Having children or even just losing weight can cause your tummy to lose that firmness you had when you were young. You have some awesome abs hidden beneath the folds of loose skin, but no one can see them. A tummy tuck, which is actually called an abdominoplasty, can take care of this problem for you. This cosmetic procedure can provide you with a thinner, firmer, more defined abdomen.
Watch and Learn about Stomach Tightening Surgery
Deanna decided to say goodbye to her excess belly. She researched her options and chose a board-certified plastic surgeon from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to undergo abdominoplasty surgery. Dr. Jeffrey Sweat is a board certified plastic surgeon and specializes in plastic surgery of the body, with tummy tuck surgery being one of his specialties. You can read more about what it means to be board certified in plastic surgery and the importance of choosing a surgeon who meets these respected standards by clicking here.
What is this procedure?
Dr. Jeffrey Sweat makes an incision along the lower abdomen just above the pubic bone, which may extend from one hip bone to the other. They separate the skin from the muscles towards the rib cage. He then removes the extra skin as well as any excess fat. The next step is to stretch the muscles along the stomach and tighten them. The skin is then pulled back down and stitched into its new place. This procedure is usually done under general anesthesia and drains may be temporarily placed under the skin to assist with fluid drainage.
What is the recovery from an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck Sacramento?
You will feel sore after they awake from the procedure, but will be able to get up and walk. In fact, Dr. Sweat recommends walking as much as possible to reduce stiffness and soreness. The skin will continue to feel tight around the incision for several days. It may take a few days for the patient to be able to stand up straight. Drains will be removed after four days, but they may stay in for up to two weeks if necessary. Activities will be limited for at least a couple of weeks. You will be required to wear a pressure garment to ensure everything stays in place while the healing process continues.
Everyone experiences pain differently, but you will be given a prescription for pain medication that should be filled ahead of surgery. You will have to sleep with your hips flexed and will likely have to walk bent over for a week or two post-surgery. You will have a single drainage tube that exits through the pubic area that usually remains in place for a week or two after. You should expect to take a week or two off from work, but if you have a strenuous job, more time may be required. You will not be allowed to perform heavy lifting or strenuous physical activity for 6 weeks post-surgery. While it takes months to a year for the scar to fade and mature, the majority of your healing will be complete at 6 weeks.
What results can I expect?
Because there can be a lot of swelling in the area, it may be several weeks before you see the full results. There will be some scarring, but how much depends on large the incision and how well a person heals. In most instances, the scar will not be noticeable with clothes, even a bikini.
Am I a candidate?
A person must be in good physical health to be considered for a tummy tuck. They must also be in a good mental state, not battling depression or other serious mental health issues. The best candidate is someone who has finished having their children or completed all weight loss goals. The muscles and skin can be stretched out again even after having the procedure.
Anyone who has excess skin or bulging of the belly wall could be a candidate for an abdominoplasty surgery. The most common reasons for undergoing this procedure are women who have had their abdominal skin stretched from a prior pregnancy or anyone who has lost a massive amount of weight and is left with hanging skin. It is important to review your medical history with your Dr. Sweat to make sure that you are healthy and physically fit to undergo the procedure.
What is the average cost?
The average cost of an abdominoplasty is $5,232, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. However, the fee can range from just over $2000 to as much as $12,000, depending on the clinic or hospital fee, the surgeon’s price, anesthesia and other expenses.
What type of anesthesia is used during my surgery?
While the type of anesthesia used varies from surgeon to surgeon, at J. Sweat Plastic Surgery, your surgery will be done under a general anesthetic, which means that you will go off to sleep for the surgery and will awaken in the recovery room after the procedure has been completed.
Can I have another child after a full abdominoplasty?
While it is physically possible to get pregnant and carry a child to term after a full or partial abdominoplasty, women should generally be reasonably certain about having no more children. If another baby is planned, it is generally best to delay the procedure until after the last child as the belly wall will get stretched once again and bulging, excess skin, and stretch marks can return. It is also important to maintain a steady weight after your cosmetic surgery.
What will my scar look like after surgery?
While no one likes to have a scar, unfortunately, the only proven, reliable way to remove the excess skin and tighten the belly wall is to surgically excise the skin which will leave a scar. You should expect your scar to be placed very low on the belly wall into the pubic area so that when you are wearing low-cut underwear or swimsuits, the scar is still hidden. Everyone scars differently and thus scars can be very unpredictable. Most people will heal with a fine, hairline scar that will fade very well a year or two after surgery. If you are particularly worried about how your body scars, make sure to address these concerns with Dr. Jeffrey Sweat during your consultation. Additionally, you should ask about what options are available for both prevention of abnormal scarring as well as treatment.
Should I consider a Mini Abdominoplasty?
A partial abdominoplasty is also called a mini tummy tuck. This is an option for patients who have limited abdominal skin laxity. Their desire is to smooth out their lower abdominal area. Patients who wish to undergo this body contouring procedure have needs that are not extensive enough for the standard tummy tuck. These patients still benefit from some abdominal skin removal. Many patients that undergo a partial abdominoplasty will explain that it is a customized procedure related to their unique desired results. You would be an ideal candidate for this cosmetic surgery if you have a mild degree of lower abdominal skin laxity with minimal stomach muscle separation. The upper abdominal region from the belly button above has minimal skin laxity in these patients. The majority of the skin laxity lies below the belly button and is limited to the lower abdomen. The outcome would be a tighter, firmer and flatter tummy.
What is a Circumferential Abdominoplasty?
Also known as belt lipectomy, this surgery was developed to address the loose hanging skin of the abdomen, waist, lower back, and buttock regions. Patients who undergo this procedure choose to do so due to extreme weight loss from having bariatric surgery or through diet and exercise. Although some plastic surgeons use the terms “circumferential” and a “lower body lift” interchangeably, the lower body lift is often a far more complex procedure when performed properly than a circumferential abdominoplasty.
For most individuals, this procedure may not be appropriate. It is far more invasive than a traditional abdominoplasty. The incision is made around the entire lower abdomen and lower back region. This incision allows for me to remove the excess fat and skin of abdomen, waist, and lower back through an incision that extends circumferentially like a belt around your lower back, from the rib cage all the way down to the knees. As is the case with a full abdominoplasty the muscles will be repaired as well.