What Is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, also known as an “abdominoplasty,” is a surgical procedure performed to remove excess skin and fat from the stomach area in order to improve contour and appearance. In most cases, the muscles of the abdominal wall (rectus muscle or abs) are tightened, ultimately improving the tone and shape of the abdomen, creating a flatter stomach and slimmer waist line.
Often popular with both men and women 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, it’s important to understand that this type of surgery is not an alternative method for weight loss, but a procedure that helps to create a flatter stomach and smaller waist when diet and exercise have failed.
Want to see real results?
Take a look at our Abdominoplasty Photo Gallery to see real patient results. For more information or to schedule a personal consultation, please call (504) 533-8848.View our Abdominoplasty Photo Gallery
What Happens During a Tummy Tuck?
For your safety and comfort, your tummy tuck will be performed using general anesthesia at our local New Orleans surgical center. Oftentimes, an incision is made just above the pubic bone, which most women will recognize as the area below the bikini line. In order to remove the desired amount of skin and fatty tissue in the stomach region, your doctor will make an incision – the smallest incision possible, resulting in a thin scar, that can be easily hidden beneath clothing.
An additional incision is then generally made around the navel, in order to reposition the naval into its new location on the abdominal wall. Excess skin and fat are then removed, and the stretched muscles are tightened, before the edges of the skin are sutured closed. Drains are placed within the abdominal wound to remove excess fluids that accumulate after surgery.
To achieve the best results, there are a variety of specific techniques your doctor may employ during the procedure. These techniques, as well as the surgical plan for your tummy tuck will be fully discussed during your initial consultation. This is the time to ask questions and address any concerns you may have regarding the surgery. The ultimate goal of this consultation is for you to leave feeling comfortable, informed, and prepared.
What can an abdominoplasty accomplish?
While many people want and strive for a flat, well-toned abdomen or tummy, reaching that goal can be difficult. As mentioned above, more times than not, diet and exercise are not enough to get that desired look. Further, it’s common for people from all walks of life to develop an abdomen that protrudes unwanted loose and sagging skin due to the following:
- Fluctuations in Weight
Therefore, an individual may pursue a tummy tuck procedure. Specifically, a tummy tuck can accomplish the following:
- Flatten the Abdomen
- Slim the Waistline
- Reduce Cellulite
- Remove or Diminish Stretch Marks
- Remove sagging, slack skin
Other common and popular benefits of a tummy tuck procedure include improved posture, an easier ability to maintain weight loss, an increased exercise tolerance, and a boost in self-confidence.
As with any type of elective surgery, individual goals will vary. Therefore, it’s important to address your particular wants and needs with your doctor, in order to achieve desired results. Yet, regardless of what you wish to accomplish with a New Orleans tummy tuck, it’s imperative to have realistic expectations. Remember, this type of surgery is not meant to replace diet and exercise – both of these components will still need to be incorporated into your daily life.
Who Is the Best Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
As previously stated, a New Orleans tummy tuck can be appropriate for both men and women. More specifically, regardless of gender, it’s imperative for the individual to be in good health, and not have any serious or pre-diagnosed medical conditions.
Further, it’s necessary to be both mentally and emotionally stable, as this procedure will require a lot of patience. After all, it will take time to fully heal and recovery from the surgery.
When you schedule your surgery, you should be close to your ideal weight, meaning you don’t plan on losing any more weight. Losing more weight post-surgery could result in excess skin, which would then need to be removed via another surgery.
There is no best or ideal age to pursue a tummy tuck. Though, as mentioned, women should consider waiting to have a tummy tuck procedure performed until after they’re done having children.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
Depending on the extent of your tummy tuck, your doctor will most likely advise patients to take one to two weeks off from work. However, it’s best not to resume any sort of exercise regime until six to eight weeks have passed.
Post-surgery, patients should expect the abdomen to feel tight. It’s also normal to experiences soreness, and for the first several days following surgery, it will be difficult to stand in an upright position.
For any discomfort you may experience, your doctor will prescribe pain medication. You will also be fitted with a compression garment for a period of time to help reduce swelling and inflammation. Drains will be placed within the incisions to remove any potential fluid that may form, but will be taken out within a few days or weeks following surgery, depending on the specific patient’s needs.
