Tummy Tucks are some of the most rewarding of all aesthetic procedures performed. The ability to dramatically restore the abdominal region to its much more youthful appearance is reliably accomplished. Generally you are able to return to reasonably normal activities quickly with relatively limited discomfort.
The major factors that play a role in the abdominal region are pregnancy with poor return of the tissue to normal afterwards and significant weight loss resulting in some floppy tissue in the region. Significant sun exposure in the past may also result in substantial laxity and wrinkling in the region.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A “TUMMY TUCK”
Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) is the technique to correct for excess bulging and droopiness of tummy tissue and potentially to tighten the abdominal wall itself to restore the youthful configuration.
A traditional tummy tuck involves the fairly extensive release of fatty and skin tissue which then allows for removal of the excess accomplished in a panty line incision. In order to do this the belly button needs to be released from its skin attachments and its position reestablished when the skin has been re-draped so as to allow a smoothness of the entire abdominal region. In most cases we also restore support to the abdominal wall region by tightening the tissue in the midline. This corrects any Pseudo herniation of the region. The net effect is a great improvement in all regards with often a dramatic reduction in waist size.
THE TUMMY TUCK PROCEDURE
A full tummy tuck requires a general anesthetic to allow for the release and support of tissue needed. The incision is made at the panty line and does need to extend sufficiently to allow for the tissues to come together without significant “bunching” at the incision. Drains are placed to help prevent any accumulation of fluids under the healing tissues and we will leave these to work as long as is needed to help prevent this. We will supply a support garment that we ask you to wear for the first 3-4 weeks during the initial healing phase. You are able to be up and about almost immediately with reasonable activities possible. Obviously we do not want you doing any heavy lifting or significant aerobic activities initially. You will be able to shower within a few days and we will provide further instruction relative to this. Hot tubs and pools are not allowed for approximately 1 month.
We find that the majority of our patients have quite limited discomfort often needing minimal pain medication. Bruising likewise is generally very limited. The incision is closed with absorbing suture and will continue to improve over many months- initial redness is very normal and tends to fade dramatically over time. By placing the incision in the panty line this also minimizes its appearance.
MINI TUCK: IS THIS AN OPTION?
A mini tuck is an excellent option if the problem is all or mostly below the belly button. This may commonly be the case after pregnancy or prior surgeries such a c-section. The mini tuck does not involve the belly button and is significantly more limited in extent which allows for rapid recovery and healing.
A mini tuck may be performed with several anesthesia options including tumescent local anesthesia, local anesthesia with sedation added, or general anesthesia. We can review the options in detail to see which is ideal for you.
Recovery is very rapid with often minimal discomfort. We provide you with a support garment to wear for several weeks after which there is no need for any particular support. Stitches dissolve by themselves and the incision line slowly improves with the normal initial redness fading although this generally takes months. The incision may be limited depending on the degree of problem to be corrected. It is also placed at the panty line to try and minimize the appearance.
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