A smooth, flat stomach is something that many people work hard at achieving. Eating healthy and regular exercise can usually help in the attainment of this goal, but there are times when it is just not enough. An abdomen can still appear loose and “saggy” in a person who is active and controls their weight. Pregnancy, aging, substantial weight loss and prior surgery can alter the abdominal skin and muscles. Even heredity can play a role in the appearance of your stomach over time, leaving you looking and feeling less than your best.
An abdominoplasty or tummy tuck can remove the unwanted extra fat and skin, leaving you with a tighter, smoother midsection. This procedure can be performed using a variety of approaches, allowing us to customize your procedure to your specific needs and desired outcome. While a tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure, the removal of excess skin and tissue during the surgery can give you a leaner body profile and the ability to fit more comfortably into smaller sizes of clothing.
Good candidates for a tummy tuck are nonsmokers who are physically healthy and at a point where their weight is stable. Significant weight gain or loss will affect the results of the procedure. Women who are planning to get pregnant in the future may consider waiting until after having children. A tummy tuck may also remove stretch marks between the naval and bikini line, although other stretch marks will require additional procedures to eliminate them entirely.
Tummy Tuck Approaches
There are two basic types of abdominoplasty procedures performed at Aesthetic Specialty Centre:
Mini Tummy Tuck – This procedure is less invasive than a full tuck and can be useful for patients that only have a small to moderate amount of skin and tissue to remove. The surgery involves a much smaller incision, minimizing the amount of post-operative scarring you will have. It also takes just 1-2 hours and allows you a quicker recovery process.
Full Tummy Tuck – This procedure is reserved for patients with more skin and tissue to remove than can be addressed with a mini tuck. The full tummy tuck involves an incision stretching below the bikini line from hipbone to hipbone. Postoperative scarring is well hidden under underwear and bathing suits. This procedure requires a longer recovery period but also promises even more dramatic results for patients with a significant amount of change required.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
Mini tummy tucks can be performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. An incision is made in the lower portion of the abdomen between the navel and pubic hairline. The shape and length of the incision will vary based on how much correction is necessary.
Full tummy tucks are usually performed under general anesthesia. The longer incision allows us to remove more skin and tissue while tightening the abdominal muscles underneath for a more toned result. Full tummy tucks tend to take 3-4 hours to perform, depending on the amount of correction required.
Through the incision, excess fat, skin and tissue are removed. Liposuction may also be used to remove isolated deposits of fat safely from the area. Sutures, skin adhesive or surgical tape will be used to close the incision. Patients usually go home the same day as their procedure.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
After your procedure, you will experience some bruising and swelling, which will prevent you from seeing the full results of your procedure right away. It may be a number of days before you will be able to stand in a completely vertical position and see your results. Postoperative discomfort can be managed with oral pain medication. Soreness, swelling and bruising will resolve in the weeks following surgery. Most patients return to work and other regular activities within 2-4 weeks, although strenuous exercise should be avoided for longer to avoid trauma to the abdominal area.
Results of a tummy tuck are permanent as long as a healthy weight is maintained after your surgery. Contact Aesthetic Specialty Centre Plastic Surgery & Dermatology today to learn more about your options in tummy tuck procedures. We can be reached at one of our locations near Atlanta, Georgia. Call (770) 393-9000 for Roswell or (706) 467-6500 for our Greensboro office.