The Tummy Tuck
Even the most disciplined, health-conscious among us may develop stubborn deposits of midsection fat, loose skin, or stretched abdominal muscles that no exercise regimen can ever remedy.
The most effective cosmetic procedure for this problem is the tummy tuck—which involves “removing excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdominal areas while simultaneously tightening the surrounding muscles.” –Women who have been pregnant or patients who have experienced a significant weight loss are the most likely candidates this procedure.
The tummy tuck is included as part of two more extensive surgeries: The Mommy Makeover and The Body Lift.
The Full vs. Mini Tummy Tuck
- The Full Tummy Tuck–With a complete abdominoplasty, your surgeon makes an incision from hipbone to hipbone and then contours the skin and other tissue before tightening the muscles. This surgery affects both the middle and lower abdominal regions and requires repositioning your naval. –It may include liposuction and the post-surgery insertion of drainage tubes.
- The Partial or Mini Abdominoplasty—The mini tummy tuck is limited to the lower abdominal area (below the navel) and includes the removal of excess skin, fat, and the tightening of underlying muscles. With this option, it’s important that the upper fascia does not require repair. Upper tissues may later protrude after a mini tummy tuck if there are problems in the above-navel area. The primary differences between these two procedures include– (1) incision length; (2) area affected; (3) degree of correction; (3) whether the belly button is repositioned or not; and (4) the length of surgery and recovery.
- Results- Your tummy tuck will give you a flatter, firmer abdomen, one that is more proportionate with your body type and weight.
The Tummy tuck and fat reduction
A tummy tuck often includes liposuction, though many surgeons administer lipo several months before a tummy tuck to ensure healthy post-operative blood flow to the skin.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
Any man or woman in good health would be a good candidate for a full or mini tummy tuck.
However, people with the following issues should postpone this surgery until a later time—
- Women who are pregnant or who plan to get pregnant.
- People who plan to lose a lot of weight
- People who have exceptionally thick abdominal fat. (This condition may also rule out liposuction until a person loses weight).
Dr. Roth will be happy to answer all your questions and provide guidance on the best treatment options available to you. Our staff will also show you before and after procedure pictures.
Eat healthy, well-balanced meals. This is not the time for dieting.
Provide Dr. Roth with a list of everything you take, including prescription drugs, herbal medicines, and other supplements. He will instruct you to stop taking blood thinners and OTC painkillers other than Tylenol.
Arrange for someone to take you to your surgery and take you home later. Also, plan to have someone help you out for a few days after your surgery.
Have the following in readiness before surgery—
- Loose, comfortable clothing that can be put on and off very easily
- Ice packs
- Petroleum jelly
- Hand-held shower head and bathroom chair
Quit smoking for at least two weeks before and after the surgery. (Smoking increases the likelihood of complications and slows healing).
This surgery can take anywhere from one to five hours. Some patients getting a full tummy tuck may need to spend the night in the surgical center recovery area.
A tummy tuck operation includes the following steps–
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Anesthesia options include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Dr. Roth will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The incisions
With a full tummy tuck, Dr. Roth begins with a horizontal incision between the pubic hairline and the naval. The configuration and length of the incision are determined by the amount of excess skin. Underlying weakened abdominal muscles can then be repaired. Finally, the upper abdominal skin is draped over the area.
A second incision around the navel may follow to remove excess skin in the upper abdominal area. With a full tummy tuck, after the excess skin is trimmed, a new opening is created for the navel.
Step 3 – Closing the incisions
The remaining skin is sutured together. Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips are used to close the incisions.
After surgery, you’ll be fitted with a firm elastic bandage that promotes healing. As with all surgical and other procedures, follow your surgeon’s instructions on post-operative care.
You’ll need to–
- Be careful to position yourself correctly to reduce pain when sitting or lying down.
- Limit strenuous activity for six weeks or more. Dr. Roth will advise you on how many weeks you need to take off from work.
Returning to Daily Life
The Healing Process and Possible Complications:
- You will have some pain and swelling in the days following surgery. Your doctor will prescribe pain medicine and help monitor your pain. Soreness may continue for several weeks or more.
- You will experience some degree of numbness, bruising, and tiredness during your recovery.
- A tummy tuck leaves scars which fade somewhat with time. Dr. Roth may recommend certain creams or ointments to use after you heal to help reduce any long-term scarring.
- In a full tummy tuck, there is, in addition to the lower tummy scar, a small scar around the belly button where it is reinserted through the upper tummy skin.
- Diet and exercise can help you maintain the results.
Unusual, More Serious Complications include—
- Infection, bleeding under the skin flap, or blood clots. You are more likely to have complications if you have poor circulation, diabetes, or heart, lung, or liver
Does Insurance Cover a Tummy Tuck?
The only circumstance under which an insurance company may cover your surgery is if you’re correcting a hernia with this procedure.