Abdominoplasty, more often known as a tummy tuck, is a popular cosmetic surgical procedure that is designed to improve the appearance of the tummy area by toning and tightening muscles and excess skin in the upper and lower abdominal regions. Patients who undergo a tummy tuck at the Plastic Surgery Institute of Miami facility can have stubborn fat and excess skin folds in the abdominal region removed for a more attractive contour and appearance.
Who is an Ideal Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
Getting rid of excess stubborn fat and stretched out skin in the midsection can be a real challenge. People who have tried to achieve a flatter stomach through healthy eating and regular exercise without success can often benefit from a tummy tuck. Women who have had one or more pregnancies are often great candidates for a tummy tuck as pregnancy often permanently expands the skin and separates the vertical abdominal muscles.
At Plastic Surgery Institute of Miami, we only recommend tummy tucks to patients who are in good health who have sagging skin about their abdominal wall, do not have any underlying conditions that will obstruct the healing process, and do not smoke or are willing to quit at least a month prior to the procedure. Patients should also have reasonable expectations about their results.
Who is an Ideal Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
Getting rid of excess stubborn fat and stretched out skin in the midsection can be a real challenge. People who have tried to achieve a flatter stomach through healthy eating and regular exercise without success can often benefit from a tummy tuck. Women who have had one or more pregnancies are often great candidates for a tummy tuck as pregnancy often permanently expands the skin and separates the vertical abdominal muscles. At Plastic Surgery Institute of Miami, we only recommend tummy tucks to patients who are in good health who have sagging skin about their abdominal wall, do not have any underlying conditions that will obstruct the healing process, and do not smoke or are willing to quit at least a month prior to the procedure. Patients should also have reasonable expectations about their results.
Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
There are many benefits to undergoing a tummy tuck procedure including:
- Smoot, tight skin. Stretched abdominal skin can weigh on a person physically and emotionally. It can rub beneath the clothing and lead to rashes. In addition, excess skin makes many people feel unattractive and embarrassed. Tummy tuck surgery eliminates loose, hanging skin and can provide a more youthful abdominal appearance.
- Toned abdomen. Aging, genetics, and pregnancy can cause the abdominal muscles to stretch and loosen (known as ‘muscle laxity’). It can be difficult to repair them with crunches or other core exercises, making tummy tuck surgery the ideal option for a toned, flat midsection.
- Slimmer midsection. One of the hardest areas to get rid of fat is in the midsection. Tummy tuck surgery can lead to a slimmer midsection, especially when it is paired with liposuction.
- Improved confidence. Perhaps the greatest benefit of a tummy tuck is improved confidence. A tummy tuck can help patients feel younger and more attractive. It can increase self-esteem and improve overall quality of life as a result.
Preparing for a Tummy Tuck
After the consultation has determined candidacy, patients should follow their surgeon’s advice and make necessary preparations for the procedure. Once a tummy tuck is scheduled, patients should do their best to stick to a healthy diet and exercise frequently. They should also ask a trustworthy family member or friend to stay with them on a full-time basis for the first few days after the procedure. It’s a good idea to have baby wipes, dressings, and loose clothing on hand as well.
What to Expect from a Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck is typically performed under general anesthesia and lasts about anywhere from two to three hours. It is usually an outpatient procedure but in-patient may be required for some patients. In a full tummy tuck, one of our board-certified surgeons will carefully place an incision along the lower abdomen. Then, they will make a second incision so that the navel can be separated from the surrounding tissue. Next, sutures will be used to bring the abdominal muscles together, narrow the waistline, and create a flatter stomach.
Excess fat will then be removed and the skin will be repositioned and trimmed so that it can stretch tight across the stomach. Lastly, the surgeon will close the incisions with sutures and apply a sterile dressing to the area for support. Drains may be placed as necessary.
Limited Tummy Tuck
Sometimes, a full tummy tuck will not be recommended in a patient that need some skin removal. In such cases, our doctors my recommend a limited tummy tuck, which is a procedure that involves removing less skin. The benefits are a smaller incision and the same great results of a standard surgery, including a smaller waistline, a tighter abdominal wall, and better umbilical position. This is often done in conjunction with liposuction and/or other cosmetic procedures
Other Body Contouring Procedures
In addition to abdominal contouring, our surgeons ofter contouring of other body parts that have become very lax after weight loss or simply age. These include the arms, the upper back, the lower back and the inner thigh area. This is common in patients that have undergone bariatric surgery with significant weight loss. In those patients, a staged approach is undertaken to achieve total body conturing in a safe and highly successful manner.
Recovering from a Tummy Tuck
After a tummy tuck procedure, most patients experience swelling in the abdomen for a few days. Fortunately, medication can ease any pain and discomfort. Our surgeons often encourage patients to go on short walks after the procedure in order to prevent blood clotting and improve circulation. However, patients should refrain from vigorous physical activity for at least six weeks so that they avoid straining the mid-section. Although a tummy tuck will cause a scar, it will fade over time and can be hidden easily under clothing. In most cases, tummy tuck patients are able to return to work and their everyday activities after a few weeks.
