Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Orange County
Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that removes loose skin, excess fat and tightens muscles in the abdominal wall. It is popular following pregnancy, massive weight loss or whenever a flabby abdomen with weak muscles impairs body contour. This page will review some of the most common topics related to Tummy Tuck surgery. To view Before & After photos of Dr. Aiello’s Tummy Tuck patients, Click HERE to go to the gallery.
WHAT DOES A TUMMY TUCK CORRECT?
There comes a time when you realize that efforts at dieting and exercise are yielding lower numbers on your bathroom scale but not changing the appearance of your sagging and protruding abdomen. A Tummy Tuck surgery involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and tightening of the muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall. It should not be confused with liposuction, although it is very common to perform liposuction as part of a tummy tuck.
WHY WAS I TOLD I ALSO NEED LIPOSUCTION?
A tummy tuck can eliminate excess belly fat and skin from the front of your abdomen, but most patients will also need liposuction to remove excess fat from an adjacent area: The Hips! This area, not so affectionately known as the “muffin top,” is what truly defines the waistline and enhances the overall outcome of the tummy tuck procedure. If no liposuction is done with a standalone tummy tuck, you will often hear patients complain that although their tummy “pooch” is gone, they do not have the overall results they envisioned. The other common areas liposuctioned during a tummy tuck are the upper abs and pubis.
WHY DOES DR. AIELLO CHECK MY STOMACH MUSCLES DURING MY EXAM?
Loose, flaccid abdominal muscles are common among mothers and major weight-loss patients. These weakened core muscles can cause you to have poor posture and look overweight because you have lost the capacity and strength needed to properly hold in your insides (organs, fat, muscle, etc.)! The tummy tuck procedure surgically tightens these stomach muscles to keep your core tight and firm; however, it is highly recommended you maintain a lifelong core strengthening routine to keep them this way. Dr. Aiello gauges your muscle strength beforehand to have a baseline at surgery.
WILL A TUMMY TUCK ELIMINATE MY STRETCH MARKS?
It can! Many people have stretch marks their lower bellies, especially after pregnancy and weight loss. Tummy tuck surgery is an effective solution, as it completely eliminates excess, once stretched-out skin on the lower abdomen. Although it may not remove all of your stretch marks, you should see a dramatic improvement in this area.
WILL I HAVE DRAINS AFTER MY TUMMY TUCK?
Many plastic surgeons, including Dr. Aiello, have moved away from using drains for most tummy tuck patients. Why? In recent years we have just seen the useful function is outweighed by the downsides to drains.It’s important to know the surgical technique when performing a drainless tummy tuck is more complex and definitely is NOT just “leaving out” the drains! A very specific tummy tuck technique is employed often call “quilting” or “progressive tension sutures”. This typically takes about 20-30 minutes longer in the operating room, but that is easily recouped when you consider there is no maintenance by either medical staff or patient and family members in dealing with these drains! You may need to have some aspiration if there is a seroma accumulation, but not anymore frequently than if you had drains.
I DON’T WANT A LARGE SCAR; CAN I HAVE A “MINI” TUMMY TUCK?
“Mini” or modified abdominoplasties are reserved for cases where a patient is very fit, has great muscle tone, and has a very small area of excessive skin with or without stubborn fat in the lower abdomen. While we understand patients are always hopeful they will require a very minimal procedure, the majority of patients we see require a standard abdominoplasty (Mommy Makeover patients) or an extended abdominoplasty (Dramatic weight-loss patients). It’s important to be realistic with yourself, your body, and your surgery outcome expectations. Unfortunately, short incision techniques for any procedure (“mini” anything) are not effective at producing maximum outcomes. All tummy tucks produce a permanent scar, which, depending on the extent of the original problem and the surgery required to correct it, can extend from hip to hip. You will be advised at your consultation what you can expect in your specific case. Just be prepared!
WHY DO I NEED TO BE AT MY GOAL WEIGHT TO HAVE A TUMMY TUCK?
Stubborn fat is all too common in the lower abdomen. This area of the body can accumulate excess fat due to poor diet, lack of exercise, pregnancy, major weight gain, genetics, medications, and health conditions. A tummy tuck will trim away localized lower belly fat to create a flatter tummy. However, it is not a weight-loss surgery. If there is too much existing intra-abdominal fat, it can make the surgery riskier. It also makes it harder for Dr.Aiello to give you a good result because he can’t tighten the abdominal wall as much. While you don’t have to be at your all-time low weight before surgery, we do recommend that you be at a healthy weight, within 20 lbs. of your goal weight, and stable at this weight for at least six months.
More information on Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) in greater detail may be obtained from the references listed below:
- American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery www.surgery.org
- American Society of Plastic Surgeons www.plasticsurgery.org
- Smart Beauty Guide http://www.smartbeautyguide.com/procedures/body/tummy-tuck/
We understand the importance of having well-informed patients, and will take the time to thoroughly review all of your options for a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) so that you are confident with your choices. If you would like to learn more about Tummy Tuck surgery at Ocean Plastic Surgery Center, CLICK HERE to contact us! We look forward to speaking with you and to scheduling your complimentary consultation with Dr. Aiello.