It’s necessary for incisions to be cared for each day. The incision line will need be cleansed with mild soap and water. 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 the tummy tuck surgery. However, all patients are welcome to ask questions during their initial consultation, as well as after surgery has taken place. If at any time post-surgery you’re feeling abnormal pain or discomfort (pain or discomfort that was not previously described to you), it’s recommended that you contact the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery.
Tummy Tuck Results
As previously stated, following your New Orleans tummy tuck, it’s important to have realistic expectations. For example, the final results of the surgery may not be overly noticeable at first, due to swelling and the inability to stand upright. Yet, within a week or two, not only will you be standing taller, but you will also notice your new, slimmer profile. Specifically, you will have a flatter, firmer tummy.
The results of your tummy tuck can last a very long time, especially if you do not gain or lose a significant amount of weight, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy diet. If you do plan on having child in the near future, it’s recommended that you wait to have a tummy tuck until after you’ve given birth.
For the best results, at the time of the tummy tuck procedure, patients 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 on the surgery results. Therefore, it is important to be a stable weight and avoid future pregnancies, in order to maintain long-lasting surgical results.
Liposuction can be performed as part of the tummy tuck, too, 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. During your consultation, your doctor will examine you, and inform you whether he recommends just liposuction, or liposuction in addition to the tummy tuck procedure.
Do you want to learn more about a New Orleans tummy tuck? Or, perhaps you’re ready to schedule a consultation? If so, contact the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery today by calling (504) 533-8848.
Does a Tummy Tuck Hurt?
Every individual has a different level of tolerance for pain. While some patients report only a mild amount of pain or discomfort, others believe the procedure to be more intense. Regardless, you can expect to feel some sort of pain post-surgery, which your doctor will prescribe medication for – if needed.
It is best to go into the surgery with a light, positive attitude. Of course, you will still feel a certain amount of discomfort, but it has been proven that patients who are less anxious or nervous, often feel less pain or discomfort post-surgery. Particularly, if you can avoid, don’t let your mind play tricks on you.
While pain is subjective, scars are not, meaning this is not a scar-free surgery. The size of your scar(s) will reflect the amount of skin on your body that is needed to be removed. However, skilled and experienced doctors have techniques that will allow for the scar(s) to be covered by a standard bikini, or other type of clothing.
As with any type of surgery, there is always the potential for risks, even during a tummy tuck procedure. Because this surgery loosens and rearranges skin, fat, and other tissues, there is the risk that these specific parts can inadvertently become detached from their blood supply, resulting in tissue death, also called “necrosis.”
While it is normal (to some extent) for fat to become necrotic, if other tissues succumb to this condition, a major infection can develop. To further avoid the risk of infection, it’s recommended that you stop smoking post-surgery, and take proper care of your wounds (i.e. change the bandages).
Liposuction is sometimes performed with a tummy tuck procedure, which can carries its own risks, such as major blood loss or infection. Yet, all of these risks become less likely when you a hire a professional surgeon to perform the procedure(s).
At the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery, we have had the opportunity to work with and satisfy a variety of clients. Take a look at what others are saying about our services:
“From the moment I walked into the office, Dr. Hendrick and Dr. Velargo made me feel so special and welcomed. Dr. Hendrick listened to my concerns and made me feel at ease. I always felt like I was the highest priority to each staff member and physician, and not just another number, like at other doctors’ offices. Dr. Hendrick’s skills are top quality. People are always asking me if I’ve lost weight, or are commenting on how young I look – they have no idea I’ve had any cosmetic procedures done. I don’t have the “frozen” or overly injected look. I can’t say enough great things about these doctors, and I recommend them to everyone I know!” – Satisfied Patient, New Orleans
“The office environment is beautiful and relaxing. I have had several cosmetic procedures with Dr. Velargo, and I highly recommend him. He thoroughly explains each procedure, and tells you what to expect during and after the treatments. He has removed years of “too much fun and sun” from my face, and I am very pleased.” – Satisfied Patient, New Orleans
“After consulting with several doctors for a breast augmentation, I felt the most comfortable with Doctor Hendrick. All of my questions were answered, not rushed, and he was very detailed. I left his office confident in what I wanted. His staff are beyond amazing. All of my appointments and surgery date were not a hassle to get around. I am extremely happy with the results. It’s exactly what I wanted! I would recommend this doctor, especially to anyone going for the “natural” look.” – Satisfied Patient, New Orleans
Are you ready to schedule your New Orleans tummy tuck consultation? Contact the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery today by calling (504) 533-8848