Excessive skin and fat of the abdomen can result from many factors such as weight loss and pregnancy. This is a common concern for many patients and can lead to a deflated appearance with over-stretched skin with stretch marks. This appearance can contribute to difficulty with maintaining hygiene, poor self-confidence, and difficulty exercising.
What is a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?
An abdominoplasty is one of the most commonly performed plastic surgery procedures. In it, the surgeon makes an incision in the portion of the abdomen which lies within the underwear line. In this manner, the incision may be fully or partially hidden. A secondary incision is made around the belly button in full abdominoplasties. Through this incision, the surgeon can remove excessive skin and fat and re-approximate overly stretched abdominal musculature. This allows the surgeon to create a tighter abdominal wall and sometimes a smaller waistline. After removal of the skin and tightening of the musculature, the surgeon re-approximates the skin and soft tissue with sutures.
Are There Different Types of Tummy Tucks (Abdominoplasties)?
Yes. Depending on the degree of soft tissue removal needed and the patient’s goals, your surgeon may recommend one of several various abdominoplasties:
- Mini Abdominoplasty: This type of abdominoplasty is often utilized for folks that have specific problem areas of the midportion of the lower abdomen, often at a similar location as a C-section scar. This technique is good for folks who have a normally lean body habitus and leftover fullness at this one particular area. In it, the surgeon makes an incision which is concealable with underwear. Unlike the other types of abdominoplasty, the belly button is left in its native location, the muscle is left alone, and the skin is only minimally redraped downward.
- Full Abdomioplasty: This type of abdominoplasty is the most commonly performed type. In it, the surgeon makes an incision which typically extends from hip bone to hip bone and is often made in an area which is concealable with underwear. Through this incision, the surgeon is able to tighten the abdominal musculature. Then, the surgeon redrapes the skin downward and makes a new incision through which the belly button (umbilicus) is reset. So the resulting scars are twofold with one in the underwear line and one around the belly button.
- Fleur de lis Abdominoplasty: This type of abdominoplasty is a variant of an abdominoplasty in which the surgeon utilizes a large incision which results in an inverted T scar. When necessary, your surgeon may recommend this technique to further enhance the upper abdomen which may otherwise remain full after another type of abdominoplasty. Like the full abdominoplasty, an incision is made around the umbilicus in order to redrape the skin around this site. In addition, the muscles may be tightened with this procedure. This technique is often recommend for patients who have lost a lot of weight and have excessively sagging skin.
- Monsplasty: This is an adjunctive procedure by which the surgeon can reduce the size and shape of the area above the pubic bone (mons pubis). When necessary, the surgeon may make additional incisions to help facilitate a more aesthetic contour.
- Liposuction: This is an adjunctive procedure by which the surgeon uses specialized cannulas to remove excessive fat along the sides of the abdomen. When necessary, combining this with an abdominoplasty may help the surgeon to achieve a more aesthetic contour.
An abdominoplasty may also be performed in conjunction with other body procedures such as breast augmentation, breast lift, and breast reduction.
How long is the Recovery After Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?
With the exception of a mini abdominoplasty, abdominoplasties typically require a minimum of a one-night stay in the surgical hospital. The procedure may take from 1 to 4 hours and drains may be used. Most abdominoplasties require compression postoperatively for a period of 4 to 6 weeks. As with all contouring procedures, the patient should be willing to accept a scar for a better contour.
How Do I Know if I am a Candidate for Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?
Before you present for your consultation, there are a few things you should know:
- An abdominoplasty is not a substitution for a healthy diet, exercise, lifestyle, and weight loss.
- Ideal candidates should be stable in their weight prior to surgery and be within 15 pounds of their ideal body weight. It is important to understand that weight loss of more than 15 pounds after surgery has a high risk of resulting skin looseness, skin sagging, contour irregularities, and a poorer aesthetic outcome.
- Nicotine use of any kind is a contraindication for abdominoplasty. Abstinence from all nicotine-containing products is mandatory prior to surgery, and urine testing may be used by the surgeon to test for the presence or absence of nicotine in the bloodstream. Recommended abstinence is 4 weeks prior and 4 weeks after surgery.
- To expedite healing, Dr. Williams recommends that you eat a healthy diet which includes multi-vitamins and high protein for 4 weeks prior and 4 weeks after surgery.
For more information on Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty), or to schedule a consultation, call Peak Rejuvenation at (970) 259-5990 or Request a Consultation.