Tummy tuck is used as a synonym for a full Abdominoplasty, where the abdominal muscles are tightened to reconstruct the abdominal wall. It is an important step on the abdominal contouring after pregnancy or moderate to severe weight gain in which cases the muscles separate. Another type of Abdominoplasty is the mini Abdominoplasty that does not involve tightening neither the abdominal muscle nor the relocation of the belly button. It only removes redundant skin from below the belly button.
It is safe if performed by an experienced Plastic surgeon in an accredited Hospital or Surgical center.
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 tighten the abdominal wall and will get rid of the loose skin. I also like to do liposuction of the flanks in combination with the Abdominoplasty, to contour the waist better.
Since all abdominoplasties are not alike, recovery times are different. The amount of dissection, the tightness of the closure, the need to tighten the muscles and to what degree, may all influence post-op pain, sense of tightness, and recovery time. However, most patients should be able to resume most activities by 3-6 weeks and should be able to stand erect within a few days. Patients who work from home can probably do so after the first week.
All incisions leave scars and this is not different with tummy tucks, but you can expect the scars to fade and become less noticeable with time.
Yes, all the sutures used are the kind that dissolves and will not prevent the patients from having an absolute normal pregnancy however is ideal that the patients are done having children, that way they don’t lose the benefits of the tummy tuck.
They are, as far as the patients don’t get pregnant or gain a lot of weight.
I like to make my incisions very low which allows me to pull the skin from the thighs to improve the stretch marks. The stretch marks will still be there but they will be a lot less noticeable.
Yes, I keep the patient’s original belly button, but I do contour it when I relocate it.
I recommend the patient to start walking and resuming light exercise a week after the surgery, but sit ups, crunches after 6 weeks.
We have fat cells superficial to the abdominal wall and inside the abdominal cavity. Weight gain will stretch the skin and will stretch the muscles to allow for the fat cells to grow, so you lose the benefit of the muscle and skin tightening.
Tape on the incisions for 6 weeks, then a cream with silicone and sun protection for 6 more weeks and then massage the scars with vitamin E oil or lotion.
After the first 6 weeks of taping.
Most of the male patients that require a tummy tuck have gained and then lost a moderate to large amount the weight or have a ventral hernia that will require the reconstruction of the abdominal wall and the excision of the redundant skin, so the steps are very similar.