Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
Plastic Surgery Procedures

A tummy-tuck procedure, also called an abdominoplasty, is one of the more commonly performed procedures in plastic surgery because of its ability to quickly and dramatically improve the appearance of the abdomen. The appearance of the abdomen can cause a one to feel self-conscious and dissatisfied with their appearance. A flat and well-toned abdomen is something many of us strive for through exercise and weight control. Sometimes these methods cannot achieve our goals. Pregnancy, prior surgery, significant weight fluctuations, aging, and genetics all have a significant impact on the contour of the abdomen. Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. An abdominoplasty can reverse these changes, resulting in and enhanced self-image and increased self-confidence.

THE CONSULTATION

During your consultation, your medical history, drug allergies, current medications and smoking history will be reviewed. Dr. Saar or Dr. O’Halloran will discuss why you want a tummy-tuck, your expectations from surgery, and your desired outcomes. Anytime a person considers undergoing body contouring procedures, it’s natural to feel some anxiety, so don’t be shy about discussing these feelings during your consultation. Dr. Saar or Dr. O’Halloran will examine your abdomen, including detailed assessment the amount of excess skin and fat, the quality of the skin, and the degree of muscle separation. Based on these finding, your options for improving your abdominal contour will be discussed. The various abdominoplasty procedures will be reviewed in detail including the surgical technique, likely outcomes, and any risks or potential complications associated with your surgery.

THE SURGERY

Tummy-tuck procedures are normally performed on an inpatient basis with an overnight stay in the hospital. The surgery is performed using general anesthesia. With general anesthesia you are completely asleep and do not feel any pain. In a tummy-tuck procedure, an incision is made just above the pubic region and is angled toward the hip regions. The shape and length of the incision will be determined by the amount of excess skin and the patient’s desires. The skin is elevated allowing the underlying abdominal muscles to be repaired and tightened. A second incision around the navel may be necessary to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen. The upper abdominal skin is pulled down and the excess abdominal skin and fat are removed. The remaining skin is sutured together and a new opening for the belly button is created. The belly button is sutured into position. An abdominal support garment is applied. Drains are used and are normally removed within 4-7 days, sutures are absorbable with the exception of the sutures around your belly-button and they are removed at 10-14 days. Typically, patients are able to return to work with in 2 weeks after a tummy-tuck procedure, abdominal soreness usually resides after 2-3 weeks, and you may resume exercise in approximately 6 weeks. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover. The results of a tummy tuck are technically permanent; however, the positive outcome can be greatly diminished by significant fluctuations in your weight. For this reason, individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies would be advised to delay undergoing a tummy tuck.

THE ABDOMINOPLASTY PROCEDURES

A full tummy tuck requires a horizontally-oriented incision in the area between the pubic hairline and belly button. Once the abdominal skin is lifted, the underlying weakened abdominal muscles are repaired. The upper abdominal skin is pulled down and the excess skin and fat are trimmed. The incision is closed. A new opening for the belly button is created. The belly button is sutured into position.

OTHER PROCEDURES

Breast rejuvenation procedures (augmentation mammaplasty, mastopexy, and breast reduction) and other body contouring procedures (liposuction, brachioplasty, and thigh-buttock lift) are commonly performed with an abdominoplasty. Dr. Saar and Dr. O’Halloran will assist you in making this decision.

OTHER PROCEDURES

A "Mommy Makeover" surgery consists of an abdominoplasty and breast augmentation, breast lift or both. This surgery will help women return to their pre-pregnancy look.