Are you looking to achieve a firmer and more contoured abdomen? A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty may be the answer. This surgery can remove excess skin and tighten abdominal muscles. Your plastic surgeon can combine it with liposuction if you need to get rid of stubborn fat in the targeted area. Depending on your needs, your doctor can recommend a full or mini tummy tuck. This procedure aims to treat concerns that regular exercise and a balanced diet cannot improve on their own.
Assessing Your Situation and Goals
When you first see a plastic surgeon to discuss the possibility of abdominoplasty, they will assess your medical history and your current health.
Your provider considers the following factors:
- Body type
- Skin quality
- Any scarring from previous surgery
- Any previous pregnancy
Your surgeon can discuss your goals and review your options to achieve them. They can design a treatment plan that involves a full or mini tummy tuck and possibly liposuction. Your doctor may recommend a full tummy tuck if you need to remove excess skin in the lower abdomen and receive treatment for muscle laxity.
You are a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck if:
- You have strong upper body muscles and muscle tone
- The area you need to be treated is below the belly button
- Your excess skin is of mild to moderate size
- Your weight is healthy
Being in general good health is a common requirement for plastic surgery. Your doctor may request medical imagery and lab work before your procedure. They will also ask you to stop smoking for a specific time if you are a tobacco user.
What Happens During an Abdominoplasty?
Plastic surgeons normally perform full and mini tummy tucks under general anesthesia. In the case of a full abdominoplasty, they perform an incision that runs between both hips along the bikini line. They may need a second incision in the belly button area. While these incisions are long, you can easily conceal them under your underwear or swimsuit bottoms. A mini tummy tuck only involves a single incision above the pubic area, which makes it even easier to hide.
During a full tummy tuck, your doctor tightens the muscles and skin over the stomach, trimming down any excess skin tissue. If you need to get rid of stubborn fat that does not respond to exercise or diet, they can combine liposuction with the tummy tuck. Finally, they reposition your belly button and close the incision. If you choose a mini tummy tuck, your plastic surgeon will have the same approach as with a standard one, but they only work in the area below the belly button and do not reposition it.
What to Expect During Recovery
A mini tummy tuck usually has a shorter recovery period. You can resume your daily activities about a week after the procedure and avoid strenuous activities for four weeks. You can expect full healing within a month.
If you opt for a full abdominoplasty, you may require bed rest for a couple of weeks and be careful with physical activity for up to six weeks. More discomfort is common, and you may need to wear drains for a while to collect any excess fluid your body creates through its healing process. You can expect a full recovery after about two months.
If you are interested in a tummy tuck, call West Coast Plastic Surgery Center today at (805) 978-8545 or use our online form to schedule an appointment!