Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
Get Rid of Excess Skin & Fat in Rochester NY
The midsection is an area of the body that we like to feel good about. Sagging skin, excess fatty tissue, and stretch marks are the hallmarks of pregnancy and significant weight loss that stand in the way of optimal confidence. These are concerns that tend to be particularly difficult to overcome with diet and exercise. In fact, the severe stretching of the abdominal muscles may create a situation in which weight loss only exacerbates the loose appearance of the stomach. Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery, is a popular method of refining the midsection.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a popular procedure for patients who have lost weight, but the excess skin remains. With this procedure, our Rochester Plastic Surgeons remove excess skin and deposits of fat. In some cases, our plastic surgeons may tighten the muscle in your abdominal area, slimming your waistline and greatly reducing the appearance of a protruding abdomen.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Women who have abdominal muscles and skin that are loose due to pregnancy can benefit greatly from the procedure. Men can also undergo this procedure after significant weight loss leaving them with loose skin. Tummy tuck surgery can help you get rid of a protruding belly, even one that won’t go away with diet and exercise.
Who is not a good candidate for Tummy Tuck surgery?
A thorough consultation and medical history are obtained during the initial visit for a tummy tuck. It is important to confirm that a patient is in good physical and emotional health before commencing with a body-altering treatment. Laboratory tests such as an EKG and blood work may be performed to ensure a patient can tolerate anesthesia and the recovery process after their procedure.
Ideally, surgical patients do not smoke. Cigarettes contain chemicals that deprive the body’s tissues of oxygen. This deprivation inhibits the recovery process after surgery and could increase the risk of complications such as scarring and poor wound healing.
Most surgeons do not consider women who may have more children good candidates for tummy tuck surgery. While there are no risks to a mother-to-be or her fetus, a pregnancy subsequent to abdominoplasty is very likely to affect the results of surgery.
Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
The primary benefit of tummy tuck surgery is that you feel like yourself again. Excess tissue laxity and muscle separation can significantly degrade your confidence. Depending on the extent of looseness, tissue may hang over a crease in the skin, posing a risk of infection within the fold. After a tummy tuck, a patient is able to enjoy the results of weight loss and wear clothing that is true to size.
Types of Abdominoplasty
The two common types of abdominoplasty are:
- Mini-Tummy Tuck: A mini-tummy tuck, or mini abdominoplasty removes the excess skin and fat that hangs around the lower stomach. This contours the lower abdomen and removes fatty tissue for a tighter look. In this procedure, abdominal muscles are not treated.
- Traditional Tummy Tuck: A traditional tummy tuck, or traditional abdominoplasty, is a full procedure. In this surgery, the abdominal muscles are repaired and excess fat and skin is moved from the full abdominal area. Typically, women who have experienced pregnancy or have lost excess amounts of weight undergo this procedures.
What Type of Abdominoplasty Is Right for Me?
Here at the Plastic Surgery Group of Rochester, we make sure to take the time to get to know you. This allows us to understand which procedure would best suit you. Tummy tucks can be customized to meet the needs of each individual patient, so it is important for us to know your goals.
How Is Tummy Tuck Surgery Performed?
When performed at our surgical facility in Rochester, abdominoplasty surgery usually takes two to three hours to complete. A mini-tummy tuck generally takes only an hour. In the full abdominoplasty operation, the main incision stretches across your abdomen just above the pubic area, reaching from one hip to the other. A mini-tummy tuck uses a shorter incision, and usually does not require us to separate and move your navel. During these abdominoplasty procedures, some patients may have their abdominal muscles tightened. This makes your stomach firmer and slims the contour of your waistline.
Can a tummy tuck be combined with other procedures?
A tummy tuck can be combined with a number of other procedures to achieve the best body-contouring results. Men who undergo a tummy tuck after weight loss may sometimes choose to undergo male breast reduction for gynecomastia at the same time. Women may incorporate additional procedures such as breast reduction, breast lift, or breast augmentation into their makeover. Because abdominoplasty is performed to refine body-shape, this procedure may pair nicely with other body-lift procedures such as a thigh lift or arm lift. Patients of our Rochester office may also consider laser skin tightening to address areas surrounding the abdomen, such as the flanks or love handles, if tissue laxity in those regions is mild.
If fat deposits are more widespread, you may get the best results from a tummy tuck done in conjunction with liposuction, which can give you a better body contour by removing fat deposits from your hips and other areas. Depending on your particular circumstances, our Rochester plastic surgeon may even recommend liposuction alone instead of an abdominoplasty.
How soon after my last child can I undergo abdominoplasty surgery?
The timing of a tummy tuck after childbirth depends on a few factors. Breastfeeding is the first. Tummy tuck surgery cannot be performed while you are breastfeeding because anesthesia will pass through breast milk and also because your hormones do not regulate until a few months after you have stopped breastfeeding. Hormone regulation contributes to weight loss, which we want to have stabilized before this body-contouring procedure.
If you are not breastfeeding, you may undergo your tummy tuck as soon as six months after delivery. This allows your fascia and abdominal muscles to heal as much as they are going to and also provides sufficient time for natural weight loss and tissue retraction.
Recovery from abdominoplasty varies from patient to patient. For some patients, an overnight stay may be necessary, and a temporary tube may be inserted to drain the surgical site of excess liquid. Recovery time can range anywhere from two weeks to two months based on factors such as age, general health, and the quality of aftercare. Tummy tuck patients can expect a scar to form on the lower stomach from hip to hip, which should fade over time. If you are having any healing complications, it is important to inform your doctor.
How soon after a tummy tuck can I exercise?
Physical activity resumes gradually after tummy tuck surgery. Initially, you will need assistance just getting back and forth from the bathroom. After a few days, as the effects of anesthesia and pain medication continue to decrease, you will have the balance and strength to walk short distances unassisted. However, exercise cannot resume until you have been medically cleared by your surgeon. Patients are typically able to start exercising about six weeks after surgery, beginning with light strength training and cardio movements and slowly increasing as the body is able. Every person is different. It is crucial that you attune to your own body and how it wants to heal.
How can I improve scarring after a Tummy Tuck?
There are a few steps you can take to improve the way your incision heals after surgery.
- Follow post-operative instructions on cleansing your incision.
- Observe your incision daily and contact our office if you notice signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, and heat.
- Moisturize your incision as directed in your post-op instructions.
- Once all scabbing has disappeared, you may use a scar cream or ointment or silicone sheets to promote optimal tissue healing.
- Use sunscreen if any part of your incision is exposed to the sun or UV rays.