Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery, is a commonly performed surgery for people who have excess skin and fat in the abdomen. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Barry J. Cohen is considered a top provider of the tummy tuck in Fulton. He has helped countless patients restore a slimmer, firmer waistline with this cosmetic surgery.
Tummy Tuck Procedure
The patient satisfaction rate after tummy tuck surgery is tremendous. Many people can have abdominoplasty surgery done as an outpatient, and require little or no hospitalization.
During the procedure, incisions are made in the lower part of the abdomen and can extend around to the hips. Incisions in a full tummy tuck are made around the belly button. In a mini tummy tuck, this periumbilical incision is omitted.
Next, excess skin and fat are trimmed, and the underlying muscles in the abdominal wall are tightened. The risks and complications associated with abdominoplasty include, but are not limited to, infection, bleeding, scars, numbness to the abdominal wall, postoperative asymmetries, and fluid accumulations which can occur in the postoperative period.
Insights On Tummy Tuck Surgery
Abdominoplasty, also known as “tummy tuck” is a cosmetic operation done to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen and flank area. The procedure is quite a common one.
A tummy tuck is useful in men or women who are bothered by large fat deposits or loose skin that does not respond to diet or exercise. It is extremely helpful in women who have had one or more children and who have lax lower abdominal musculature. Additionally, in those patients who have sustained massive weight loss, loose hanging skin can be a problem that can be treated in no other way.
Candidates for the Tummy Tuck Procedure
Removal of excess skin and fat of the abdomen is frequently indicated in postpartum women who have significant stretch marks and lax skin and in people who have lost large amounts of weight. Patients who are anticipating getting pregnant again should not undergo abdominoplasty, as the results will likely stretch out again.
Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty surgery should be undertaken in those patients who have plateaued in their weight loss regimen or who have reached their ideal weight through diet or exercise. It can be safely combined with many other operations including breast reduction or liposuction of other areas in the body.
Are There Any Risks With a Tummy Tuck?
As with all operations, tummy tuck surgery has some risks. The major risks associated with tummy tuck surgery are infection and scars around the belly button and in the lower “bikini” region. Indeed, the scars can be quite conspicuous, but the trade-off is a better contoured, flatter abdomen.
Additionally, tummy tuck surgery has been associated with blood clots in the leg, which can cause lung problems. This syndrome has been recently seen in Vice President Dan Quayle, who developed blood clots in his legs while flying on relatively long plane trips. He too developed blood clots in the legs, which traveled to his lungs causing the need for hospitalization and blood-thinning therapy.
Collection of fluid underneath the surgery site is a common phenomenon after tummy tuck surgery and will frequently require several episodes of drainage. Fortunately, this is not a difficult problem to contend with and not painful for the patient.
What to Expect After a Tummy Tuck
Most patients after abdominoplasty surgery will have numbness in the area of their abdomen, which can last up to one year. Some patients never regain full sensation in the area of the surgery. Alterations are not uncommonly seen in the appearance of the patient’s belly button after tummy tuck surgery, and this is typically permanent.
The risks of wound problems are always present with tummy tuck surgery. Problems with wound healing increase in those patients who smoke and in those patients who have had incisions in their abdomen from other operations. This is particularly true for patients who have had upper abdominal incisions, which are placed in the horizontal direction, such as an old gallbladder surgical incision.
Designing Your Tummy Tuck
There are three different approaches to contouring your abdomen. The approach chosen by your surgeon will depend upon your goals and your specific anatomic problems. For some people, liposuction of the abdomen alone will produce a thin abdominal wall and flank region. For those people who have significant laxity of their abdominal musculature or who have excess skin, a formal tummy tuck is the only way to achieve improvement.
In those patients who have significant skin excess throughout their abdominal wall or laxity of the entire abdominal musculature, a full tummy tuck is done. This involves an incision around the belly button, as well as a somewhat longer hip to hip scar. Through this incision, the entire abdominal wall is surgically tightened with permanent sutures. Excess skin and fat is removed, and the belly button is brought out through a separate incision in the abdominal wall.
For those patients who have skin laxity and excess skin below their belly button only, a mini tummy tuck may be all that is necessary. This approach is similar to the full tummy tuck but involves a smaller incision in the bikini area and no incision around the belly button.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
Commonly the surgical site involves the placement of plastic tubes called drains. These remain in place for 5 to 7 days after surgery and are relatively painless to remove. Patients are required to wear some form of a girdle or abdominal binder after surgery for 3 to 4 weeks, to achieve maximal benefits. Exercise should be delayed for 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. Most patients are back to work 7 to 14 days after the operation.
Surgery can be done as an in-or outpatient procedure and can be done under general or spinal anesthesia. Results can be quite dramatic with a narrower waist and a long-lasting trim figure!
How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?
The price of your abdominoplasty will depend on which surgical approach is best for your needs. Dr. Cohen will examine the treatment area, speak with you about your aesthetic goals, and review your medical history to determine the safest, most effective tummy tuck for you. Once he has created your personalized treatment plan, all costs associated with your tummy tuck will be reviewed with you.
Contact Our Office
If you’re considering a tummy tuck in, contact our office to schedule your informative consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Barry J. Cohen today.