What is Abdominoplasty (or a “Tummy Tuck”)?
Abdominoplasty, also known as a “tummy tuck,” is a surgical procedure designed to flatten and tighten the skin over the stomach. The procedure typically consists of:
- Removing excess skin and fat from the abdominal area.
- Restoring weakened or separated abdominal muscles by tightening them
The end result is an abdominal profile that is leaner, smoother, and firmer. Additionally, a tummy tuck can be combined with other surgical enhancements – including breast augmentation, a facelift, an arm lift, a buttocks lift, liposuction or other procedures. At Columbus Aesthetic & Plastic Surgery, we can help you find the tight and firm tummy you’ve always wanted.
Why Consider a Tummy Tuck?
A protruding abdomen or wrinkled, loose skin hanging from the stomach can feel uncomfortable and make one feel self-conscious about their appearance. Fluctuating weight, pregnancy, and weakened abdominal muscles can give the abdomen a loose appearance. A tummy tuck can tighten the abdominal muscles, remove that extra skin, and give you the stomach you’ve always desired or used to have
For a successful tummy tuck and a firm, toned abdominal section, Columbus, Ohio residents come to Columbus Aesthetic & Plastic Surgery (CAPS). Our skilled team of plastic surgeons is dedicated to providing the highest level of surgical care available in a comforting and welcoming atmosphere. At CAPS, we provide a thorough, in-depth overview of your options, and every consult and procedure are centered on your individual needs as a patient. Call us today at 614.246.6900 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. If you have any questions about financing your tummy tuck procedure, please visit our financing page.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck Procedure?
If you have excess skin around your stomach due to weight loss or pregnancy, there’s no amount of exercise or dieting that can reduce it. And in some cases, despite weight loss and exercise, there are specific parts of the body that are impossible to tone naturally. Many mothers or people who have experienced a significant weight loss come to CAPS because they know we are trained and ready to flatten and tighten your stomach.
Physically and mentally healthy candidates who have loose, hanging skin or weakened abdominal muscles are all good candidates for a tummy tuck. There is no specific age for the procedure, and abdominalplasty can be performed at any time in your life. Your surgeon will help you evaluate the options, and make recommendations for tummy tuck candidacy, as well as explain possible alternative treatments, like the mini tummy tuck.
Discussing any pre-existing conditions with your surgeon is key to a successful procedure, healing, and recovery. Along with good health, an essential aspect of good tummy tuck candidacy is having realistic expectations of what results this procedure can offer. A candidate should be able to recognize not just what a tummy tuck will accomplish, but also what limitations the procedures have in terms of results.
The best tummy tuck candidates are willing and able to follow pre- and post-operative instructions. For example, after a tummy tuck, it’s important not to exercise or perform heavy lifting for about 6 weeks. A patient who ignores this recommendation may not heal correctly, or could delay proper healing for many months.
Our experienced plastic surgeons will guide candidates through a thorough consultation and examination, focusing on the determination of treatment goals, proper candidacy for the procedure, and will they will also explain alternative procedures.
It’s important for patients to understand that having a tummy tuck won’t be a quick fix for weight loss, make you look like a completely different person, or solve personal issues. However, it does allow for a more toned and flattened look, and helps you feel confident about your stomach area.
Tummy Tucks After Pregnancy
An ideal candidate for a tummy tuck is a healthy patient at a relatively normal weight that has excess or hanging skin and fat on the lower abdomen. As well, an ideal candidate may also have weak abdominal muscles that can be tightened during the surgery. Extreme weight fluctuations or loss of elasticity in the abdominal area can result in hanging, stretched, or loose fat or skin in the lower part of the stomach. If you’ve been pregnant before you are likely to experience many of these side effects. A tummy tuck from Columbus Aesthetic & Plastic Surgery, can correct these problems. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your stomach, we’re experts at bringing your stomach back to it’s pre-baby appearance. However, if you plan to have more children, we recommend that you postpone your tummy tuck until after your final pregnancy. This is because pregnancy can re-stretch the abdominal muscles that are tightened during a tummy tuck procedure.
