Abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, is a common procedure performed in plastic surgery to address the problem of excess fat and skin in the lower abdominal area. The tummy tuck procedure also improves laxity in the abdominal wall by bringing the abdominal muscles together to achieve a more youthful anatomical position. The combination of tightening the loose abdominal wall and removing excess skin and fat in the lower abdomen results in a flatter stomach with a more well defined waist. Unfortunately, tummy tuck surgery is not for weight loss or a shortcut to a slimmer figure. It is ideally performed on patients who are near their goal body weight and should be avoided by patients whose weight may fluctuate in the future.
A traditional full tummy tuck requires an incision that extends from hipbone to hipbone. The resulting scar is placed low, near the bikini line, so that it remains as well hidden as possible. The skin and fat tissue of the abdomen is elevated and the abdominal muscles are contoured. Finally, the excess skin and fat is removed and the incisions are closed. When a full tummy tuck is performed, the goal is to remove the excess skin and fat tissue from just above the belly button to slightly above the pubic bone. As a result, the belly button is brought out in a new location.
A mini, or modified, tummy tuck is a smaller version of the full tummy tuck. It often will require a shorter incision and only focuses on removal of excess skin and fat from below the navel. In a mini tummy tuck the belly button is not moved.
In most cases, a tummy tuck is an outpatient procedure and the patient will go home after recovering from anesthesia. In the immediate post-operative period patients are released to light activity at home. Pain, swelling, and bruising are all common after a tummy tuck. Most patients are able to return to an office type job within two weeks.
If you would like more information about abdominoplasty, or other plastic surgery procedures, please call 281-980-0999 to schedule your consultation with Dr. David Stapenhorst at Signature Plastic Surgery in Sugar Land, Texas.