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An abdominoplasty, or more commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, removes excess skin around the abdomen area while also restoring any stretched or torn abdominal muscles. These two processes result in a smoother, flatter abdomen. Tummy tucks resolve the issues of hanging or protruding abdominal profiles for a sleeker and more appealing body contour.
Weight fluctuation, the effects of pregnancies, gravity, genetics and the aging process cause skin within the abdominal area to lose elasticity and the abdominal muscles to shift from their original position. A lot of patients that feel that dieting and exercise refuse to touch the stored fat deposits located in the abdomen area, or only produce limited results. Our experienced and board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Bridgett Moore, can help you achieve a slimmer waistline and flattened abdomen by removing loose abdominal skin and tightening overextended abdominal muscles.
If needed, to achieve the best results possible, Dr. Moore may suggest liposuction to break down stubborn fat pockets in the area. A liposuction and tummy tuck surgery are two of the most popular procedures to improve the appearance of the abdomen. The best way to determine if you should have one procedure over the other or both procedures combined, would be to discuss these concerns with Dr. Moore during a scheduled consultation.
Ideal Candidates for Tummy Tucks
Like most all cosmetic surgeries, results vary from patient-to-patient. Some patients are better qualified due to different circumstances. The best candidates for a tummy tuck are generally patients who:
- Are at or near their ideal weight, but struggle with extra skin despite their dieting and exercise efforts
- Have undergone massive weight loss and wish to shred off the excess skin that remains
- Are women who desire to restore their pre-pregnancy figure
Details of the Procedure
A tummy tuck procedure begins by an incision made across the lower abdomen, between the bikini line and pubic area. An additional incision could also be made around the belly button. These incisions allow for the underlying abdominal muscles to be tightened, which provides a stronger abdominal wall and reduces waist size. From here, the skin and fat between the belly button and pubic area are usually removed. Any loose tissue from the area is pulled down and centered. The final step is to create a new opening for the belly button at the proper position. The length of the procedure varies on the unique needs of the patient; however, a general tummy tuck procedure ranges from two to three hours.
Dr. Moore and her team at Azalea will provide detailed information about after-care instructions, approved activities, and what is normal for the healing process. The results of this surgery are highly dependent on the role you play post-surgery and throughout your recovery period. After your surgery, a firm elastic dressing will be placed over the area, and you will be provided with medication to alleviate soreness and discomfort. Generally, patients experience tightness, tingling, or numbness following the surgery, but these symptoms should dissipate as the healing progresses. Patients are usually up walking around within a day or two of surgery; however, movement should remain limited to light activity. Most patients can expect to move around normally after about one week, but strenuous activity should be avoided until three to four weeks post-surgery. A scar from a tummy tuck may extend from hip to hip and will be placed low on the pubis. The scar placement is inconspicuous enough to be hidden by most types of underwear or bikini bottoms. Over time, scars and incision marks will fade; within three to six months, visible scarring should be less noticeable.
Receiving a tummy tuck before childbearing is possible from a medical standpoint, generally without a risk of harm to the mother or the child. However, most plastic surgeons recommend to women with such concerns to complete their families before considered a tummy tuck. If you were to become pregnant after receiving a tummy tuck, the repeated stretching of the abdominal muscles and skin that occurs during this process can reverse the outcome achieved when you first underwent the abdominoplasty. This typically recreates the aesthetic concerns you originally sought to resolve in the first place. To ensure lasting results, it is recommended to postpone a tummy tuck until after you have no future plans for pregnancy.