What is a tummy tuck?
The Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty is a complex surgical procedure of reconstruction of the abdominal wall, which includes fat transfer in order to reshape the abdomen, waist, and contour of the body.
Although the majority of Tummy Tuck surgery patients are women, men can also have this procedure.
While it is true that its effectiveness, in terms of shaping the body is proven, the Tummy Tuck is not indicated for weight loss as a substitute for diet or physical exercise; Therefore, this surgery should be performed only when the patient has experienced a signiﬁcant loss of weight.
To achieve a long-lasting and natural result, it is highly recommended that patients maintain a healthy diet and incorporate a physical exercise routine.
This surgical intervention can be done as an independent procedure or combined with other aesthetic procedures such as Liposuction. The result is a ﬂat and ﬁrm abdomen, without excess fat or skin.
The tummy tuck is one of the ﬁve most popular cosmetic procedures in South Florida. In recent years, the number of Tummy Tuck surgeries performed in this state has experienced a boom compared to previous years.
Who can practice Tummy Tuck?
Over the years, sudden weight loss or pregnancy are some of the reasons that often motivate our patients to have this procedure. A tummy tuck is indicated for people who have excess fat and ﬂaccid skin in the abdomen.
The patient must be physically and emotionally healthy and their weight should not exceed 25 pounds above the ideal weight. In addition, you should not be a smoker and have realistic expectations about the results of the Tummy Tuck.
What results can I expect from the Tummy Tuck?
The Tummy Tuck provides the patient with a ﬂatter and ﬁrmer abdominal contour in proportion to their physical type and body weight.
The ﬁnal results will be observed about two weeks later when the inﬂammation subsides.
Like any cosmetic surgery, the tummy tuck will have a positive impact on the patient’s self-esteem and quality of life.
Consultation process prior to a Tummy Tuck
Before a tummy tuck, our patients have one or several consultations with the surgeon who will carry out their intervention.
This is the right time to discuss expectations about the surgery and determine the steps to follow in treatment. The doctor will explain to the patient how a tummy tuck surgery is performed and will give recommendations to consider before the procedure.
Medical tests will also be required to check the patient’s general state of health. Each patient is a unique case, so personalized attention is essential for us.
The success of the tummy tuck and the safety of the intervention depend a lot on your sincerity during the consultation. You will be asked several questions about your health, your wishes, and your lifestyle. It is likely that the surgeon will also take photographs for your medical history, analyze and discuss the possible results of the Tummy Tuck, and the potential risks or complications.
For patients outside of Miami or who for some reason cannot go to the clinic for evaluation, this process can be done through the surgery coordinators, who will request several photographs of the area to be treated to determine the type of treatment, estimated price, and general guidelines.
Many of our patients are unaware of how these photos should be taken, so below we offer you a sample of how to do them to be evaluated for a Tummy tuck in Miami. It is important to underline that the patient’s face should not appear in the photograph.
Tummy Tuck | Technique and Protocol
In tummy tuck surgery, the necessary degree of correction will determine the shape and length of the incision, through which weakened abdominal muscles are corrected and sutured while excess fat and skin are removed.
Sometimes an incision around the navel may be necessary to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen. Whatever the variant, a Tummy Tuck operation begins with the incision in the abdomen, to access the abdominal muscles and adipose tissue located in the belly area.
After tensioning the muscles, the skin is placed in its desired position and the part of excess skin is removed.
Tummy Tuck | Variants
The Tummy Tuck procedure can be subdivided into categories depending on the needs and characteristics of the patient:
- Full tummy tuck: When an incision is made from side to side of the hip to remove excess fat and skin.
- Belt Tummy Tuck or Extended Tummy Tuck: A surgery that will take care of the entire abdomen and back, surrounding the body like a belt. It is indicated for patients who have a greater deposit of excess fat and skin or patients who have had a signiﬁcant weight loss.
