Abdominoplasty, or a “tummy tuck,” is the most common procedure for flattening the stomach. Tummy tucks are helpful to women who have stretched muscles and skin after pregnancy, or for men and women who have lost a great deal of weight. Tummy tuck is also a great option for women who suffer from a genetic predisposition towards loose skin.
What Does A Tummy Tuck Do?
A tummy tucks remove excess skin from the middle and lower abdomen and tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall. The resulting scar is permanent, but can be hidden below the bikini line and will fade with time.
Tummy Tuck Before and After Photos
Visit our Tummy Tuck Before and After Photo Gallery to see pictures of actual patients.
What Is A Mini Tummy Tuck?
If the area giving you the most trouble is below the belly button, you could qualify for a “mini tummy tuck,” or “mini abdominoplasty”. A mini tummy tuck tightens the skin between the pubic area and your navel. This is generally considered a less complex procedure and will take less time. Since the incision is much smaller, a mini tummy tuck results in less scarring.
Tummy Tuck Surgery Overview
Patients who undergo tummy tuck surgery will be given either general anesthesia or a local anesthesia with a sedative. A full abdominoplasty will take between two and five hours.
Orange County cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Accetta will make a long incision slightly above the pubic area. This incision runs from one hipbone to the other. An additional incision will also be made to free the navel from the tissue that surrounds it and the skin will be separated from the abdominal wall.
Once the skin is separated, a large flap of skin will be lifted to reveal your abdominal muscles. Your muscles will be pulled closer in order to tighten them, and then stitched into their new position, which will make them firmer and also make your waist smaller.
Next, the flap of skin is pulled down and any excess will be removed. A new hole will then be cut in your skin for your navel. The tummy tuck will end with your incisions being stitched, dressings applied to the incisions, and, in some cases, a tube will be inserted to temporarily help drain any extra fluid that accumulates around the site of the surgery.
If you are having a mini tummy tuck, Dr. Accetta will also make an incision, shorter than that needed for a full tummy tuck, above the pubic area. The skin between the incision line and navel is then separated. After this, the skin flap is stretched down and, before being stitched back into place, the extra skin is removed. A mini tummy tuck is generally complete in one to two hours.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
The tummy tuck recovery varies from one patient to another. For a tummy tuck recovery, you can expect your abdomen to be sore and swollen for several days after your surgery. Dr. Accetta will prescribe medication to help keep any pain under control. To accelerate the tummy tuck recovery process, Dr. Accetta recommends patients start walking shortly after the procedure in order to avoid complications such as blood clotting.
The staff at the Accetta Institute for Cosmetic Surgery will review your tummy tuck recovery instructions including when and how often you should change your dressings, as well as how to handle activities such as showering. Any stitches on the surface of your skin will be removed by your physician within five to seven days, while deeper sutures will be removed after two to three weeks.
Tummy tuck recovery does take time. While tummy tuck recovery is as quick as two weeks for some individuals, most patients take three to four weeks for a full recovery. As your scars begin to heal, they may temporarily look worse than before. However, after nine months to one year, your scars will lighten in color, flatten out, and blend in fairly well with your skin.
Maintain Your New Look
Following tummy tuck recovery, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet and exercise plan. Dr. Accetta will recommend to you how long you need to wait before beginning to exercise. To the surprise of many, moderate exercise actually aids the tummy tuck recovery process. Additionally, by taking the initiative to take care of yourself, you can ensure that the results you have gained from your tummy tuck will last for a very long time.
Benefits of Tummy Tuck
While the main purpose of tummy tucks is to tighten skin and muscles in the abdominal area, it can lead to a number of other options. For example, if you have strong abs that are hidden by skin and fat, you can get abdominal etching to sculpt and showcase your six-pack. After your abdominoplasty, you can also get a Panniculectomy, which removes skin and fat below the belly button and around to your lower back area. Or, if you’ve always been dissatisfied with the placement or shape of your belly button, this can be fixed during the tummy tuck procedure.
Dr. Accetta of Accetta Institute of Cosmetic Surgery performs a special procedure for tummy tucks, which is known as high lateral tension. Unlike the regular tummy tuck, which tightens the abdomen along the center, a high lateral tension tummy tuck focuses on the sides of the abdomen. This allows for a better contour and higher tension. However, because of the precision involved, the procedure time is slightly longer than a standard tummy tuck.
Tummy Tuck Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I need a Full Tummy Tuck or a Mini Tummy Tuck?
A: Dr. Accetta will evaluate your body and consider your goals to determine if a full tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck is right for you. A full tummy tuck is great for women and men who have significant fat or excess skin around their abdomen. A mini tummy tuck is ideal for patients who’s main concern area is below the belly button.
Q: How long does a Tummy Tuck Take?
A: A full tummy tuck takes two to five hours, mini tummy tucks take one to two hours.
Q: How much does a Tummy Tuck cost?
A: Tummy tuck cost varies from one patient to another depending on your condition and desired results. Dr. Accetta offers competitive pricing for tummy tucks with financing options to make tummy tuck costs more affordable.
Q: What can I expect my results to look like?
A: Dr. Accetta will help you set realistic expectations. During your consultation, you will be able to see patient tummy tuck pictures. Visit our tummy tuck gallery to see tummy tuck before and after photos.
Schedule a Consultation
Contact cosmetic surgeon Dr. Accetta of the Accetta Institute for Cosmetic Surgery in Orange County California to schedule your no obligation consultation and to learn more about tummy tucks and our other procedures.