Today everyone is looking for ways to slim and tighten their midsections, and abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck, is one of the most popular cosmetic plastic surgery procedures performed in the United States. In 2014 alone, more than 117,000 abdominoplasty surgeries were performed in the United States, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons annual report, an increase of 5% over the previous year and of 87% since 2000. But despite its steadily increasing popularity, the abdominoplasty is still a procedure about which many people have misconceptions. As one of the premier cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery centers in the southeast for nearly 40 years, Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. sees many patients with questions about this extremely effective body contouring procedure. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that we hear about tummy tucks.
How is a tummy tuck performed?
Significant weight fluctuation can often cause the skin and muscles in the abdomen to stretch and sag. A tummy tuck removes this excess skin and tightens the underlying abdominal muscles, giving the entire torso a more streamlined and aesthetically pleasing appearance. An incision is made on the lower abdomen between the hips just above the pubic area so that the scars can easily be covered with minimal clothing. The excess fat and skin is then removed, the remaining skin stretched downward, and the naval repositioned.
Am I a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
Contrary to what some people may believe, an abdominoplasty is often most effective in cases where the patient has already lost a significant amount of weight through conventional diet and exercise. Optimal candidates for abdominoplasty include men and women who are in relatively good shape, but who have stubborn fat deposits in the abdominal wall and loose, distended abdominal muscles forming a stomach “pooch” that require tightening. Tummy tuck surgery is also ideal for women who have loose abdominal skin from the effects of pregnancy, but is not recommended for women who may wish to become pregnant again as subsequent pregnancy or weight gain may ruin the results of the procedure.
What is the difference between a tummy tuck and a mini-tummy tuck?
In cases where the patient that has a smaller amount of fat in the abdominal area and the muscle separation is less severe, a full tummy tuck may not be necessary. A mini tummy tuck, or partial abdominoplasty, uses a much smaller bikini incision to remove excess skin and/or tighten abdominal muscles only in the area below the naval. Because the procedure uses smaller incisions and does not reposition the naval, it generally requires less surgical downtime and allows for a speedier recovery.
Can other cosmetic plastic surgery procedures compliment a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck is frequently performed with a breast lift or reduction and, in some cases, liposuction as one component of a mommy makeover, a combination of several cosmetic body contouring procedures designed to restore a woman’s body after the effects of a pregnancy. A tummy tuck can also be performed with other procedures that lift and tighten excess, sagging skin after significant weight loss, such as breast lifts, arm lifts, and thigh lifts.
Understanding all of the possibilities and limits of a particular plastic surgery procedure is often the best way to ensure that you have realistic expectations before surgery, which is in turn one of the best ways to ensure that your satisfaction with your final results. If you are interested in learning more about any of the plastic surgery procedures we perform, or about how the variety of financing options, including Alphaeon® and CareCredit®, that we provide can help you, please contact us at one of our Atlanta, Alpharetta, Cumming, or Newnan offices. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest news in plastic surgery.