Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Once you have had kids or lost a significant amount of weight your belly just isn’t ever the same again. You may have loose skin and stretch marks or a belly that still looks like you might be expecting. Abdominoplasty, also called a tummy tuck, may be the right procedure for you. Abdominoplasty is a body contouring procedure that removes excess lower abdominal skin, tightens your abdominal muscles and restores your figure. The slimmer and more svelte appearance will leave you looking fabulous in clothes and on the beach.Schedule a Consultation
A tummy tuck is a body contouring procedure and is not designed as a weight loss operation. If you would like to lose a few pounds or tone up a bit before undergoing surgery please let us know – at Restore SD Plastic Surgery we can provide referrals for nutrition guidance, medical weight loss, and personal trainers.
The tummy tuck is a very powerful and durable body contouring procedure. Most patients benefit from liposuction to maximize their results. Depending on your goals and starting point you may benefit from a limited scar – the mini-abdominoplasty – or if you have lost a great deal of weight, other more extended body contouring procedures. If you have lost a great deal of weight, the you might benefit from a fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty that removes even more skin via an additional vertical incision. Other options include a lower body lift which addresses your torso from all angles. Advances in surgical technique and technology continue to improve the results that are possible with body contouring surgery. In many cases, your procedure can be performed without the need for postoperative drains.
Every individual has a unique body type that may affect final placement of the incisions and your Restore SD surgeon will discuss your goals to arrive at the surgical plan that optimizes your results.
Abdominoplasty is performed under general anesthesia in an accredited surgery center or hospital setting. The surgery usually takes 2-3 hours to perform. During surgery, an incision is made across the lower abdomen from approximately hip bone to hip bone and around your belly button. The incision is planned low to allow coverage with your undergarments or a bikini bottom. The excess lower abdominal skin is removed and your rectus muscles (the six-pack muscles) are tightened. The remaining skin of your abdomen is carefully re-draped and your belly button is brought out through a small incision. After drain placement, your incision is meticulously closed in layers and surgical glue is applied. You will be placed in a post-operative compression garment before awakening and being taken to recovery.
After surgery is completed you will be able to go home with a responsible adult who should ideally be able to stay with you during recovery. You will need this friend or loved one to remain with you for a few days – you may need an extra set of hands for longer if you have very young children. You will wear a compression garment for 4-6 weeks after surgery and will see your surgeon for follow up frequently in the first several weeks after surgery. Your comfort during the recovery process is important to us and you will have pain medication, a muscle relaxant, and a stool softener prescribed. These will augment the long acting pain medication, Exparel, that will be injected at the time of surgery and lasts for up to 72 hours post-surgery. Prepare for some soreness that should resolve steadily over the first week or two after surgery. You will be restricted from lifting anything heavier than your purse for the first few weeks. You can shower the first day after surgery but cannot swim in the ocean or the pool or soak in a tub for 2 weeks after surgery. Most patients continue to make a steady recovery and you should be able to resume your usual activities within 6 weeks of their abdominoplasty.
We can arrange for you to hire a private nurse to assist you in the first few days after surgery. Our Restore SD Plastic Surgery office is conveniently located near a 5-star hotel. We are happy for you to spend a few days recovering in proximity to our office in beautiful La Jolla if this enhances your recovery.
Abdominoplasty is a major surgical procedure and you should allow enough time to recover – so plan early! Do not plan to fly or travel by car more than an hour or two at a time for the first few weeks after surgery. During the recovery period, you will have follow-up with your Restore SD surgeon and will be guided back to your usual activities. Most complications occur from getting too active too early, so select a surgical date that allows an appropriate amount of time to heal and gradually return to your more vigorous activities.
The Combined Procedures
Abdominoplasty is a powerful and durable body contouring operation and can be safely combined with several other procedures to include liposuction, breast augmentation, breast lift, gluteal fat grafting, or breast reduction surgery. Facial rejuvenation procedures can also be done at the same time in certain cases. Your Restore SD surgeon will discuss combinations of procedures that can be safely performed together while optimizing your result. We utilize the SAFELipo technique and feel this is the best and safest way of combining liposuction with tummy tuck when indicated.