Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is the improvement of the abdominal contour by removal of fat and skin, with tightening of the muscles. An incision is made across the groins and the top of the pubic hair. The skin is separated from the muscles of the abdomen. Any weakness in the muscles is then repaired, the umbilicus (belly button) repositioned, and the skin pulled tight. Extra skin and fat is then removed, and the incisions closed.
Who is it for?
If your abdominal contour is poor because of stretching of the muscles, exercise may not cure the problem. Particularly following pregnancy, the connective tissues between the muscles are permanently stretched, regardless of how strong the muscles become. Also if your skin is loose and flabby (the “prune tummy”), an abdominoplasty is the only procedure that will help you. When skin tone is excellent, the long incision can be avoided by repairing the muscles with an endoscope, and removing excess fat by liposuction.
What to expect
Abdominoplasty requires a general anesthetic. While it can be an outpatient procedure, some patients do need one to three days in hospital or a post surgical facility. If the muscles are fully repaired, the pain is comparable to a gall bladder operation or C-section. Drains will be placed under the abdominal skin for several days.
I usually place On-Q™ catheters on each side, as well. These are very small tubes, about the size of an I.V. catheter, but longer, that pass a steady flow of local anesthetic into the area of surgery for the first three or four days. They significantly reduce the pain, and the amount of painkillers that you will need.
Because the skin is pulled tight, you will remain a little bent over for one or two weeks after surgery. There is usually bruising of the abdomen and upper thighs. Generally, as with other abdominal surgery, you will be off work for two to four weeks, and should avoid heavy lifting for six weeks.
Because skin and muscle are adjusted, as well as fat, quite dramatic changes are possible. While people may not comment, they will certainly notice your trimmer profile in fitted clothes or a bathing suit.
If you are considering a Tummy Tuck in Orange County, please click here to contact Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Bailey, and set up a consultation.
Before and After Pictures
Click on the picture to see more abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) photos.