Tired of camouflaging a too-big tummy with creative fashion solutions? A tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) makes it possible to regain your slim, taut abdomen. This procedure is popular among women who have had multiple pregnancies and among women or men who have lost a great deal of weight. In either case, abdominal skin sometimes stretches past the point of elasticity. A tummy tuck tightens the slack skin, improving your look and your self-image.

Full recuperation can take two to three months, but, depending on how fast you heal, you can return to work much more quickly.

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What tummy tuck surgery involves

A tummy tuck removes excess folds of skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and may tighten the abdominal muscles for a leaner, flatter tummy. The procedure falls into two basic types: mini tummy tuck and full tummy tuck. We perform both types in our state-of-the-art surgical center. A mini tummy tuck takes an hour or less and a full tummy tuck usually takes up to two hours. For your comfort, we will use either general anesthesia or local anesthesia and intravenous sedation.

We recommend a mini tummy tuck (or partial abdominoplasty) when the problem area is mainly below the navel and involves a minimum of excess skin. For this procedure we make a small horizontal incision low on the abdomen and leave the navel intact. Often liposuction of the upper abdomen is performed at the same time as a mini abdominoplasty, but usually not at the same time as a full abdominoplasty.

Mini Tummy Tuck 3-D Animation

If the fullness and loose skin are more extensive and involve the entire abdomen, you are more likely to benefit from a full tummy tuck (or standard abdominoplasty). Your surgeon will make an incision across your lower abdomen that curves up toward your hips. We will also make a small incision around the navel so that we can position your belly button properly on your re-contoured tummy.

Full Tummy Tuck 3-D Animation

What to expect after surgery

As surgery is completed, we may place small drainage tubes within your abdominal tissue to keep fluid from accumulating. We will carefully monitor your progress in the recovery room and may give you the OK to go home after just a few hours.

For several days after surgery, you may be unable to stand up completely straight. However, we do encourage you to take short walks to promote good blood circulation. You should avoid straining, bending and lifting and sitting for long periods of time. Swelling and bruising are to be expected, and will subside over the course of several weeks. Reddening of the incision areas may last for several months. There may also be some temporary numbness over parts of your abdomen.

We will most likely remove drainage tubes within a week of your surgery and will change or remove your dressings at this time. Stitches will  be absorbed over time.

While the incision lines will fade over time, it’s important for you to know that they will never completely disappear. Your Plastic and Hand surgeon will do everything possible to keep incisions within your underwear and bathing suit lines.

The beautiful, lasting results

It may be months before you see the final results of your tummy tuck, but it should be well worth the wait. Your abdomen will be flatter and firmer than it’s been in years, giving you a whole new level of confidence. Unless your weight shifts significantly or you become pregnant, you can expect to enjoy your younger new shape for many years to come.

The best candidates for a tummy tuck

Tummy tuck surgery can make you look younger and slimmer, but it is not a substitute for weight loss. The procedure is most effective for people of normal weight who have weakened abdominal muscles and excess skin and fat that aren’t responsive to diet and exercise. A consultation at Plastic & Hand Surgical Associates will determine if liposuction is right for you.