Medical Term: Abdominoplasty
Tummy tucks are one of the most sought after plastic surgery procedures. The reason why is because many women after having babies end up with a bulging belly, loose skin, and stretch marks and nothing they do seems to help.
If you'd like to restore tone to your stomach, please call Desert Hills Plastic Surgery Center at (702) 260-7707 to discuss your suitability for a tummy tuck with our Las Vegas plastic surgeon.
Why Get a Tummy Tuck?
If you want a flat abdomen, and want to look great in form fitting clothes and bikini again, a tummy tuck is the ultimate way to tighten your belly and narrow the waistline. Men can also benefit from tummy tuck if they have loose skin from weight loss.
Being overweight is not the only reason people experience abdominal bulging. Pregnancy, weight fluctuations, and aging can cause abdominal muscle bulging. There can be loose and saggy skin with stretch marks, as well as scars from previous surgery or C-section. The belly button may look wrinkly and unattractive. Diet and exercise does not help in these cases.
What Procedures Are Involved in a Tummy Tuck?
- All the skin from the belly button to the top of the pubic hairline is removed in the shape of an ellipse. All stretch marks below the belly button will be gone; ones above the belly button are pulled down and end up low on the abdomen.
- An oval incision is made around your belly button and it remains attached by its stalk to the muscles underneath.
- Bulging or separated muscles are tightened internally from the ribs down to your pubic bone with permanent sutures. Think of a corset.
- Next, the upper skin edge is pulled down over your belly button to meet the lower incision. A resulting scar is low, hip-to-hip, and hides in underwear and swimsuits.
- An oval incision is made at the location of the belly button and a core of fat is removed. Your original belly button is pulled through and sutured into position.
- Liposuction of adjacent areas like the hips, flanks, or pubic area is performed as needed to get your contours looking as good as possible.
Who Is a Candidate?
- Healthy women or men of a stable weight who have an excess of abdominal skin and loose or bulging abdominal muscles, with resistant fatty deposits around the waistline.
- Men or women after substantial weight loss with overhanging loose skin and residual fat.
- Women after pregnancy and child bearing with bulging muscles and loose, stretched out skin and stretch marks to restore pre-pregnancy contours.
- Individuals with fatty deposits of the abdomen and hips, resistant to diet and exercise.
- Patients with small hernias or muscle separation (called Rectus Diastasis).
- Thin patients with severe stretch marks.
- Heavier patients with an abdominal panniculus (overhanging skin and fat).
- Patients with a history of previous abdominal surgeries and unattractive lower abdominal scars looking to get rid of them.
- Women ideally should be finished childbearing before undergoing a tummy tuck. Although getting pregnant after a tummy tuck is not harmful to the individual or growing fetus, recurrent tissue stretch may negatively affect results.
- Patients after lap band or gastric bypass, after one year and with stability in weight.
- Individuals with abdominal protuberance related to “intra-abdominal distention” are usually not candidates. In this situation the abdominal wall bulges outward from fatty deposits around the organs. In these situations, the belly feels firm and cannot be pushed in. Sometimes referred to as a “beer belly”. Weight loss may be the only way to improve upon this condition.
Goal of Surgery:
- The removal of as much skin, stretch marks, and fat as possible.
- Flat, tone abdominal muscles.
- Naturalness, a “non-operated on” look.
- Feel and look great in tight clothes.
- Improve overall body proportion.
- Attractive, youthful and natural looking umbilicus without conspicuous scars.
- Get rid of your “muffin top”.
- Ability to wear a bikini if desired with confidence
- To increase core strength so that work-outs are more effective, and mild cases of chronic back pain are improved
- To decrease rashes or skin irritation affecting the lower abdominal area from overhanging folds of skin and to improve hygiene.
- To raise a sagging pubic area, reducing puffiness.
- This is not a weight loss procedure. It does not necessarily decrease clothing size. If those are desired goals, a patient must do their part in following a healthy diet and getting regular exercise to loose unwanted weight. More dramatic results are seen in patients with simultaneous weight loss.
- If you are overweight, you may still be a great candidate for a tummy tuck if you are in good health. Come in and see Dr. Brown and she will tell you how a tummy tuck can improve your life, confidence and self-esteem. Schedule your free consultation at 702-260-7707.
