Abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, is a body contouring procedure for the abdomen and lateral waist. If you think you may need a tummy tuck, one of the important things to consider is whether there is loose skin in the abdomen area. If you do not have loose skin, usually a liposuction procedure can be done in an isolated fashion. If you have loose skin, a tummy tuck may be necessary to achieve a smooth, sleek, and flatter abdomen. Tummy tucks are generally necessary for women whose abdomens have stretched out due to pregnancies or individuals who have had significant weight losses resulting in excessive loose abdominal skin.
At your initial consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. David L. Durst, he will discuss the abdominoplasty procedure with you and he will do a complete examination. This appointment will include an assessment of your general health, height, current weight, and exercise regimen. Most patients schedule an appointment for a tummy tuck consultation after they have “maxed out” with their diet and exercise program without achieving the flat stomach they desire. At your appointment, Dr. Durst will discuss with you exactly what components of a tummy tuck will be best for the results that you hope to achieve. Often he recommends some liposuction along with the tummy tuck. Additionally, the tummy tuck also typically includes muscle tightening in the mid abdomen and of course the removal of the loose skin. Some patients are candidates for what Dr. Durst calls a mini tummy tuck. However, in Dr. Durst’s years of experience, he finds that most patients receive the best results with a full abdominoplasty.
An abdominoplasty is performed under general anesthesia, often in our office surgical OR facility. Most abdominoplasty patients stay overnight the day of surgery, but for some patients this is not necessary. After the procedure is finished, you will wear an abdominal binder, which is a compression garment to help reduce swelling. The incision is located quite low on the abdominal crease so it can be covered by most two piece bathing suits. Most of the sutures are absorbable, and generally the incision heals with a very nice appearance over time.
From a recovery standpoint, an abdominoplasty is a fairly large procedure, with most patients taking between ten days to three weeks off work. Similarly, it takes some time to get back into your exercising program. Dr. Durst will advise you specifically what to do in the follow-up period after surgery.
There are several office appointments in the first few weeks after surgery, and then the appointments are gradually spaced out. At first, patients will notice a good bit of swelling. Most patients start to see significant changes around two weeks after surgery. By six weeks after surgery, most patients are very surprised at how good their abdomens look. Photos are taken at two months after the surgery and then again at one year after surgery.
Dr. Durst emphasizes that an abdominoplasty is not a weight loss procedure. Often patients will have a slight change in their weight on the scale; however, the real benefit in the procedure is in shaping. When the abdominal area is treated via abdominoplasty, generally very dramatic changes can be seen after surgery.
If you believe that a tummy tuck might be right for you, please call the office and schedule an appointment.