks, some people can return to work and daily activities as soon as 2 weeks after surgery. Softening of the surgical scars, return of sensation, and loosening of the tight sensation may take several months to a year or more. ?
Abdominoplasty involves a recovery period of 10 to 14 days longer than most plastic surgical procedures. Initial discomfort and decreased mobility is typical. To decrease this discomfort, we offer a long acting local anesthetic. This numbing injection solution (Exparel) which lasts for 3-4 days allows for an easier recovery and is preferable to older pain pump technology.
3-5 days or more of assistance at home is usually indicated. We can arrange for a nurse to stay with you if helpful.
You will be encouraged to move and walk regularly starting the day of surgery. Wearing your TED stockings at all times, except while washing, to prevent venous clots (deep vein thrombosis) is mandatory.
Light activity is comfortable in 10-20 days. No sports or heavy lifting for 6 weeks or more - please discuss with your doctor for specific questions.
Additional procedures that may enhance the result are Liposuction, Pubis Lift, or Thigh Lift which are commonly done at the same time and do not usually delay your recovery substantially in most cases.
Variations of the standard abdominoplasty, including "mini-tucks" may be possible.
TIGHTNESS: Your abdomen will feel tight for a month or longer. If you have had a muscle repair as well (the usual case), you will feel the most tightness down the center of your tummy where the doctor has actually repaired your muscles.
ACTIVITIES: If your job keeps you sedentary, you may plan on returning to work in 10-14 days, with the understanding that you can still have discomfort with motion. Please discuss this with the doctor and the nursing staff. Excess swelling may indicate too much activity. Do not plan on resuming aerobic or strenuous exercise for about 6 weeks after surgery. Let your body tell you what it can do.
Contact our knowledgeable staff if you would like to learn more about tummy tuck procedures.
You can schedule a consultation with our Newport Beach plastic surgeons online or by calling (949) 565-2121.