WHAT IS A TUMMY TUCK?
Tummy tuck is a surgery that removes excess fat and skin and, in most cases, restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.
There are three different procedures:
The surgeon will cut your abdomen from hipbone to hipbone and then contour the skin, tissue, and muscle as needed. The surgery will involve moving your belly button, and you may need drainage tubes under your skin for a few days.
PARTIAL OR MINI ABDOMINOPLASTY
Mini Abdominoplasties are often done on people whose fat deposits are located below the navel. During this procedure, the surgeon most likely will not move your belly button, and the procedure may only take up to two hours, depending on your case.
REVERSE TUMMY TUCK
A reverse abdominoplasty, also known as a reverse tummy tuck, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that removes excess, loose skin from the upper abdomen. A traditional abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, addresses the issue of loose skin of both the upper and lower abdomen.
WHO ARE THE BEST CANDIDATES FOR A TUMMY TUCK?
Women who have had several pregnancies may find the procedure useful for tightening their abdominal muscles and reducing skin, especially the skin with heavy stretch marks.
A tummy tuck is also an option for men or women who were once obese and still have excess fat deposits or loose skin around the belly.
WHO SHOULD NOT CONSIDER A TUMMY TUCK?
If you're a woman who plans to get pregnant, then you may want to postpone a tummy tuck until you're done having children. During surgery, your vertical muscles are tightened, and future pregnancies can separate those muscles.
I AM PLANNING TO LOSE A LOT OF WEIGHT, IS
THIS PROCEDURE FOR ME?
Then a tummy tuck also is not for you. A tummy tuck should be a last resort after you've tried everything else. It should not be used as an alternative to weight loss.
You should also consider the appearance of scars after a tummy tuck. You can talk about scar placement and length with the doctor before the surgery.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
As with any surgery, there are risks. Though they're rare, complications can include:
Bleeding under the skin flap, or blood clots.
You may be more likely to have complications if you have poor circulation:
Or liver disease
You may experience insufficient healing, which can cause more significant scarring or loss of skin. If you do heal poorly, you may require a second surgery.
A tummy tuck leaves scars. Though they may fade slightly, they will never completely disappear. Your surgeon may recommend certain creams or ointments to use after you've completely healed to help with scars.
WILL INSURANCE COVER THIS PROCEDURE?
Insurance companies generally do not cover cosmetic surgery that's done without a medical reason.
Yours might if you have a hernia that will be corrected through the procedure.
HOW ARE INCISIONS MADE?
A full tummy tuck requires a horizontally-oriented incision in the area between the pubic hairline and belly button.
The shape and length of the incision will be determined by the amount of excess skin. Once the abdominal skin is lifted, the underlying weakened abdominal muscles are repaired.
A second incision around the navel may be necessary to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen.
The upper abdominal skin is pulled down like a window shade. The excess skin is trimmed and the remaining skin is sutured together. A new opening for the belly button is created. The belly button is popped through to the surface and sutured into position.