Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty)
In our Cincinnati cosmetic surgery practice, we meet with both men and women who feel frustrated. They have put in the time at the gym, and have developed good eating habits, but continue to struggle with that last little bit of abdominal looseness. This common complaint is one we can resolve with abdominoplasty.
What is a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery procedure that Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Donna Krummen performs to reveal the toned abs that are beneath loose connective tissue. The muscles and ligaments may have become weak over time due to the aging process, pregnancy, or weight gain. This weakness may not be fully corrected with diet and exercise. Abdominoplasty gets to the source of laxity, the abdominal wall, and re-drapes tissue in a smoother, tighter fashion.
Am I a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
Good candidates for abdominoplasty are in optimal physical health. The individuals who tend to feel most satisfied with the results of their surgery are generally pleased with their physical appearance prior to surgery. The minor tightening of the skin and muscles only heightens already-high self-confidence.
Women who have had a C-section and are unhappy with the retracted scar that developed may also consider abdominoplasty as a way to improve lower abdominal tightness. It may be possible to incorporate the C-section scar into the tummy tuck to make it appear much more discreet.
We may only postpone an abdominoplasty if there is a chance for future pregnancy or if a patient has a substantial amount of weight they still wish to lose.
Tummy Tuck Surgery
Typically, we perform the tummy tuck surgery as an outpatient procedure. During the surgery, patients are asleep and monitored by the anesthesiologist, who administers general anesthesia. In addition to general anesthesia, we may also administer a local anesthetic to further the comfort of the procedure.
Additionally, abdominoplasty typically involves a hip-to-hip incision. This will be hidden beneath undergarments. To reach the abdominal wall, Dr. Krummen will make incisions through the skin and the fascia, tissue that lies over muscles. We will tighten the muscles of the abdomen and then anchor them into place. We may remove skin between the belly button and pubic area to create a smoother surface. In some cases, we will reposition the belly button after skin removal. In total, the process usually takes about three hours.
Can you combine a tummy tuck with other procedures?
Abdominoplasty may be performed as an adjunct to liposuction and is also often an integral procedure in a Mommy Makeover, which may include liposuction, abdominoplasty, and breast lift or breast augmentation. Tummy tuck It is also commonly combined with gynecologic procedures such as hysterectomy.
Tummy Tuck risks
We perform abdominoplasty under general anesthesia after Dr. Krummen performs a thorough consultation and physical exam prior to surgery to asses your suitability for the procedure.
Risks are rare, however, some of the most common risks of the tummy tuck procedure include:
- Poor wound healing
- Subdermal fluid accumulation
- Tissue damage or necrosis
- Altered skin sensations
Tummy Tuck Recovery Time
After surgery, patients remain in the recovery area for 30 to 60 minutes, until the general anesthesia wears off enough for safe walking. A surgical dressing will be around the abdomen, and the ends of small drains may protrude through this slight compression garment. The purpose of these tubes is to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.
Patients may experience moderate pain as they begin to move around in the days following surgery. Prescription pain medication should be taken as directed, even early after surgery when pain may be minimal. Patients should expect swelling which will decrease gradually over four to six weeks.
We may remove the initial surgical dressing during the first follow-up visit, and will replace it with a supportive abdominal garment called a binder. The gentle compression of this garment inhibits fluid accumulation and also supports comfort.
Comprehensive post-surgical instructions are provided to our patients prior to surgery.
results from a tummy tuck
Results from a tummy tuck can last indefinitely with healthy lifestyle habits. Slight weight gain should not negate the muscle-tightening that one achieves with abdominoplasty. However, significant weight gain and pregnancy could cause the muscles along the abdominal wall to stretch so extensively that they once again become lax.
Tummy Tuck FAQ’S
Will I experience scarring?
Yes, there will be a scar after tummy tuck surgery. Fortunately, the scar tends to fade and blend with time. The scar is placed very low on the abdomen to minimize its visibility. If you have concerns about your ability to wear certain clothing or bathing suits styles after surgery, discuss this with Dr. Krummen as the location of the scar can be adjusted somewhat based on a patient’s desires.
How long will my results last?
The results are permanent! Although there are some changes that go on during the initial healing after surgery, once everything has healed and settled, the results are long-lasting. Certainly, one does continue to age, which may change the appearance as the years go by. Extremes of weight gain or loss may also change the appearance in the future.
How soon can I start working out?
This can vary from patient to patient, but in general, everything needs to be completely healed, which is typically 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. It also can vary based on the intensity of your work out. Usually, light activity is encouraged early during the recovery process, but more vigorous workouts or abdominal muscle workouts take place after complete healing, which is typically 6 to 8 weeks after surgery.
Can I undergo the procedure if I have had a C-section?
Yes! In fact, a C-section or other surgery performed through a lower abdominal incision often creates the need for a tummy tuck. Often times, the abdominal contour is altered by these surgical procedures and in order to restore a more pleasing abdominal contour a tummy tuck is performed.
How long should I wait after pregnancy to get a tummy tuck?
Although there is no exact timetable that works for every patient, you certainly want to allow your body to completely recover from the delivery before undergoing additional surgery. You may also wish to wait until you are finished having children. Although it is not dangerous to get pregnant after a tummy tuck, it may compromise the results, therefore making it more prudent to have the surgery after childbearing is complete.
Do you offer mini tummy tucks?
Yes! There is no one size fits all tummy tuck. Abdominal contour improvement may involve liposuction, mini tummy tuck or what is often considered a full tummy tuck as well as multiple variations of the procedures. During your consultation, Dr. Krummen will evaluate your concerns regarding your abdominal contour and recommendations regarding surgical procedures to achieve your goals.
what is the difference between a Mini tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck?
Traditionally, a mini tummy tuck has involved an incision in the lower abdomen with removal of tissue to improve contour below the belly button only. A full tummy tuck traditionally involves elevating tissue both above and below the belly button, tightening the abdominal wall both above and below the belly button and removing significantly more loose skin and tissue then is performed in a mini tummy tuck. Liposuction may be combined with either of these procedures as needed to improve the abdominal aesthetic. The recovery for the different procedures can vary based on what is done, but in general the many tummy tuck is a quicker recovery.