Toning and shaping the midsection often pose a great challenge for many people. Previous pregnancies and weight loss can create a significant hurdle to overcome even with good diet and exercise in some people. The tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a great procedure designed at restoring an aesthetic shape to the abdomen and trunk.
What is Involved with a Tummy Tuck?
*Individual results may vary
The abdominoplasty is a frequently performed procedure in cosmetic plastic surgery. Its goal is to remove excess skin and fat around the lower abdomen with the addition of tightening the abdominal muscles to reshape a person’s core. The procedure itself involves a horizontal incision along the lower abdomen below the bikini line. This allows removal of excess skin and lower abdominal fat that is often persistent after significant weight loss or pregnancy despite regular diet and exercise. Next, the abdominal muscles are tightened. Particularly after pregnancy when the entire abdominal wall itself is stretched due to growth of the baby, the connections down the midline of the abdomen are unable to be fully restored. Therefore, a key component of the abdominoplasty is realigning the central abdominal muscles to restore a flatter abdomen as well as enhance a feminine hourglass shape. In addition, liposuction is performed along the flanks and lower back as part of a typical abdominoplasty in order to further enhance an aesthetic feminine shape. It is very rare to find a patient that is dissatisfied with a well-performed abdominoplasty due to the significant transformation that it provides.
Who Is a Candidate for Tummy Tuck?
Candidates for tummy tuck meet the following criteria:
- Are in good general health
- Do not have any serious medical conditions that could interfere with the surgery or healing process
- Do not smoke, or can quit several weeks prior to surgery
- Do not plan to lose a significant amount of weight after surgery
- (For women) Do not plan to become pregnant after surgery
- Have reasonable expectations of surgery
- Can commit to following Dr. Coscia’s pre- and post-op instructions
What Is a Mini Tummy Tuck?
Variations to the full abdominoplasty do exist. A “mini-abdominoplasty” or a “mini-tummy tuck” typically involves a slightly shorter lower abdominal incision with a smaller amount of skin and fatty tissue removed and only tightening of the lower abdominal muscles. This would be appropriate in a patient with very little lower abdominal skin and fat but desires a tighter lower abdomen with improved shape. A “modified abdominoplasty” involves tightening of the skin and possibly the abdominal musculature without interfering with the belly button.
What Procedures Can be Combined with Abdominoplasty?
Oftentimes additional liposuction of the upper back, arms, and thighs can be added to the tummy tuck procedure if desired. Other patients may prefer some form of breast surgery at the same time, often referred to as a “mommy makeover.” This may involve a breast lift or a breast augmentation.
Is Abdominoplasty Appropriate for Men?
Absolutely. Most men who seek information about abdominoplasty have had significant weight loss. The procedure will allow removal of excess lower abdominal skin and tightening of the abdominal muscles that will allow more effective abdominal workouts in the gym. Similarly, the incision is kept very low below the underwear line and liposuction is often combined with the procedure as well.
What Type of Anesthesia is Used for this Procedure?
General anesthesia is essentially always used for abdominoplasty. This allows complete comfort for the patient and allows the procedure to be performed very effectively.
What Should I Expect After Tummy Tuck Surgery?
The surgery itself does take a few hours. You will then be discharged home with an abdominal binder which reinforces the muscle repair that has been performed. You will wear this binder and/or a compression garment for approximately six weeks in order to allow for decreased swelling and improved shape and contour after liposuction. During surgery, a local anesthetic will be injected into your abdominal muscles. This exciting new anesthetic will numb your abdomen for approximately three days, allowing your pain level to be decreased substantially during the initial healing phase. This will also allow for better mobility after surgery. Dr. Coscia will also discuss activity restrictions during your visit. You will need to refrain from any core exercise for approximately six weeks in order to allow the muscle tightening and repair to heal appropriately.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tummy Tuck
What is the appropriate age at which to have tummy tuck?
There is no “ideal” age at which to undergo tummy tuck. Some patients are young mothers who finished having children and wish to recapture a firm, flat stomach while still in their 20s or 30s. Other patients are adults in their 50s or older who have lost a significant amount of weight and want to get rid of loose folds of abdominal skin. As long as a candidate is in good physical and psychological health, age is not important.
How soon after having tummy tuck can I return to work?
Many patients with desk jobs are able to resume work approximately two weeks after having tummy tuck. Individuals with physically demanding jobs may need to take additional time off work to recuperate.
How long will my tummy tuck results last?
Tummy tuck results are permanent in the sense that the fat cells and skin removed during surgery cannot come back. The stomach muscles are repaired with sutures to keep them in place. However, gaining a significant amount of weight or becoming pregnant after tummy tuck can “undo” some of the improvements of surgery, as the remaining fat cells can enlarge and the skin and muscles can stretch out again.
Will there be scarring?
Tummy tuck leaves a horizontal scar on the lower abdomen, right above the pubic hairline. It is usually low enough to be concealed by a pair of underwear or a bikini bottom.
What are the risks of abdominoplasty?
The risks of tummy tuck surgery include infection, bleeding, poor wound healing, adverse reaction to anesthesia, changes in skin sensation and skin discoloration. These risks are discussed during the pre-operative consultation with Dr. Coscia.
What happens to my belly button during tummy tuck?
The skin around the belly button is moved and a new opening in the skin is created for the belly button.
Will tummy tuck remove stretch marks?
Stretch marks are removed if they are located on the abdominal skin that is excised during surgery.
What is the difference between tummy tuck and liposuction?
Liposuction only removes excess fat; it does not have any effect on the skin or muscles. Tummy tuck removes excess fat and abdominal skin, and tightens the abdominal muscles.
Will I need to lose weight before tummy tuck?
You should be at or close to your goal weight at the time of your surgery. This enables Dr. Coscia to plan the best surgical result.
The cost of tummy tuck varies by patient, depending on the extent of the treatment plan and other factors. The total cost of tummy tuck includes the surgeon’s fee, facility fee, cost of anesthesia and cost of any post-op care required.
Learn More About Abdominoplasty
If you are interested in discussing possible abdominoplasty, please call The Plastic Surgery Center and ask for a consultation and evaluation with Dr. Coscia. He will discuss the full procedure with you, and you will have an opportunity to view the before and after photos for abdominoplasty on this website.
Dr. Coscia’s practice also serves the Roseville, Rocklin, and Loomis areas. Please fill out the form on this page to request a consultation or call our call his Granite Bay 916-773-5559 or Sacramento 916-929-1833 locations to request a consultation today.
*Individual results may vary