A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is an option if you have complaints of excess abdominal skin with or without pooching of the lower abdomen. The excess skin can be seen after pregnancy or weight loss and is due to loss of skin elasticity associated with stretch marks. Pooching or prominence of the abdomen may be seen after pregnancy and is caused by separation of the abdominal rectus muscles resulting in weakness of the abdominal wall. The excess skin or pooching cannot be corrected by exercise.
The excess skin and pooching of the lower abdomen may inhibit exercising, make you self conscious during intimacy, or prohibit you from wearing certain styles of clothing. A tummy tuck will improve the contour of the abdomen and the scars are placed to allow concealment with most styles of clothing.
An abdominoplasty consists of three parts; excision of excess skin, tightening of the rectus muscles, and transposition of the navel (umbilicus). This procedure may be performed as part of a lower body lift or liposuction may be done to better contour the flanks. The scar is placed just above the pubis and extends out to the hips. Two drains are placed.
Women who have minimal skin excess or lower abdominal prominence may be a candidate for a mini tummy tuck. The incision for the mini tummy tuck is much shorter and there is no scar around the navel.
Tummy tuck surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure. An overnight stay may be arranged especially if multiple other procedures are performed at the same time. A post operative garment will be placed and used for one month after surgery. After the operation it is recommended that you sleep with your legs and back elevated during the first couple of days. Prescription for pain medication will be provided. One drain will be removed around postoperative day 7 and the second about day 14. A patient can usually return to work after two weeks. Follow up is within 1 week, 2 weeks, one month, and then at three months after surgery.