When Dr. Moses assesses the tummy, he is assessing the relative skin excess, the possible fat excess, and the tone and position of the abdominal muscles. A tummy tuck can remove skin and fat, as well as reconstruct the abdominal muscles.
We do a wide variety of tummy tucks, including the mini-tummy tuck, muscle-tightening tummy tuck, full abdominoplasty, extended abdominoplasty, and circumferential abdominoplasty or lower body lift. Dr. Moses will explain which of these procedures he suggests for you and may give you options as to which procedures would benefit you. Most of the patients who have a tummy tuck also have liposuction at the same time.
Abdominoplasty is performed under general anesthesia in our outpatient operating room. Patients can go home or can spend the night in one of our guest suites.
Patients have drains after the abdominoplasty that stay in anywhere from three to four days to three to four weeks. We often recommend that patients use an On-Q pain pump to pump in tiny amounts of local anesthetic after the tummy tuck, which dramatically reduces the post-operative pain. The pain pump can be used safely for up to ten days after surgery.
A tummy tuck usually results in a low abdominal scar, the so-called “bikini scar” hidden by a traditional low-rise bikini. The scar is approximately three times as long as the average C-section scar. While this is a considerably long scar, most patients feel that the trade-off of a tighter, flatter tummy is well worth the new scar.
A mini-tummy tuck is done when the extra skin is primarily in the lower abdomen (“the mommy pooch”) and is smaller and lower than the traditional full abdominoplasty scar. The scar will lie at the top of the pubic hair. The bellybutton will be lowered about ¾ inch, and the abdominal muscles can be tightened exactly as with a full tummy tuck.
Recovery After Abdominoplasty
Abdominoplasty patients have small suction drains for anywhere from three to four days to three weeks. There is significant swelling in the lower tummy for several weeks and minor degrees of swelling for many months. The abdomen continues to improve for up to a year. The scars will fade and flatten for six to twelve months.
Tummy Tuck Results
Tummy tucks are some of the most dramatic procedures that plastic surgeons do. Especially for women whose pregnancies have stretched their abdominal skin or muscles, or those who have had a massive weight loss, a tummy tuck can be a life-changing procedure.