Tummy Tuck - The Basics
Sunday, July 21, 2013
An abdominoplasty is a major surgical
procedure that will remove excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen and
tighten the abdominal muscles.
An incision is made across the lower
abdomen from hipbone to hipbone. A second incision is made around the belly
button. The skin and fat are separated from the abdominal wall. Excess skin and
fat are then excised. The abdominal muscles are tightened by shortening and
suturing them together. A small incision creates a new opening for the belly
button. It is brought out through the opening sutured to the new skin. Stretch
marks and scars may be removed during surgery.
Drains may be placed in the skin and
removed a few days later. The drains reduce swelling by collecting excess blood
and fluid. All incisions are closed. The procedure is usually performed in a
hospital or surgical center with an overnight stay.
What is the difference between a mini
tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck?
A mini tummy tuck, or partial
abdominoplasty, may be recommended for patients that are within 10% of their
ideal body weight. This procedure is less invasive and can be done on an outpatient
basis. While a full tummy tuck involves an incision around the navel and across
the lower abdomen, a mini tummy tuck leaves the navel intact and requires a
smaller incision. Liposuction is sometimes employed and the fat is removed from
below the navel, tightening muscles from the navel to the pubis.
If your abdominal muscles require more
extensive tightening and your body weight is more than 20% above your ideal
weight, your plastic surgeon is more likely to recommend a full abdominoplasty.
This frequently is performed with liposuction to obtain the best results.
What should you expect at your consultation?
At your initial consultation, your
plastic surgeon will evaluate your health, determine the extent of fat deposits
in your abdomen, and assess your skin tone. Be specific about what you would
like done. If your plastic surgeon fully understands your expectations, he’ll
be able to determine whether your goals are realistic.
What can you expect from your recovery from a tummy tuck?
Pain Level: Moderate to severe discomfort. 1-2 weeks of pain medication
Swelling: 2-6 weeks
Numbness: 6 months or more
Bandages: Changed in 2-5 days (sutures removed first 7-10 days)
Work: Return to desk job after 1 week, other jobs 10-14 days
Exercise: Wait 4-8 weeks
Final result: After scars heal, approximately 6 months-1 year
For the first few days after surgery,
the abdomen will probably be swollen and some pain and discomfort may occur,
which can be controlled by medication. Depending on the extent of the surgery,
you may be released within a few hours or remain hospitalized for two to three
The incisions will be covered with
surgical tape for two weeks to insure proper healing.
For information on results and recovery,
speak with your board certified plastic surgeon. Carefully follow your doctor’s
advice to best assure proper healing and lasting results. These are general
guidelines. The doctors here at Mangat-Holzapfel Plastic Surgery will
know your case best and can help guide you in a recovery plan that suits you
If you’re interested in a tummy tuck,
call us at Mangat-Holzapfel Plastic Surgery for a consultation
at (513) 984-FACE in Cincinnati, (859) 331-9600 in Northern Kentucky, or (970)
766-FACE in the Vail Valley of Colorado.