Tighten Your Abdomen with a Tummy Tuck
Abdominoplasty is the medical term for the procedure more commonly known as a tummy tuck. As we age, and especially after child birth, the skin of the abdomen or tummy area can become loose or lax resulting in an unwanted appearance. Unfortunately, this unwanted appearance often cannot be improved with exercise. Not only does the skin get laxity or looseness, but the fascia (the tough layer that makes up your abdominal wall) can get stretched out as well, which can result in abnormal bulges in the abdomen along with the excess skin.
Having an abdominoplasty addresses both issues by tightening up the fascia layer, as well as removing any excess skin, to give your abdomen a more attractive and youthful contour. The incision made during the procedure is placed at the bottom of your abdomen in the bikini line to better conceal the incision. The abdominoplasty is an outpatient procedure, and it is not covered by insurance.
What are the limitations of abdominoplasty surgery?
The most common limitation with the tummy tuck surgery occurs when patients are significantly overweight. An abdominoplasty is safest and gives the best results when the patient is close to their ideal body weight. During your consultation, Dr. Hermann will go over in detail his thoughts on how good a candidate you are for the procedure.
Your safety and satisfaction are Dr. Hermann’s top priorities, so you can rest assured that he will be completely up-front and honest in his evaluation of whether you are a good candidate for abdominoplasty surgery and what type of outcome you can expect.
I’ve heard that the scars from abdominoplasty can be long. Is that true?
The length of incision needed to perform an abdominoplasty is different for each patient, depending on the amount of loose skin you have. Most patients will have an incision that extends a fair distance across their abdomen. The incision is made low on the abdomen so that it is hidden in the bikini line. Given the fact that most patients’ scars will heal very well, patients having an abdominoplasty are more than happy to trade a scar in the bikini line for a much improved and more youthful appearance to their abdomen.
What is the difference between a full and mini abdominoplasty?
Some patients only have modest laxity of their skin that is isolated to the area below their belly button. If they don’t have bulging of the abdomen from an overly loose fascia, they may be candidates for a mini abdominoplasty, where the operation is limited to the area below the belly button. This operation results in less post-operative pain and a quicker recovery. During your consult, Dr. Hermann will evaluate and determine if you are a candidate for the mini abdominoplasty.
Do I have to have drains placed if I have an abdominoplasty?
Yes, all patients undergoing tummy tuck surgery will have one or two drains in place when they awaken from their procedure. The drains collect any excess fluid that would accumulate in the space where the dissection is performed for an abdominoplasty. The length of time that the drains are required to stay varies from patient to patient, but most patients will have their drains removed in 1-2 weeks, depending on how much fluid they collect each day.
In addition to the drains, you will also have a very small catheter at the top of your abdomen which is used to deliver an anesthetic pain medicine to your operative site. This is removed within 2-3 days after your surgery.
What are the risks of abdominoplasty?
As with all surgeries, infection is a risk, albeit very low. Given that drains are placed at the time of surgery, the risks of bleeding, hematoma, and seroma are all greatly reduced since the drains will collect any excess fluid underneath the skin on the abdomen. Issues with wound healing at the incision site sometimes occur, and these are increased when a very large amount of skin and/or fat has been removed. All risks will be thoroughly discussed at the time of your consultation.
How is an abdominoplasty procedure performed?
In the operating room, you will be placed under a general anesthesia. An incision is made at the bottom of your abdomen in the bikini line area. From there, the skin and fat of the abdomen is dissected off the abdominal wall fascia, up to the upper abdomen. If your fascia is loose, Dr. Hermann will place sutures to tighten up your abdominal wall. At this point, the skin and fat of the abdomen is pulled down to tighten it. The excess skin and fat is removed, and the belly button is placed in its new position on your abdomen. The drains and pain catheter are placed, and the incision is closed in a manner to provide the best scar possible. You will be placed in an abdominal binder compression garment, which you will wear for a several weeks after surgery. Patients are sent home the same day as their surgery.
How is the recovery after an abdominoplasty?
The first few days after tummy tuck surgery can be quite sore, although the pain catheter goes a long way to reduce this discomfort. You will feel like taking it easy for several days after your surgery, but you will soon feel up to returning to your daily activities. In 2-3 days, your pain catheter will be removed. You will record the output of your drains each day, and they will be removed as soon as the output drops to desired levels, which takes about 1-2 weeks.
Bruising and swelling are common after abdominoplasty, but they generally resolve within 1-2 weeks. Patients generally return to work within 2-3 weeks. Usually, within 4-5 week after surgery you can resume any exercise or strenuous activity. Contact us at North Texas Breast & Plastic Surgery Center in Denton, Texas to learn more about abdominoplasty surgery.
If you are self-conscious about excess skin or fat along your midsection, a tummy tuck may be right for you. Contact us today to discuss the treatment in more detail and review the costs involved. You may call us at (940) 387-4900 or send us a message online anytime.
"Dr. Hermann is one of the finest plastic surgeons in the city of Denton. Dr. Hermann recently removed my breast implants and gave me a beautiful lift."Kathy