All About That Waist

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Tummy-tuck surgery tightens and reshapes the abdominal area, helping to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing, slimmer overall appearance. Having a flatter, firmer midsection can dramatically improve the way clothing fits and looks, helping you feel more confident and comfortable in your body. During the procedure, the abdominal muscles are tightened and excess, sagging skin is eliminated, correcting a protruding belly and leaving the midsection flatter and better toned. Tummy tucks are popular procedure for men and women, particularly those whose bodies have undergone dramatic changes from weight loss or pregnancy.

When to Consider a Tummy Tuck

The decision to have any cosmetic procedure is personal, and patients choose to have tummy tucks for a variety of reasons. The best candidates are at or near their ideal body weight, are non-smokers in good health, and have realistic expectations about what surgery can achieve for them. If any of the following describe you, a tummy tuck is an option to consider:

A tummy tuck can help patients in any of these situations address what they don’t like about their shape and achieve a firmer, flatter abdomen.

Types of Tummy Tucks

Panniculectomy

Many weight loss patients are left with a significant “apron” of skin, called a pannus, hanging from below the belly button. A panniculectomy removes this apron of skin to restore a smoother, firmer torso. The incision is similar to that for a tummy tuck, located just above the pubic bone. While a panniculectomy can dramatically improve a patient’s comfort and help clothing fit better, it will not significantly tighten abdominal contours when performed as a standalone procedure.

Mini-Tummy Tuck

A mini-tummy tuck improves the abdomen below the belly button with somewhat less extensive surgery.  This technique involves a single incision made just above the pubic mound, through which your cosmetic surgeon will remove excess skin to restore a smooth, flat abdominal wall.  Benefits of a mini-tummy tuck include a flatter, slimmer lower abdomen that looks better in swimsuits and fitted clothing.  Your scar is typically hidden by your swimsuit.  

Classic or “Full” Tummy Tuck

A full tummy tuck improves the upper and lower abdomen.  It addresses the full length of the abdominal wall.  Through a horizontal or U-shaped incision, made above the pubic mound, excess skin is removed and the abdominal muscles are tightened. 

The resulting scar from a full tummy tuck typically runs from hip bone to hip bone but is hidden beneath a swimsuit bottom. Benefits of a full tummy tuck include a much flatter, smoother abdomen, reduced appearance of stretch marks, and enhanced comfort in pants and skirts.

Extended Tummy Tuck

An extended tummy tuck improves the upper and lower abdomen and flanks.

Although it involves a longer incision, an extended tummy tuck removes excess, hanging skin from the upper and lower abdomen and the flanks, as well as tightens the abdominal wall.  Again the resulting scar from an extended tummy tuck is most often in the swimsuit line and can be hidden by many swimsuits. 

Fleur de Lis Tummy Tuck

A fleur de lis tummy tuck improves the upper and lower abdomen and flanks in those patients with excessive redundant abdominal skin.  It is also used in those patients who already have a vertical midline scar.  Not only is skin from the umbilicus down removed but it also addresses central tissue giving a tighter more contoured look.  There is a much larger scar with this operation but the trade off is a flatter, smoother abdomen with reduced stretch marks in those with excessive redundant skin.  

No two patients start with identical concerns, nor will any two patients share the exact same goals. During your consultation, Dr. Ditto will recommend the type of tummy tuck that will achieve your desired outcome and create the most natural-appearing results.

 

Who is a Good Candidate?

The following are some common reasons to consider a tummy tuck:

Life After a Tummy Tuck

The majority of tummy tucks can be performed as outpatient procedures, and patients go home a few hours after surgery. However, you may require an overnight hospital stay after a more extensive tummy tuck so you can be safely monitored during the initial hours of your recovery. Because a tummy tuck involves surgery on the abdominal muscles, recovery after a tummy tuck takes more time than that for other procedures.

Expect to be sore and somewhat uncomfortable for the first week or so and spend the first few days resting quietly at home, although you will be encouraged to get up and walk around the house to maintain healthy circulation. It is not uncommon for patients to have drains temporarily placed in the incisions to help remove fluid after surgery.  Depending on how physically demanding your job is, you can usually return to work within 2 to 4 weeks.

Keeping Your Results Looking Their Best

The improvements made during a tummy tuck are meant to last—abdominal muscles will remain firmer and tighter and the excess skin will not return. However, future pregnancies or weight gain can negatively affect your results, causing the muscles or skin to stretch back out and become lax.  If you’re planning to have more children or you are still working on reaching your goal weight, it’s best to wait until you have achieved these milestones before having a tummy tuck.

A tummy tuck can be a life-changing procedure, helping you enjoy a slimmer, more youthful body that looks and feels better every day.  For more information on a tummy tuck call today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ditto.  

**DISCLAIMER: The information and content provided herein is for informational purposes only, and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. It does not establish a physician-patient relationship and should not be construed as medical advice.  The information is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.  Should you have any health care related questions, promptly call or consult a physician or healthcare provider. No information contained in this website should be used by any reader to disregard medical and/or health related advice or provide a basis to delay consultation with a physician or a qualified healthcare provider.  If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

Author
Dr. Ditto

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