What is a Tummy Tuck?
The tummy tuck is a common term for abdominoplasty, a surgical procedure that tightens the abdominal wall reduces the circumference of the waistline and produces a taut belly. Following pregnancy or dramatic weight loss, many patients are faced with unsightly folds of sagging skin and weak muscles. The tummy tuck procedure removes excessive loose skin and tightens lax, weak muscle tissue to create a defined contour. The procedure may also remove stretch marks from the lower abdomen though it may not be possible to remove them all. The tummy tuck procedure is performed via a horizontal incision across the bikini line, just above the pubic area leaving a hairline scar. The length of the incision depends on the amount of skin to be removed, and in some cases, an additional incision is made in the navel area in order to facilitate pulling excess skin from above the navel downward and trimming it away.
Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
Most patients report feeling improved self-esteem following the tummy tuck procedure. The tummy tuck procedure also offers the following benefits:
- Removes loose, sagging skin that may also contain stretch marks, scars, and cellulite.
- Tightens and repairs stretched or lax abdominal muscles resulting in a flatter abdomen.
How Is a Tummy Tuck Performed?
A full tummy tuck is performed via a horizontal incision, just above the pubic line, as well a tiny incision just above the belly button, through which the excess skin and fatty tissue are extracted. Flaccid abdominal muscle tissue is tightened, and the belly button is repositioned. The procedure leaves a hairline scar running from hipbone to hipbone, although this will significantly fade over time.
Combining Treatments with a Tummy Tuck
Women who seek abdominoplasty after pregnancy may choose to combine the tummy tuck with other procedures as part of a Mommy Makeover. The most common procedures performed in combination with the tummy tuck include breast enhancement procedures, such as a breast lift or breast augmentation, and in many cases, liposuction. Combining different procedures is a safe and effective practice that saves patients recovery time and expenses by having several problems corrected simultaneously.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
Most patients require about 10-14 days to fully recover from the tummy tuck procedure and return to light activities. We recommend a gradual return to regular physical activity after a period of about six to eight weeks to ensure optimal healing.
How Do I Know If I Need A Tummy Tuck?
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is recommended for patients who have weakened abdominal wall muscles caused by pregnancy or weight loss, and for patients who have sagging folds of excess skin in the abdominal region. For patients with moderate, localized fatty deposits and firm skin tone, liposuction may be a more suitable option.
Abdominoplasty is safely and successfully performed on thousands of men and women yearly.
If I Am Obese Can I Still Have Abdominoplasty?
Dr. Karaca will help you determine how safe it is for you to undergo abdominoplasty, depending on what point you’re at in your weight loss journey. Most physicians recommend cosmetic abdominoplasty for patients who have attained a stable weight and are close to their target weight since liposuction and abdominoplasty cannot reduce or eliminate fat in and around abdominal organs.
Can Abdominoplasty Get Rid Of Old Scars And Stretch Marks?
Yes, one advantage of the tummy tuck procedure is that it can remove marks on the skin if they are located in the area of skin is trimmed away, for example, stretch marks and scars located in the lower abdomen beneath the belly button.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Tummy Tuck
Tummy tuck is a common term for abdominoplasty, a surgical procedure that tightens the abdominal wall, reduces the circumference of the waistline and produces a taut belly.
Should I get a tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck?
The traditional tummy tuck is recommended for individuals who have large amounts of excess skin and fat to eliminate, as well as significant weakness of the abdominal wall. A mini tummy tuck is a far less invasive procedure that may be more suitable for patients who have smaller areas of loose skin to eliminate.
Can I get Pregnant after a Tummy Tuck?
Yes. Although you may still enjoy the option of becoming pregnant and having a safe, healthy pregnancy following a tummy tuck, Dr. Karaca and our team of experts recommend postponing the tummy tuck surgery until after you have finished birthing and nursing your children, as future pregnancy and lactation may affect your surgery results.
When can I resume sex after a tummy tuck?
We recommend a gradual return to non-strenuous sexual activities approximately three to four weeks following the procedure.
When can I resume exercise after a tummy tuck?
It is important to refrain from strenuous abdominal exercises for two to three months following a tummy tuck surgery. Regular, non-strenuous activities can resume within three weeks.