Tummy Tuck FAQ
What is a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)
Abdominoplasty (also known as a tummy tuck) is surgery to remove the excess skin and fat on the abdomen that may accumulate after pregnancy, obesity, or age. In a full abdominoplasty, abdominal muscles that may have become stretched out or lax over time are tightened.
Am I a candidate for a tummy tuck?
If you are a woman, you probably should wait until you are finished having children before having a tummy tuck, since the skin and muscles can get stretched out again. If you are considering losing weight, you should wait until after you’ve reached your desired weight. You may need additional surgery to remove the excess skin if you lose more weight, which would mean that the money spent on your abdominoplasty would be wasted.
Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction?
Liposuction is a very good surgical procedure when the patient only needs contouring and has good skin tone with minimal stretch marks. If the patient has separation of the muscles, redundant skin and moderate to severe stretch marks, the Abdominoplasty will offer a better result, because it will reconstruct the abdominal wall and will get rid of the loose skin. We also like to do liposuction of the flanks in combination with the Abdominoplasty, to contour the waist better.
How is a tummy tuck surgery performed?
The surgeon makes an incision across the lower abdomen just above your pubic bone and pubic hair.This incision may go from hip to hip, but it is usually placed so that it will be hidden by a bikini bottom. Then, skin and fat is separated from the abdominal muscles up to the bottom of the rib cage. An incision is made around the belly button to loosen the skin and detach it from the belly button. Most frequently, excess skin and fat below the belly button is removed.
In a full abdominoplasty, the abdominal muscles are tightened. The skin above the belly button is pulled down toward the pubis and sutured into position as the incision is closed. A new hole is made in the skin to suture around the belly button.
Usually, one or two drains are placed under the skin under the incision to allow fluids to drain from the site for a few days. These drains are usually placed through small incisions above your pubic bone.
What should I expect postoperatively?
You are usually able to walk after abdominoplasty surgery and you will be encouraged to do so. You should take a short walk three or four times a day for a few minutes each time. You will most likely not be able to stand completely straight and you may be a bit hunched over for several days. The skin of your abdomen may feel tight. You will be instructed to remain bent over a bit for the first 4 to 5 days after surgery.
If drains have been inserted, they are usually removed 4 days to 2 weeks after tummy tuck surgery. You should take it easy for at least 2 weeks after surgery. Take it easy, but walk a bit every few hours every day. You will be told to wear an abdominal pressure garment for several weeks after your surgery to hold everything in place while you heal. This is a girdle or a band that fits around your abdomen and holds everything in place during healing.
Some swelling and bruising are normal, but the amount varies from person to person
Does a tummy tuck leave scars?
Scars are a tradeoff for nearly all cosmetic surgery procedures. The size of your scar will depend on the extent of the procedure and the amount of excess skin present prior to surgery. The more skin laxity and overhang, the longer the scar.
Usually, abdominoplasty results in a horizontal scar across the lower abdomen, well below the belly button. The scar can be easily hidden under a bikini, underwear, or other clothing. The appearance of scars can be minimized with medical spa procedures such as laser treatments. We can also recommend topical treatments for you to use at home to help your scar fade rapidly
When can I return to work?
Abdominoplasty takes a long time to heal completely. Many patients can return to work after 2 weeks after tummy tuck surgery, but this depends on how extensive your surgery is and what you do for a living. In some cases, you may need to be off work 4 or more weeks.
How long do the results of a tummy tuck last?
The results can last for many, many years. If you have no large weight gain or pregnancies after your tummy tuck, then the changes will be relatively permanent. There will be some relaxation of the tissues with age, but not to the extent prior to surgery.
Will having children after a tummy tuck affect my results?
Yes, having children after tummy tuck may cause you to lose some of the benefits of your surgery; however, having children after a tummy tuck will not affect your pregnancy in any way. Our surgeons usually recommend that you finish having children before undergoing abdominoplasty in order to preserve your results
How much does a tummy tuck cost?
The cost of a tummy tuck varies depending on whether you are having a mini or complete tummy tuck, the complexity of the procedure, and whether it is being combined with other procedures, among other factors. The range for a tummy tuck is typically between $7,000 and $8,000. We offer patient financing to help most patients afford to pursue their desired improvements.