Everyone has heard of a tummy tuck, clinically known as abdominoplasty. These surgeries slim the contour of the lower abdomen and around the navel, typically after a woman has had children or gained and then lost a good deal of weight. What if, however, your sagging skin isn’t so much down on the bikini line, but up above the navel? For those patients, Drs. Schierle and Dr. Fine can perform a reverse tummy tuck in Chicago, IL.
While far less common than a tummy tuck, a reverse tummy tuck slims your contour in the area from under the breasts down to the navel.
What is reverse Tummy Tuck?
A reverse tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery that removes excess, loose skin from the upper abdomen. The goal is to smooth and flatten the excess, lax tissue. Unlike abdominoplasty, reverse abdominoplasty does not address muscles.
How common is reverse abdominoplasty?
Compared to a tummy tuck, which is one of the top five or six most performed cosmetic surgeries in the U.S. every year, reverse tummy tucks are uncommon. The primary reason for this is that most people have loose sagging skin both above and below their navel area. A full tummy tuck addresses both areas.
It is far less prevalent for a person to have loose sagging skin only above the navel. But if this is the case, then a reverse tummy tuck is the perfect procedure.
Who is an ideal candidate for reverse abdominoplasty?
Anyone with lax upper abdominal skin would be a great candidate for a reverse tummy tuck in Chicago, IL at Northwestern Specialists in Plastic Surgery. This is often the case when a person has gained and then lost a large amount of weight, and they didn’t carry the weight low on their abdomen. We also sometimes see patients who have had a mini tummy tuck before, but now want to address the upper abdomen.
How is a reverse Tummy Tuck performed?
The incision for a reverse tummy tuck is made across the inframammary fold, otherwise known as the breast crease. This incision can be hidden easily beneath a bra or bikini top. Excess skin is removed, and the remaining tissues are pulled upward until taut. Dissolvable sutures are used to close the incision.
“I recently had a breast lift and abdominaplasty with Dr. Fine at Northwestern Specialists in Plastic Surgery and I can tell you that this experience was amazing. From the initial consult, the procedure, and the follow ups, I have felt supported and cared for by both the doctor and his staff. Whenever I have had a concern, they have been responsive and with me every step of the way. The work itself I could not be happier with. People can’t believe how great my scars already look and I am only five weeks out. I am so so so happy with everything that I would recommend Dr. Fine and his team over and over again.”
Where are the incisions for a reverse tummy tuck?
In a full tummy tuck, there are two incisions, one on the bikini line and another around the navel. In a reverse tummy tuck, there is just a single incision. This is made along the breast crease at the bottom of the breasts. The skin of the upper abdomen is pulled upward from there.
What can I expect from reverse abdominoplasty?
Initially, swelling will hide your ultimate results. But once this resolves fully over the next couple of months (it can come and go for a while), your entire stomach will be lifted and tightened to a smooth, healthy contour. The incision scar is well concealed within the breast crease. This is especially the case if the patient has larger breasts.
Can I combine a reverse tummy tuck with other procedures?
Many of our Chicago patients opt to combine a reverse tummy tuck with breast augmentation. This is because the incision on the inframammary crease provides access for removing excess skin on the upper abdomen, and it can be used to place breast implants.
Patients who have pockets of stubborn fat on their lower abdomen, yet still have firm, tight skin, can have a reverse tummy tuck to tighten their loose upper abdomen while removing fat pockets on the lower abdomen with liposuction.
What is recovery like after reverse Tummy Tuck?
Because the incision for a reverse tummy tuck is made so high, it doesn’t involve the big muscles of the lower abdomen. That makes recovery much easier. Expect most of your recovery to take about a week, possibly two. Initially, we will place you in a surgical bandage, which will be replaced by compression garments. This helps to alleviate much of the swelling and bruising, but you will have some of both for 10-14 days. You will have some pain, particularly during your first week. Most patients can return to work after 7-10 days, but it may take two weeks. You can get back to light exercise after a week, but strenuous activity and any lifting will have to wait for 4 to 6 weeks.
What are the risks with reverse abdominoplasty?
This is surgery, so it includes all of the risks inherent with any surgery: excessive bleeding, infection, reaction to anesthesia, and the like. There is a potential for nerve damage, but this is usually only temporary when it rarely occurs. The biggest risk is for uneven incision healing, but this is quite rare thanks to the board-certified expertise and experience of Dr. Schierle and Dr. Fine.