Choosing a Tummy Tuck Procedure

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that gives you a firmer, leaner midsection. The surgery removes excess skin and tissue, while tightening the underlying muscles for a more sculpted look. Before you decide if a tummy tuck is the right choice for your specific needs, there are a few questions to ask about the procedure.

Am I a candidate?

Not everyone is a good candidate for a tummy tuck. Those that may see success with the procedure include individuals in relatively good health and with a stable weight. The procedure may not be recommended for smokers, since nicotine impairs the body’s ability to heal. If you do smoke, you will be asked to refrain from smoking for a number of weeks before and after the procedure. Tummy tucks are typically advised for patients unhappy with the appearance of their midsection due to loose, hanging skin, excess tissue and fat, and loss of muscle tone and firmness. A tummy tuck can also address separation of the abdominal muscles (diastasis recti) that sometimes occurs during pregnancy.

Will this procedure meet my aesthetic goals?

A tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure, and should not be performed until a patient has achieved a healthy, stable weight. It is important to note that the incision for a tummy tuck is relatively large and usually placed in a location that will be hidden behind undergarments and clothing. If you are uncomfortable with the thought of a significant scar and you have good abdominal skin tone, a less invasive procedure like liposuction may be a good option.

What does the procedure involve?

A tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure that is often performed in an outpatient surgery center under general anesthesia. The incision for a full abdominoplasty typically runs from hip to hip, just below the bikini line. There ia an additional incision around the belly. Tummy tuck procedures may take 2-4 hours to complete, depending on the amount of work to be done and the specific techniques used.

What is the recovery like?

Patients usually return home the same day as the surgery. Compression dressings are used to minimize bruising and swelling and promote healing to the area. Oral medication is provided to manage pain in the first few days after surgery. Most patients are back to work and regular activities within 2-4 weeks, although full recovery from a tummy tuck may take up to six months.

A tummy tuck offers dramatic, long-lasting body contouring results for the right candidates. To learn more about this procedure, or other options in body contouring, contact Umansky Plastic Surgery at 858-281-4560 to schedule your private consultation with Dr. William or Jeffrey Umansky, MD.