Top Tummy Tuck Surgeon
A tummy tuck is a common procedure that enhances the abdominal contour. It is frequently considered by women after having children. Factors that lead to loss of abdominal contour are aging, weight loss and pregnancy. Abdominoplasty addresses three key anatomical structures which are abdominal muscles, abdominal fat and skin excess.
During pregnancy the abdominal muscles are subjected to a great deal of stretch. If the weight gain is rapid, two things happen; one, the abdominal muscles separate in the midline and two, stretch marks appear over the abdominal skin. Once the pregnancy is over, the excess skin in many cases fails to shrink back to its original state, and the muscles fail to regain their tone. Fat deposition also takes place during pregnancy and many times these specific areas are resistant to any type of exercise or dieting.
In patients who have had bariatric (weight loss) surgery, rapid loss of significant amount of weight may result in an abundance of skin on the abdomen. In addition, many of these patients develop hernias with time. Aging has a similar effect on the abdominal tissues. The muscles lose their tone, the skin becomes saggy and fat deposition takes place over the abdomen.
Tummy Tuck Considerations
There are a number of factors that must be carefully evaluated before the selecting the right procedure. First the skin excess and quality is addressed. This determines the length and pattern of skin excision. Second, the integrity of the abdominal muscles is assessed. It is imperative that the surgeon detect any hernia or muscle separation. Fat distribution needs to be carefully evaluated.
To obtain an esthetically pleasing abdomen it is necessary to sculpt the fat during the operation. Previous surgical scars are carefully recorded. These scars can affect the skin excision pattern. If ignored, complications can occur in the post-operative period.
How the Surgery is Performed
The surgical procedure needs to be tailored to the patient’s needs and physical attributes. Usually a horizontal incision is made across the pubic area that gently curves up. It is recommended that the patient wear their under garment before surgery so that the scar can be placed accordingly. Depending upon the skin laxity, the incision needs to be extended to the sides.
The skin is then lifted off the muscles, which are then tightened and excess skin and fat are removed. Liposuction is then performed in a strategic fashion so that the desired contouring can be obtained without compromising the blood supply. In a traditional full abdominoplasty another incision is placed around the umbilicus. Drains are usually left in place temporarily to drain any post-surgery fluid accumulation.
For patients who have slight skin excess and abdominal laxity a mini-abdominoplasty can be performed, which has a shorter recovery time.
What to Expect After Surgery
The first week after surgery, drain tubes might be removed. Some swelling and bruising will occur which usually subsides over the next few weeks. Most surgeons use absorbable sutures which are placed under the skin. Patients are advised to wear a support binder for several weeks. Patients are also encouraged to walk with a slight hunch to avoid any stress on the incision line.
After 6 weeks you can stop wearing the binder and drive. You should be realistic about your timeline of healing. It may take up to 6 to 8 months after surgery to see the final results.