What is Tummy Tuck Surgery (Abdominoplasty)?
A tummy tuck (also known as abdominoplasty) is a surgical technique that reshapes the abdomen and flanks. A tummy tuck involves the removal of excess, sagging abdominal skin. Depending on your particular goals and anatomy, Dr. Sailon often combines skin removal with many or all of the following:
- Tightening of the abdominal muscles to create a slimmer waistline and firmer, flatter abdomen.
- Restoring a youthful, natural-appearing belly button.
- Liposuction of the abdomen and flanks (“love handles”) to highlight your silhouette and narrow your waist or reduce troublesome fat deposits
- Fat grafting to enhance your hips and/or buttocks often called a Brazilian Butt Lift.
Tummy Tuck Surgery with DR. Sailon
A tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery that allows Dr. Sailon to resculpt and define your abdomen, waist, and flanks. He prides himself on achieving natural-appearing results. Many patients have specific goals they wish to achieve with their surgery and Dr. Sailon will spend the time with you personally to ensure those are met. He will tailor the surgery to meet your personal needs.
WHO SHOULD GET ATUMMY TUCK?
The ideal tummy tuck candidates are those who are at or near their ideal body weight. Tummy tucks are not as effective as a weight loss tool and, therefore, should not be performed in those who are significantly overweight.
Those who benefit most from a tummy tuck will have any of the following:
- Excess, sagging skin of the abdomen
- Diastasis recti – this refers to the separation of the “six-pack” muscles
- Bulging abdominal contour
During pregnancy, the growth of the baby progressively stretches out the muscles and skin and of the abdomen. After childbirth, the body may not return to its pre-pregnancy state. The skin often is loose and saggy in the lower abdomen. There may be stretch marks. The core muscles have also been stretched usually resulting in diastasis recti and a bulging abdomen. A tummy tuck helps rejuvenate a woman’s body as it was before childbirth.
Different types of tummy tucks
Dr. Sailon is knowledgeable about the latest techniques and technologies in an effort to provide you with the ideal result you desire. Many different types of tummy tucks exist and he will determine which is optimal for you depending on your own anatomy and goals.
Full Tummy Tuck – this usually involves removal of the skin between the belly button and the pubic area. The diastasis recti (or muscle separation) is repaired resulting in a tighter waist, improved definition, and a flatter abdomen. The skin is then pulled down and the incision is closed in layers with absorbable sutures. A new hole is created for the belly button to help it heal. Dr. Sailon often combines a full tummy tuck with liposuction to help sculpt the abdomen and flanks (also known as a “lipoabdominoplasty”).
Mini Tummy Tuck – a technique reserved when the primary issue is stretching out of the muscles and there is minimal loose skin. A small amount of skin is removed from the lower abdomen but the belly button remains attached to the surrounding skin. The core muscles are then repaired and tightened. This may be done via an endoscopic approach to minimize the scar length. Liposuction may be used during this procedure as well to help shape the abdomen and waist.
Massive Weight Loss (Post Bariatric) Tummy Tuck – with massive weight loss (usually on the order of 80+ pounds) comes to a significant amount of excess skin. The weight loss may be a result of diet and exercise or, more commonly, from weight loss (bariatric) surgery. Occasionally, a vertical incision may be required to help remove even more skin. Dr. Sailon will assess your particular needs to determine the appropriate surgical approach for you. Often, a tummy tuck may be combined with recontouring other areas of the body such as the arms, thighs, or chest/breasts.
Panniculectomy – involves removal of the abdominal pannus (hanging skin) and typically refers to a medically-indicated surgery that may be covered by insurance. This is not done for cosmetic purposes and, therefore, the shaping is more limited. The excess skin may cause a number of problems including chronic skin infections, intertrigo or rashes, and back pain.
Dr. Sailon strictly adheres to the highest quality and safety possible for his patients. Your tummy tuck surgery will be performed in a surgical center or hospital. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and typically takes around 3 hours, depending on how much work must be done. You will meet a board-certified anesthesiologist on the day of surgery who will make sure you are comfortable and asleep throughout the procedure.
Dr. Sailon will spend a significant amount of time measuring and drawing prior to you entering the operating room to ensure your scar is least visible as possible and in a concealed position beneath your underwear/bikini line. During the procedure, Dr. Sailon uses significant amounts of local anesthetic (“numbing medicine”) to make sure you awake from surgery comfortably. A surgical binder may be placed after surgery to help control swelling.
Tummy tucks are usually performed as outpatient surgery, meaning you go home the day of surgery and are not required to spend a night in the hospital. After surgery, you will be cared for in the recovery room to make sure you are fully awake and are in a comfortable state. A friend or relative will need to escort you home and it is beneficial to have someone help around the house for the first few days.
Dr. Sailon does everything possible to minimize discomfort from surgery. You will receive local anesthetic (numbing medicine) during the surgery. You may be prescribed medications to minimize or alleviate post-operative pain and discomfort.
Dr. Sailon typically recommends taking 10-14 days off from work but some may be able to return to work earlier. It is important that you walk around frequently after surgery and do not spend all day in bed. Activity involving carrying light weights begins two weeks after surgery. Cardiovascular exercise can usually resume after four weeks. Lifting heavier weights (more than 15 pounds) must weight until 6-8 weeks after surgery.
You can expect to have some bruising and swelling in the areas treated. The swelling will begin to subside after 2 weeks. It is important to have patience, however, as the final result will be seen at about 3 months after surgery.
Please refer to Dr. Sailon’s abdominoplasty instruction sheet to see answers to commonly asked questions before and after surgery.