The Abdominoplasty, also known as the “tummy tuck”, is for patients that are seeking to improve the contour of their abdomen, usually after childbirth or massive weight loss.
Patients with more severe abdominal laxity around the muscles and the skin would require an abdominoplasty.
Some patients that have good muscle tone and minimal skin laxity might be candidates for either a mini-abdominoplasty or liposuction alone.
Patients that are candidates for abdominoplasty have:
- Loose abdominal skin that extends from the pubis to the umbilicus
- Poor abdominal tone resulting from a separated rectus muscle
- Significant stretch marks or skin overhang
Patients that are candidates for mini-abdominoplasty have:
- Loose skin in the region above the pubis
- Good abdominal tone
- Adequate skin elasticity that would allow for liposuction
Patients that are candidates for liposuction of the abdomen have:
- Good skin elasticity
- Good abdominal tone
What kinds of incisions are used for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)?
The incisions used for a standard abdominoplasty or tummy tuck and includes an incision around the umbilicus (belly button) as well as an incision along the lower abdomen the length of which would need to be decided at the time of consultation with the doctor.
Is the belly button removed during the tummy tuck procedure?
The belly button is left in place during the tummy tuck procedure. A new opening is made over the umbilicus where it is then sutured to the skin.
What is a mini-abdominoplasty or a mini-tummy tuck?
A mini-abdominoplasty or mini-tummy tuck is a procedure that removes only a small segment of skin. The muscle is not tightened. Liposuction is usually done to improve the contour of the abdomen. This procedure is of benefit to only a small, select group of patients.
I have had three children. Am I a candidate for liposuction?
Multiple pregnancies can alter the skin elasticity of the abdomen. Patients with poor skin elasticity would most likely have contour irregularities after liposuction alone. Usually, a skin tightening procedure such as a standard or mini-abdominoplasty are performed.
I want to lose more weight. Should I do it before or after the abdominal surgery?
It is best to lose weight before surgery. A safer, more ideal result will be seen after weight loss to a healthy BMI.
What information will be given to me during my tummy tuck consultation visit?
The doctor will discuss the surgery, examine you, and discuss the options available to you. Detailed diagnosis and photographs will be shown during your consultation.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
Several factors are involved in a patient’s abdominoplasty recovery, including the patient’s overall state of health and physical fitness at the time of surgery, which type of abdominoplasty surgery was performed, and the patient’s cooperation with the surgeon’s post-operative guideline.
An abdominoplasty is considered a major procedure. Early ambulation is important to prevent deep vein thromboses. Patients will have an abdominal drain that must be left in place for 10days to 2 weeks. Initially, patients walk hunched over until they feel comfortable standing upright. Keep in mind that abdominoplasty surgery involves the removal of a significant amount of skin, the tightening of muscles, and, if liposuction is combined with the abdominoplasty surgery, the extraction of fat. Your body needs time to recover and adjust to these changes.
Tummy Tuck Before and After
Want to see some of Dr. Harris’ work? Check out this page for some tummy tuck before and after pictures. Then, call us to schedule your consultation where you will meet Dr. Harris on the first visit.