What is a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?
Tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that involves removal of skin and fat from the abdomen. The procedure is performed on patients in with excess skin, fat, and laxity following child birth, or other major weight fluctuation, such as after weight loss in the obese.
There are different approaches: mini-abdominoplasty, 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 & After
Check out our Tummy Tuck Gallery for more before and after photos.
Tummy Tuck Candidate
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.
Dr. Rick Silverman typically performs an abdominoplasty between 2 and 5 hours. Patients are placed 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 Surgery 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. This is usually easily hidden by 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 are interested in learning more about the tummy tuck procedure, call (617) 965-9500 to schedule a consultation with Boston Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Rick Silverman.