A tummy tuck or Abdominoplasty is one of the most popularly performed cosmetic surgical procedures to remove excess skin from the abdomen areas.
In time, the tissue supporting the abdominal muscles begin to weaken and loosen (or “sag”) with aging, weight gain, and certainly with pregnancy. This weakening is even more apparent when visible skin loosening and folds develop, creating that typically unsatisfying appearance of the abdomen.
A tummy tuck addresses all these issues by excising this skin from the lower and/or middle part of the abdomen while directly tightening the supporting muscle tissue called the fascia. A tummy tuck will dramatically:
- Shrink the waistline
- Tighten the abdominal muscles
- Tone the abdomen
- Create a more sculpted area around the stomach areas
- Remove lower abdominal skin with stretch marks
Abdominoplasty and Liposuction
Liposuction is sometimes confused with abdominoplasty. Liposuction contours away unwanted fat deposits from desired areas of the body without directly addressing the sagging of tissues and muscle. Plastic surgeon, Dr. Sadi Erfani helps to provide additional information regarding the differences between a tummy tuck and liposuction.
Tummy Tuck Procedure
This procedure usually takes between two and five hours to complete. The plastic surgeon may use several techniques to achieve desired results; full tummy tuck, endoscopic and mini. A full tummy tuck surgery can be used when the patient has a lot of excess skin. An endoscopic tuck procedure is primarily used when only the abdominal muscle needs to be tightened. A mini tummy tuck is ideal for patients that are within ten percent of their ideal body weight and just need a minimal amount of excess skin removed. Invariably, many tummy tucks will also require liposuction during the procedure to enhance the results. Tummy tucks are done under general anesthesia. Drains may or may not be necessary, depending on the extent of work done and the particular technique performed. Compression garments should be pre-ordered and ready on the day of surgery as they should be worn immediately following the procedure. You will be extensively educated about the proper aftercare to optimize your recovery after your tummy tuck.
Before & After Photos
Full recovery varies from patient to patient depending on the type of procedure performed.
Sometimes a patient might be required to recover promptly after surgery and can generally take five to ten days for a patient resume normal walking activities. One can return to working between 10 to 20 days but not to engage in any strenuous activities for up to 5-6 weeks. The physical condition of the surgical area and the well-being of the patient are of greatest concerns. The risks accompanying surgery can be significant, but usually low as long as the patient is healthy enough to undertake the procedure and the correct precautions are followed as recommended by the Plastic Surgeon. The results from a tummy tuck can be very dramatic, especially in the hands of a well-trained and experienced Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, who will very frequently perform subtle details to enhance the result. Many doctors call themselves “Cosmetic Surgeons”, so buyer beware. These physicians are “non-core” physicians who have not undergone the rigorous training and mentorship of a Plastic Surgery Residency and have adopted these procedures outside the scope of their actual training in order to enhance their cash-based earning of their practice.
The cost of the procedure varies and depends on the type of surgery performed. However, the national average of a tummy tuck costs around $9,000. Prices below this range may be offered for a procedure called “panniculectomy”. This is not a true abdominoplasty and lacks many of the important maneuvers (including muscle tightening) that are crucial for the best contouring results.
As a potential candidate for any contouring procedure of the body, you should meet with your plastic surgeon in consultation to discuss your unique condition and understand all the available options before proceeding with tummy tuck surgery.