Tummy Tuck surgery: Goals, Results, and Recovery

Body contouring surgery is the fastest-growing type of cosmetic surgery. The plastic surgeons perform it on people unhappy with some portion of their body and older procedures such as liposuction or tummy tuck. A mid-section pooch, a jelly belly, or a large abdomen is not something most people aspire to have. While some can get away with the ‘pot belly’ look, others cannot.

What Is Tummy Tuck?

The tummy tuck procedure is a popular way to get rid of excess skin and fat from the midsection, tightening the muscles underneath. The procedure repositions and recontours the lower abdomen as it was before weight gain or pregnancy. Tummy tuck addresses stretch marks, loose skin on flanks or love handles, and redundant abdominal skin.

How Much Fat Can Be Removed With a Tummy Tuck?

All patients are different and will vary, especially regarding skin elasticity. However, a tummy tuck can remove approximately 30-40% of fat. On average, a board-certified plastic surgeon extracts between 5 and 15 pounds of unwanted fat from a patient’s abdomen during abdominoplasty.

You can use a combined approach with liposuction and tummy tuck surgery to shape the waistline. A tummy tuck removes skin, tightens the underlying muscles, and reshapes the abdominal wall. It can improve the skin envelope by 100% in a suitable candidate.

Do Tummy Tucks Require Muscle Repair?

The tummy tuck procedure does not involve repairing the muscle but removes excess skin and fat. However, if a hernia is present, the surgeon repairs the muscle to create a better closure after a tummy tuck. Rarely will a surgeon remove or loosen the underlying abdominal musculature?

So how does the abdominal wall hold up after a tummy tuck procedure? Well, only the abdominals’ tension provides the flat appearance of this area. This implies that tightening the muscle is necessary, at least in most cases. The tension of the pre-tummy tuck abdominal muscles holds up well even after significant weight loss.

Only a few procedures use muscle repair to ensure a flat stomach. Some people with skin and fat accumulation do not wish to tighten the muscles around their problem areas. Such people can undergo the surgical technique known as Neocutis UltraShape. It uses controlled radiofrequency energy to stimulate collagen and fat cell production, promoting metabolism without surgery.

What About Mini Tummy Tuck?

Also known as a mini-abdominoplasty, a mini tummy tuck requires only a small incision, usually at the navel level, which helps reduce scars. It makes tightening the skin and muscles around your navel possible. In most cases, an outpatient mini tummy tuck procedure usually involves local anesthesia and minimal recovery time.

A mini tummy tuck is a common treatment for tummy pouches or muffin tops for those who lose a great deal of weight. Pregnant women with significantly stretched abdomens can also benefit from this procedure. Mini Tummy tuck procedures are typically much safer than full tummy tucks, and recovery takes only a few days compared with weeks for most tummy tucks. A mini tummy tuck is the best if you don’t have the time and money for a full tummy tuck.

Are There Scars From Tummy Tuck Surgery?

There will be scars following tummy tuck surgery. A plastic surgeon makes a small entry scar just under the navel in the center of the belly button during the procedure. This entry point is about one inch long. Then the surgeon places an incision around your waistline extending from just above your pubic area to just below your rib cage. The length of this incision or scar will depend on how much excess skin your plastic surgeon needs to remove, but it tends to be approximately 3-4 inches wide.

There is no single standard for tummy tucks because each person is unique, and individual results may vary. However, the scars fade with time and come in varying shapes. The tummy tuck scar will be visible when you wear a bathing suit or when your clothes don’t cover the upper part of the body.

Tummy Tuck Post-surgery Care

Post-operative care is essential after a tummy tuck procedure to recover properly and achieve the best results. It can include wound care, exercise planning, nutritional guidance, and daily grooming measures. Your surgeon should develop a custom post-surgical regimen for you.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

Tummy tuck recovery refers to the process you undergo after surgery. It usually lasts from 3 weeks to 3 months, depending on the extent of your procedure. Your plastic surgeon will provide specific instructions and guidelines for the best care for yourself after your tummy tuck.

The best key to recovery is to rest, relax, and take it easy. You should not wear a compression garment for two weeks. Also, avoid resuming exercise activities or getting back into sports until after healing well. To help keep yourself as comfortable as possible, try using some ice on the swollen areas. It helps with inflammation, pain, and swelling in general.

If you want to get a tummy tuck, it is paramount to have a consultation with your plastic surgeon before going through with the procedure. During that consultation, the surgeon will discuss with you what they will do. They may also show you photos of people who underwent similar surgeries. Get as much information before going into surgery as possible and be more involved in decision-making. If you are unsure how much it costs to get a tummy tuck, here are the financial options with plastic surgeons in Dallas, TX. This way, you have a better chance of getting a tummy tuck result that meets your expectations.