An abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is a great procedure to flatten and tighten the abdomen. The results are dramatic and are visible immediately after surgery. Tummy tucks are best for patients with loose hanging skin, excess fat and weak abdominal muscles or diastasis. Pregnancy, massive weight loss, and aging can cause the muscles and skin in the midsection to stretch and lose elasticity. In most cases, especially after pregnancy, excercise and diet just are not enough. Tummy tuck surgery can dramatically help patients achieve a flatter, more toned appearance. Trust Dr. Bonness to deliver a meticulous performance with this body contouring procedure.
At your consultation Dr. Bonness takes the time to explain the different types of tummy tucks. Together, and based on your goals, a decision will be made on which approach is best for you. Tummy tucks are often combined with liposuction to achieve the desired appearance.
Types of Tummy Tuck Procedures
Abdominoplasty is designed to tighten the abdominal muscles, as well as remove excess skin and fat in the abdomen area. Based on the amount of stretching and loose skin, you may undergo a mini, modified, or full traditional tummy tuck procedure.
Full Tummy Tuck
The traditional full tummy tuck (the most common) is best for patients with loose skin and fat above and below the umbilicus and separated or weak abdominal muscles giving the abdomen a very full appearance. An incision is place very low so that it will ultimately hidden by any normal clothing. The skin and fat are lifted up off the muscles which are then tightened to flatten the abdomen. The elevated skin is then pulled down to the incision in and the excess trimmed away.
Mini Tummy Tuck
The mini tummy tuck is for patients who have minimal loose skin and stretch marks limited to below the umbilicus. In these patients the upper abdomen is flat and the muscles are tight. A good candidate for a mini tummy tuck is a women who has had a C-section and has a small amount of skin hanging over the C-section scar. A mini requires a shorter incision, liposuction, and removal of a small amount of skin.
Modified Tummy Tuck
The modified tummy tuck is for patients who have a little loose skin above and below the umbilicus but not enough for a full tummy tuck. Through a shorter incision the skin is removed and the muscles are tightened. This tummy tuck is very uncommon.
The circumferential torsoplasty is for patients who are in need of contouring in the front and back. This procedure is most commonly done in patients that have lost an enormous amount of weight resulting in loose skin in the abdomen and back area.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
Abdominoplasty is well tolerated by patients. Dr Bonness prefers that her patients stay one night in the hospital. She believes that patients do better with less pain and less use of narcotic pain medication over the course of their recovery. While you are in the hospital the nursing staff will help you learn to get in and out of bed and will teach you how to take care of the drains.
You will experience some pain (controlled with Tylenol, Ibuprofen and very limited narcotic use), swelling and bruising during your recovery. This will all gradually improve over the weeks. Patients may resume driving at one and a half weeks and may return to a desk type job at two weeks. The mini tummy tuck has a significantly shorter recover.
During these first two weeks it is important to resume very light normal activity with periods of rest. Do not push through fatigue. It is important you refrain from strenuous lifting for approximately four to six weeks in order to allow the body to heal properly.
As with all surgeries that Dr Bonness performs, she wants you to achieve the best possible scar. To do this she uses very small sutures under the skin. Sutures placed on the outside of the skin like staples will lead to a more visible railroad track like scar. Special tape is applied over the closed incision and will remain in place for 3 weeks to help soften the scar. After the tape is removed in the office your scar care (included in your package) will be started. Your scars will be watched closely after surgery and additional laser therapy offered if needed.
It is important patients follow a healthy lifestyle including diet and exercise in order to maintain long-lasting results.
Post-Tummy Tuck Care
You will be educated on how to care for your drains, which will be utilized to allow for the removal of excess fluids. Board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Bonness, can help you better understand your options with tummy tuck surgery during an initial consultation. With more than 21 years of experience, Dr. Bonness has the training and qualifications to help you regain a more slender contour and natural-looking results.
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