What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is a plastic surgery procedure that addresses the loose skin and laxity and of the abdomen. It requires incisions that allow for access to the underlying tissues and muscles, and there are a few different incision options and techniques available based on your preferences. During a traditional tummy tuck, the abdominal muscles are tightened after they become stretched from things like pregnancy and weight gain, but a mini tummy tuck can sometimes be enough to address the loose skin in the lower abdomen. The tummy tuck is also often combined with liposuction on the surrounding areas like the hips and thighs for comprehensive body contouring and an improved figure.
Tummy Tuck Benefits
The tummy tuck is a great option for women who have suffered from stretching and distension during pregnancy. A tummy tuck can be used to restore the body to its pre-baby shape, by removing excess skin and tightening the muscles.
For Post-Weight loss
After a drastic weight loss, sometimes a person’s skin is unable to “shrink” with them. A tummy tuck is great at helping patients who lost a great deal of weight in recent months by eliminating the excess skin that may be in the way or cumbersome for the person to deal with on a regular basis.
For Loose Skin
As we age, our skin loses elasticity and our muscles may lose their tone and may look loose, changing the appearance of your skin texture. A tummy tuck is designed to address those concerns. A tummy tuck will remove excess fat and skin, as well as tighten loose abdominal muscles by pulling them to a flatter position.
Tummy Tuck Variations
In a traditional, “full” tummy tuck, Dr. Erella will make an inconspicuous incision along your hipline, then another around the belly button. Using these incisions, Dr. Erella removes flabby skin and stubborn deposits of fat, then tightens the abdominal wall.
As implied by its name, the mini-tummy tuck is a less extensive procedure. It’s generally the best option if your primary goal is to remove the excess belly fat and skin below the belly button. The procedure requires less recovery time but does not remove as much excess skin as the traditional procedure.
With an extended tummy tuck, the incision is extended by about three inches further than in a traditional tummy tuck. This enables us to remove a larger amount of excess skin, and the incision can be reused later if needed. This type of tummy tuck is great for the purpose of removing more skin extending towards the side of the body, rather than just the front like they would in the traditional type.
What Tummy Tuck Surgery Can’t Do
A tummy tuck can’t reliably remove stretch marks that are common with weight gain or pregnancy. If you have stretch marks that will be within the area of skin removed during surgery (usually below the belly button) then these will be removed, but a tummy tuck should not be considered a stretch mark treatment. Also, it can’t prevent future weight gain, meaning a healthy lifestyle is a must if you’re considering tummy tuck surgery. This means that a tummy tuck should not be considered a weight loss surgery. During your consultation with Dr. Erella, you’ll discuss whether a tummy tuck is the best option for your cosmetic goals.
What Should I Expect During a Tummy Tuck Consultation?
A tummy tuck consultation is intended to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for the procedure and allow Dr. Erella to develop a plan for your surgery. During the consultation, be prepared to discuss your goals for the surgery and your medical history, including any medical conditions, medications, or previous surgeries and procedures. Dr. Erella will examine the abdomen and take measurements or photographs as necessary to develop a plan for your surgery. Finally, the consultation is your opportunity to ask any questions that you might have so that you feel well-informed about the surgery and recovery period.
Tummy Tuck Concerns
You will have to prepare to take some time off work for your tummy tuck recovery – most patients miss about two weeks of work after a full tummy tuck, though your recovery time will depend on your specific circumstances.
Depending on the type of tummy tuck you receive, that will dictate what type incision scars you end up with. With a regular tummy tuck, the incision will typically run from hip bone to hip bone and a small one around the navel. This type of incision can be easily hidden by pants or undergarments. With a mini tummy tuck, the incision is made very low, in the pubic area, without a navel incision. For an extended tummy tuck, the scars will be like those of the regular tummy tuck but three inches longer.
The cost of a tummy tuck varies based on region and practice and technique used. A consultation with Dr. Erella is the best way to determine the cost of your tummy tuck surgery.
Pain and discomfort post-surgery is completely normal, and to be expected. However, before you are discharged, you will be given medication and post care instructions based on Dr. Erella’s recommendation to ensure that you have a safe and comfortable recovery.
Tummy Tuck Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
A good candidate for a tummy tuck is someone who is of good general health and is within 20 pounds of their ideal/healthy weight. A good candidate would have realistic expectations and the willingness to follow the recovery and aftercare instructions diligently.
What are the Safety Considerations Associated with a Tummy Tuck?
It’s important to remember that the tummy tuck procedure is extensive plastic surgery. The procedure is quite safe, but it should only be performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. However, the tummy tuck procedure is one of the most performed cosmetic procedures in the world and if you are a qualified patient and your plastic surgeon is properly board certified and trained, the risk is minimal.