A smooth, flat stomach is something that many people work hard at achieving. Healthy eating and regular exercise can usually help accomplish this goal, but there are times when it is just not enough. An abdomen can still appear loose and “saggy” in an active person who 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.
Loose, flabby skin on the abdomen isn’t ideal. Treat it with a tummy tuck at Aesthetic Speciality Centre near Atlanta, GA. A tummy tuck is a widely popular procedure that can leave your abdomen flat, taut and contoured, creating a more flattering figure. If you’re interested in scheduling a tummy tuck consultation, please contact us at 770-393-9000 or visit our contact page.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that can remove unwanted extra fat and skin in your abdomen, leaving you with a tighter, smoother midsection. Excessive skin in the abdomen region is often the result of losing large amounts of weight or the result of pregnancy. Weight gain and pregnancy can stretch your abdominal muscles, which gradually causes the muscles to separate (known as diastasis recti), creating a belly flap that isn’t aesthetically pleasing and can inflict serious damage on your self-esteem.
A tummy tuck effectively removes excess skin and fat from your abdomen while simultaneously tightening your abdominal muscles to create a sleeker look. This procedure can be performed using various approaches, allowing us to customize your procedure to your specific needs and desired outcome. While a tummy tuck is not a weight-loss procedure, removing 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.
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 tummy tuck and can be useful for patients who only have a small to moderate amount of skin and tissue to remove. The surgery involves a much smaller incision, minimizing the amount of postoperative scarring you will have. It also takes just one to two hours and affords 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 hip bone to hip bone. Postoperative scarring is well hidden under underwear and bathing suits. This procedure requires a more extended recovery period but also promises even more dramatic results for patients with a significant amount of change needed.
Who Is a Good Tummy Tuck Candidate?
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 after the procedure will affect the results. 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 navel and bikini line, although other stretch marks will require additional procedures to eliminate them.
It’s best to have realistic expectations if you’re considering a tummy tuck. The procedure is not designed to be a weight-loss treatment because it can’t safely address large amounts of fat in other parts of the body such as the visceral fat around your organs. Abdominoplasty is most effective if you’re at or near your target weight thanks to diet and exercise but have trouble relieving your belly of excess skin and fat.
Dr. Desiree Villadolid of Aesthetic Specialty Centre is a fellowship trained and board cerftified cosmetic surgeon. During an initial tummy tuck consultation with her, she will thoroughly review your abdomen’s quality and determine if a tummy tuck is the right procedure for you. She will also discuss your medical history and goals for the procedure and use all of this information to determine whether a full tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck is the best choice for your circumstances.
What Are the Benefits of a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck removes excess skin and fat in the lower and middle abdomen and tightens the abdominal muscles. Issues that a tummy tuck can help correct include:
- Fat deposits that won’t go away in the abdomen
- A flabby belly ‘pooch’
- Hanging skin on the abdomen
- A protruding stomach
- Diastasis recti, or the separation of abdominal muscles
- A waistline that lacks shape
- Stretch marks between the navel and bikini line
These issues are often the result of significant weight loss or pregnancy, which is unfortunate because these momentous events should be met with celebration, not self-consciousness about changes in your appearance. Excessive skin and fat or stretched abdominal muscles are a disappointing outcome, but a tummy tuck can help significantly correct these concerns.
Diastasis recti, stretched abdominal muscles that are common for women who were pregnant, is especially disheartening. The condition results from the expansion of the uterus to accommodate the size of a growing baby, which stretches the abdominal muscles that meet at the midline of the belly. In some cases, the muscles partially or completely separate, which cannot be corrected unless there is some form of surgical intervention. If you’re a mother with diastasis recti and are not considering having any more children, a tummy tuck can be greatly beneficial.
Preparing for Your Tummy Tuck
How you prepare for your tummy tuck surgery and how your care for yourself can greatly determine the quality of your results. During an initial consultation with Dr. Villadolid, she will give you a set of instructions to follow before undergoing your tummy tuck surgery. Some instructions she may give you include avoiding smoking cigarettes for six weeks before and after your surgery. Nicotine can impact your natural healing process, making scarring a greater risk and slowing down your recovery. Smoking can raise your risk for complications because the surgery is performed under anesthesia, which doesn’t mix well with nicotine.
You will be asked to provide a list of any supplements, prescription and over-the-counter medications you’re currently taking. Some medications, such as blood thinners, can increase your risk for bleeding after the procedure. Medications such as these should be avoided for at least one week before surgery.
It would be best if you let your family and friends know that you’re having the surgery and create a support system through them. A tummy tuck is an extensive surgery and will require some downtime. It won’t be easy to walk around and bend down until you have healed a bit after surgery. Having someone around your house to do chores or cook food, or even keep you company, will be beneficial.
It will also be recommended that you stock up on food and prescriptions. Having these things prepared when you return home will alleviate some of the stress of recovery. It is also nice to have some activities lined up to take your mind off the healing process. Catching up on a TV show, watching several movies or starting a new book, to name a few, are activities that will help keep your mind at ease.
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 three to four 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 and Results
After your procedure, you will experience some bruising and swelling, which will prevent you from seeing your procedure’s full results right away. 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 two to four weeks, although strenuous exercise should be avoided for longer to prevent trauma to the abdominal area.
After about three weeks, you will begin to notice a slimmer, more contoured profile. However, it could potentially take one year until your full results are attained as your body continues to heal. How long the healing process lasts depends on the extent of your surgery. Usually, patients see their results in three months. Tummy tuck results are permanent as long as a healthy weight is maintained after your surgery. You may notice changes in your abdomen as you age, however, as the natural aging process becomes more of a factor.
Flatten Your Abdomen with a Tummy Tuck at Aesthetic Specialty Centre
Stubborn fat and hanging skin are unappealing outcomes that are often the result of losing a lot of weight or childbearing. These are two milestones that deserve to be celebrated, not met with disappointment because they left you feeling less-than-confident. A tummy tuck is an exceptional procedure that can significantly improve your stomach’s appearance, renewing your confidence and giving you the sleek figure, you once had or always desired.
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.
*This information about Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) was reviewed by Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Desiree Villadolid. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our contact form below.