- The procedure is done in a fully accredited outpatient surgery center as an outpatient.
- It is a 2-3 hour general anesthesia.
- An incision is made in the lower abdomen, as low as possible and from hip to hip. The length of the scar depends on the amount of skin excess you have.
- Patients with small amount of skin excess, like 1-2 inches, may be candidates for short scar tummy tucks, called mini abdominoplasties.
- “Extended abdominoplasty” refers to longer excisions of excess skin on the hips and flanks.
- “Panniculectomy” refers to complete excision of a large overhang of skin and fat in an overweight patient. In this case, the overhanging skin and fatty tissue is called a “pannus.”
- Liposuction of the hips is part of the procedure.
- If your pubic area is chubby or saggy, a simultaneous “pubic lift” or liposuction of that area can be performed.
- Weak or separated abdominal muscles are sutured, narrowed, and tightened. Any small hernias can be repaired.
- Excess skin is removed in an elliptical shape from the umbilicus to the top of the pubic area. Old C-section scars are removed so that the final scar is as low as possible. The upper abdominal skin is pulled down over your belly button and sutured to the lower skin incision. A youthful, oval-shaped belly button results, with care to hide the final scar deep within the shadows of the bellybutton.
- All patients in Las Vegas and Henderson go home after their tummy tuck with a responsible friend or family member who needs to stay with you for at least several days to a week. Moms need help with their kids for at least one week.
- Walking needs to be done in a slightly hips-flexed position to keep tension off the incision. Posture naturally improves to straight in 5-10 days, depending on the patient. Back discomfort from this “bent-over” posture is to be expected, and resolves once your posture is back to normal.
- Pain will be controlled with a pain pump (involves constant and slow drip of numbing medication) for 3-5 days as well as oral pain medication and muscle relaxers. Drainage tubes are usually removed in one week.
- An abdominal binder for light compression around the waistline is worn for 6 weeks to keep swelling to a minimum, and provide core support.
- Most patients sleep in a recliner for the first week, to maintain a hips-flexed position, keeping tension off of the healing incision. It also helps you get up walking. Walking around your house every 3-4 hours is required to speed recovery and decrease risks for complications. If you do not have a recliner at home, we can arrange drop off and pick up of a recliner to and from your home, so one is available as long as you need it.
- You will be uncomfortable for the first 2 weeks, most patients return to normal activities of daily living and non-physical work 2-3 weeks after surgery
- A total of 6 weeks of no heavy lifting, fitness activities, aerobic exercise, or straining of abdominal muscles. A long walk is fine.
- The amount of swelling after abdominoplasty is variable and unpredictable from person to person. The majority of patients see significant improvements by 2 months after the procedure. Rarely, swelling can persist for much longer and may take 6-12 months to completely resolve. Scars take at least one full year to mature and fade to natural skin tone. Dr. Brown will follow your scars and suggest the latest scar treatments.
- No tanning of the treated area until scars are mature (1 year is typical).
- After 6 weeks, gradual resumption of fitness activities is advised, but only as tolerated, in addition to following a healthy diet. Weight gain after the procedure can negatively affect results.
- Breast procedures are commonly performed at the same time as abdominoplasty with no increase in the recovery process.
- “Mommy Makeover” refers to tummy tuck in conjunction with breast surgery after a woman is finished childbearing, to restore pre-pregnancy contours.
- Small volume liposuction of other areas such as the thighs or back may also be performed in select candidates.
Are your pants uncomfortable because you have to “stuff-in” the excess skin and fat? Are you unable to wear tight clothes or dresses, let alone a bikini? That’s what a tummy tuck is for.
Dr. Brown focuses on natural-looking results, with a pretty belly button and scars that are placed as low as possible so that regular bikini/brief styles conceal the scar. Liposuction of surrounding areas blends the results to adjacent areas so your three-dimensional silhouette looks beautiful.
After having 4 pregnancies herself, Dr. Brown can identify with mothers who have worked hard to have and raise children, yet are powerless to improve the condition of their bodies on their own. Patients after tummy tuck surgery experience life-changing improvements in quality of life, self-esteem, and confidence. If you are thinking about tummy tuck surgery and want to meet with Dr. Brown for a free consultation, call (702) 260-7707 to speak to our Las Vegas plastic surgery team.