Tummy tuck surgery, also known as “abdominoplasty,” is a procedure that removes excess belly fat and skin to produce a flatter, more contoured abdomen. This procedure has the benefit of not only removing unwanted fatty tissue and excess skin, but also tightens stretched abdominal muscles, which can occur after pregnancy, to achieve a more toned abdominal contour.
The incision for this surgery is strategically placed along the lower abdomen, allowing for the incision to be easily hidden beneath undergarments and bathing suits. Your scar will continue to improve and fade over time. You will be instructed to start scar therapy after surgery and, as always, it is important to protect your skin from the sun to prevent the scar from darkening.
Ideal candidates for a tummy tuck are in good general health and/or:
- Have tried diet and exercise but are unable to achieve the flat abdomen they desire
- Have excess fat and hanging skin following weight loss or pregnancy
- Have developed a rectus diastasis (stretching/separation of the abdominal muscles) due to pregnancy or aging
Tighten Abdominal Muscles
Pregnancy, aging, and weight gain can cause the abdominal muscles to separate as the tissue that holds the muscles together stretches. This separation often causes the abdomen to appear protruded and it is next to impossible to completely repair these muscles through exercise alone. During a tummy tuck your abdominal muscles and the overlying tissue are tightened to improve definition and shape in the midsection.
Remove Stretch Marks
Weight gain and pregnancy can result in stretch marks to develop on your abdomen. Stretch marks that are located to your lower abdomen are removed with excess skin and fat during the tummy tuck procedure.
Eliminate Stubborn Fat
Even after you have achieved a healthy weight, areas of stubborn fat can persist that are not eliminated with diet and exercise alone. Liposuction can be performed in combination with your tummy tuck procedure to target these areas of fat.
Patients can return to normal daily activities at approximately 4 weeks and most patients are able to resume all activities, without restrictions, at 2-3 months. To achieve the best results, we recommend patients rent a recliner chair to sleep in for approximately four weeks after surgery, which allows for tension to be reduced on the abdominal incision while it heals.
As with any surgery, some swelling, bruising, and soreness are to be expected at first. You will be administered pain medication to help control any post-op discomfort. This tenderness and swelling should begin to subside after a few days. The majority of swelling should begin to resolve after a few weeks.
You can expect a slimmer and more contoured abdomen after your tummy tuck procedure. Generally, results will be long lasting if you maintain a stable weight and do not have a future pregnancy.