This procedure is also known as a panniculectomy, abdominal lipectomy, or more commonly a tummy tuck. This is one of the most common procedures performed in our practice. The skin of the abdominal wall can become stretched and loose, and the muscles of the abdomen can be weakened following pregnancy in women or significant weight gain in both men and women. As a result of this accumulation of fat and weakness of the muscles, stretch marks develop on the skin, and the abdomen bulges outward. This condition does not respond well to diet and exercise. The abdominoplasty procedure is designed to flatten a protruding abdomen through the tightening of abdominal wall muscles and removal of excess fatty tissue and skin.
Click to see more abdominoplasty before and after photos
It is important to remember that a tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss, and occasionally some people may benefit from dieting or a weight loss program before surgery, as this may improve the final result. The objective of tummy tuck surgery is to improve the contour of the body by flattening and narrowing the abdomen. This is why we almost always combine the tummy tuck procedure with liposuction of the back and flanks in order to achieve even more defined sculpturing of the trunk.
Prior to tummy tuck surgery, a complete medical history is taken, as well as a focused physical examination. We will discuss with the patient what can realistically be expected. Photographs will be taken before and after tummy tuck surgery. The type of anesthesia to be used, the tummy tuck procedure, and possible risks and complications are also discussed.
On the day of tummy tuck surgery, skin markings will be placed on your abdomen and on all areas that are to undergo liposuction. The full abdominoplasty takes 3-4 hours depending on the extent of work involved and if liposuction will also be performed. The surgery itself involves removing all the skin and fat below the belly button and tightening the underlying abdominal muscles. The skin of the abdomen above the navel is then brought down and sutured, and a new opening is made for the belly button.
At the time of your initial consultation, we will discuss the tummy tuck procedure with you in detail, outlining exactly which portions of skin and fat will be removed and where all the scars will be.
After the tummy tuck surgery there will be two small drainage tubes placed under the skin to evacuate any excess fluid; these usually stay in for 4-5 days. An abdominal binder will be applied to provide comfort and support and help decrease swelling faster.
Abdominoplasty, performed alone or in combination with liposuction, is a very safe cosmetic procedure when performed by a plastic surgeon; nevertheless, there are certain risks and complications associated with the tummy tuck procedure. Infections and blood clots are rare, but can occur. Infections can be treated by drainage and antibiotics, and the incidence of clots is minimized by moving and walking around as soon as possible after surgery.
Poor healing of the wound may also occur, but it is much more common in smokers, which is why we strongly advise to discontinue smoking at least 3 weeks before and 3 weeks after tummy tuck surgery.
Again, at the time of the initial consultation, we will discuss these and all other aspects of your tummy tuck surgery, and all your questions will be answered.
If you are interested in Tummy Tuck plastic surgery or have any questions for Dr. Adams, call 505.327.1754 for a consultation.