What is a Tummy Tuck?
A Tummy Tuck or abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure performed to remove excess skin to the abdomen in order to provide a flatter look to the stomach. With weight gain and weight loss or with child bearing, the abdominal muscles and skin are stretched and usually do not return to their original orientation. The Tummy Tuck tightens the abdomen in two ways. Firstly, the abdominal muscles are tightened, which acts like an “internal corset” to reduce the circumference of your waistline and give you a flatter stomach. Secondly, the loose or excess skin to the abdominal region is removed and brought together in a tighter and more aesthetically appeasing way.
How Is A Tummy Tuck Procedure Performed?
The standard Tummy Tuck or abdominoplasty involves an incision that spans from hip to hip at the lower abdomen and an incision around the belly button. The skin is lifted off of the abdominal muscles and pulled downward. The excess skin is cut away and an incision is made in the abdominal skin for the new belly button site. The muscles at the midline of the abdomen that are referred to as the rectus muscles or “the muscles that give some people the six pack look” are brought closer together with suture. This helps to reduce the size your waistline and give your stomach a flatter look. Once the excess skin is removed, the two edges of skin are sewn back together with dissolvable sutures. The skin around the belly button is often closed in a similar fashion but may have some sutures that will need to be removed in the office one to two weeks after surgery.
Some patients may only have a small amount of excess skin below their belly button (umbilicus). These patients may qualify for a “Mini-Tummy Tuck”. In this procedure, the belly button position does not change so no cuts are made around the belly button. With the Mini-Tummy Tuck, the lower abdominal incision can often be reduced in length, therefore, leaving a shorter scar. The abdominal wall muscles are not sutured closer together so patient’s that qualify for this type of abdominoplasty already have a tight abdominal wall and just have a little excess skin below their belly button.
A more aggressive version of an abdominoplasty is a Fleur-De-Lis abdominoplasty. This involves removing skin not only from the lower abdomen, but also from the mid abdomen. The trade-off is an incision that travels from the just below your ribs at the midline to the lower abdominal incision. Leaving a scar that looks like an upside down “T”. The Fleur-De-Lis abdominoplasty is usually reserved for patients that have lost a significant amount of weight either by diet and exercise or with the assistants of weight loss surgery. These patients not only have excess skin to the lower abdomen, but also have skin laxity in the flank (the sides of the abdomen). As in the standard Tummy Tuck, the abdominal muscles are brought closure together with suture. This plus the resection of skin down the midline, help to improve the contour of the mid torso.
What Should I Expect After A Tummy Tuck?
The procedure lasts two to four hours depending on the type of abdominoplasty performed. The surgery is considered outpatient surgery and most patients go home the same day of surgery. You will have drains to drain fluid from underneath the skin flaps and an abdominal binder. Most of your sutures are under the skin and dissolvable and will not need to be taken out. You will be limited in your activity after your surgery and will need to take some time off of work.
The Chau Plastic Surgery Difference
At Chau Plastic Surgery in Berkeley, Michigan, we strive to provide you with the best results. We aim to not only make you look great in clothes, but also without clothes on. We will take the time to discuss the best type of abdominoplasty that fits your body and your trouble spots.
Call our office or contact us today for your complimentary tummy tuck consultation and let us help you reach your aesthetic goals.