A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure which removes excess skin and fat from the stomach area to improve contour and appearance. In most cases, the muscles of the abdominal wall (rectus muscles or abs) are tightened, thereby improving the tone and shape of the abdomen and creating a flatter stomach and slimmer waist line. This surgery is not a weight loss method but is a procedure that helps to create a flatter stomach and smaller waist when diet and exercise have failed.
Tummy tucks are popular with both women and men who struggle to lose weight around the midsection or who have lost a significant amount of weight and are left with laxity of the abdominal skin and fat.
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Patients who wish to undertake abdominoplasty should be near their ideal weight and should not plan future pregnancies. In fact, additional weight gain or loss and pregnancy after a tummy tuck could have deleterious consequences to the results of the surgery. Therefore, it is important to be a stable weight and avoid future pregnancies to maintain a long-lasting surgical result.
Liposuction can be performed as part of the tummy tuck for the removal of excess fat around the waist. If you only have excess fat in the abdominal area and no excess skin, liposuction alone might be sufficient. Dr. Hendrick will examine you and inform you during your consultation whether he recommends liposuction alone or in addition to your tummy tuck procedure.
What can abdominoplasty accomplish?
A tummy tuck can:
- Flatten the abdomen
- Slim the waistline
- Reduce cellulite
- Remove and diminish stretch marks
What happens during a tummy tuck?
Your tummy tuck will be performed using general anesthesia for your safety and comfort. An incision is frequently made just above the pubic bone, which women will know as the area below the bikini line. Dr. Hendrick will use the smallest incision possible in order to remove the desired amount of skin and fatty tissue.
Another incision is often made around the navel to reposition the navel into its new location on the abdominal wall. Excess skin and fat are then removed, and the stretched muscles are tightened. The skin edges are then sutured closed. Drains are placed within the abdominal wound to remove excess fluids that accumulate after surgery.
There are a number of specific techniques that Dr. Hendrick might employ to bring you the best result. He will inform you of his surgical plan during your consultation.
What can I expect during recovery from abdominoplasty?
Depending on the extent of your tummy tuck, Dr. Hendrick will advise you to take off 1-2 weeks from work. You should be able to resume an exercise routine in 6-8 weeks.
Post-operatively, you can expect the abdomen to feel tight with some soreness. You may also experience difficulty standing in an upright position for several days.
You will be prescribed pain medication for any discomfort, and you will also be fitted with a compression garment for a period of time to help reduce swelling and inflammation. Drains that were placed within the incisions to remove any potential fluids will be removed within a few days or weeks of surgery.
Incisions are cared for each day by cleansing the incision lines with mild soap and water, and any external stitches will be removed during a post-operative examination.
A full set of post-operative instructions will be provided to you prior to your surgery. Feel free, of course, to ask any questions during your pre-operative visit.
How long do the results of abdominoplasty last?
The results of your tummy tuck can last a very long time if you avoid pregnancy, do not gain or lose a significant amount of weight, exercise regularly, and eat a healthy diet.
Does insurance cover abdominoplasty?
A tummy tuck is considered a cosmetic procedure, so insurance carriers do not cover the surgery.
Contact the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery today to find out more about expert abdominoplasty / tummy tuck.