What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) flattens the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin, while at the same time tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall, restoring a firm and toned appearance often unachievable through diet and exercise alone. This surgery at Twin City Plastic Surgery, serving patients from Bloomington, Champaign, Springfield, Peoria, Decatur and surrounding areas, is particularly relevant to women who have recently undergone pregnancy, or individuals with excess abdominal skin due to drastic weight loss. A tummy tuck, however, is not an alternative to losing weight through diet and exercise.
If you are interested in tummy tuck surgery in Bloomington IL and surrounding areas, contact Twin City Plastic Surgery today to schedule an appointment.
Types of Abdominoplasty Procedures:
There are two types of abdominoplasty procedures – mini and full.
A mini tummy tuck is performed if the patient’s treatment area is confined to the lower abdomen. This procedure carries the benefit of not generally necessitating the repositioning of the belly button. Less surgically extensive, it also allows for a shorter recovery period and a smaller scar.
Full Tummy Tuck:
Loose muscle, skin, and excess fat throughout the entire abdomen often require a full tummy tuck. The increased scarring associated with a full tummy tuck is offset by the greater improvements associated with the procedure. During the pre-surgical consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons, they will help to determine which procedure is best suited for your needs.
Who is an Ideal Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
If you still have good elasticity in your abdominal skin and your issues are primarily pockets of unwanted fat that you can’t get rid of through exercise of dietary changes, a tummy tuck isn’t the right procedure — you want liposuction. But if you have loose, inelastic skin, with some pockets of fat, a tummy tuck is the better option (probably combined with light liposuction to remove some areas of the fat). Pregnancy is especially hard on the abdominal muscles because of the way it focuses the weight gain in such a small, localized area. This can permanently stretch and separate the abdominal muscles and they won’t return to their former degree of tautness without surgery. Excessive weight gain and subsequent loss can create the same issues.
One important note about having a tummy tuck — if you think you may want to have additional children, your tummy tuck will have to wait. The effects of pregnancy will negate the results of your tummy tuck. Also, people who plan on losing additional weight should delay their tummy tuck because the additional weight loss will create more loose skin. It’s important to remember that abdominoplasty is a body-contouring procedure, not a weight-loss procedure.
How is Tummy Tuck Surgery Performed?
During surgery, the patient is placed under general anesthesia and the procedure takes approximately 2 to 5 hours to perform. During surgery, a horizontal incision is placed just within or above the pubic area, the length of which is dependent upon the amount of skin being removed. For those who have recently lost a large amount of weight, a smaller, vertical incision may also be employed (to correct horizontal skin laxity). In addition, areas of fat are treated with liposuction, while the skin is stretched to tighten the abdominal area. Muscles within the abdomen are also tightened using sutures in the lower midline.
What is the Recovery from a Tummy Tuck Procedure?
After surgery, a drain is placed in an incision point to prevent the buildup of tissue fluid, which will be in place for up to 6-10 days. Depending on the extent of the procedure (such as mini vs. full tummy tuck), patients can expect to return to normal activity from between two to four weeks following surgery. Abdominoplasty will leave a scar located on the lower abdomen from hip to hip, although the scar will be low enough to be concealed by a bikini. It is important to maintain a healthy weight with a balanced diet and regular exercise to ensure long-lasting results.
How Long Will My Abdominoplasty Results Last?
The changes made by our Twin City surgeons are permanent. Your new contour will be with you the rest of your life; all you have to do is eat right, exercise, and control your weight and you’ll love your flatter abdomen for the duration.
Obviously, there can be some residual sagging of the tissues with natural aging, but the removal of excess skin and repositioning of separated stomach muscles, will limit any sagging as long as you maintain a healthy weight.
What are the Risks Involved with a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery is major surgery, and it involves all the same risks as with any surgery: excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, reaction to anesthesia, blood clot formation, and the like. Beyond that, this is generally a low-risk procedure. The main risk is a change in sensation in the abdominal area due to the tissue repositioning. This usually passes in a couple months after the procedure.
Can You Combine an Abdominoplasty with Other Procedures?
If you seek to address more of the areas impacted by pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding, you can combine a tummy tuck with a breast lift and liposuction. This combined surgery can be performed together in one procedure and is often called a mommy makeover. This does create an involved recovery, but it is only a single recovery. Also, if your thighs need addressing, the main incision can be extended around the flanks and even further, if desired. This enables us to lift the thighs and the buttocks.
Can I Have a Tummy Tuck if I am Going to Have Additional Children?
As mentioned above, we want our Twin City Plastic Surgery patients to be sure they do not want to have any additional children before they decide to have this procedure. Doing so will stretch the incisions and negate all of the benefits of this procedure.
Twin City Plastic Surgery offers tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) to patients from Bloomington, Champaign, Springfield, Peoria, and Decatur, IL. Call (309) 662-6772 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation.