Time has a way of affecting us all. Changes that involve appearance aren’t always a welcome sight. If pregnancy and parenting or aging and weight fluctuations have altered the tightness of your midsection, you may be want to know about the benefits of abdominoplasty.
During a consultation with Dr. Eric Schaffer you can discuss your goals as well as develop a custom plan to achieve the best possible results for you. Dr. Schaffer is a board-certified plastic surgeon with credentials from Harvard Medical School and at the University of Texas Health Science Center who has performed abdominoplasty procedures for over 30 years.
What Is an Abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty is the tummy-tightening procedure commonly referred to as a tummy tuck. This cosmetic surgery removes excess tissue that sags across the midsection and, in some cases, around the sides. Abdominoplasty may also improve or eliminate stretch marks that have resulted from weight fluctuation and pregnancy.
Candidates for a Tummy Tuck
Men and women who are dissatisfied with their stomachs and are over the age of 18 are suitable candidates for tummy tuck surgery. However, emotional maturity is equally as important as biological age when it comes to cosmetic procedures. Abdominoplasty will not “make you beautiful.” Patients who are most satisfied with their results are those who have a good self-image and have realistic expectations prior to surgery.Candidates for this procedure should be in generally good health, both mentally and physically. Additionally, women must take into consideration their future pregnancy plans when deciding on such a major cosmetic surgery.
An abdominoplasty an outpatient procedure that Dr. Schaffer performs in an accredited surgical facility. Patients receive general and local anesthetic to sedate them during surgery. In order to control pain and bleeding our staff will also administer epinephrine. Typically, an abdominoplasty reduces excess and sagging skin and encompasses the entire abdominal area. This includes from the lower abdomen to the area above the belly button. Additionally, patients can opt for a mini tummy tuck which focuses on only the lower abdomen.
To start the procedure Dr. Schaffer will make an incision from one hipbone to the other. In some procedures, a second incision is made around the belly button. Through these incisions Dr. Schaffer can strategically remove and tighten tissue. Next, tissue is gently released from the abdominal wall before sutures are placed into the fascia surrounding abdominal muscles. This suturing pulls the muscles into a tighter position. Following this step, Dr. Schaffer will remove the excess skin at the incision line and close the incisions.
Before & After Abdominoplasty
Risks of a Tummy Tuck
As with any surgical procedure a tummy tuck comes with the same risks such as infection, bleeding, and poor scarring. A tummy tuck penetrates superficial tissues and fascia so there is also a risk of fluid accumulation and disruption to nerve sensations. To avoid fluid accumulation drains are placed in the surgical area and removed in the days following surgery.
Recovery from a Tummy Tuck
Abdominoplasty separates then reattaches the muscular structure within the abdominal cavity which means a full recovery from this procedure takes weeks. However, most patients find that comfort improves significantly within the first 5 to 7 days. Patients find that with pain medication and rest they can walk the day after surgery and progress their physical activity, as tolerable, from there. Provided that patient’s job responsibilities do not include heavy lifting or long periods of standing it may be possible to return to work after two weeks.
Patients who implement healthy lifestyle habits such as daily exercise and a well-balanced diet can enjoy the results of abdominoplasty for decades. While age and weight fluctuations will affect the shape of the body as a whole, the midsection should remain smoother and flatter than it would had that patient not had abdominoplasty surgery.
Combining Procedures with a Tummy Tuck
Depending on the custom surgical plan Dr. Schaffer plans a tummy tuck can be combined with other procedures in order to achieve ideal results. Liposuction is the most commonly combined procedure. Patients can also choose to have a back lift, arm lift, thigh lift, or a breast lift. In conjunction, these techniques can dramatically refine the contour of the body without additional recovery time.