Who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
Patients who would benefit from an abdominoplasty have either loss tummy skin, stretch marks of the abdomen following weight loss or child birth, scars of the abdomen that are between the belly button and pubic hair, or poor muscle tone from having children resulting a “pouch” or distended tummy. As we age everyone experiences some of these problems especially after weight loss or child birth. The extent of a tummy tuck can range from a mini tummy tuck in patients who just need a small amount of skin removed and some muscle tightening to an extended tummy tuck where all of the skin and fat from an area an inch above the belly button to the pubic hair is removed in the shape of a football. The tissue removed weights between 3 pounds to 25 pounds in an extended tummy tuck. Additionally, the skin removed can remove stretch marks and scars found on this football shaped piece of skin removed between the belly button and pubic region (see illustration below). For both the surgeon and patient, an abdominoplasty is a very rewarding surgery because of the magnitude of change that is achieved by this procedure. Patients love to see their waist line shrink, skin tighten and stretch marks removed.
The art of the procedure
During a tummy tuck the skin and fat of the tummy is elevated off the abdominal muscles. The muscles are not cut they are just tightened. The belly button is left attached to the abdominal muscles. After lifting all the skin and fat, the muscles of tummy are tightened by a suture that runs from the ribs down to the pubic region. This suture usually pulls the waistline in about 2 inches, and it acts as an internal coursette. After setting the foundation by tightening these muscles, the excess skin between the belly button and pubic region is removed in the shape of a football. This is done with the beg flexed so that Dr Struck can remove as much skin as possible. Finally, the upper skin above the belly button is pulled down like a window shade to fill the hole created by the removed skin and fat. Dr. Struck usually liposuctions the hips and back to circumferentially sculpt out a thin waist line.
What to expect
Tummy tucks are usually done under general anesthesia and can take from 1 hour to 4 hours depending on the amount of tissue removed. The vast majority of tummy tuck patients go home after the procedure. The patient needs to sleep with a few pillows behind the back and under the knees for a few days as the skin stretches allowing them to lay flat and stand upright within 2 to 3 days. Most patients take between one and two weeks off work, and patients with children usually want someone around to help with lifting for at least 2 to 3 days. Athletic patients usually take a month off weight lifting or sit ups, but they can return to walking and cardio sooner based on their recovery. Follow-up visits occur 1 day, 7 days and 14 days post operatively for suture and drain removal. Following these visits, the patient is seen every few weeks. The new tummy takes shape over a period of six months, and the scars fade over a period of 12 to 24 months. Most patients seem to be prepared for a tummy tuck, and many actually think the recovery is easier than expected. While a tummy tuck is a large procedure, the results are extremely rewarding for Dr. Struck and his patients. It is a joy to see the happiness in the patents eyes when they see their new tummy for the first time when the surgical dressings are first removed. The magnitude of changes achieved by this procedure make it one of Dr. Struck’s favorite procedure.
Tummy tuck surgery in Palo Alto, Atherton and Los Gatos offered by CA Dr . Information on abdominoplasty, recovery time, cost, post op surgery, and more.
Also called a “tummy tuck”, abdominoplasty can remove excess skin and fat, stretch marks, and scars on the lower abdomen. It corrects unwanted changes that are left after weight loss or childbirth. The procedure also tightens the abdominal muscles and decreases the waistline.
Abdominoplasty does not involve entering the abdomen itself, only more superficial areas of the body. The incisions for this procedure extend from just below the pubic line to the belly button.
|Surgery Time||• two hours|
|Anesthesia||• General anesthesia|
|Return Home||• Usually same day|
|Recovery Time||• Return to work in ten days to two weeks|
• Drains in place for up to a week
• Home care sometimes beneficial for one to two days