Tummy Tucks for Men
In Columbus, Ohio, tummy tucks aren’t just for women. Men who have lost a large amount of weight or are unhappy with the appearance of their stomach can also greatly benefit from an abdominoplasty. The tummy tuck procedure essentially identical for both sexes with some modifications made for each patient’s anatomy and goals.
What Does a Tummy Tuck Procedure Consist of?
Tummy tuck procedures vary in complexity, based on the individual’s body and goals. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, meaning that the patient is completely asleep during surgery. An incision is made horizontally in the lower abdomen and extends from hip to hip.
Once the excess skin is released, weak abdominal muscles are repaired, strengthened, and tightened by suturing the muscles closer together. The skin is then pulled down over the abdomen, excess skin is trimmed, and the new skin is sutured back together. Then, a new opening for the belly button is made, and the belly button is sutured into place.
Once you’ve decided to have a tummy tuck at CAPS in Columbus, Ohio, you’ll be able to discuss all the details of the procedure with a skilled surgeon. All of our 5 Plastic surgeons are highly experienced in performing abdominoplasties. Experience and previous results are important factors in choosing the right surgeon for your procedure, and our staff is at the ready to discuss credentials and options.
What is a Mini Tummy Tuck?
For those who are not positive about undergoing a complete tummy tuck, Columbus Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery also offers a mini tummy tuck, or mini abdominoplasty. A mini tummy tuck can be performed as an outpatient procedure and has a shorter recovery time than a full tummy tuck.
A mini tummy tuck will also tighten skin on the abdomen, but it will focus more on the lower abdomen. Full and mini tummy tucks can help improve previous scars on the lower abdomen and remove stretch marks. Typically a mini tummy tuck will not involve tightening of abdominal muscles.
How Long Does a Tummy Tuck Procedure Take?
The surgery usually lasts between one and three hours. The time may vary depending on the patient, their body, the amount of skin being removed, and goals of their procedure. If your tummy tuck is being performed in conjunction with other procedures, then the surgery could take significantly longer.
What to Expect During the Abdominoplasty Recovery Period
You may experience some pain and swelling post-surgery, but your CAPS doctor will work to minimize pain and discomfort as much as possible.
Dressings or bandages will be applied to your incisions after your procedure. You may also need to wear an elastic bandage or compression garment wrapped around your abdomen to minimize swelling. To drain any excess blood or fluid and keep your incision area clean, your doctor may place small, thin drainage tubes under the skin. Your doctor will advise you on the best position to sit or lie down in in order to alleviate pain and allow you to heal. Strenuous activity, like exercise, should be avoided for at least 6 weeks.
Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to recover and care for yourself after your tummy tuck. Instructions may include information on caring for incisions or drains, medications to take to minimize pain, and how to follow up with your surgeon. If you work, you may find it necessary to take time off in order to fully recover. Talk with your doctor about the appropriate amount of time needed.
What Results Should I Expect From a Tummy Tuck Procedure?
Tummy tucks have multiple aesthetic benefits. Excess skin from the lower frontal abdomen (also known as the tummy or stomach pouch), will be removed and smoothed. This area of excess skin can be “immune” to diet and exercise, and it can be difficult to attain a flat stomach without surgery. With a tummy tuck, excess skin and fat is removed entirely in one procedure.
The abdominal muscles are also tightened during a tummy tuck. As we age, our abdominal muscles tend to stretch. This may occur due to weight fluctuations, pregnancy, or just getting older. During an abdominoplasty, your abdominal muscles are sutured together, tighter than they were before. This is what creates a smoother, more contoured abdomen, and in some cases a narrower waist. If you have stretch marks and want them removed, a tummy tuck may be the right choice. Some stretch marks you may have on your stomach will be removed during the procedure by removing the affected skin.
The physical benefits and effects of a tummy tuck can improve self-confidence in the patient after the surgery. We have an extremely high satisfaction rate after tummy tucks and nearly all of our patients report a boost in self-confidence.
In addition, a number of medical benefits to having a tummy tuck have been reported. Some of them include better posture, reduction of stress urinary incontinence, and strengthened core muscles.
How Can I Prepare For My Tummy Tuck?
