What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that tightens and removes excess skin from the front of the abdomen. When the sit up muscles have separated after pregnancy, a tummy tuck will repair that separation giving the abdomen a tighter and more tone feel. Stretch marks in the lower abdomen are removed during a tummy tuck.
A “full tummy tuck” generally removes all or most of the excess skin below the belly button and includes an incision around the belly button. A “mini tummy tuck” removes less skin but does not have an incision around the belly button. The muscles can be repaired with either a full or mini tummy tuck.
A tummy tuck is almost always combined with liposuction to remove extra fat of the upper abdomen and/or waist to optimize the results of the procedure. A tummy tuck can be combined with other procedures as well, such as aesthetic breast surgery or liposuction to other areas of the body.
Who is a candidate for a tummy tuck?
Anyone who has loose skin, stretch marks, or abdominal wall muscles that have been separated, and is in good health, may be a candidate for a tummy tuck. Most commonly, patients have either been pregnant or have lost a significant amount of weight. A tummy tuck is a body contouring procedure; it is not a weight loss procedure. A healthy diet and exercise is the only healthy, effective, and lasting path to weight loss.
Benefits of tummy tuck
After a tummy tuck you can expect:
- A flatter and more toned abdomen
- A more youthful figure
- To feel better in a wide array of clothing styles
- The confidence to expose your midriff
Recovery and results
While patients are out of bed and walking the evening of surgery, it can take up to a week for patients to stand up straight, up to three weeks to return to work, and six weeks before patients are using their core muscles for lifting or strenuous activity. Your tummy will be flat and muscles tightened. The scar will be placed low and covered by clothing and swimwear. With a full tummy tuck there also is an incision around the belly button. Patients are encouraged to have completed their pregnancies prior to having a tummy tuck, as pregnancy can stretch the skin and separate the muscles even after a tummy tuck.