A tummy tuck is as close as you can come to actually sculpting the body. It is ideal for taking care of loose belly skin, removing a lower belly bulge and shaping the waist and hips. It is the best way to help restore the belly to a more shaped, youthful appearance.
Why get a tummy tuck?
Several factors can impact the appearance of the abdomen, including previous pregnancies, large fluctuations in weight and genetics. Many people are frustrated by the lack of improvement in the appearance of the abdomen despite exercise and a healthy diet. When that happens, tummy tucks can be a great way to get a slimmer, flatter stomach or restore the belly to a pre-pregnancy appearance.
What happens during a tummy tuck?
There are three main methods for tummy tuck surgery: the mini tummy tuck, traditional tummy tuck, and extended tummy tuck. Although each procedure is similar, different methods might be better for you, depending on your anatomy.
The mini tummy tuck is great for individuals who have small amounts of loose skin and stubborn flab that won’t go away with regular diet and exercise. This procedure is performed on patients who are traditionally healthy who have what many call a “pouch” of fat. The incision for this procedure is smaller than other methods, and the navel typically doesn’t need to be relocated to complete the surgery. Recovery time for this procedure is about two weeks.
The traditional tummy tuck is great for patients who have either lost a lot of weight or have excess skin and weakened muscles from pregnancy. The incision extends approximately from hip bone to hip bone. Then, excess skin is removed and the abdominal muscles are tightened. Patients will need 2-4 weeks of downtime, depending on the need for any tightening of the abdominal muscles.
The extended tummy tuck, or panniculectomy, is great for people who have lost a significant amount of weight, which means they have large amounts of excess skin around their stomach and back. This is most commonly the result of weight loss or bariatric surgery. The incision wraps around the waist to the back, and the navel is repositioned. This procedure is primarily to manage excess skin and large abdominal aprons. It is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. Patients can usually begin resuming normal activities in two to three weeks.
All of these procedures remove excess flab and restructure the stomach to form your natural body contour.
Tummy Tuck Results and Recovery
All tummy tuck procedures leave scars, but these can be easily concealed under clothing and swim wear. If you follow your personalized scar care routine from Dr. Dodde, your scars may heal to be minimally visible.
The recovery time for a tummy tuck varies, depending how much work is done to tighten muscles back up. After your procedure, you’ll be able to engage in very light activity. Make sure to have a friend or loved one stay with you for at least 24 hours after your procedure.
Who makes a good tummy tuck candidate?
You may be a good tummy tuck candidate if you have the following traits:
- You are in reasonably good health
- You have realistic expectations for the outcome of your surgery
- You live a healthy lifestyle
- You do not smoke
- You have fat or excess skin that is resistant to diet and exercise