What is a Tummy Tuck?
An abdominoplasty, commonly known as a “tummy tuck”, is a procedure that eliminates excess fat and skin, and in most cases, also restores separated or weakened muscles for a smooth abdominal profile. Even with exercise and dieting, achieving an abdomen that is flat and toned can still be a challenge. A tummy tuck can remove loose or sagging skin commonly caused by heredity, prior surgery, aging, fluctuation in weight, or pregnancy. Often combined with liposuction of the sides and back to further improve contour.
- Length of Procedure: 2 – 4 hours
- Anesthesia: Light General – outpatient procedure
- Side Effects: Temporary pain. Swelling, soreness, numbness of abdominal skin, bruising, tiredness for several weeks or months.
- Risks: Blood clots. Infection. Bleeding under the skin flap. Poor healing resulting in conspicuous scarring or skin irregularity. Need for further surgery.
- Recovery: Patients should expect to return to work within 10 – 14 days.
- Exercise: Patients should abstain from rigorous exercise for the first 2 weeks following the procedure, after which they may return to low impact exercise increasing to moderate impact at 6 weeks, and a return to full exercise intensity at 8 weeks.
- Fading and Scar Improvement: Depending upon the health of the underlying tissue, the patient should begin to notice a reduction in the appearance of the surgical scar in 6 to 12 months.
- Bruising: Localized bruising of the area will be noticeable for 2-4 weeks following the procedure.
- Swelling: Moderate to significant swelling of the area should be expected for up to 4 weeks following the initial procedure with a reduction and dissipation over the course of the next 2 to 3 months.
- Recovery: the patient can expect to begin noticing improvement within 2 weeks, with a noticeable improvement in appearance at 4 weeks and continued subtle/soft improvements for 6 months.
- Duration of Results: Permanent
- Office Visits: 1st Post Op Visit 3 to 5 days / 2nd Visit 7 to 10 days Anticipated # of office visits: 3 to 5 the first 3 months then yearly.
- Pain Relief: Ibuprofen and narcotics as needed.
Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin and, in most cases, restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.
A flat and well-toned abdomen is something many of us strive for through exercise and weight control. Sometimes these methods alone cannot achieve our goals.
Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. The most common causes of this include:
- Prior Surgery
- Significant fluctuations in weight
A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. Although the results of a tummy tuck are technically permanent, the positive outcome can be greatly diminished by significant fluctuations in your weight. For this reason, individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies would be advised to postpone a tummy tuck.
A tummy tuck cannot correct stretch marks, although some may be removed or somewhat improved if they are located on the areas of excess skin that will be excised.