Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
Even with diligent exercise and healthy eating habits, the abdominal area can retain isolated pockets of fat and accumulate loose, inelastic skin. This is very normal, and can often result from the natural aging process, weight loss, pregnancy, or even genetics. With an abdominoplasty (commonly referred to as a tummy tuck), board-certified plastic surgeon Kevin Cook, MD can eliminate excess skin and give the abdomen a flatter, more athletic appearance.
- What is a Tummy Tuck?
- Tummy Tuck Benefits
- Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction
- Tummy Tuck Procedure
- Tummy Tuck Recovery & Results
- Tummy Tuck Scars
- Tummy Tuck Cost
- Tummy Tuck and Pregnancy
What Is Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Tummy tuck surgery is designed to tone the appearance of the abdomen by removing redundant skin, reducing excess fat, and tightening the underlying musculature. The procedure is not intended to achieve significant weight loss, and the best candidates are already at or near their ideal weight. Many tummy tuck candidates are mothers who wish to regain their pre-baby figure. During pregnancy and childbirth, the muscles of the abdomen can become stretched or torn, causing the stomach to protrude in a manner that cannot be corrected with diet and exercise alone. Dr. Cook can tighten or repair these muscles during the tummy tuck procedure, ultimately providing the patient with a slimmer waistline. A tummy tuck can also be very beneficial for men or women who have lost a significant amount of weight but are left with sagging skin on the abdomen or around the beltline.
Benefits of Tummy Tuck
Tummy tuck surgery offers both men and women a number of benefits, including:
- Elimination of excess skin in the abdomen
- Tightened abdominal muscles
- A smoother, flatter, and more fit appearance to the stomach area
Tummy tuck surgery will be custom-tailored to address your unique concerns and to provide you with the best possible results. This procedure can also be combined with liposuction or other surgical/non-surgical cosmetic enhancement procedures to give you a more comprehensive aesthetic makeover. Tummy tuck surgery can also be part of a mommy makeover procedure to help reverse some of the physical changes caused by pregnancy. If you would like to discuss your personal cosmetic goals with Dr. Cook, please schedule a consultation today.
During the consultation process, Dr. Cook will review your medical history, conduct a physical exam, and determine your candidacy for abdominoplasty. Dr. Cook will carefully listen to your individual concerns and design a surgical plan that can meet your needs and expectations. He aims to fully inform each of his patients about the potential risks and benefits of tummy tuck surgery, enabling you to make well-educated decisions about your health and your body.
Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction
Though both tummy tuck and liposuction techniques can be used to improve the appearance of the abdomen, each procedure has a different purpose. A tummy tuck is intended for patients who have excess skin hanging or sagging from the abdomen. Liposuction is intended for patients who have isolated pockets of fat that have proven resistant to diet and exercise. While liposuction can be used to target the abdomen, this procedure can also be used to remove excess fat from nearly any area of the body. Neither procedure is designed to help patients achieve significant weight loss. Ideal candidates for both procedures should already be at or near their ideal weight. Tummy tuck surgery can be combined with liposuction for patients who have excess skin as well as stubborn fat around the abdomen for more comprehensive contouring.
Tummy Tuck Procedure
During tummy tuck surgery, Dr. Cook will carefully remove excess skin and tighten the underlying muscles in the abdomen. He will then redrape the remaining skin, pulling it taut to create a smoother, more fit appearance. Dr. Cook is skilled with this procedure and will utilize techniques that allow for the lightest, most inconspicuous scars possible.
Tummy Tuck Recovery and Results
Patients will see the results of their abdominoplasty immediately, though temporary swelling and bruising can be expected during recovery. Oral pain medication can easily manage most post-operative discomfort. Patients are often able to return to normal daily activities in about one week, though it may take longer for some individuals. Though Dr. Cook recommends patients avoid strenuous exercise and undue strain to the abdominal region for six weeks following surgery, moving around shortly after your procedure and taking short walks can reduce the risk of blood clots.
With tummy tuck surgery, you can eliminate loose, exercise-resistant skin in the abdominal area and feel great about your appearance!
Tummy Tuck Scars
Given the nature of the tummy tuck procedure, scars from abdominoplasty are unavoidable. Depending on the extent of your concerns and the surgical technique necessary to achieve your desired look, tummy tuck incisions typically exist low on the pubis and extend from hip to hip. In some cases, an additional incision may be made around the naval; however, Dr. Cook will inform you of what to expect after assessing your needs and goals in a consultation.
Dr. Cook has extensive experience performing tummy tuck surgery and takes great care with regard to incision placement. His refined technique typically allows scars to remain well-hidden under most types of clothing, including undergarments and bikini bottoms. He will provide detailed wound-care instructions after the procedure to encourage the best possible healing of your incisions. While scars typically fade to some degree once fully matured, most patients find that they are less concerned with the presence of visible scarring in light of their tummy tuck results.
Tummy Tuck Cost
Dr. Cook customizes each tummy tuck procedure to meet the unique needs and expectations of the patient. As a result, there is no set cost for the procedure. Many factors can impact the price of tummy tuck surgery, including the volume of skin removed, the degree of abdominal muscle tightening required, and whether or not liposuction is used during the procedure. At the end of your initial consultation, Dr. Cook can provide you with an accurate quote for the cost of your tummy tuck based upon your custom-tailored surgical plan. Some patients may benefit from our plastic surgery financing options, which can offer qualified patients low monthly payments with little to no interest. To learn more about how you can finance your tummy tuck with these options, please contact a member of our staff today.
Tummy Tuck Surgery and Pregnancy
Many patients wonder how plans for future pregnancy may affect the timing of their decision to undergo a tummy tuck. In general, Dr. Cook recommends postponing plans for tummy tuck surgery until your family is complete. While the procedure does not affect the ability to carry children, pregnancy causes a variety of physical changes in the body, including increased skin laxity, excess fat, and stretched abdominal muscles. Consequently, pregnancy after a tummy tuck can cause many of the same concerns that the procedure originally sought to address, which may compromise the aesthetic achieved with abdominoplasty. For this reason, many patients opt to undergo tummy tuck surgery after childbearing is complete, whether as a lone procedure or as part of a comprehensive mommy makeover treatment plan.
To learn more about how abdominoplasty can help you achieve your cosmetic goals, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Cook, please contact us today.