Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
The abdominoplasty, commonly known as the tummy tuck, is a procedure that flattens the tummy and repairs stretched abdominal muscles. A tummy tuck is a relatively extensive surgical procedure and is frequently performed after pregnancy or a significant weight loss. Dr. Young Cho performs abdominoplasty for women and men who desire a flatter, firmer midsection.
Fluctuations in your body weight or the aging process can cause tissues to stretch, leaving a protruding tummy, loose skin and weakened abdominal muscles. Abdominoplasty surgery, commonly known as a tummy tuck, can address these issues and give you a toned look in the abdominal area. A tummy tuck removes excess abdominal skin and fat and tightens the abdominal muscles. After a tummy tuck you will have a flatter abdomen, tighter abdominal skin, visible muscle tone and a naturally curved silhouette.
Before your surgery Dr. Cho will review your medical history and give you a thorough examination to make sure you are healthy enough for the procedure. Together you will decide whether you will have a full tummy tuck, a mini tummy tuck, a floating belly button approach, extended tummy tuck or a corsetplasty. He will explain the procedure and give you pre- and post- operative instructions.
The tummy tuck surgery can last approximately 1-5 hours depending the type of tummy tuck. Dr. Cho will make an incision above the pubic hairline, taking care to make the incision in a concealable location with the underwear line whenever possible. Excess skin is removed and the muscles are repaired using sutures. Your navel may be relocated or remodeled during the surgery and liposuction surgery may be performed on adjacent body areas.
Within 12-18 hours after the surgery, the doctor will advise you to walk around. He will prescribe medication to help to manage post-operative pain. The initial recovery time is about six weeks, and you may need to wear a compression garment for several weeks beyond that time.
Some people choose to have liposuction to sculpt the waist and the flanks along with a tummy tuck. Others will extend the liposuction to the back to enhance their waistline and add even more definition to their upper body curves. Some will even consider sculpting other areas like breast, arms, thighs and more to consolidate the recovery. Patients also take advantage of the anesthesia and recovery process to address aesthetic concerns of their face or consider vaginal rejuvenation procedures at the same time.
During your consultation, you will discuss with Dr. Cho on the type of tummy tuck you need. A full tummy tuck or abdominoplasty removes skin from above the navel down to the pubic area. Your muscles are tightened and the Dr. Cho may use liposuction to contour the abdomen. A full tummy tuck may be indicated after pregnancy or obesity.
A mini tummy tuck addresses laxity and protrusion below the navel. It is generally recommended for people who are in fairly good shape and have minimal aesthetic concerns with the skin/shape above the navel.
A floating belly button tummy tuck is a hybrid between the mini tummy tuck and the traditional tummy tuck approach. It is great for someone who would benefit from muscle tightening, fat reduction and skin tightening/reduction but who does not want to have an incision around the navel. During this procedure, the navel is taken off its insertion on the abdominal muscles, then the muscle tigthening occurs, then the belly button is reattached to the abdominal muscles in a slightly lower position.
An extended tummy tuck addresses excess skin in the hips or love handles. The incision is longer to help those who have excessive skin after pregnancy or weight loss. The corsetplasty is usually reserved for someone with excess skin laxity, often as a result of massive weight loss. This procedures not only removes horizontal skin excess, but also removes additional vertical skin excess resulting in the most dramatic amount of skin removal. The resulting scars include an incision under the breast fold, vertically down the middle of the abdomen and a lower horizontal incision beneath the underwear line.
Most patients experience only minor side effects from tummy tuck surgery such as swelling, bruising and temporary numbness of the incision site. However, a tummy tuck is major surgery and complications such as blood clots, wound healing complications, infections are possible.
What to Expect