A flabby or sagging abdomen can develop on both men and women for a number of reasons. From genetic factors that affect skin elasticity to recent weight loss , these causes leave excess abdominal skin that impacts the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every year. In most cases, an undefined abdominal appearance is the result of unwanted skin and loose abdominal muscles, which often cannot be treated through diet and exercise. A tummy tuck is designed to remove excess abdominal tissue and tighten the abdominal muscles to create a firmer, more defined abdominal contour.
Patients seeking a tummy tuck should be in good health and have realistic expectations about their results. The tummy tuck procedure can significantly improve the appearance of patients with flabby abdomens or undefined contours. Both men and women could benefit from a tummy tuck if they suffer from one or more of the following:
All tummy tuck surgeries are performed with the patient under general anesthesia, which ensures a safe and painless procedure. To achieve a trimmer, flatter abdominal appearance for his patients, Dr. Cha will remove abdominal tissue and tighten the underlying muscles. To begin, a thin incision is placed along the lower abdomen beneath the bikini line, and a second incision may be placed around the navel if necessary. Through the incision(s), Dr. Cha can pull together loose or separated abdominal muscles and reinforce the abdominal wall with sutures. Excess tissue is trimmed away. The remaining skin is draped to highlight the new abdominal contour, and incisions are then closed.
The mini tummy tuck is ideal for patients with minimal skin sagging in the upper abdomen but pronounced lower abdominal drooping. This is common for women following pregnancy when the abdominal muscles have become separated and cannot be restored through exercise. The mini tummy tuck uses a short incision placed low on the abdomen. The abdominal muscles are tightened, and excess skin is trimmed away.
An extended tummy tuck is typically reserved for patients following massive weight loss. It can be performed as a stand-alone procedure or in conjunction with other body contouring procedures. The extended tummy tuck is designed to treat excess skin around the hips and back, which is common in patients who have recently lost a significant amount of weight. An extended tummy tuck will require a more lengthy incision that runs along the lower abdomen, around the hips, and possibly along the lower back
Liposuction can be combined with any tummy tuck procedure to enhance your results. Most patients will benefit from the removal of unwanted abdominal fat. Liposuction can be used to achieve a better silhouette by defining the contours of your abdomen and creating more pronounced curvature of the hips.
You will experience some mild bruising and swelling following your surgery. Drains may be placed, and a compression garment should be worn to reduce swelling and improve healing. Patients will be required to limit their physical activity following the procedure. Most people can return to work within two weeks of their surgery and can resume their regular exercise program after four weeks. Swelling can last up to six weeks, which can temporarily affect the appearance of your results. Once swelling has subsided, you should begin to notice that your abdomen is firmer and more toned.
Tummy tuck surgery is designed to provide long-lasting abdominal support and results. However, a tummy tuck does not prevent additional weight gain, which can affect the quality of the results. It is recommended that patients follow a healthy lifestyle to maintain their results.
Some scarring can develop following the tummy tuck procedure. The severity of scarring ultimately depends on your body’s natural healing process. Patients with more extensive procedures may experience more scarring. However, most patients feel that the amount of scarring is worth the long-term results, and most scarring can be easily hidden with swimsuits or underwear and fades over time.