Technically known as abdominoplasty, the tummy tuck is a plastic surgery procedure which removes excess fat and skin and tightens weakened abdominal muscles in order to flatten and shape a protruding abdomen and waist. Candidates for the tummy tuck include individuals who are in good general health, have realistic expectations and are looking to improve pockets of fat or loose skin of the abdomen that have not responded to diet or exercise. Tummy tuck is offered at Gotham Plastic Surgery in New York to help address those issues. Individuals who have undergone a previous tummy tuck procedure may be candidates for a revision tummy tuck.
The tummy tuck can be particularly beneficial for women with stretched skin and muscles resulting from pregnancy and for individuals who have lost significant weight. Those who are planning a future pregnancy or weight loss may be encouraged to postpone surgery. Patients with just localized areas of fat and no excess skin may benefit from liposuction alone. There is also a mini tummy tuck procedure involving decreased scarring and shorter surgery and recovery times which may be performed on patients whose problem area is limited to the lower abdomen.
Dr. Steinbrech performs the tummy tuck and revision tummy tuck on an outpatient basis at their JCAHO accredited plastic surgery clinic at Gotham Plastic Surgery of New York City. Surgical times will vary, though a full tummy tuck typically takes between two and five hours to complete while a mini or partial tummy tuck can take as little as two hours. Either local anesthesia or general anesthesia may be used. The incision for a full tummy tuck is located in the pubic area between the hipbones.
Through this incision, the abdominal muscles are tightened and excess skin and fat are removed. A second incision is often made around the navel, allowing the navel to be moved to a new position.
For a mini tummy tuck, the incision is much shorter and the second incision is typically not required.
Learn more about tummy tuck, please visit ncbi.gov.
People with loose skin and stubborn areas of fat along their abdomen are ideal candidates for tummy tucks. If your abdomen’s appearance bothers you and you are considering a tummy tuck, you should first be able to answer “yes” to the following questions:
- Am I physically healthy?
- Have I maintained my current weight for several months?
- Do I have realistic expectations?
- Am I a nonsmoker?
The reasons for your abdominal concerns may vary, from losing a significant amount of weight to post-partum changes. Some women choose to undergo a tummy tuck after they are finished having children, often as part of a mommy makeover, to help regain their pre-pregnancy appearance.
Correcting diastasis recti, also caused by pregnancy, is another reason for undergoing a tummy tuck. Diastasis recti is the separation of the abdominal muscles, which occurs because of the natural stretching of your abdominal muscles and connective tissues to make room for the expanding uterus.
Diastasis recti can cause:
- Back and pelvic pain
- Weak core
- Inability to lift heavy objects
- Pain when coughing
- Damage to posture
- Pelvic floor dysfunction
Exercises can help improve symptoms of diastasis recti, but the separated abdominal muscles do not rejoin naturally for many women. Surgery becomes the only way to correct this, which can also strengthen the core and minimize back pain.
If you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck, this procedure can produce great results, such as:
- Smaller waist size
- Stronger core
- Removal of excess fat (more than what’s possible with liposuction alone)
- Lower health risks for diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, gallbladder disease, incontinence, hernias, and gallstones
- Long-lasting results with healthy eating and exercise habits
- Greater quality of life
- Ability to be more active
The Recovery After A Tummy Tuck At Our Plastic Surgery Clinic
Bandages are often applied after surgery at our NYC plastic surgery clinic. Drains may be inserted at the incision sites to collect excess fluid and these are generally removed within four to seven days. Some swelling, bruising and discomfort are normal after surgery. Pain medication will help to control discomfort. Stitches are usually removed within seven to ten days. Patients will need to wear a supportive garment for up to six weeks after surgery. Work can often be resumed within two to four weeks, though strenuous activity and heavy lifting will need to be avoided for at least six to eight weeks.
After surgery, it's possible to experience additional temporary swelling. Time will be required for more fluid (lymph) drainage systems to develop to drain that extra swelling. However, if the swelling has not resolved in three months, please contact Gotham Plastic Surgery of New York City.
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