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What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a popular plastic surgery for achieving a thinner, firmer abdomen. This can be an ideal procedure for patients with conditions that make it impossible to achieve smooth, aesthetic abdominal contours with diet and exercise alone. A tummy tuck surgery can:
Eliminate excess skin around the waistline
No amount of crunches or planks can create a flat, toned stomach if there is loose, hanging skin. This condition is common among women who have had children and patients who have had dramatic weight loss.
Remove stubborn abdominal fat
In some cases, genetics and hormonal changes can make it very difficult to burn fat in this area. Small pockets of unwanted fat in the areas above and below the belly button can be removed in the tummy tuck procedure.
Tighten the abdominal muscles
Pregnancy and childbirth can cause the abdominal muscles to soften and separate. For some patients, restoring a firm, flat midsection will require a tummy tuck procedure to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall.
Right for you?
Am I a Good Candidate for a Full Tummy Tuck?
Candidates for abdominoplasty are often women who have had children or individuals who have experienced extreme weight loss and were left with excess skin around the abdomen. During your initial consultation, Dr. Emer and his team can assess your cosmetic concerns and determine if a tummy tuck is the best approach to achieving your treatment goals.
Tummy tuck surgery should only be performed on patients who are in optimal physical and emotional health and who do not suffer from any major medical conditions such as hypertension. Candidates should also be non-smokers with a positive and realistic outlook for their results.
For patients whose cosmetic concerns with the midsection are localized below the belly button, a mini tummy tuck may be recommended. In cases of mild skin laxity or minor excess fat, minimally invasive treatments may provide the desired improvements without the need for plastic surgery.
While a tummy tuck can help remove stubborn fat from the mid-body, it’s important to understand that it is not a weight loss procedure. You should be at a stable, healthy weight in order to undergo a tummy tuck. If there is considerable excess fat around the abdomen, liposuction may be needed in addition to your tummy tuck.
If you are a woman who is planning to have children, you may want to consider postponing your treatment until after your family is complete. A pregnancy will most likely affect your tummy tuck results, and an additional procedure may then be needed to restore your desired look.
Tummy Tuck Procedure: What to Expect
A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that can take two to five hours. Most often, patients are under general anesthesia for this procedure.
The plastic surgeon will begin by making a horizontal incision across the lower belly. The plastic surgeon can then repair the abdominal muscles, remove fat, reposition the belly button, and tighten the skin to fit your new slimmer contours. The incision will be closed and dressed to complete the procedure.
Tummy Tuck Recovery: What to Expect
Patients should plan for at least two weeks of downtime and time off work after tummy tuck surgery. You will need to arrange for someone to help you around the house during this part of your recovery. Though you will need to move around a bit throughout each day to encourage healthy blood circulation, it is important that you get adequate rest and avoid unnecessary strain.
Swelling, bruising, and tightness can be expected during the initial stage of healing. You will be fitted with a compression garment that can help mitigate your swelling and support your new, more attractive shape.
Dr. Emer will ensure you are kept comfortable with pain medications and will provide detailed aftercare instructions on bathing, taking care of your incision site, sleeping, sitting, and lying down. It is very important that you follow all post-op instructions to support optimal healing and avoid compromising your results.
You will be scheduled for frequent follow up visits to ensure that your recovery stays on track. These appointments allow Dr. Emer to assess your progress and advise you when it is safe to resume your normal activities. It will typically take four to six weeks to recover from a tummy tuck, depending on your body’s natural rate of healing.
Tummy Tuck Results
You will notice gradual improvements as you heal and swelling subsides. Post-op swelling can last up to three months. Once the area has fully healed, your stomach will be visibly flatter and tighter.
Weight fluctuations and the natural aging process can affect the appearance of your midsection. Following a healthy diet and exercising regularly will be necessary to maintain your new slimmer waistline. Regular anti-aging and skin rejuvenating treatments may be recommended by Dr. Emer to promote optimal collagen production for youthful-looking skin long-term.
How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?
The price of your tummy tuck will be determined by the complexity of your specific procedure and whether companion treatments are performed as well. Once Dr. Emer and his team have developed your customized treatment plan, you will receive detailed information about the associated costs.