Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
What is a Tummy Tuck?
Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure developed to address the loose, sagging tissue that may form across the midsection. This abdominal procedure is tailored to address laxity in the skin, as well as the underlying fascia and muscle tissue connected to the abdominal wall. The tummy tuck may be performed as a “mini” procedure or a “full” tuck. During your consultation, a full assessment of tissue is performed alongside a thorough discussion of the desired outcome. This will help us plan the right procedure for you.
Am I a good candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
The best candidates for abdominoplasty are in good physical condition, with pockets of fat or loose/excess skin that have not responded well to diet and exercise. Abdominoplasty can also be appropriate for slightly obese people whose skin has lost some of its elasticity, and for women with skin and muscles stretched from pregnancy. Anyone planning on losing a significant amount of weight, and women planning on having (more) children, should wait before undergoing abdominoplasty.
How can I prepare for my abdominoplasty?
Once you have scheduled your tummy tuck surgery, do not be surprised if you start to have second-thoughts. Surgery is a major event, so it is only natural to doubt yourself. It is at this time that you can prepare for your body-sculpting by imagining your new body, and by getting your home and your physical and mental state ready for the beautiful changes to come.
Prior to your cosmetic surgery, you will have a preoperative appointment in which we discuss details such as filling prescriptions and the use of other medications in the days before your procedure. It is important to disclose to our team any medications you are taking, including supplements. Some medications may interact with anesthesia, or inhibit prompt healing.
If you use tobacco products, now is the time to set this habit aside. Tobacco use significantly inhibits oxygenation, which is vital to tissue healing. If you smoke or use tobacco right up to and throughout your recovery, your scars may be more pronounced, and may not heal as well as they would otherwise. We understand that quitting is a challenge, but it is worth it.
Finally, prepare your home for recovery. This may include having a professional housecleaner do some magic on every room, so you are not reminded of the chores that are normally on your plate. You will want your prescription medications within reach, or to be dispersed by a caretaker. Turn your phone off for a few days so you can focus on rest.
The Abdominoplasty Procedure
Abdominoplasty takes approximately 2 to 5 hours to perform; the patient is placed under general anesthesia. Two incisions are made: one from hipbone to hipbone close to the pubic area, and another around the navel. Skin is separated from the abdominal muscles, which are then pulled together and stitched into place for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. The skin flap is then stretched down over the newly tightened muscles, excess skin is removed, and the navel is reattached where it looks natural. The incisions are then closed, and sterile surgical dressings are applied over the sutured areas.
Are there any alternative treatments to a tummy tuck?
Many people would like to tighten up the tissue that has lost its resiliency through pregnancy, fluctuating weight, and biological changes. However, a large percentage of the patients we speak with also want to know if there is an alternative to abdominoplasty. The answer is not simple. One of the services on the menu of our New York City practice is CoolSculpting. This non-invasive treatment “melts” fat cells by freezing them. However, to say that a non-surgical fat-reducing treatment can accomplish what abdominoplasty can would be a mistake. CoolSculpting is not intended for dramatic skin-tightening, and should be fully understood for its intent and capabilities. During a consultation with Dr. Kressel, you are welcome to explore your treatment options to achieve the results you seek.
tUMMY tuCK Recovery
After surgery, a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site. Most patients are able to go home after the procedure. Recovery time ranges from 2 weeks to 2 months. Most patients can resume their exercise regime 4 weeks after surgery. Most abdominoplasty scars, are low enough to be concealed by a bikini though their length can vary. Maintaining weight with a balanced diet and regular exercise provides for long-lasting results.
When can I resume exercising after my abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty alters the skin, as well as underlying fat, fascia, and muscle tissue. It is not a minor procedure. Your body will need time to heal. Exercise is not something that will be on your plate for some time. In the first several weeks post-op, there will not likely be any desire for physical activity beyond moving around the house. As you recover, you may take short walks on level ground. During your post-operative checkups, we will discuss the forms of exercise you may engage in, and to what extent, in order not to disrupt the tissues still in the healing process.