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iStock_000008843473_MediumAbdominoplasty

(Tummy Tuck)

Body contour surgery has come a long way. No longer is this a “one size fits all” procedure reserved for a few lucky women. Now the surgery is tailored to the needs of each individual, and is increasingly popular among men, too. The problems can range from a small collection of fat, an excess of stretched skin following pregnancy or significant weight loss, or loosening of the abdominal muscles and support lining (fascia), or many combinations of these problems. Often after pregnancy there is weakness or laxity of the abdominal muscles that cannot be corrected by exercise.

Simple fat excess, especially if localized and in someone with youthful skin, responds best to liposuction. This is almost always an outpatient procedure, and in a few select patients can even be done in the office. Skin excess, especially if located below the belly button, is also well suited to a simple procedure, usually called “mini abdominoplasty”. This skin excision is always an outpatient procedure and uses a minimal scar below the panty line. For problems involving significant stretching of the skin or deeper abdominal support tissues, a more involved procedure, “standard abdominoplasty,” will be required for adequate correction. This procedure  involves a substantial commitment of time off from work for proper healing. Beyond this are procedures combining abdominal corrections with simultaneous rejuvenation of hips or inner and outer thighs, which often requires an overnight stay and significant healing time commitment.

With this many choices it can be difficult to decide just what is right for you.  Our experienced staff would be happy to discuss any further questions

The Problem

As we discussed above, tummy bulge comes in many varieties. Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck ) best treats skin excess and muscle laxity (looseness) . The most frequent reason for this in women is pregnancy and childbirth, but weight gain and loss is a close second.  For some, the problem is almost all skin excess and the muscles are in great or good shape. For those people, alteration of the skin will require much less time off work and much fewer limitations in activity. Expect a quicker recovery. There are a few who are at the extreme opposite of the spectrum, with minimal skin redundancy and very stretched out muscles. Muscle correction will be essential for these individuals to meet their goals. Almost everyone is somewhere in  between.

The Consult

This is where you design a unique personal treatment plan with Dr Sweitzer or Dr Zickler. You will share with us your problem areas and what your goals are. We will carefully take into account any other surgeries or medical problems that might effect your outcome. Together we will decide on what procedures are available and what results you could expect. We’ll be able to illustrate your look with hundreds of photos of others who have had similar procedures with us. Before you  leave you will be very comfortable with your individual choices and have all your questions answered.

 

 Surgery

You will meet with your surgeon and all of the other staff members who will be participating in your surgery. Your surgery will likely take about 4 hours and you will be discharged as an outpatient.

Recovery

This surgery requires significant recovery. If your muscles have been tightened, you may need help getting out of bed for the first three days. You will have ample pain medication and you should expect to take it. It may take up to two weeks before you are safe to drive a car, so someone else will need to bring you to your first post op visit. After your sutures are removed at that visit, you will notice improvement almost every day. It may take as  long as six weeks for you to be completely over this surgery.

Risks.

Abdominoplasty surgery shares the risks of all surgeries involving general anesthesia and surgeries in general. Specific risks with this surgery are primarily those of hernia from muscle tightening and healing of the skin incisions. A careful discussion of risk for each individual and for each chosen procedure is one of the most important aspects of the discussion we have with you during your consultation.