The best way to start preparing for any plastic surgery procedure, including a tummy tuck, is to talk to your doctor. At your first CAPS consultation, ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding the surgery, your recovery, or long-term self-care.
Other things you can do to prepare for your tummy tuck surgery include:
- Maintain a healthy diet.
- Don’t smoke (or if you smoke, quit). Smoking increases the risk of complications during surgery.
- If you work, schedule some time off to recover.
- Find a person to take you to the hospital and pick you up after surgery. In addition, if possible, have someone look after you during your first few days of recovery.
- Make sure all pre-operative tests, procedures, clearances, and paperwork are finished and ready for surgery.
- Fill all prescriptions prescribed by your surgeon.
- On the night before the surgery, do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
Can I Combine a Tummy Tuck With Other Plastic Surgery Procedures?
A tummy tuck can be performed alone or in combination with other procedures. If you’re unhappy with sagginess or excess skin on your arms, buttocks, or thighs, Columbus Aesthetic & Plastic Surgery offers arm lifts, thigh lifts, and buttocks lifts to correct those problem areas. Any of these surgeries can be combined in conjunction with a tummy tuck to reach your ideal self.
An arm lift, also called brachioplasty, is another procedure that can be combined with a tummy tuck. Excess arm skin can also result from weight fluctuations, so it’s common for patients to want to remove skin from both the stomach and arms. At Columbus Aesthetic & Plastic Surgery, we’ll reshape the under portion of the upper arm, removing any excess skin and fat, to both repair and rejuvenate your arms. The result: shapely, slender, and more aesthetically pleasing arms.
To reduce sagging thigh tissue or excess skin that’s lost its elasticity, a thigh lift, or thighplasty, is a popular surgery to combine with a tummy tuck. This procedure involves removing excess skin and fat cells from the thighs. Patients who have lost weight and have loose, hanging skin on their thighs may benefit from this surgery.
A buttocks lift, sometimes called a “Brazilian butt lift”, is often combined with a tummy tuck procedure. Whether you’re looking to reduce or enhance your buttocks and/or flanks, Columbus Aesthetic & Plastic Surgery is ready and prepared to help. To reduce, your surgeon may recommend liposuction during your procedure. After liposuction, your surgeon will lift your buttocks and remove the excess skin. If you’re looking to add size, we recommend speaking with your surgeon about implants or fat injections.
Liposuction is commonly performed in combination with other procedures. It can be done on the abdomen, thighs, flanks, bra line, hips, buttocks, knees, chin area, jowls, neck, chest, and upper arms. Liposuction can be an excellent body contouring tool to reduce you of persistent fat deposits* in many troublesome locations. In a relatively uncomplicated procedure, you can banish the stubborn trouble areas.
Tummy Tuck Risks & Complications
As a patient considering a tummy tuck, it’s important to be prepared to understand the benefits and risks of the procedure. Our highly trained experts Plastic Surgeons will work with you to educate you on the procedure, its risks, benefits, and expected outcomes.
After the surgery, you will see swelling on the abdominal area for a couple of days. You may also experience some pain. Your CAPS doctor will work hard to minimize your pain as much as possible, by prescribing pain medicine and explaining how to best handle the pain. However, you may experience some discomfort, numbness, bruising, and fatigue while you’re recovering in the first couple of weeks.
A tummy tuck will also leave a scar. Your CAPS surgeon will work to make the incision in an area easily covered by a bathing suit, above your pubic area. Your surgeon will also recommend creams and ointments to minimize scarring. Your scar will fade as it heals, but it’s important to consider that you will have a scar.
Like any surgical procedure, a tummy tuck has risks. Complications during or after a tummy tuck are rare. Complications include infection, internal bleeding, or blood clots. You may be at a higher risk for complications if you have heart, lung, or liver disease, diabetes, or poor circulation.
Ready to Get Started Exploring a Tummy Tuck?
To learn more, contact us online or call us today at 614.246.6900 to schedule a consultation. At CAPS, we’re happy to discuss the procedure and your potential results.
Have questions about financing? Just call us – Columbus Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery offers CareCredit financing plans, among other options. Visit our financing page for more information.