Though the natural course of aging, pregnancy or due to significant weight loss, men and women and develop excess fat and skin around their abdomen. A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to remove this excess tissue, tighten the muscles of the abdomen and to improve skin tone and texture. Stretch marks can be significantly reduced and belly buttons that have lost their shape can be corrected through this procedure.
Individuals who are otherwise healthy but have excess skin or fat around their abdomen that does not change with diet or exercise are ideal candidates for a tummy tuck. Many women after pregnancies have difficulty with loose skin, weakened abdominal muscles and extra fat in their midsection choose to have a tummy tuck. A tummy tuck is not a treatment for obesity, but is a localized corrective procedure. During your initial consultation, Dr. Kao or Dr. Wallman will talk with you about the best approach to achieve your goals.
The procedure involves Dr. Wallman or Dr. Kao making an incision across your stomach above the pubic area, below the navel. The length of the incision depends on how much tissue needs to be removed. Your skin is separated from the abdominal wall revealing your abdominal muscles. These muscles are tightened by pulling them together and stitching them into a new position. This results in a firmer abdomen and a slimmer waistline. Your skin is pulled down with excess fat and tissue being removed to create a more contoured waistline. Dr. Kao or Dr. Wallman will decide with you based on your goals the type of incision and amount of tissue to be removed.
People usually return to their regular activities in about four weeks. Candidates for a tummy tuck can expect some scarring. Imediately after the procedure, there is swelling and tenderness. Pain can be controlled with medication. In some cases, blood or fluid may collect beneath the skin which may require draining if it is a large amount. Some people experience numbness after the procedure but sensation generally returns to the area where the incision was made in approximately one year. Pneumonia and blood clots to the legs are very rare complications and are preventable with proper intra-operative and post-operative care. In addition, there are potential side effects resulting from anaesthesia you should discuss with Dr. Wallman or Dr. Kao.
Some candidates who wish to remove additional weight in other areas of their body often choose to complement their tummy tuck with liposuction. Others choose to do so with procedures in other areas of their body such as breast reductions, breast augmentations and breast lifts.