Despite a healthy lifestyle and diet, some men and women still have trouble achieving a flat, toned abdominal area. Our plastic and reconstructive surgeons, Dr. Tim Matatov and Dr. Rozbeh Torabi, perform abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, for patients who want tighter, smoother abs. A tummy tuck removes the surplus loose skin and fat in the midsection with an incision made from hip bone to hip bone (along the pubic line) to tighten the abdominal wall to create a flatter abdominal profile and improved figure proportion. If excess skin needs to be removed, a second incision can be made around the naval for skin excision. Any skin on the lower abdomen with stretch marks can also be removed at this time to improve the skin's appearance. We provide tummy tuck consultations in our Elite Plastic Surgery office in Phoenix, AZ to discuss the type of tummy tuck your situation requires and if other procedures may or may not be needed to accomplish your aesthetic goals. We will discuss your body concerns and what you hope to achieve from tummy tuck surgery before creating your best treatment plan. Every patient is different, so results and surgical techniques may vary from patient to patient.
Do I Qualify?
The best candidates for tummy tuck surgery are men and women in good health and who are at or near their desired weight. Tummy tuck surgery should not be used as a form of weight loss, but as a means to tone the midsection after having already met your weight loss goals. Good candidates for tummy tucks are men or women who experience:
- Excessive skin around the belly button.
- A weakened abdominal wall.
- Sagging or loosened skin on the abdomen.
During the Procedure
During the procedure and under a general anesthetic, the plastic surgeon will usually make a horizontal incision to remove excess fat and tissue from the abdomen. The fascia (the tissue beneath the skin) will be tightened and should the belly button require moving, it will be brought out through a small incision and repositioned. Excess skin will also be removed and the incision along the pubic area will be stitched. The result of this procedure is a minor scar that falls along the bikini line for easy coverage. Patients can expect the procedure to take approximately 2 – 5 hours, depending on their aesthetic goals and surgery type.
Tummy tuck surgery requires gradual recovery with a recommendation for a 14 day period of complete rest with reduced activity for around 6 weeks. Significant bruising, swelling, and tenderness will be prevalent in the area following surgery along with a sensation of skin pulling due to the tightening of the muscle and skin tissue. Gentle movements may only be possible during the initial recovery time following the tummy tuck procedure with clients encouraged to move around to normalize the blood circulation to the area.
Following abdominoplasty, there will be some swelling and bruising around the abdomen and belly button. For the first few days following the procedure, tubes may be used to drain the incision site of any blood and fluid. Some patients may be issued an antibiotic to help prevent infection. Patients will experience some abdominal pain, which is normal, and the swelling can take 6 weeks or more to subside. It is very important that patients are careful moving around following the first few months of surgery and they will need to schedule follow up appointments at our office periodically for progress checks. Pain medication will be prescribed during the first couple of weeks and the dressing will be changed and stitches removed. The swelling and discoloration will begin to fade, but it may take up to a couple of months until it disappears. Depending upon the degree of surgery performed, a support garment may be required for several weeks.
Complications with tummy tucks are uncommon when a post-operative care program is correctly followed. It is vital to remain moderately active after your surgery, and not to retreat to bed as the blood circulation requires stimulation to avoid complications, such as a hematoma, which is a collection of blood underneath the skin requiring surgical removal. Any scarring created by the incisions will be in areas that can be covered with choice of under garments and swimwear with these gradually fading over time. Fluid can occasionally build up around the incision area which must be drained off to prevent an infection or discomfort. Some patients who are slow to heal may have a lack of sensation or a numb patch in the tummy area.
Plan Your Procedure
Flatter, Toned Abs
If you want to attain a flatter, more attractive stomach and have tried a healthy diet and exercise, a tummy tuck may help get you to your desired results. Tummy tuck surgery can help you with the confidence you need to walk the beach without a cover-up and show off the body that you’ve worked so hard to attain. Schedule a consultation with Elite Plastic Surgery today and learn how a tummy tuck can transform you.