Many of us strive for a flat and well-toned abdomen through exercise and weight control. Many, however, cannot achieve the desired results. Frequently, changes after pregnancy, previous surgery of the abdomen, or excess skin after significant weight loss prevent individuals from obtaining the flat, toned stomach they are striving for. In these cases, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) may be a good option.
What is a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery formally called abdominoplasty, is a popular surgical procedure that is intended for reshaping the midsection. Each procedure is customized to the patient and may address problems such as overly stretched abdominal tissue and skin, stretch marks, and muscle laxity. The result of this procedure is a slimmer, smoother, tighter abdomen.
Candidates for Tummy Tuck
Abdominoplasty can be an excellent procedure for men and women who have loose skin and tissue around their midsection. This excess could be the result of overstretching and subsequent deflation caused by pregnancy or weight loss.
Patients considering a tummy tuck should be in good health and have realistic expectations of the capabilities and limitations of the abdominoplasty procedure. We discuss all aspects of the procedure during our initial consultation and do our best to answer any questions at that time. If further questions arise, we encourage patients to contact our office. The happiest patients are those who know what to expect from their tummy tuck, who have a good body image, and who are committed to healthy eating and exercise habits.
Lastly, the best candidates for abdominoplasty have reached their ideal weight, or the overall size they want to maintain for many years. This will help us to achieve the best results. Losing more weight after a tummy tuck could mean that the skin will loosen, potentially requiring revision surgery in the future.
Dr. Schierle and his team were outstanding! From the initial consultation to the final outcome, it was an extremely patient-centric and quality experience. Dr. S listened to and actioned my input and he was very sensitive to my needs. The recovery and results have been amazing. I have already recommended Dr. S and the practice in general to my friends and family. I am 1000% delighted. Thanks to the whole team and especially to Dr. S.”
What Types of Tummy Tucks Are there?
Because every patient has a unique body type and particular needs related to their shape and amount of tissue, we have developed techniques to meet those needs. Varying types of tummy tucks include:
– Full Tummy Tuck
The standard procedure utilizes a scar along the lower abdomen from hip to hip, to address the entire abdomen, as well as the sides, or flank areas. The full tummy tuck removes excess skin and may also reposition the belly button. During this procedure, muscles are tightened and liposuction is performed to remove excess fat.
Mini Tummy Tuck
For those who may not need the full abdominoplasty, a mini tummy tuck may be performed. A more conservative abdominoplasty procedure, the mini tummy tuck focuses on the area below the belly button and down to the lower abdomen. This technique does not reposition the belly button.
Reverse Tummy Tuck
A reverse abdominoplasty, also known as a reverse tummy tuck, is a procedure that can be done in-office to address excessive skin in the upper abdomen. This makes it different from a traditional abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck” which addresses skin, muscles, and fatty tissue in the lower abdomen. The incisions in a reverse tummy tuck are made below the breasts along the breast fold, making the scars easy to hide and hardly noticeable.
Extended Tummy Tuck
This technique may also be referred to as a circumferential lower body lift. An extended tummy tuck addresses the entire abdomen as well as the lower back and hip area.
Tummy Tuck Procedure
Abdominoplasty can be performed using a variety of techniques. Excess fat in the abdominal area can be removed by liposuction, loose and sagging skin can be excised, and weakened or separated muscles can be repaired. If a combination of these conditions is present, multiple body contouring techniques can be employed during the same surgery.
The incision pattern can vary slightly depending on anatomy and desired results. Most commonly, it involves a horizontal incision at the level of the pubic hairline, extending towards each hip. A second incision near the navel may be necessary for skin removal. Incision length increases with the amount of excess skin requiring removal. If the correction is isolated to just below the navel, a limited incision may be an option. In some cases, liposuction alone may produce the desired results.
Recovery After Tummy Tuck Surgery
Tummy tuck recovery can occur over two to four weeks depending on the extensiveness of the procedure and inclusion of any additional procedures, such as liposuction. Patients are encouraged to follow post-operative instructions carefully.
What results should i expect from my Tummy Tuck?
A flatter, firmer abdomen will be apparent immediately after surgery, but final results may be obscured by swelling initially. Within a few months, you can expect swelling to subside and can begin enjoying your new slimmer profile.
A support garment is recommended for a few weeks after surgery to provide gentle support and compression. The pressure from the garment minimizes swelling and fluid retention. A follow-up visit is generally scheduled within a week after the abdominoplasty.
Abdominoplasty Post-Op Instructions
Read about the general guidelines for Post – Op care after an Abdominoplasty here.
Schedule A Consultation
If you are interested in having a Tummy Tuck, contact Northwestern Specialists in Plastic Surgery. Call us at (312) 266-6240 to schedule a consultation. Our practice serves Chicago, IL and surrounding areas.