- A partial tummy tuck, Mini Tummy Tuck or Mini Lipectomy: A minor variant of the procedure for patients with a smaller accumulation of fat and accumulated skin. It is a smaller incision and a smaller scale manipulation.
While the duration of a full tummy tuck ranges between 2 1/2 hours and 4 hours, a mini tummy tuck can be performed between 1-2 hours, this will depend on the morphology of the patient and the amount of fat accumulated, among other factors.
Tummy Tuck | Incision methods
The incision for a full tummy tuck usually runs from hip to hip and can be done in a V or U shape, so that the scar is hidden when wearing a bikini.
The surgeon will determine the shape and length of the incision according to the patient’s preferences and the amount of correction he needs. The incision around the belly button can also be made.
With a Mini Tummy tuck, the surgeon can make the incision as low as possible; so that it is hidden in the pubic area. The skin of the abdomen that is removed is below the navel and therefore there are no incisions around it.
The length of the incision will vary depending on the amount of skin removed. In a circumferential tummy tuck or Belt Tummy tuck, the incision is made around the entire body following the waistline, like a belt.
This is a procedure that removes excess skin from the sides of the abdomen and back, helping to better deﬁne the ﬁgure.
Recovery and care after Tummy Tuck surgery
Once the tummy tuck procedure has been performed, the patient should follow the doctor’s instructions. Our professionals will advise you during the postoperative period. Generally, recovery after Tummy tuck surgery takes 7 to 10 days in which the patient should rest.
After the ﬁrst 24 hours, the patient will have their ﬁrst follow-up appointment to review how the surgery went. After seven days the doctor will check your drains and general condition. Normally drains are removed at this medical appointment.
It is very important not to remove them before the medical staff so indicates. Every seven days the patient will have a follow-up appointment until they reach the month, which is usually the approximate date of the medical discharge.
The Tummy Tuck patient is recommended to take at least 7 to 10 days of rest before joining their daily activities. After these days the patient can resume some of their activities as long as they do not perform activities that require physical effort.
The use of anticoagulant medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen during the post-surgical period is not recommended.
Tummy Tuck | Frequent questions
1. What is the ideal age to have a tummy tuck?
There is no “ideal” age in the life of a woman or a man to have a tummy tuck, but the most common is that in the case of a woman this surgery is performed after she has given birth and does not plan to have more children.
When it comes to an obese or overweight person, the Tummy Tuck intervention must be done after you have lost all the weight you want to lose.
2. How can I take care of my children after a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy Tuck surgery is very popular among mothers after pregnancy and, therefore, caring for children is a common concern. Due to the limitations to lift the weight and perform physical exertion, the woman will have to have full-time help to take care of young children during the ﬁrst weeks after surgery.
Even lifting a 25-pound child, too soon, after a tummy tuck may jeopardize their results. It is essential that the patient carefully follow the instructions of her cosmetic surgeon. The woman should be able to resume many of her parental functions, such as driving, cooking, and shopping, after 2 or 3 weeks.
Just make sure someone helps you load the purchase, feed the pets, and other more active tasks.
3. After pregnancy, my belly needs reconstruction, but my breasts too. Can you work on both at the same time?
Not only is the answer “yes”, but the combination of a tummy tuck with a breast lift or breast augmentation is a very common request among our patients.
Moms deserve to have their bodies back once they have gone through the different stages of pregnancy and lactation, that is why in our clinic we have thought about facilitating this process and we have the Mommy Makeover at your disposal, which is no more than the combination of some procedures that help improve the female ﬁgure after motherhood.
4. Can a Tummy Tuck eliminate my stretch marks?
It depends on where the stretch marks are located, but the answer is usually “yes.” A Tummy Tuck removes most of the skin in the lower abdomen, and any stretch marks in this area will be removed along with ﬂabby skin.
Stretch marks outside that area cannot be removed, but they can be treated by stretch mark camouﬂage, a Cosmetological procedure that is gaining more and more recognition in our clinic.