A Tummy Tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty or lipo-abdominoplasty, is a procedure which removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen. During this procedure, not only will fat be removed and the skin be tightened with an incision from hip to hip but Dr. Stiller will also create an internal corset of stitches at the abdominal wall to shrink and tighten the waistline from within. Both men and women who have lost a significant amount of weight, have found changes in their torso with aging, or women who have undergone pregnancy may seek this procedure.
If you have excess belly fat and lax skin around the abdominal area that has not responded to diet and exercise, a lipo-abdominoplasty may be right for you. If your abdomen has more loose skin than abdominal fat, a traditional abdominoplasty or a mini abdominoplasty may be the better choice for you. Most commonly, men and women who have had massive weight loss find that the skin doesn’t have the elasticity to respond to the loss of weight and a tummy tuck is needed to remove that excess skin. A tummy tuck may also benefit you if you have stretched/separated abdominal muscles, usually as a result of pregnancy or significant fluctuations in weight. A tummy tuck is designed to re-contour the torso, making the abdomen flatter and tightening the abdominal muscles.
To be a good candidate for this procedure, you should be near the weight you are comfortable with. If you plan to lose more than 20 pounds, you should wait to have your tummy tuck, as the weight loss could cause additional lax skin. During your consultation, Dr. Stiller will ask you what bothers you about your body and best explain the right plan for you.
The type of tummy tuck needed will depend on how much skin laxity and fat tissue you may have. If you do not have an excess amount of abdominal fat, rather just lose skin, then Dr. Stiller may perform a traditional abdominoplasty without liposuction. If there is a moderate amount of subcutaneous fat tissue, then a lipo-abdominoplasty will be performed. This procedure begins with Dr. Stiller performing liposuction to help contour and removing excess fat. This is done by inserting a small tube called a cannula, which is attached to a suction device. Dr. Stiller will then make a horizontal incision from one hip to the other to remove excess skin and tighten. If you are undergoing a mini tummy tuck, the incision is much shorter. The incision is usually placed just above the pubic area to be easily be hidden by swimsuits and underwear. Another incision is placed around the belly button to free it from overlying tissue.
If necessary, the stomach muscles are also tightened along the midline to repair any muscle separation. This is done by suturing the fascia and removing the extra tissue. The belly button is repositioned to the correct position by creating a new opening in the skin. Once this is complete, Dr. Stiller pulls down the outer skin over the abdomen, trims away the excess tissue and sutures the incisions closed.
In a traditional abdominoplasty, drains are needed since there was no liposuction.
In a lipo-abdominoplasty, drains are not needed due to the fact that the liposuction did not disrupt lymphatic drainage system and leaves it intact.
For your Cosmetic Surgery, cash pay procedures, your surgery will be performed at our own on-site AAAASF accredited surgery center at our Stiller Aesthetics office. Our operating room is fully equipped with the latest state-of-the-art equipment.
A tummy tuck is an outpatient procedure, so after a short period of recovery time, you will go home the same day as your surgery. Recovery after a tummy tuck procedure can vary among patients however, most patients do very well. When you awake from your surgery, you will be in a compression garment, which we strongly advise you wear 24 hours a day for the first 2 weeks, followed by 2 more weeks of wearing the garment during times of activity. For the first 2-3 weeks, you can expect bruising, swelling, and a feeling of tightness and you may notice it feels difficult to completely stand up straight. Most patients take about 1-2 weeks off work, however some may take longer or return sooner depending on the physical demands of their job.
You will be provided with detailed post-operative instructions upon completion of your procedure. If at any time you should have any questions or concerns after surgery, please contact our practice immediately.
Tummy tuck results will vary, so it is important to be patient. Most patients notice a significant difference in the first 3 months as the swelling continues to improve. However, it is normal to experience numbness of the lower central abdomen for several months. You will have a scar on your lower abdomen which may appear pink and raised 2-3 months after surgery. As time goes on, the color will begin to fade and the scar will flatten. If your stretch marks were located in areas of lose skin, they will be gone. However, there may still be stretch marks in areas that are not excised. After your tummy tuck, you will lose inches and have a slimmer waist, but keep in mind that a tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss. Maintaining a steady weight can help you keep your results.