Tummy Tuck Risks
All major surgeries involve some risks. Some of the most common risks associated with a tummy tuck include infection, blood clots, a poor reaction to anesthesia, scar asymmetry, and improper healing. The good news is that most tummy tuck patients at Plastic Surgery Institute of Miami do not experience any of these complications. Our board-certified surgeons have years of experience performing tummy tucks and will work with patients to reduce the risk of potential risks.
Why Choose The Plastic Surgery Institute of Medical Miami
Our board-certified plastic surgeons take great pride in using the latest techniques to create smaller scars and promote faster, more efficient healing. They will be there for you before, during, and after to the procedure and ensure that you are comfortable and well-informed at all times.
Schedule a Tummy Tuck Consultation Today
If you’re interested in a tummy tuck, it is in your best interest to schedule a consultation at Plastic Surgery Institute of Miami today. A surgeon will meet with you to review your medical history so your candidacy can be assessed, educate you further on the procedure, and learn about your expectations. They will also design a plan that can assist you in achieving your goals and answer any questions you may have. The goal of a consultation is to provide you with as much information on a tummy tuck as possible so that you can make an informed decision and understand what you can expect.
To schedule a consultation, you can fill out our “request consultation” form at the bottom of this page or give us a call at 305.446.7700 to speak to one of our friendly team members. We can’t wait to meet you and further explain how a tummy tuck can boost your confidence and help you feel comfortable in your own skin.
Frequently Asked Questions
By regularly exercising before a tummy tuck, you can improve your body’s ability to heal. Even a simple 30-minute walk every day until it’s time for your procedure can do wonders for your tummy tuck recovery and results.
If you are a smoker, we’ll encourage you to quit at least six weeks before your scheduled procedure. The chemicals in both regular and electronic cigarettes can significantly increase risks for complications after a tummy tuck.
A tummy tuck is not designed to be a weight loss procedure. In fact, our plastic surgeons suggest that tummy tuck candidates are close to their ideal weight before undergoing the procedure. If you would like to lose weight, adhering to a nutritious, well-balanced diet and exercising regularly is key. The tummy tuck can resolve those stubborn areas of fat that do not respond to diet and exercise, however.
A tummy tuck procedure does not typically get rid of stretch marks. However, some of them may be removed if they are located on excess skin that will be eliminated. If you do have stretch marks, they may become less apparent once your skin has been tightened.
Since everyone has a different pain tolerance, it can be challenging to estimate whether a tummy tuck will hurt for you. While some patients only experience mild pain after the surgery, others face more significant discomfort. Prescription pain medication can help alleviate any pain you may experience.
While you are recovering for the first few weeks after a tummy tuck, your belly button may appear different. The incision in the hole of your belly button will heal and leave a natural look.
The scar will extend to both sides of your hips. Although it will be prominent right after the procedure, it will fade somewhat and become less apparent over time.
You will likely be able to resume your normal diet the day after the procedure. If you find that you are unable to eat as much as you ate in the past, we suggest you stick to a diet that is full of healthy fats and protein.
Tummy tucks performed at the Plastic Surgery Institute of Miami are permanent. If you maintain your weight, the results from your tummy tuck will not disappear. A tummy tuck is truly a permanent solution to a slimmer, firmer midsection.
If you get pregnant after a tummy tuck, your results will not last. Therefore, we encourage patients to wait until they are done having children before undergoing a tummy tuck procedure.
It is important to understand that a tummy tuck is not a substitute for eating healthfully and exercising regularly. While tummy tuck results are permanent, they can be diminished by significant fluctuations in your weight. For this reason, leading a healthy lifestyle after a tummy tuck is crucial.
Sometimes, patients assume that a tummy tuck will make it easier for them to lose weight. The truth is that healthy eating and exercise is necessary to lose weight and a tummy tuck will not the eliminate the need for these things or change the way your body responds to diet and exercise. However, you may find that the confidence boost your receive after a tummy tuck will motivate you to spend more time working out and be mindful about the foods you eat.
Some patients believe that fat cells from other parts of the body will be redistributed to the stomach area. Although there may be some fat redistribution, it should not be a concern. You should only be worried about fat redistribution if you gain more than 20 to 30 percent of your body weight after surgery.
Contrary to popular belief, a tummy tuck is not the same as liposuction. Although both procedures offer body contouring in some way, liposuction is intended to remove fat while a tummy tuck focuses on removing excess skin.
We may recommend liposuction instead of a tummy tuck if you have large fat deposits that are resistant to diet and exercise but you do not have a great deal of excess, loose skin.
Patients often choose to combine a tummy tuck with another procedure such as liposuction or breast augmentation. This is sometimes referred to as a “Mommy Makeover” and an excellent choice for women who would like to improve their bodies after having children.
After a tummy tuck, results should be visible almost immediately. However, it may take several months for you to see the final results of your flat abdomen as the swelling subsides and the incision heals.