Tummy tuck, also called abdominoplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure that reduces excess skin and fatty tissue on your abdomen for a slimmer, trimmer appearance.
Considering a Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck may be appropriate for you if you are:
- In fairly good shape with a few fat deposits or loose skin around your belly that you cannot get rid of with diet and exercise
- Suffering from issues that cannot be resolved by liposuction and diet alone
- Experiencing a loss of elasticity of abdominal skin because of aging or multiple pregnancies
Patients with a larger amount of excess fat may need aggressive liposuction to remove fat first, then follow up with a tummy tuck a few months later to remove loose skin and tighten muscles.
Preparing for a Tummy Tuck
During your consultation, Dr. Garcia will walk you through the entire procedure to ensure that you understand what outcomes you can expect. You may also discuss the benefits of additional procedures, like liposuction, or less invasive operations, like a mini-tummy tuck.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Dr. Garcia wants you to feel comfortable and confident that you are choosing the right procedure for yourself.
Dr. Garcia will provide specific guidelines about preparing for surgery, such as which medications to take or avoid before surgery and what to eat and drink. You should quit smoking at least two weeks before and after surgery because smoking impedes the natural healing process.
Knowing the Risks
Although a tummy tuck results in a healthier appearance, it also results in a permanent scar. In some cases your scar will extend from hip to hip. If you have scarring from a previous tummy tuck, an additional procedure can make scarring worse. Any significant weight loss after a tummy tuck can result in loose skin that will require additional surgery to remove.
Dr. Garcia is a talented, experienced plastic surgeon, but sometimes complications occur. These risks include rare instances of infection or blood accumulation and poor healing, which leads to more noticeable scars. These scars may be revised later to look more inconspicuous.
Understanding the Procedure
Some tummy tucks involve a small incision similar to a C-section, while others require more extensive incisions. The length of the scar from a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty depends on the amount of skin that needs to be excised. If the belly button needs to be relocated to retain a normal position that may cause a separate scar.
In general during a tummy tuck, Dr. Garcia makes an incision right above the pubic area from hipbone to hipbone or just over the pubic hair only in mini tummy tucks. The navel is separated from surrounding tissue by a second incision, if it is going to be moved. Dr. Garcia stitches the underlying muscles into a new, tighter position. Then he stretches the skin flap down, stitches it into place and trims excess skin.
A mini-tummy tuck uses a smaller incision and does not require moving your navel. A partial tummy tuck involves separating the skin between the incision and the navel, stretching the skin down, trimming away the excess, and stitching it back into place.
A tummy tuck usually takes two to five hours. A mini tummy tuck may only take one to two hours. And times will vary if liposuction is performed during your tummy tuck.
You should expect to be limited to minimal activities for two weeks after surgery with only moderate activity during weeks three and four. By four to six weeks after surgery, most patients have been cleared to return to normal activities.
Do you want to know more about your tummy tuck options? Is it the right procedure to help you slim your contours? Call Julio Garcia, MD, Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Clinic today at (702) 470-0547 to schedule your consultation. We welcome patients throughout the Las Vegas area including Henderson and Paradise, and throughout the world.