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If you have had children or lost a significant amount of weight, you have probably noticed that excess skin has gradually accumulated on your stomach. This loose skin can be especially frustrating for patients because it does not respond to diet and exercise. In fact, you could be in the best shape of your life, but still have flaps of excess skin on the abdomen or other areas of the body. The only effective treatment for excess abdominal skin is the tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, procedure. Kennesaw tummy tuck surgeons Marcus Crawford and Steven Bailey perform the treatment to address extra skin, weakened stomach muscles, and stretch marks on the lower abdomen.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
The mini and traditional tummy tuck procedures (a.k.a. mini-abdominoplasty and abdominoplasty) can be performed on an outpatient basis; most extended tummy tuck operations are performed on inpatient basis and require a one-night stay in the hospital. All tummy tuck patients are put under general anesthesia for the two to three hour procedure; this is done for both your safety and comfort. An incision is then created just below the underwear line so any resulting scarring remains hidden when you are wearing bathing suits or low-rise jeans. The length of the incision depends upon the type of tummy tuck procedure that is appropriate for your individual case. In certain cases, certain tummy tuck procedures are combined with liposuction to improve the contour of the abdomen, flanks, and back. Since our surgeons customize each tummy tuck surgery for the individual patient, this decision is made on a case by case basis. During your consultation, you will be informed if additional procedures are recommended to achieve your desired outcome.
- Mini Tummy Tuck: Certain individuals have excess loose skin and some fat that is confined to the lower abdomen below the belly button. This excess skin and fat can often be removed through a small incision that is hidden in the bikini area. The mini tummy tuck surgery usually does not address any loose skin or fat above the belly button. This surgery is often combined with liposuction to achieve a more defined waistline. Mini tummy tuck surgeries have very little recovery time but can improve the appearance of the lower abdomen significantly.
- Traditional Tummy Tuck: For patients who have excess skin and some fat in the lower and upper abdomen, the traditional tummy tuck surgery can be extremely effective. The incision is placed low on the abdomen so that your surgical scar is hidden by ordinary two-piece bathing suits or underwear. The surgery is designed to not only remove excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen, but to also enhance the shape of your waistline. During the traditional tummy tuck, our surgeons will inspect the tissue surrounding the muscles of your abdomen. If some tightening of these muscles is needed, it can be performed during the removal of the excess skin and fat. This technique often creates a more youthful waistline and enhances your figure. In many patients, stretch marks that have formed in the lower abdomen from weight gain or childbirth can be removed to provide a more smooth and even skin tone.
- Extended Tummy Tuck: Our surgeons often perform the extended abdominoplasty for patients who have excess skin and fat that extends to the flank region and lower back. This procedure usually requires a slightly longer incision, but it is effective for patients who have loose skin and fat that is not confined to the central lower abdomen. Although the extended tummy tuck procedure requires a slightly longer incision, the recovery for this surgery is not significantly different from the standard abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).
Once the incisions have been made, our surgeons will separate the skin from the underlying abdominal muscles so that the muscles can be tightened. Next, the skin is re-draped over the stomach and the excess skin is permanently excised to produce a flat, toned appearance. If you have any stretch marks on the lower stomach, our surgeons will remove the skin that is affected by these unsightly scars. During the final steps of your tummy tuck surgery, our surgeons will create a new belly button and close all incisions.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
If you have small children, it is important to realize that you will need assistance with their care after surgery for a few days. Although the tummy tuck surgery is an extensive operation, the recovery from the surgery is not very painful. After our surgeons perform a tummy tuck, most patients feel some tightening of the abdomen that improves gradually over the first few weeks after surgery. Most patients are fitted with a compression garment after surgery to minimize the postoperative swelling. To promote healing and reduce swelling, you may be required to wear a surgical drain for up to one week after surgery. Drains are used to remove excess fluid that accumulates within the tummy tuck wound
Serious risks of tummy tuck surgery include bleeding, infection at the incision site, fluid collections, and problems with wound healing. If you experience severe pain, delayed healing, or any other problems, contact our practice immediately.
Tummy Tuck Consultations
Contact us today to schedule your tummy tuck consultation.