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Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck, medically referred to as an abdominoplasty, has remained one of the most popular and effective surgical body contouring procedures for many years. Tummy tuck surgery is designed to tighten and repair loose abdominal muscles while eliminating excess skin that has collected in the abdomen. These concerns are very common and cannot be successfully addressed with diet and exercise, which often makes tummy tuck surgery an ideal option for both women and men who would like to enhance contours and skin firmness in the abdominal area. Our experienced plastic surgeon, Dr. Ayman Hakki,  customizes every tummy treatment plan to the unique skin qualities and goals of each patient in order to create beautiful new abdominal contours with natural-looking results.

Am I a Candidate for Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Tummy tuck surgery can be an ideal treatment for patients who are looking to achieve a flatter, more fit-looking abdomen. This procedure pulls the abdominal muscles taut, removes excess skin, and tightens the remainder to create firmer results and a beautiful new contour. The best candidates for tummy tuck surgery are typically individuals who are in reasonably good overall health and are experiencing inelastic, excess skin and/or loose, torn musculature in the abdomen. While these conditions can result from the natural aging process and a variety of other causes, they can also be quite prevalent in those who have lost significant amounts of weight and in women who have had children. Pregnancy in particular tends to stretch, loosen, and even tear abdominal muscles to an extensive degree. Tummy tuck surgery can correct these concerns and help women restore their pre-pregnancy figures. With this in mind, patients who intend to have children in the future are typically advised to wait until they have completed their families to ensure the results will not be compromised by a later pregnancy.

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Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

It is important to note that tummy tuck surgery is generally recommended for patients who have concerns that are primarily due to loose muscles and excess skin in the abdominal region, rather than excess fat. In cases where the problem is predominantly being caused by excess fat, either liposuction alone or a combination of liposuction and tummy tuck surgery may be the best option, depending on each patient’s needs and goals. During your consultation, our plastic surgeon will perform a comprehensive abdominal evaluation to determine your candidacy and the treatment plan that offers the best solution.

Can I Get Pregnant After Tummy Tuck Surgery?

While tummy tuck surgery is not generally known to impede one’s ability to have children, pregnancy often causes the abdominal muscles to stretch or tear. It can also cause fluctuations in weight that alter the appearance of the midsection. Consequently, a patient who has already undergone abdominoplasty may see a resurgence in these cosmetic issues if they become pregnant again. To increase the chances of long-lasting results, we typically recommend that patients pursue tummy tuck surgery after they have completed their families and no longer plan to have children in the future.

Can a Tummy Tuck Get Rid of Stretch Marks?

A tummy tuck can reduce the appearance of stretch marks in some cases; however, the stretch marks that can be addressed by this surgery are typically those that are prominent in the lower belly. This is because a traditional tummy tuck will likely involve the removal of skin in this area. Many patients develop stretch marks in regions below the navel; therefore, if the stretch marks appear in an area of skin that will be excised, tummy tuck surgery should sufficiently address the issue. If your stretch marks are positioned higher, our surgeons can discuss additional treatment options during your consultation.

Key for tummy tuck procedure diagram that is described below

What Does the Tummy Tuck Procedure Involve?

Tummy tuck surgery is usually performed as an outpatient in our licensed surgical facility. IV sedation will be required for this procedure. Tummy tuck surgery begins with an incision made from one hip to the other, just above the pubic area. Another incision will be made in the navel region in order to reposition the belly button. Our plastic surgeon will then pull the abdominal muscles taut and repair musculature (if necessary). Excess abdominal skin will be removed, and the remaining skin will be tightened and redraped to produce a flatter, firmer appearance. If a significant degree of excess fat is also present in the area, liposuction may be used in tandem with tummy tuck surgery in accordance with the treatment plan discussed in the initial consultation.

The last stage of the tummy tuck procedure involves the careful closing and suturing of the incisions. There will be residual scarring after abdominoplasty; however, scars can often be well-concealed under clothing (even swimwear) and should fade to some extent over time.

Drain-Free Progressive Tension Tummy Tuck

Our surgeons utilize a special suturing technique designed to eliminate the need for drains during recovery from tummy tuck surgery. Progressive tension sutures help secure the skin of the abdomen to the tissue layers underneath, creating a tight bond and minimizing the potential for fluid build-up. Ultimately, this process can help patients avoid the need for uncomfortable drains while the area heals.

Model smiling and holding her hand by her face

What Can I Expect During Recovery from Tummy Tuck Surgery?

A tummy tuck involves major surgery and will require a period of downtime. Many patients will need approximately two weeks of rest and recovery before resuming work and other normal daily routines. There will be bruising and swelling in the abdominal area for several days following the procedure; however, these effects should dissipate as the area heals, and discomfort can be managed with medication. Patients should avoid strenuous exercise and activities that may strain the abdomen for a minimum of six weeks after surgery, although light walks will be encouraged soon after the procedure to reduce the risk of blood clots. Our doctors will provide you with a detailed post-operative guide to help you recover as safely and efficiently as possible.

Is a Tummy Tuck Permanent?

When performed by a highly qualified plastic surgeon, the results of abdominoplasty can be very long-lasting. It is important to note, however, that several life events – such as hormonal changes, weight loss or gain, and even just the natural aging process – can eventually have an effect on the results of tummy tuck surgery. We suggest that patients adhere to a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and exercise regimen that can help limit weight fluctuations, after surgery so that tummy tuck results can last as long as possible.

Is a Non-Surgical Tummy Tuck Possible?

As abdominoplasty is an advanced and specialized surgery, there is no non-surgical treatment that can tighten and sculpt the abdominal muscles or smooth the skin to the same extent. Although some claim that non-surgical procedures, or even do-it-yourself inventions like the Tummy Tuck Belt®, can be fast-acting and effective alternatives to a tummy tuck, none of those options can address the specific conditions that abdominoplasty is designed to address. 

That said, certain non-surgical treatments may suit your needs more directly than tummy tuck if you are mostly concerned about excess belly fat and are not a candidate for liposuction. For instance, CoolSculpting®, while unable to repair and sculpt abdominal muscles, can contour the midsection on a smaller scale. In any case, our surgeons will help you come up with your ideal treatment during your consultation.

Tummy tuck surgery has helped millions of Americans accomplish their body contouring goals and achieve what the most rigorous diet and exercise regimens simply cannot successfully address. If you would like to learn more about abdominoplasty or other body contouring treatments available at our practice, or if you are ready to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced plastic surgeons, please contact us today.