Even though noninvasive plastic surgery procedures continue to grow in popularity, invasive plastic surgery is still popular because of the long-lasting, and even permanent, results they provide. For example, a tummy tuck is still an incredibly popular body contouring procedure that restores a youthful look and tone look to the abdomen. To find out why a tummy tuck is still a popular choice for plastic surgery patients, let’s take a look at how a tummy tuck is performed and the results it provides to patients.
A tummy tuck, AKA an abdominoplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure that targets excess skin and fat on the body as well as addresses a separation that can occur between the abdominal muscles. While a cosmetic surgery procedure like liposuction primarily addresses hard to remove fat on the body, a tummy tuck addresses fat as well as skin and muscle on the body.
A tummy tuck can target stretch marks and excess skin that is loose or sagging as a result of pregnancy or a large weight loss. While every person is born with a bit of separation between both sides of their rectus muscle, the muscle can separate thanks to pregnancy or other lifestyle factors. Once these muscles are spread out even more than their natural separation, the only viable way to bring them back together is through surgery.
The first step of the tummy tuck process is the creation of an incision that stretches across the bikini line. Once the incision is created, the surgeon is able to remove excess skin and fat as well as tighten the abdominal muscles that have separated due to pregnancy.
In order to tighten the abdominal muscles, the surgeon will lift the skin of the patient away from the underlying muscles. Once the skin is lifted away from the targeted area, the muscles will be stitched together to restore the tightness of the abdominal muscles.
The next step the surgeon will take is to address any excess skin that is located in the abdomen area. The lifted skin will be pulled tight while any excess skin is surgically removed. In a traditional tummy tuck, the skin that is located above the belly button will be pulled down so it covers both the upper and lower abdomen. Patients don’t have to worry about the belly button having an odd appearance or location as the surgeon will make a new hole for the belly button on the body.
The extent of the changes made by the tummy tuck depends on the type of abdominoplasty that is performed by the plastic surgeon.
A mini tummy tuck has an incision that runs from one inner thigh to the other inner thigh while a full tummy tuck incision goes across the entire stomach from one hip to the other hip.
The difference in the incision is what makes the difference between the total amounts of skin that can be removed by the surgeon. In addition, the surgeon normally only stitches together the lower section of the rectus muscles during the performance of a mini tummy tuck.
Whether the procedure is a full, or mini, tummy tuck, the plastic surgeon might address the issue of excess fat by removing it the same way it would be removed during traditional liposuction.
Once a tummy tuck procedure is over, the surgeon will place drains in the stomach to remove any excess fluid that might accumulate during the healing process. The drains will need to remain in place for about a week after the surgery.
Even though a tummy tuck is a major/invasive surgery, many patients can go home after a few hours in the recovery room.
Patients will need to take a few weeks off work to recover the tummy tuck procedure. Light walking after the surgery is advised but no strenuous activity is advised for those two weeks. It will take a few days to a week before the patient is able to stand up straight/fully erect so the person might have to walk in a slightly bent over manner because of the tightness of the abdomen muscles.
After a period of about five weeks, patients can usually start to resume their normal activities.
The cost of a tummy tuck can cost anywhere from $3000-$12,000 depending on the type of tummy tuck performed, the amount of work that needs to be performed, any fees charged by the doctor or the facility and the area of the country where the surgery is performed.
When it comes to having a tummy tuck, ideal candidates are: