For many reasons, the stomach can be one of the most difficult areas to correct through diet and exercise alone. Abdominal fat can be stubborn and accompany things like weakened stomach muscles and excess skin. Many patients find this to be embarrassing, especially when wearing swimwear or certain outfits. That’s why we provide effective, innovative, and customized tummy tuck techniques to restore both the cosmetic appearance and contours of the abdomen, as well as strengthening its anatomical function. Whatever your needs, there’s a tummy tuck for you.
The tummy tuck, sometimes call abdominoplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure that aims to restore the abdominal area through surgical incisions and sutures. Most commonly as a result of pregnancy or weight loss, many people experience sagging, fat, and looseness in the stomach area that can’t be corrected through a diet and exercise regimen. For this reason, a tummy tuck can be both cosmetically and medically beneficial to many patients. A tummy tuck can also be performed with varying degrees of extensiveness depending on your goals.
Patients that benefit most from a tummy tuck procedure are those that have excess fat and skin in the abdomen area. A tummy tuck can be very beneficial to postpartum women and is often included in a mommy makeover procedure because it can restore abdominal muscles, reducing back pain and urinary incontinence. If you’re interested in a tummy tuck procedure, you should be able to undergo surgery and successfully recover, meaning you should discuss any medical conditions that might prevent this during your consultation. You should be at or near your ideal weight without any factors that could affect your results like pregnancy or weight fluctuation. If you have recently gone through childbirth, you should be fully recovered and no longer nursing.
There are a few different types of tummy tuck that have different levels of extensiveness and serve different goals. During your consultation, you’ll choose from one or a combination of these three.
This type is the least extensive and works best for patients who have fat or skin laxity below the navel. The mini tummy tuck doesn’t usually correct any muscle laxity, but it includes incisions that can be easily hidden within clothing or swimwear. It can also include liposuction to remove fatty deposits within the abdomen. If you’re looking for a small and effective rejuvenation of the lower stomach, the mini tummy tuck may be best.
Also called the traditional tummy tuck, this option offers the best compromise between rejuvenation and downtime. This technique requires an incision in the area between the pubic hairline and the belly button, which allows access to the underlying fat and muscle. Liposuction can be used to remove any stubborn fat if needed. Muscle tightening, or plication, is achieved with sutures and any excess skin is trimmed away before the incisions are closed. The traditional tummy tuck is a safe and effective option for most patients looking for an overall improvement of their abdominal contour.
This method offers the most comprehensive rejuvenation of the lower torso and abdomen. Also called the corset tummy tuck, it also addresses the areas surrounding the stomach like the hips or upper abdomen for torso re-shaping. This might include extensive use of liposuction to contour and reshape the sides of the abdomen, the hips, and entire stomach area. It can also include muscle tightening of the abdomen, sometimes using an additional incision around the belly button. For patients looking for the most extensive results with a tummy tuck, the extended option may be best.
Your tummy tuck can be performed at our small and private accredited facility. Once you’re comfortable and prepared with the help of our medical staff, anesthesia is administered. A predetermined incision is then performed to gain access to the underlying tissues of the abdomen. The appropriate type of tummy tuck is them performed, as outlined during your consultation. As the incisions are closed, drains may be placed to collect any fluids that may build up during the first day or so of your recovery. You’ll also be fitted with a compression garment immediately after surgery, which can help with blood flow to the area and also help the skin to adhere to the new contour. Depending on your specific tummy tuck procedure, your surgical session can take from one to two hours, or even three to four if your procedure is extensive.
Before your surgery date, you’ll receive instructions and care steps from our office to ensure you know what to expect during your tummy tuck recovery. Because this procedure is performed under general anesthesia, you’ll be required to be taken home by a close friend or family member. Most patients require around one or two weeks away from work or school, depending on how extensive the procedure is. During this time, you should get plenty of rest and avoid any heavy activity, especially that which includes bending, lifting, or straining. You’ll be given prescription medications and leading-edge post-operative methods to manage pain during your recovery to help control infection and swelling, and you may also need to manage any drains during the first few days. We’ll ask you to return for follow-up appointments to ensure that your recovery goes smoothly and safely.
The best way to maintain your results after a tummy tuck is through leading a healthy lifestyle that avoids factors like weight gain or pregnancy that can reverse your results. Even if you pursue a tummy tuck for cosmetic reasons, you may notice an increase in the strength and support of your abdominal area, especially if you’ve experienced muscle laxity. Patients that are prone to hernias also sometimes notice an improvement in occurrence after a tummy tuck. A tummy tuck cannot produce permanent results, however, since it cannot stop the process of aging or change in the body. For this reason, it’s important to keep in touch with our medical staff who can make a recommendation on maintaining your results or additional treatments to augment them.
A consultation with Dr. Henry is the best way to begin your tummy tuck process, where he can create a customized treatment plan for your goals and anatomy. To schedule a private, informational consultation at our St. Joseph office, contact us by calling or filling out our online form.
The cost of your unique tummy tuck will vary based on many different factors. Most importantly, this includes the individual costs of things like materials, facilities, surgeon’s fees, and appointments. Although the tummy tuck can have medical benefits, most insurance companies do not cover the cost of an abdominoplasty procedure. During your consultation, you’ll receive a full estimate of your costs, as well as payment options. As with any plastic surgery procedure, cost should not be your first consideration, but rather the skill and reputation of your chosen plastic surgeon.
With any procedure that requires incisions, there is a risk of visible scarring. The extent can be highly dependent on each patient, however, since everyone’s skin reacts differently. We take great care to ensure any scarring can be easily concealed and discreet so that you can feel comfortable in your new body. We also offer the latest in scar-reducing techniques and products to use during your recovery to ensure any scarring fades quickly and effectively.