You’ve worked hard to lose weight and to improve your muscle tone through diet and exercise programs. You may have some skin that hangs on your belly and creates an unflattering look. Additionally, no matter how many crunches you do, you just can’t seem to get those abdominal muscles anywhere near a six-pack or a flat tummy that you used to have in the past. When you have reached your desired weight but not your desired shape, it may be time to consider a Tummy Tuck. Without the help of plastic surgery, you might be stuck. No creams will lift lax tummy skin, no amount of crunches will tighten loose stomach muscles, and oftentimes even the healthiest diet will not be able to reduce certain fat deposits along the abdominal wall. Only a Tummy Tuck by Board Certified Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon Dr. James Long, MD can help you address these problem areas and achieve a flat and toned tummy appearance.
What are the most surgical options for Tummy Tuck?
- Traditional Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty): a procedure on the entire abdomen to tighten muscles and remove excess skin and fat. This procedure is indicated for patients with mild and mild to moderate accumulation of fat in the abdomen and or flanks.
- Brazilian Tummy Tuck (lipoabdominoplasty): a procedure that combines the fundamentals of traditional Tummy Tuck and liposuction. This technique was invented by Brazilian surgeon and is intended to significantly reshape the torso of with liposculture. In patients with significant accumulation of adipose tissue in the abdomen the Brazilian Tummy Tuck can give back the small waist and curvilinear torso appearance that a traditional Tummy Tuck can’t give in this subtype of patients. Dr. James Long, MD learned how to perform the Brazilian Tummy Tuck procedure from the Brazilian surgeon who invented it.
- Mini-Tummy Tuck (limited abdominoplasty) – a procedure limited to the skin and fat deposits below the belly button.
Tummy Tuck FAQ:
What is to expect during a Tummy Tuck plastic surgery?
You will undergo surgery under general anesthesia. The procedure takes 4 to 5 hours to complete depending on the patient. Dr. Long closes the incisions with dissolving stitches and places you in a supportive binder for your comfort during the recovery. Generally, Tummy Tuck surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. However, Dr. Long admits the patient overnight in a nursing facility to encourage a smooth and uneventful immediate post-operative course. You are usually discharged home the next day after breakfast or lunchtime.
Where is the Tummy Tuck incision made?
The traditional Tummy Tuck involves an incision in the lower abdomen in the area below the “bikini line.” For a complete Tummy Tuck, skin is separated from the abdominal wall up to the ribs. Then, underlying muscles and supportive tissues are stitched together, narrowing the waistline and strengthening and flattening the abdominal wall. During a Brazilian Tummy Tuck, liposuction of the entire abdomen and flank is performed through very small skin incisions with a small delicate liposuction cannula. Excess skin is drawn down and removed, resulting in a flatter, trimmer stomach.
What is the recovery after a Tummy Tuck?
Each patient is unique. Your recovery time will depend upon the total treatment plan. You will have some swelling and bruising, and may experience some discomfort and tightness for the first two weeks. We will prescribe medication to ease your discomfort. Dr. Long uses dissolving stitches, so they do not need to be removed. You will wear an abdominal binder during the first week post surgery until most of the swelling resolves, then you are placed on a compression garment that is worn for 6 to 8 weeks to support your tissues as they heal. You will also have drains for several days.
When can I return to normal activities after a Tummy Tuck?
Most of our patients are able to return to work in 2 to 3 weeks. If you were exercising before surgery, you will be in the best condition to recover most rapidly. It will take about 4-6 weeks to return to all normal activities and exercise.
How long will the results from a Tummy Tuck last?
Unless you gain weight or become pregnant, you should enjoy your taut shapely figure for years to come. Your clothes will fit better and you’ll find increased confidence in your appearance. Dr. Long believes it is important to begin an exercise program to maintain your new look and to increase your health and fitness.
Why not go to an Obstetrician, Gynecologists, Internists, Primary Care Physician Dentists and “cosmetologists” for a Tummy Tuck?
Practitioners like Obstetricians or Gynecologist and other doctors who are not formally residency-trained and Board Certified to perform Tummy Tuck plastic surgery have been found to suffer a much higher rate of complications, as it’s a side interest to them, and not a treatment they’re certified to do all day long. One of the most common complaints is minimal improvement, asymmetries, etc.
To view a 3D animation on abdominoplasty please click here.