Abdominoplasty, commonly known as a tummy tuck, removes excess fat and skin from the abdomen – and in most cases restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer. It can also remove stretch marks in some cases. A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
An abdominoplasty can be conducted for both men and women, provided they are in overall good health and are non-smokers. Smokers should stop smoking for a month prior to the procedure. People with lax tissues after weight loss and women who have gone through pregnancies often opt for this procedure. Pregnant women who have undergone c-sections may also be able to have these scars removed during an abdominoplasty.
Women who have yet to become pregnant but are planning to should wait until after pregnancy and childbirth before considering a tummy tuck. Vertical muscle tightening occurs during the surgery, and pregnancy can undo this. There are some exceptions to this in those whose primary issue is skin laxity.
Additionally, tummy tucks are also not recommended for individuals with uncontrolled diabetes or heart disease.
Your Abdominoplasty Consultation
Before you can undergo surgery, a consultation is required. During this time, Dr. Dean will examine your abdomen and possibly take photographs as well. Your past and present medical history will also be reviewed. You might be asked to avoid specific medications before your surgery and to arrange for assistance during your recovery.
It is important to be at a stable weight, because significant weight gain or loss can negatively affect results. Being at or near your goal weight is ideal but not absolutely necessary.
The Steps of a Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck is comprised of four steps:
1. Anesthesia: During the consultation, Dr. Dean will suggest using general anesthesia for the procedure. Local anesthetic will also be used, to decrease post operative pain . General anesthesia is necessary in order to allow muscled relaxation during the procedure.
2. Incision and Tightening: Dr. Dean first makes a horizontal incision just above the pubic hairline. The size of the incision is dependent upon how much tissue needs to be removed. Another incision might be necessary around your belly button for the removal of excess skin along the upper abdomen. Muscles within the abdomen are tightened using internal sutures after the skin has been lifted, and excess fat and skin are removed. Procedure times vary from patient to patient.
3. Closure: Dr. Dean will choose the best option for the patient’s specific case when closing the incisions. Closure almost always consists of multiple layers of absorbable sutures. Often times a drain in necessary and will remain in place for about a week.
4. Recovery and Results: Patients are discouraged from doing heavy lifting or overexerting themselves during the recovery process. Once the patient has recovered, their abdomen will be tighter and flatter, as well as more in line with their body type. Patients are encouraged to maintain a proper diet and to exercise regularly after the procedure to ensure the results are long-lasting.
Dr. Dean came highly recommended to me by a couple of friends and I couldn’t be more happy I chose him. He and his staff were awesome on every level. Patient, kind, informative and his work is wonderful! I have a new found confidence thanks to Dr. Dean. The office, staff & surgery center were all top notch as well! If you are searching for a great doctor, with amazing results, he is your man!kimberg77 | Baton Rouge, LA
Learn More Today
Abdominoplasty procedures vary widely in scope and cost. A mini tuck is used to address laxity of the tissue beneath the belly button alone while a circumferential abdominoplasty, (or body lift) treats laxity involving the entire trunk. There are many versions between these two extremes. At Associates in Plastic Surgery, we offer the full spectrum of procedures. To determine your best alternative, consult with your surgeon at Associates in Plastic Surgery.