People regularly cite the abdomen as one of the most disliked features of their bodies, largely due to its unique ability to bloat and retain stubborn pockets of fat. Our abdomens also change shape through our lifetime, growing when we put on weight or after having a child, and then shrinking when we experience weight loss.
Although our skin is supple during our younger years, our natural production of collagen and elastin which helps keep our skin youthful and springy diminishes with age. Once our skin is stretched beyond its normal limits, it will not tighten up as much as we would like, even with a vigorous commitment to exercise. You cannot exercise off excess skin, therefore, it hangs loosely over our abdomen, instead of the tight, toned physique that we desire. Diminished confidence, low self-esteem and feeling unattractive are just a few of the emotions felt by patients who are less than happy with their mid-section.
Fortunately, unsightly changes in your abdominal appearance do not have to be permanent. Abdominoplasty also known as a “Tummy Tuck” surgery can address the excess abdominal skin and fat that cannot be addressed with diet and exercise so that you can have a smoother, flatter stomach.
What does a tummy tuck involve?
A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that is carried out under a general anesthetic, meaning that you will have no awareness of the procedure. Most surgeries can be completed in under four hours, depending on the type of tummy tuck you choose.
Types of tummy tuck
There are actually two variations of the tummy tuck procedure, a full tuck, and a partial tuck.
In a full tummy tuck, an incision is made across the lower part of the stomach and around the belly button, freeing it from the surrounding tissues. We will then separate the skin from the abdominal wall so that the muscles of the abdomen can be realigned and tightened like an internal corset. The next step is to pull the skin tightly across the abdomen, so it is possible to determine how much excess fat and skin is present and can be safely removed. Once the excess skin and fat
In a partial tummy tuck, we focus principally on the area below the belly button. People who are overweight or who have had children may find that excess skin and fat accumulates here and creates a “pouch”. Unlike a full tummy tuck, a partial tuck sees only the lower half of the abdomen pulled tight and secured as described above.
Recovering from a tummy tuck
Tummy Tucks are probably one of the more painful cosmetic procedures, therefore the recovery time for a tummy tuck is significantly longer than many other types of cosmetic surgery. You may need up to six weeks away from work to heal however most people only require two weeks off work. After the procedure, you can expect to experience some discomfort and abdominal muscle spasms. You will be provided with medication to help alleviate pain and muscle spasms. After a few weeks, you may find that you can manage your pain with over the counter pain medications.
A compression garment should be worn around your torso for six weeks to three months for you to achieve your best cosmetic results. You will need to spend a few days in bed while the initial phase of healing takes place, as well as avoid physical activity for up to six weeks.
Dr. Clark will issue specific aftercare instructions, and these should be followed for the quickest, safest, and complication-free recovery from your surgery. During the healing period, we will meet with you for follow-up appointments to check on the progress of your healing.
If you are unhappy with the size or shape of your abdomen, a tummy tuck can help remove excess fat and skin, creating a smoother and firmer abdomen. If you have further questions about the tummy tuck procedure, or you want to arrange a consultation with Dr. Clark please call our office today at 469-675-3659.