What is Tummy Tuck?
Abdominoplasty is the technical term for a tummy tuck. This surgical procedure corrects a protruding abdomen by removing excess fat and skin and tightening weakened abdominal muscles. The tummy is often one of the most difficult areas of the body to improve through diet and exercise, particularly if the skin and underlying muscles have been stretched. A tummy tuck can help by restoring a flatter abdomen and more narrow waist and improving the contour of the body.
The abdominoplasty is often sought by women after pregnancy or those with weakened abdominal muscles. It’s important to note that it is not a substitute for diet and exercise. In addition, individuals who are planning future weight loss or pregnancy may be advised to postpone surgery.
Tummy Tuck – The Procedure
Our board certified plastic surgery experts at Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists will usually perform Abdominoplasty with general anesthesia and can take anywhere from two to five hours to complete. During the surgery, a u-shaped incision is made along the pubic area between the hipbones and the skin is separated from the abdominal wall. The doctor then tightens the underlying muscles with sutures and removes excess fat. A second incision is made around the navel and the navel is reconstructed. Once the surgery is complete, temporary drains may be inserted at the incision site and bandages are applied.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
After Surgery: What to Expect
Some discomfort may occur after the tummy tuck and this can be managed with medication. Swelling, bruising and numbness may also occur. Patients are typically required to wear a support garment for a period of time after surgery to help support the new contours of the abdomen and minimize swelling. Work can usually be resumed within two to four weeks, though you will be asked to refrain from exercise and strenuous activity for four to six weeks or more.
Like all surgical procedures, there are potential complications associated with abdominoplasty and these may include adverse anesthesia reactions, blood clots, bleeding, excess scarring, poor healing and infection. You can minimize your risk by carefully following your doctor’s pre and post-operative instructions. For plastic surgery in Pougkeepsie, our office is located only 20 miles south in Newbugh, NY.
Things to Know About Tummy Tuck Surgery
A tummy tuck, is one way to get a flatter stomach area. Like other types of plastic surgery, a tummy tuck is the right option for some patients, but not necessarily for every patient. If you’re considering the surgery, it’s worth learning what you can about it first, so that you have a clear idea as to whether it’s really the right option for you or not.
Tummy Tucks Aren’t for Weight Loss
Although tummy tucks do help eliminate excess loose skin and excess fat, and result in a slimmer appearance, they aren’t weight loss surgeries. You won’t drop a dramatic amount of weight because of a tummy tuck. If you are trying to lose weight and still have a ways to go before you reach your goal weight, your surgeon will most likely recommend waiting to schedule your surgery until you are either at or very close to your goal weight.
You’ll Need Time to Recover
Some amount of recovery is needed after any type of surgery, but the recovery after a tummy tuck can feel particularly long. You’ll want to take about two weeks off from your job and you might find that it is difficult to resume a variety of activities right after the surgery. Because of the location of the surgery, you’ll have a limited range of motion for about a week afterward.
It’s a good idea to prep your home in advance of your surgery. Have plenty of meals ready to go, pick out books to read and movies to watch beforehand, and make sure you have plenty of comfortable places to lie down.
Getting Help is a Great Idea!
The more help you have during the first week or so after your surgery, the better. You’ll definitely want to have a spouse or friend stay with you for the first day or first few days after your tummy tuck. You might find that you need help doing basic things, like making your way to the bathroom, reaching for a remote on the table, or getting food.
You’ll Be Slightly Bent Over for a Few Days
Since a tummy tuck typically involves tightening the skin and muscle in the abdominal area, it’s not uncommon for people to be slightly bent for a few days after the surgery. Standing or sitting straight up is pretty much all but impossible. This might lead to some lower back pain, especially after a few days, which you can manage with pain relievers.
You might also have to change your sleeping position. Many people find that the most comfortable way to sleep right after a tummy tuck is in a recliner, rather than trying to lie flat in a bed.
Your Results Should Last
For plenty of people, having to take so much time off from work and spending a few weeks bent like the letter “L” is worth it because the results from their surgery are so long lasting. As long as you stick with a healthy diet, don’t gain a lot of weight and don’t become pregnant again, the results from your tummy tuck can be permanent.
- 5 Questions to Ask When Deciding If a Tummy Tuck Is Right for You
- Tummy Tuck vs. Thermage: Do You Need More Than Skin Tightening?
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a few reasons people seek out tummy tuck surgery. Most do want to get a flatter stomach area, but some also want to conceal scars in the abdominal area or cover up stretch marks. During a tummy tuck, a surgeon removes excess, loose skin from the area and tightens abdominal muscles. If there are fatty deposits, the surgeon will remove those during the surgery as well. Some people combine a tummy tuck with liposuction if they’re particularly concerned about fat in the abdominal area.
Often, women decide to have an abdominoplasty after they have had children. Pregnancy changes the body in many ways. Some of those changes include stretching out the skin in the abdominal area, the formation of stretch marks, and in the case of women who deliver via C-section, a large scar.
Moms aren’t the only people who seek out tummy tucks, however. Both men and women might notice that they develop a bit of a tummy pooch as they get older, as a result of weakened abdominal muscles and loose, lax skin in the area. People who’ve lost a significant amount of weight might have an abdominoplasty to remove excess from the tummy area and achieve a sleeker physique.
As with most plastic surgery procedures, there are two main types of tummy tuck to choose from. The one that’s right for you depends on your overall goals and the state of your abdominal area. A “classic” or “full” tummy tuck focuses on tightening the skin and muscles above and below the navel. The area treated stretches from just under the rib cage to the pubic bone.
Another tummy tuck option is a “mini” tummy tuck, which only focuses on the area beneath the belly button. With a mini tummy tuck, you have a shorter recovery period and a smaller incision, but the results tend to be less dramatic when compared to a full tummy tuck.
Tummy tucks are surgical procedures, so you can expect to need some time to recover afterward. Usually, you’ll need to take about two weeks off from work, although some people need a full month off from work, depending on the type of surgery they have and the type of work they do.
You might notice that it is difficult to stand or sit fully upright during the first few days after your surgery. It’s important to rest up during that time and not try to overextend yourself. If you have any discomfort, your surgeon can prescribe pain relievers to help you manage. It’s also a good idea to wear a compression garment during your recovery to help the tissue in the area settle into place.
Tummy tucks aren’t for everyone. If you’re a mom who plans on getting pregnant again, it’s a good idea to wait until after your last pregnancy to schedule a tummy tuck. Any changes created by the surgery might be undone by an additional pregnancy.
Your overall health also determines whether or not a tummy tuck is a good option for you. Usually, the best candidates are in good health and don’t have any uncontrolled chronic conditions.
It’s also important to remember that a tummy tuck isn’t a weight loss procedure. You should be near or at your goal weight before undergoing the surgery. If you wish to lose weight, you can discuss your options for doing so with your doctor.
Why Choose Dr. Rubinstein
- Dr. Rubinstein is one of the top facial plastic surgeons in New York.
- He is double board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
- Dr. Rubinstein has been in both private and academic practice for over 15 years.
- He is also an active member of the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery.
- Clinical Professor at New York Presbyterian Hospital