achieve a firmer, flatter abdomen
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
For women and men who have loose abdominal skin and fat concentrated in the abdominal area, a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is the popular cosmetic body procedure that can transform how you look and feel.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
A common misconception about tummy tucks is that they provide a quick path to weight loss but that’s not the case. In fact, the people who make ideal tummy tuck candidates are those who are exercising regularly, eating a proper diet, and living a healthy lifestyle but for whatever reason, have extra skin and fat around their tummy that they just can’t get rid of.
It is especially common for women who have had children to visit us about tummy tuck procedures. With pregnancy, the abdominal wall muscles stretch to accommodate the expanding uterus – afterwards, these muscles are often not able to come back together completely (a condition commonly known as “diastasis recti”). In addition to the separation of the abdominal wall muscles, pregnancy can cause excess skin around the abdomen and stretch marks—all of which can be addressed through a tummy tuck procedure.
Tummy tucks also work well for those who have lost a lot of weight, have hanging loose skin and/or fat around the midsection, and need the area around their tummy to be tightened a bit; in fact, we often recommend “mini-tummy tucks” for those who are in great shape but just have the slightest paunch or extra skin they need resolved.
The best way to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck is to meet with a surgeon for an abdominoplasty consultation one-on-one with a Charlotte Plastic Surgery physician.
What Kinds of Tummy Tuck Are Available?
STANDARD ABDOMINOPLASTY (TUMMY TUCK)
This standard procedure is appropriate for the majority of clients. It removes flaccid abdominal skin and tightens muscles that have been separated and weakened by pregnancy or weight gain. This procedure is particularly recommended for women who are finished having children.
Liposuction may be performed at the same time as a tummy tuck to create the desired contour, although this is up to the discretion of each plastic surgeon and patient.
For a number of patients who visit Charlotte Plastic Surgery with specific concerns and needs, alternative forms of abdominoplasty are available:
PARTIAL ABDOMINOPLASTY (“MINI TUMMY TUCK”)
This technique, involving only a short horizontal incision, is used when the amount of loose skin is minimal and the excess fat deposits are located below the navel.
This procedure is most commonly performed on a client who has lost a great deal of weight and fat (perhaps after gastric bypass surgery) and now has loose overhanging skin not just on the front of the stomach, but all around the torso. In order to create the desired contour, the surgical scar will extend around the waistline, removing the fat and skin that hangs over the belt-line while also lifting the outer thigh and buttock, creating a smoother silhouette. In addition, muscles are tightened when necessary and liposuction utilized where needed.
New Advances in Abdominoplasty
As with any surgical procedure, the tummy tuck is consistently seeing new breakthroughs and innovations. A couple of major advances include Exparel and drain-free recovery.
Exparel is a non-narcotic, long-acting, local anesthetic that makes the healing and recovery process significantly easier. It’s powerful enough to make the abdomen numb for about three days, which is usually more than enough time to get patients through the most uncomfortable parts of the recovery process.
According to a study conducted right here in the Charlotte Plastic Surgery office, patients who have Exparel use only about a third the amount of pain medications that other patients use. They are also back to their normal routine sooner and feel better throughout their recovery compared to patients who did not use Exparel for pain management.
The other big breakthrough is the drain-free recovery by way of progressive tension suturing. Traditionally, drains have been used to ensure that all fluid is expelled from the body; being connected to drains is messy and inconvenient, which makes this type of surgical approach so nice for patients. With this technique, the abdominal wall is incrementally tacked down to the muscles, minimizing the space where fluid might collect and eliminating the need for drains.
Learn More About Tummy Tuck Surgery
If you are a generally healthy person but wish to contour your abdomen while strengthening the abdominal wall, a tummy tuck procedure may be the ideal solution. The first step is making sure you’re a good patient for a safe and healthy procedure, and that you have realistic goals in mind.
Take the first step by reaching out to Charlotte Plastic Surgery today. Schedule a consultation with one of our renowned plastic surgeons, who can answer any additional questions you have about the tummy tuck surgery process.