More properly known as an abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is an operation designed to tighten the skin and muscle layers of the abdomen. I have found that it can provide the most dramatic change of any cosmetic surgical procedure that we perform!
Women most commonly request this procedure to reverse the undesired effects of childbearing. A tummy tuck significantly improves loose skin, stretch marks and muscle weakness as well as removing excess fat from the lower abdomen. We all know that working out can help muscle weakness, but all the sit-ups in the world will not improve damaged skin. Removing and tightening loose abdominal skin is the key to a successful tummy tuck. The fact that the muscle layers are tightened and fat is removed results in amazing definition along with a narrower waist. The surgical incision is hidden in the bikini line - you could walk right by someone on the beach, and they would never think you had surgery.
Anyone with excessive loose skin can consider having this operation, age is not a factor in performing a tummy tuck surgery. Remember though, a tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss. The best results are seen in patients who have already controlled their weight and who are looking for a more defined look.
Those abdominoplasty patients who are heavier than their ideal weight can sometimes have liposuction as a preliminary step to reduce excessive abdominal fat before having a tummy tuck. A tummy tuck can also be combined with other procedures such as breast reshaping. The combination of a flatter tummy with a full perky breast shape can make an amazing change to overall body contour. View an example of such a transformation here.
A very important aspect of tummy tuck surgery is understanding the recovery and healing process. To ensure a high standard of safety and comfort, I keep all of my tummy tuck patients overnight following their surgery. My private nursing staff keep a close eye on my patients and ensuring that they are properly cared for during their recovery time. I personally check on each patient in the morning in order to answer any questions and to review post operative instructions.
A prescription for medication to control pain and discomfort during the early days of recovery is provided at the pre-op visit. Most patients need something for at least a few days to control soreness following surgery. Our goal is to ensure that the whole surgical experience is as comfortable as possible.
Appropriate care following tummy tuck surgery can make a big difference in recovery time. Once at home, the immediate need is to rest and avoid any strenuous activity. Too much physical activity is not advisable as this may adversely affect the healing process, particularly during the early post-op period. The level of activity for each patient is gradually increased, day by day according to individual tolerance. Weekly post-op visits allow me to keep a close eye on each patientâ€™s progress and fine tune their instructions â€“ everyone is different and must be treated with this in mind.
In 6 to 8 weeks, surgical recovery is complete and physical activity will be back to normal. Follow-up visits continue throughout the healing process. I like to see my post-op tummy tuck patients at regular intervals for up to a year following surgery. In this way, I can closely monitor the healing process and in particular, follow the progress of scar maturation to ensure an ideal long term result. It also gives my patients an opportunity to ask questions and sometimes pursue other ideas to further improve body contour.
The correction of abdominal contour problems has become one of the most commonly performed and most satisfying cosmetic surgical procedures in my practice. My tummy tuck patients love their new look!
To view before/after photos of tummy tuck patients, visit this page.