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What Is A Tummy Tuck Procedure?
By Wesley Hall Jr.

Also called "abdominoplasty," tummy tuck is a well-known surgical procedure that results in a firmer and smoother abdominal profile by targeting the three aspects of deformities along the abdominal wall. These three components are (1) weakness and separation of muscles, (2) accumulation of fat tissue especially in the lower abdomen, and (3) wrinkly or loose skin with stretch marks as a result of drastic weight loss, pregnancy, or aging. In a tummy tuck surgical procedure, excess fat and skin are removed in order to achieve a tightened wall of abdominal muscles, and also to erase stretch marks found on the area between the pubis and belly button. Depending on the recommendations of Drs. Hall and Wrye, other operations may be performed along with a tummy tuck surgery such as liposuction of the thighs, hips, or flanks in order to achieve more dramatic results.

A less invasive approach that involves a smaller incision is called a mini tummy tuck, and is performed to patients who have a lesser amount of loose skin and stretch marks along the lower abdomen or on the area above the pubic bone. There will be tightening of abdominal muscles involved in this procedure, and it can also be performed in conjunction with liposuction if you want to achieve a more defined effect.

Mini tummy tuck surgery for male

How is a tummy tuck done?

To start off the abdominoplasty, the surgeons will create an incision to trace a line from hip to hip, on lower pubic area. This incision can be easily be hidden along the garter lines of a bikini bottom. Then, the loose skin is lifted up from the abdominal wall to reveal the vertically arranged abdominal muscles that will be repositioned and tightened to flatten the stomach and reduce the waistline. Following this phase is the stretching and removing of excess skin, leaving the rest of the remaining skin draped over the abdomen. Finally, the belly button will be re-attached to the new, proportionally flatter stomach.

Full tummy tuck surgery for female

Do I qualify for a tummy tuck?

If you are in good physical condition, sound health, and stable weight, you qualify for a tummy tuck procedure. Others opt to undergo this procedure because they have not been successful in achieving a more toned abdominal region even after several exercise programs and weight loss diets. You should also be a non-smoker and someone who doesn't plan to get pregnant in the future. In order to have common, realistic expectations clear to both the patient and the surgeons, all goals of the patient must be communicated effectively to the doctors prior to the surgery.

How will the operation go?

The tummy tuck procedure is usually done in an office-based surgical suite, an outpatient surgery center, or in a hospital. It takes approximately two to four hours for the surgery to be completed, depending on the quantity of readjustments to be done and the complexity of these adjustments. Patients can opt between general anesthesia (recommended for a full tummy tuck) or local anesthesia in conjunction with a sedative. In the case of the latter method, slight discomfort is expected.

What happens during the recovery period?

Dressings and bandages are placed onto your incision sites, and compression garments will be used to wrap around your abdominal area after your procedure. To drain excess blood or fluids that may have or may accumulate, a thin small tube will be temporarily inserted in the operated area. Swelling, inability to stand fully upright, and discomfort will also be experienced post-surgery, during the first two weeks of recovery. You will be able to return to work after one to two weeks, after which you will also be able to resume to your normal daily activities. Your new, slimmer figure will start to become apparent in a matter of weeks, but it can take up to nine months in order for the final contour of your stomach to fully manifest. In order to proceed with recovery smoothly, Drs. Hall and Wrye will be giving you specific instructions on how to care for your incision sites, what exercises are allowed post-surgery, and the proper medications (oral and topical) in order to alleviate pain, hasten the healing process, and prevent infection.

What are the risks of getting a tummy tuck?

Common side effects of the tummy tuck for men & women (as well as in any surgical procedure) are bruising, swelling, and discomfort. Other possible risks patients may encounter in this procedure are internal bleeding, infection, accumulation of fluid, blood clots, skin numbness, nerve damage, and deep vein thrombosis. It is important, therefore, to select very skilled surgeons to perform the tummy tuck on you in order to lessen the possibilities of suffering from these surgical complications.

How will I look after recovery?

Patients who go through a tummy tuck procedure usually report satisfaction and happiness with their new look. Their stomachs are more toned and firmer, improving their posture, body figure, and overall self-esteem. Patients gain more self-confidence as they are now able to select their wardrobe with more ease and from a wider selection compared to the time before they had abdominoplasty. The results of this surgical procedure are permanent, but it is still highly recommended to maintain regular exercise and healthy diet in order to keep your new figure in tip-top condition. Dr. Hall and Dr. Wrye are experts in tummy tuck surgery located in Reno, Nevada, call us now for free consultation 775-284-8296.