Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Whether caused by significant weight loss, genetics, pregnancy, or simply aging, extra skin folds in the abdominal region can be tough—if not impossible—to eliminate with exercise and diet alone. A tummy tuck, medically referred to as abdominoplasty, is designed to remove excess skin and isolated pockets of stubborn fat around the midsection for a tighter, more fit-looking contour. In addition, any stretched and/or torn muscles of the abdominal wall can be repaired during this procedure, helping to further create a flatter, more toned abdomen.
At Art Plastic Surgery, Dr. Luis A. Zapiach and Dr. John T. Cozzone have performed numerous tummy tuck procedures throughout their years in practice, and they are highly skilled in customizing treatment to meet each patient’s needs while achieving incredibly natural-looking results. For more information about abdominoplasty, please continue reading the content provided on this page. If you have any additional questions, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons, feel free to contact our office today.
What Are the Benefits of a Tummy Tuck?
Abdominoplasty offers several benefits to women and men who wish to improve the contour of their midsection. Depending on your unique needs and desires, this body sculpting treatment can be custom-designed to help:
- Eliminate extra skin and fat throughout the midsection
- Tighten and smooth the abdomen and lower stomach
- Minimize the visibility of abdominal stretch marks
- Contour the waistline for an enhanced overall aesthetic
- Improve the look and fit of various shirts and swimsuits
Who Is a Candidate for Abdominoplasty?
Good candidates for a tummy tuck generally include individuals whose attempts at consuming a healthy diet and exercising on a regular basis have failed to improve one or more of the following concerns:
- Loose, excess skin in the abdomen
- Stubborn fat accumulations throughout the midsection
- Stretched and/or torn abdominal wall musculature
- Abdominal stretch marks
It is important to note that ideal abdominoplasty candidates should also be in good overall health (with no unmanaged medical conditions), be a non-smoker or have quit smoking at least six weeks prior to surgery, and have reasonable expectations for the outcome of treatment.
How Is the Abdominoplasty Procedure Performed?
Committed to helping patients achieve beautiful, natural-looking results, our plastic surgeons tailor every abdominoplasty to meet the specific needs and goals of the individual. The typical tummy tuck procedure begins with an incision made above the pubic area, which stretches from hip to hip. The navel is freed from surrounding tissue, and the skin is then lifted and tightened over the abdominal muscles as the extra skin is removed. If needed and/or desired, excess fat can also be extracted via liposuction. The remaining skin is then redraped and tightened for a firmer, flatter appearance. Once completed, the navel is repositioned and the incisions are closed.
The tummy tuck procedure can take anywhere from two to five hours and can be completed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia.
What Is Recovery from Tummy Tuck Surgery Like?
Following tummy tuck surgery, a close friend or family member will need to be available to assist with basic household tasks, taking care of children, and/or running errands during the initial stages of recovery. Most individuals are able to return to their daily routines—including office jobs—after about one to two weeks, though it may take several weeks before patients feel completely back to normal. Some bruising and swelling should be expected while the areas heal, but any discomfort can be managed with medication. Serious exercise and excess strain on the abdominal region should be avoided for at least six weeks following the procedure. However, short walks to alleviate concern over blood clots should be taken soon after the surgery.
There can be a certain degree of scarring from the tummy tuck procedure that will likely fade to some extent over time. Because of the location of the incision, the scar can typically be hidden beneath clothing if scarring does not fully diminish.
Other Abdominoplasty FAQs
Will loose, hanging abdominal skin contract on its own over time?
Unfortunately, regardless of how healthy the diet or strenuous the exercise routine, excess abdominal skin left over from pregnancy or massive weight loss will not notably contract on its own for the majority of individuals. While younger, more resilient and elastic skin may tighten a bit naturally, the degree to which this occurs is not generally enough to resolve one’s concerns when a substantial amount of weight has been lost. As a result, most men and women bothered by loose, extra skin in the abdomen will need a surgical procedure like abdominoplasty to successfully address their concerns and achieve a tightened, more toned midsection.
Can tummy tuck surgery help me lose weight?
Much like liposuction, tummy tuck surgery should never be confused with a weight loss procedure. It is intended to eliminate excess skin and isolated fat deposits in the abdomen, helping to restore a firmer, more fit-appearing contour. That being said, due to the removal of skin and small quantities of fat tissue during abdominoplasty, a relatively minor reduction in one’s overall weight may be experienced.
Will my abdominoplasty scars be noticeable?
The incision for tummy tuck surgery is generally made low on the abdomen (often just above the pubic region), extending from hip to hip. As a result, any scarring that might develop can usually be concealed beneath most clothing, swimsuits, and underwear varieties. Although they may never fully fade away, many patients notice that the appearance of their abdominoplasty scars gradually diminishes and becomes less conspicuous over time. Ultimately, the the majority of individuals find that the improved abdominal contour achieved with a tummy tuck usually far outweighs any reservations they may have had about potential scarring prior to their procedure.
Is it okay to get a tummy tuck prior to having kids?
Generally speaking, there are no major health risks associated with having children after an abdominoplasty. However, our plastic surgeons generally advise prospective tummy tuck patients to postpone treatment until they no longer plan to have more kids, as the physical changes that often accompany pregnancy can negatively impact the results of a previous abdominoplasty.
What happens if I become pregnant after abdominoplasty?
Becoming pregnant after tummy tuck surgery should not pose any medical risks to a woman or her child. That said, the physical changes typically associated with pregnancy may cause abdominal skin and/or musculature to re-stretch, sometimes creating the same issues that were addressed with the original abdominoplasty. Depending on the extent of these new concerns, revisional surgery or even a second tummy tuck may be needed or desired to restore the results that were initially achieved.
If you have any additional questions or concerns about the tummy tuck procedure, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us today.