A firm, the flat abdominal area looks attractive in fitted clothing and swimwear. Diet and exercise can help with weight loss and overall health, but often they cannot restore a slim, youthful midsection. This is especially true for individuals who have lost a great deal of weight or for women who have had children. If you haven’t been able to get the results you want and you’re tired of carrying around extra fat on your midsection, you may want to consider a tummy tuck.
Dr. Scott Holley, the board-certified plastic surgeon at West Michigan Plastic Surgery, has helped many men and women achieve their goal of a slimmer, sculpted stomach, so he is your best choice in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids.
A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is done to flatten and contour the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat and repairing the underlying muscles. A tummy tuck is a customizable procedure often done in combination with liposuction of the waist and hips.
Abdominoplasty can address the changes that occur in the midsection due to pregnancy and weight fluctuations. After pregnancy, women often complain of loose, sagging skin on the abdomen, as well as abdominal protrusion caused by weak abdominal muscles. These concerns can’t be fixed with diet or exercise, but a tummy tuck can remove the excess skin and fat, restore the muscles, and tone the midsection.
Individuals with loose abdominal skin or separated abdominal muscles that have been unable to flatten their stomach with diet and exercise are good candidates for a tummy tuck. Candidates for tummy tuck surgery should be healthy, non-smokers, and at or near their ideal weight.
The consultation is an important process that will help Dr. Holley determine which type of tummy tuck is appropriate to achieve your specific goals and whether liposuction should be considered as well. An abdominoplasty removes excess skin and tightens separated abdominal muscles, whereas liposuction can help get rid of stubborn pockets of fat, especially at the waist, flanks, and at the bra line. Dr. Holley will conduct a physical examination of your entire trunk, review options, alternatives, and risks, then determine which contouring procedure would yield the best result for you.
Dr. Holley views each tummy tuck as a unique, custom procedure. He carefully plans the surgery to help each patient achieve the most dramatic contour enhancement with the least visible scar. Your options include;
Short-scar tummy tuck; Also called a ‘mini” tummy tuck, this approach is best for those with minor skin sagging and muscle laxity, especially if they are limited to the area below the belly button
Standard tummy tuck; this “traditional” surgery uses a horizontal incision made just above the pubic area which extends from hip bone to hip bone. A smaller incision is also made around the navel to release the skin, which is then pulled down and smoothed. Separated or torn muscles are repositioned and repaired, and excess skin and stretch marks are removed. This is the most common option and ideal for those with excess skin and laxity both above and below the belly button.
Extended tummy tuck; this most extensive version of a tummy tuck is best for heavier patients who have more significant areas of loose skin. When more skin needs to be removed, the scar will extend further onto the outer hip.
Tummy tuck surgery is performed under general anesthesia and can take 2-3 hours. Based on your custom plan, Dr. Holley will perform either a mini, standard, or extended tummy tuck to achieve your desired aesthetic goals.
Loose skin and fat will be removed, muscles tightened, and a firm, sculpted contour created. Liposuction is commonly performed in combination with a tummy tuck to further sculpt the hip, waist, and bra line.
A drain is often placed, dressings applied, and a protective abdominal binder will be used to provide comfort.
Tummy tuck surgery is an outpatient procedure, but you will need a responsible adult to drive you home and provide assistance for at least 24 hours.
Initial results of abdominoplasty can be seen after about one week when the surgical dressings are removed, however, final results can take 3-6 months. The scars from tummy tuck surgery are well-hidden within the bikini line and fade over time.
Full recovery from a tummy tuck takes 8 weeks. Most can resume light work after 2 weeks but lifting is limited to 10 pounds. Light exercise is encouraged after 10 days.