Are you troubled by a protruding stomach or love handles? Abdominoplasty, colloquially called a “tummy tuck,” may be the answer. This surgical procedure is for people with stubborn body fat and/or lax skin in the abdominal area, including love handles. It can make the midsection of your body firmer and slimmer so that your clothes fit better.
Dr. Ledding has years of experience performing abdominoplasties for his patients. Every patient is unique, however, so he will spend time with you during your initial consultation and examination to discuss your options and his recommended surgical plan for you.
Who is a Good Candidate for Abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty is for people who have tried to lose excess fat or tighten the skin through dieting and exercise, but without results. The surgery can also tighten separated abdominal muscles, a condition called diastasis that often occurs after pregnancy.
If you have a substantial amount of weight to lose, or you plan to become pregnant, you should postpone abdominoplasty. Weight loss could create additional lax skin, and pregnancy could separate the muscles, necessitating another tummy tuck procedure.
Is Abdominoplasty an Outpatient Procedure?
Abdominoplasty is usually performed with the patient under general anesthesia, but it is an outpatient procedure. So, you can go home the same day, provided someone is available to drive you.
What Incisions Are Used For Abdominoplasty?
If you have excess fat and lax skin only below the navel, a shorter incision on the lower abdomen may be sufficient in what is sometimes called a mini-tummy tuck procedure.
In many cases, there is excess fat and lax skin both above and below the navel. This may require an incision around the navel, as well as the lower abdomen incision.
For those with more extensive deposits of fat and lax skin, the tummy tuck incision can be extended around to the flanks. The incision must extend as long as the skin that needs to be excised.
Is Liposuction Performed as Part of a Tummy Tuck?
If you have excess fat, as well as lax skin, liposuction can be performed during your tummy tuck. If you only have excess fat in the abdominal area, liposuction alone may be sufficient to achieve the results you want.
The liposuction portion of the procedure involves inserting a cannula, which is a small tube, into the incision. A tumescent fluid is introduced into the cannula to numb the tissues, soften the fat, and reduce bleeding. The cannula is attached to a suction device and is moved in and out either manually by the surgeon or using a medical apparatus to break down the fat and suction it out.
What Happens During the Abdominoplasty Procedure?
There are a variety of techniques that Dr. Ledding might use during your abdominoplasty depending on your needs. Besides a reduction of excess fat and skin, a standard tummy tuck also often involves tightening of the abdominal muscles.
After the fat and skin have been removed and the muscles tightened, the skin is redraped and sutured into place. In cases where a substantial amount of skin has been removed, the navel might have to be repositioned.
What Happens Immediately After Abdominoplasty?
After some time spent in the recovery room following your surgery, your incisions will be dressed. You will wear an elastic bandage for a period of time, and drain tubes may be placed at the incision sites to catch excess fluids. These are removed within a few days at one of your post-operative examinations.
When Can I Return to Work After Abdominoplasty?
Most people take two weeks off from work and resume exercise or sports activities in about six to eight weeks. If your occupation entails significant lifting or is physically demanding, you may need six to eight weeks off work as well.
What Post-Operative Symptoms Can I Expect After a Tummy Tuck?
Your recovery will include some bruising, a feeling of tightness, and mild pain for a couple of weeks. You can take prescription or non-prescription medications to ease you through this period.
Swelling takes a bit longer to resolve, gradually improving over a period of months. If you sleep sitting up for a few nights, you will probably feel more comfortable and might even reduce the initial swelling. A pillow under your knees will also reduce tension on your incision.
Are There Scars After Abdominoplasty?
There are scars after an abdominoplasty, but they are usually hidden under clothing. We will provide strategies for healing the scars as quickly as possible, and they will fade and become less prominent in the months following your surgery.
Contact our office for a consultation to discuss abdominoplasty with Dr. Ledding, and enjoy a flatter stomach.