Tummy TuckIf you feel unhappy about your body it can take all the enjoyment out of life. We can help.
We understand how you feel and why you’re thinking about a tummy tuck surgery
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
A “Tummy Tuck” or Abdominoplasty flattens and tightens the abdomen, and is a very common procedure for women who have an abdominal bulge after having children or for patients of either sex who have experienced massive weight loss. These patients have a multi-component problem manifested by a thick fat layer, saggy, redundant skin and lax, stretched out muscles. A standard tummy tuck or abdominoplasty addresses all three components of the bulge by cutting away extra skin and fat, and tightening the lax muscles with sutures. The result is a tighter, flatter abdomen that looks better in clothes or in a bathing suit.
The trade-off is a scar across the lower abdomen that fades and settles well over time and can usually be placed low enough to be hidden by clothing or swimwear. The procedure takes 2 1/2 to 3 hrs and requires an overnight hospital stay. After surgery, I ask patients to walk bent over at the waist, and to sleep in a recliner or in a semi-sitting position with pillows stacked against the headboard of the bed for a week. They can drive a car after three weeks and can resume full activity at six weeks post-op. I ask patients to refrain from targeted abdominal exercises such as sit-ups, crunches, etc for six months.
Abdominoplasty is frequently combined with other procedures such as breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation – the so-called “mommy makeover”. Alternatively, many women who are having a hysterectomy elect to have a tummy tuck at the same time. This is an excellent combination since their gynecologic procedure will require an overnight hospital stay and a recovery period of six weeks, which overlaps with the recovery from the tummy tuck.
As with any cosmetic procedure, it is important to have realistic expectations about the results. The ideal patient is reasonably close to their ideal weight, is a non-smoker and is in good overall health. This is not a weight loss procedure. If you are five foot two and weigh 185 lbs, lose 40 lbs first. Likewise, if you have diabetes, lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis or heart disease this operation is not for you. If you have had multiple previous abdominal surgeries, especially an old-style open gall bladder removal with an incision beneath your rib cage, this operation may not be for you.
Some patients don’t need a full abdominoplasty. If the main problem is a thick fat layer and there is little excess skin, then liposuction alone may solve the problem. If there is thick fat and loose skin, but the muscles are tight, then liposuction combined with cutting out some skin may be appropriate. A small percentage of patients are slender, but have an isolated lower abdominal bulge. They are candidates for a short scar “mini-abdominoplasty”. There is no “one size fits all” abdominoplasty – the exact surgical procedure depends on the extent of the problem and will be determined at the initial consultation.
Of course we will also discuss the risks of surgery at the initial consultation, including the 1-2% risk of a wound healing problem resulting in the inconvenience of an open wound that requires daily wound care and heals gradually over several weeks. In the end, the overwhelming majority of patients are happy with their flatter, tighter abdomen and are glad they made the decision to pursue abdominoplasty.
Thank you for taking the ‘fear” out of surgery and giving me the best care ever. Please pass this along to your staff, as they too have been wonderful!! Thank You Dr MickelHope
Seeing is believing. Click the link above to view a selection of Tummy Tuck Before and After Photos from patients who have allowed us to share their before and after photos on our web site. We hope you enjoy this opportunity to see the possibilities of Tummy Tuck cosmetic surgery at Mickel Plastic Surgery in Monroe, LA.