What is a “tummy tuck” or abdominoplasty?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is the removal of excess skin from the lower belly with tightening of the abdominal muscles. Many women find that after pregnancy their abdominal musculature has been stretched and no amount of exercise will lead to a more youthful, flat abdomen.
Some women with a mild lower abdominal bulge are candidates for a mini-abdominoplasty, while others require more extensive surgery on their stomach muscles. The procedure takes between two and three hours, and most women can return to an active lifestyle after two weeks of recovery. Sometimes liposuction is used along with an abdominoplasty to achieve an optimum result.
What to expect:
An incision will be made across the lower abdomen usually hidden within your underwear line and around the belly button to create a new hole. Excess fat can be removed with liposuction, abdominal rectus muscles will be repaired and tightened for a flatter abdomen, and sagging skin will be removed from about the umbilicus to the pubic bone. By removing excess skin, many patients may also see a significant reduction in stretch marks in their lower abdomen. Incisions are then sutured and the skin will be taped and wrapped in a supportive compression garment to help minimize swelling and promote healing.
You usually go home the same day or one night in hospital if monitoring is necessary. Swelling can last from 6 weeks to 3 months, but you will still notice an immediate difference. A compression garment can be worn for 4-6 weeks to help with swelling. A drain or 2 are usually placed and removed at an average of 1-2 weeks. You will likely want to sit in a more reclined position with your hips flexed for the first week. You cannot exercise for about 2 weeks and can expect to be out of work about 1-2 weeks depending on your profession. No heavy lifting more than 10 lbs for about 2 weeks, and no abdominal exercises, such as crunches, for 8 weeks. Scars will eventually fade over the next few months to a fine white scar that should be hidden by underwear and swimsuits. Many of our patients find that they can fit into smaller more form-fitting clothing sizes. You should be back to normal by 4-6 weeks.
Call 336-765-8620 to request a consultation today and receive a personalized plan with one of our surgeons.