Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that removes loose skin and excess fat from your abdominal area. The procedure is recommended for people who are close to their ideal weight, follow a healthy lifestyle, and need a little extra help with toning and tightening the midsection. You can also achieve an hourglass shape with tummy tuck surgery if the procedure includes your flanks.
Tummy Tuck And Mini Tummy Tuck – What’s The Difference?
If you have good skin elasticity and don’t want a significant scar, liposuction may be a good alternative to a tummy tuck. Liposuction healing is also much shorter than tummy tuck recovery. A tummy tuck may also affect the location and shape of your belly button, and this may be another reason to consider liposuction instead.
A mini tummy tuck is another abdominal surgery for loose skin and excess fat. The key difference between a tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck is where you need toning. A full tummy tuck addresses skin and fat above and below the belly button. A mini tummy tuck only targets the area below your belly button.
Am I A Good Candidate For A Tummy Tuck?
You may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck if you have loose stomach skin and tummy fat that is resistant to diet and exercise. You also need to be close to your ideal weight for at least one year. The tummy tuck scar is another consideration. It extends from one hip bone to another along a line that is just above your pelvic bone.
Tummy Tuck Alternatives
If you don’t like the idea of tummy tuck scars or aren’t a good candidate, there are some alternatives for stomach tightening. Liposuction is a great option, and this is a less invasive type of belly fat surgery.
Tummy Tuck Procedure
Abdominal fat and skin removal surgery takes between two to three hours. The incision for panniculectomy surgery starts at one hip bone, follows a line above your pelvic bone, and ends at the other hip bone. The incision is deep enough to penetrate the abdominal fascia which is the connective tissue above the abdominal muscles.
If you have loose muscles, these are tightened and held in place with sutures. Liposuction is used to remove pockets of fat, and the skin is pulled taut. The incision is closed with sutures.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
Tummy tuck abdomen surgery recovery takes three to six months. You’ll have some discomfort and swelling the day after surgery. You’ll wear a compression bandage over your abdomen. Over the next seven days, you can start doing some easy walking around your house. This helps the tissues heal. You should avoid strenuous activities, bending over, and lifting for six weeks. The abdominal and belly button scar starts to develop as the incision heals. Watch for signs of infection, such as redness around the incision line.
Here are some tips to ease your tummy tuck recovery.
- Use cold compresses for discomfort and swelling.
- Avoid putting any type of pressure on your abdominal area.
- Check the incision for signs of bleeding and infection.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing, including pants that have a drawstring rather than elastic.
Tummy tuck risks and complications are rare, but we want you to know the signs of problems. Muscle separation is one of the more common tummy tuck side effects. Symptoms of muscle separation after a tummy tuck may appear to be associated with other medical concerns. Contact us right away if you experience:
- Pain in your lower back, pelvic region, or deep abdomen
- Changes to your posture
- GI issues
Your tummy tuck may involve cutting an opening for your belly button after the extra skin is removed. You may have an incision around your navel. Watch for signs of infection. If an infection becomes severe, you may need to have your belly button removed or relocated. You may also need belly button reconstruction.
The cost of a tummy tuck in California varies based on several factors, such as:
- Facility costs
- Fees associated with clinical staff support, such as nurses and anesthesiologists
- Plastic surgeon expertise
- Supplies, such as surgical tools, sutures, and bandages
Sleeping in the right position helps your tummy tuck heal and minimizes swelling and discomfort. The best position is on your back with your head slightly elevated. If you can’t get comfortable in bed, you can sleep in a reclining chair.
A tummy tuck is permanent, but you need to follow a healthy lifestyle. Continue to eat a proper diet and exercise. A tummy tuck will not stop the aging process, and you may develop new sagging skin in the abdominal area.
Some discomfort after a tummy tuck is normal. Most patients report it to be at a moderate level for the first week, and the pain subsides to a mild-moderate level during the third and fourth weeks.
You’ll need to wear button-up shirts during your recovery. You won’t be able to lift your arms over your head after the surgery. You should also make arrangements for a family member or friend to stay with you to help with daily tasks.
The drains need to stay in place for one to three weeks after your tummy tuck. The drains help reduce fluid accumulation, swelling, and discomfort.