Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Bluffton
A flat and well-toned abdomen is something many of us strive for through exercise and weight control however sometimes these methods cannot achieve our goals.
Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. The most common causes of this include heredity, multiple pregnancies, prior surgery, significant fluctuations in weight or congenital spine abnormalities that affect posture.
If you desire a tighter, flatter abdomen, then a tummy tuck could be appropriate to help achieve your goals. A tummy tuck removes excess fat and skin, and in some cases, can restore weakened or separated muscles. This creates an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer, often enhancing your body image and confidence.
What is a tummy tuck?
Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure to correct a protruding or loose, sagging abdomen. Areas to be treated may include the center of the abdomen or may extend to the entire area between the lower rib cage and pubic bone, as well as to the sides and back.
Abdominal contouring can be performed using a variety of techniques. When localized fat is the cause, abdominal contour surgery may be performed using only liposuction techniques. When excess fat is combined with loose, sagging skin and tissue, a tummy tuck removes unwanted fat, tissues and skin by excision. Abdominal muscles that have weakened or separated, a condition called diastasis, can also be corrected with this procedure.
A favorite among new moms as well as among men and women who have experienced significant weight loss, abdominoplasty is performed to create a tighter and more toned abdomen by eliminating loose skin and stubborn fat deposits in the abdominal region. The ultimate goal of this process is to tighten the abdominal muscle and the surrounding fascia. This process requires that a hip to hip incision be made just above the pubic area along with an additional incision in the mid-abdomen that is created to detach the belly button. The surgeon will then likewise detach the abdominal skin to reveal the fascia and muscles that must be tightened in order to create a flat stomach plain. Once the abdominal muscles and the surrounding fascia have been tightened, liposuction will be used to strategically sculpt the abdomen. Finally, the belly button is reconstructed and then a compression garment is applied to facilitate a rapid and desirable healing process.
This procedure is effective for eradicating stubborn pockets of fat and accumulations of excess skin in the abdominal region that diet and exercise do not impact. Abdominoplasty is relatively invasive, however, and will require a considerable amount of downtime for recovery. The average individual will need approximately one month to make a complete recovery and will need to avoid strenuous exercise for as many as six weeks after a tummy tuck has been performed. People who tend to be in good general health and who experience moderate weight stability are good candidates for this procedure.
Your tummy tuck
If it’s determined that a tummy tuck might be a good option for you, an individualized plan to your specific condition will be implemented that may include:
- Excess localized fat in the abdominal area
- Loose and sagging skin in the abdominal region
- Weakened or separated abdominal muscles due to pregnancy, weight loss or aging
One or all of these conditions may be present and can be surgically improved. A tummy tuck cannot correct stretch marks, although these may be removed or somewhat improved if they are primarily located on the areas of excess skin, generally those treated areas below the belly button.
Surgical removal of excess fat and skin may he combined with liposuction during a tummy tuck. There are variations to this surgery; the technique selected is dependent on the degree of correction necessary to achieve a flatter profile and firmer abdomen. Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as personal preference and surgical judgment.
Liposuction may be used in conjunction with a tummy tuck or to recontour other areas of the body by removing localized excess fat deposits. Other body contouring procedures may be performed separately or in the same surgical session. However, not all patients are good candidates for combined procedures. Your case will be evaluated on an individual basis.
Tummy Tuck Consultation in the Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, and Savannah GA Region
A consultation with your plastic surgeon is the first step to learn not only if a tummy tuck might be right for you, but also how abdominal contour surgery or a tummy tuck can improve your body image and abdominal contour. A consultation is designed to fully educate you about the procedure in a non-pressured environment, and will include:
- Discussion of your goals and evaluation of your individual case
- Options available in tummy tuck surgery
- Likely outcomes and risks/potential complications
- The course of treatment recommended by your plastic surgeon
If you are interested in receiving additional information or setting up an initial tummy tuck consultation, please contact Weniger Plastic Surgery’s main office at (843) 757-0123.
Tummy Tuck FAQs
3-4 Hour Procedure Return to desk job in 7-10 days Usually outpatient if not a combination procedure
Who are the best candidates for abdominoplasty?
A tummy tuck is appropriate for men and women who have excess loose skin and fat in the abdominal area that doesn’t respond to regular diet and exercise. In addition, it is especially suitable for women who have had multiple pregnancies causing the abdominal muscles and skin to stretch, leaving them with a “pooch” that won’t go away with exercise.
What are the risks and complications involved with having abdominoplasty?
As with any surgery, there are risks involved though having a qualified plastic surgeon perform your surgery minimizes the likelihood of complications. Some potential risks are scars, bleeding under the skin flap, numbness, infection and delays in wound healing. Dr. Weniger will fully present the risks and complications to you during your consultation.
How long will my abdominoplasty last?
Abdominoplasty produces great results for people with weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin. Typically, the results are long lasting provided you don’t stretch out the skin with another pregnancy or excessive weight gain.
Will I have scars?
Yes, but they can be concealed under most clothing including lingerie and bathing suits. Your scars will continue to improve for up to 2 years.
Will I be able to get pregnant again?
Yes, but abdominoplasty should be postponed if you intend to get pregnant again. Vertical muscles in the abdomen that are tightened during a tummy tuck procedure can separate again during pregnancy.
What is the difference between a full and mini abdominoplasty?
A full or complete abdominoplasty involves separating the skin from the abdominal wall, freeing the navel from its surrounding tissue, and lifting the large skin flap up to gain access to the abdominal muscles. The muscles are tightened with sutures, then the skin flap is trimmed of excess skin, and the new navel is created and stitched into place. With a partial or mini abdominoplasty, the incision is much shorter than with a full abdominoplasty since the skin is only separated between the incision line and the navel, and the muscles are tightened in a similar fashion. A mini abdominoplasty will have an easier recovery and less scarring, but is unable to produce as dramatic a flattening result, especially in the upper abdomen.
My colleague at work had a tummy tuck and he looks great. I did not want to ask him personal questions about it. What type of scars would I have if I decided to have an abdominoplasty?
If you really have loose skin that is hanging and need to have this removed, a tummy tuck will be the right answer. The downside is that it leaves you a scar essentially from hip bone to hip bone. If the skin accessed or the fold extends further around the side of the neck, the scar will have to extend further around the side too. As a general rule, the scar needs to go about 3 inches past the edge of where the skin hangs over. In many cases, the scar can be placed low enough that it can be easily hidden underneath your swim trunks.