Pregnancy, weight fluctuations, and aging can lead to loose skin on the abdomen, stretched abdominal muscles, and excess fat in the midsection. Often, no amount of diet and exercise can correct these conditions, leaving many people feeling defeated despite their best efforts. Tummy tuck surgery creates a more toned and slender abdomen by removing excess tissue and tightening the abdominal muscles, providing you with a more attractive appearance and increased confidence.
If you are struggling with an unflattering midsection and would like to learn more about abdominoplasty, please contact Plastic Surgeons of Lexington today by completing the form on this page or calling 859-276-3883 to schedule a consultation. Our Lexington facility welcomes patients from across Kentucky, including our neighboring communities of Frankfort and Georgetown.
On this page, you will find the following topics related to tummy tucks:
- What Is a Tummy Tuck?
- Is a Tummy Tuck Weight Loss Surgery?
- Benefits of Abdominoplasty
- The Full Tummy Tuck Procedure
- The Mini Tummy Tuck Procedure
- Preparing for Your Tummy Tuck Surgery
- Tummy Tuck Recovery
- Maintaining Your Abdominoplasty Results
- Schedule Your Tummy Tuck Consultation Today
Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, is a body contouring procedure which removes excess skin and tightens underlying muscles in the stomach, resulting in a smoother, flatter abdomen. Many causes lead to abdominal skin excess and stretching of the muscles underneath including:
- Previous pregnancies
- A large amount of weight loss
The tummy tuck procedure removes the excess skin through an incision hidden in the bikini line on the lower abdomen. The muscles underneath are tightened to contour the waistline and prevent any bulging above or below the belly button.
Liposuction is often combined with a tummy tuck to address the waist, flanks, or hips at the same time. We will review your individual needs and concerns to design the appropriate procedure for you. Tummy tucks are also often part of the mommy makeover procedure as a way to address cosmetic concerns after pregnancy.
No. A tummy tuck is intended to put the final touches on your body contour, not to be a method for dropping pounds. We recommend that you should be at or near your target weight before undergoing abdominoplasty. If you are uncertain whether a tummy tuck is right for you, we encourage you to contact our office and schedule a consultation. Our plastic surgeons will evaluate your current physical condition and determine your candidacy for the procedure.
If you have a protruding belly or excess skin due to pregnancy or weight loss, a tummy tuck can provide a number of benefits to your waistline and self-image by giving you:
- A slender mid-section: Excess fat naturally accumulates in the midsection, and this is one of the hardest areas to improve even with a strict diet and exercise regimen. Tummy tuck surgery is often combined with liposuction to eliminate excess fat and produce more slender, attractive curves.
- Toned abdominals: Over time, changes in the body can cause the abdominal muscles to become stretched and loose beyond any repair that crunches or other core exercises can achieve. Tummy tuck surgery tightens the abdominal wall muscles by suturing them together to create a toned, flat abdomen.
- Taut, smooth skin: Stretched skin on the abdomen can be physically and emotionally irritating. It can rub beneath clothing and cause rashes, and its wrinkled, unattractive appearance can be embarrassing. Tummy tuck surgery eliminates loose, hanging skin to restore a smooth, youthful abdominal appearance.
- Improved confidence: Stretched skin on the abdomen can be physically and emotionally irritating. It can rub beneath clothing and cause rashes, and its wrinkled, unattractive appearance can be embarrassing. Tummy tuck surgery eliminates loose, hanging skin to restore a smooth, youthful abdominal appearance.
A full tummy tuck is performed to tighten your abdominal area from the pubic bone to the bottom of the ribcage. It is an excellent option for patients who suffer from muscle separation or women who have had multiple pregnancies. A typical tummy tuck involves the following steps:
- A horizontal incision is made between the hip bones. A second incision may be made within the belly button, if necessary, to address skin laxity in the upper abdomen.
- The skin is separated from the underlying tissues.
- Stretched abdominal muscles are sutured together.
- The skin is draped over the new abdominal contours, and excess skin is removed.
- If necessary, a new belly button is created in a natural location.
- The incision is closed.
A mini-tummy tuck is designed to remove excess fat and skin from the lower abdomen only, from the pubic bone to the navel. This type of tummy tuck is appropriate for patients who just have a lower abdominal pouch or need to tighten their abdominal muscles. Mini tummy tucks require a smaller incision than those needed for full tummy tucks, which also means that recovery takes less time. However, mini tummy tucks are not ideal for all patients. By meeting personally with a tummy tuck surgeon, we can help you determine which procedure best suits your needs.
Prior to your procedure, your tummy tuck surgeon will carefully explain everything that will happen during your procedure. In addition, you will be given detailed pre- and postoperative instructions.
Generally, when preparing for a tummy tuck, you should:
- Stop smoking: If you smoke, you will be instructed to refrain from smoking for at least two weeks before your scheduled surgery date and remain smoke-free for two weeks following your procedure. Smoking prevents you from healing properly and increases the risk for complications.
- Avoid certain medications: You should avoid aspirin or anti-inflammatory medication for a certain time before your abdominoplasty. These medicines can lead to increased bleeding.
- Maintain a balanced diet: Eat healthy and well-balanced meals to ensure you are getting all the nutrients you’ll need for an optimal healing process. Avoid excessive dieting.
- Prepare your home for recovery: You’ll be spending some time at home while you recover, so it’s a great idea to prepare your home in advance so that you can heal comfortably with minimal assistance. Make sure your phone, television remote, books, magazines, loose clothing and personal items such as tissues and chapstick are waiting for you and easily accessible when you get home from surgery.
The day after your abdominoplasty procedure, you should try to get up and walk a little. This light activity will reduce stiffness and promote blood circulation and healing. During the first few days of recuperation, you should refrain from sitting for long periods of time. While it’s important to move, you should avoid straining your body. You should also limit lifting and bending, as it can increase bleeding and swelling.
About a week after your tummy tuck, your surgical drains will likely be removed and your dressings will either be removed or replaced. Support garments are usually able to be removed after the first few weeks. Stitches that do not dissolve are typically taken out after about two weeks.
Over the course of the first few weeks after your surgery, you will notice your energy continuing to increase. You will feel more and more comfortable performing daily tasks and normal levels of exercise. In the following months, your incision scar will continue to fade and your swelling will disappear. Lingering numbness and tightness will diminish significantly, and you will be able to fully enjoy your new look.
The greater care you give yourself during your recovery period after tummy tuck surgery, the greater satisfaction you will have with your healing process and ultimate results. Every person heals differently, and your recovery will not necessarily be the same as another’s with a similar procedure. What’s most important is to communicate clearly with your surgeon and follow your postoperative instructions faithfully. By attending all of your follow up visits and adhering to the advice of our plastic surgeons, you can enjoy a healthy, effective healing process.