What Is a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that involves removal of skin and fat from the abdomen. The procedure is good for patients with excess skin, fat, and laxity following child birth, or other major weight fluctuation, such as after weight loss in the obese.
Types of Tummy Tucks
There are a few different approaches when performing a tummy tuck. These include:
- Full abdominoplasty
- Fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty with a vertical incision in addition to the horizontal one
Dr. Rick Silverman will choose the best approach depending on the extent of tissue excess.
Tummy Tuck Before and After
View our Tummy Tuck gallery for more before and after photos.
Ideal Candidate for Abdominoplasty
Women who have been pregnant and have excess skin after child birth are great candidates for abdominoplasty. Both men and women who may require skin removal after significant weight loss could benefit from a tummy tuck. Patients who have undergone bariatric surgery are sometimes left with a large apron of abdominal skin after their procedure. This excess skin can cause challenges with clothing and mobility, and can cause rashes. Tummy tuck will address these functional issues as well as the cosmetic element.
Tummy Tuck Procedure
Dr. Rick Silverman typically performs an abdominoplasty between 2 and 5 hours. Patients go under general anesthesia for the procedure. To begin the procedure, two incisions are made: one to from hip to hip near the pubic area, and one around the navel. The skin is separated from the abdominal muscles which are pulled tightly together to create a firmer abdomen and narrow waist. The skin is stretched down over the tightened muscles and the excess is removed. The navel is reattached where it looks natural and all incisions are closed. Sterile surgical dressing are applied over the sutures for protection.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
After surgery, Dr. Rick Silverman suggests patients have one week of rest for recovery. In the case of an abdominoplasty, there will be drain tubes in place for about a week. Patients can gradually return to exercise activities starting with a week of low-impact cardio. After two weeks, resistance training can be added but nothing heavy for about six weeks. This is to avoid compromise of any deep tightening stitches. Depending on the demands of a job, many patients can return to work within a week, or after the drains come out. Patients cannot do any strenuous activity or heavy lifting for four to six weeks.
Does the Procedure Leave Any Scars?
Unfortunately, the abdominoplasty procedure will leave a visible scar from hip-to-hip. The scar is usually not visible when wearing a bathing suit or shorts.
As with all surgery, there are anesthetic risks, but these rarely occur in healthy individuals. Surgical risks include bleeding, infection, scar formation, contour irregularity, persistent numbness or sensory alteration in the treated area, tissue loss, and need for further surgery. In uncomplicated cases, the outcome is a flat abdomen with a scar across the lower abdomen and around the belly button. These scars generally fade well over time, though it is possible that they could be visible, but easily coverable.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like to learn more about a tummy tuck, call (617) 965-9500 to schedule a consultation with Boston Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Rick Silverman.