Despite a strict diet and regular exercise, many men and women still struggle with loose sagging skin around the abdomen. Coupled with stretch marks and fat deposits, these issues cause many individuals to seek the benefits of a tummy tuck.
In the following article, we’ll define what a tummy tuck is and outline the steps of this extremely common procedure.
Tummy Tuck San Francisco
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
The tummy tuck — also known as abdominoplasty — is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures available. The procedure removes excess skin and, in some cases, small amounts of excess fat from the abdominal region. It also tightens weak abdominal muscles.
Abdominoplasty is most common among women who have had multiple pregnancies and who are done having children and individuals who have experienced drastic weight loss and/or weight gain.
The procedure itself takes several hours. This time may vary, however, and largely depends on whether the patient is having liposuction performed and the extent to which tissue must be removed.
What Are the Steps of a Tummy Tuck?
Let’s go over each of the steps involved in tummy tuck surgery:
1. Prepare for surgery several weeks prior
Two weeks before the date of your surgery, your surgeon will have you cease taking any medications or supplements that may cause increased bleeding during and after surgery. They will also ask that you stop smoking if you are a smoker, and other pre-surgery steps may need to be taken as well — all of which will be discussed with you ahead of time.
Make sure that you take time off from work or school for your surgery and recovery time. You can get an idea of how long this period will need to be by talking with your surgeon.
You’ll also need to make sure someone responsible who you trust can be there after your surgery to take you home. Most tummy tucks are outpatient procedures, which means you’ll be able to go home the same day as your surgery.
2. Meet with your surgeon on the day of the procedure
On the day of your procedure, you will be signed in and taken into a presurgical room. There, nurses will help you prepare for the procedure. You will also have a chance to meet with your surgeon and ask any additional questions.
Once you have been taken to the operating room, the first step will be to administer anesthesia for your own comfort.
During a full tummy tuck, you may be completely asleep under general anesthesia, or local anesthesia may be administered while you are sedated, relaxed, and comfortable.
Your surgeon will make an initial horizontal incision just above the pubic area, low enough to be hidden by underwear and bathing suits. With a full tummy tuck, an additional incision will be made around the belly button.
5. Abdominal muscle repair
Your surgeon will then need to lift the abdominal skin upward so that the abdominal muscles are exposed. At this point, they can repair and tighten these muscles by pulling them together. The result will be a smaller waistline and a flatter, smoother abdominal contour.
6. Tightening of skin and removal of excess skin
Once the abdominal muscles have been repaired, your surgeon will pull the upper abdominal skin down, pulling the excess skin beyond the incision point near the pubic area. This excess skin will be trimmed off. The bellybutton will be reinserted into the new opening over its original position and sutured into place.
7. Incision closure
Finally, your surgeon will close the incisions with the use of sutures as well as tapes, skin adhesives, or clips.
Adding Liposuction to a Tummy Tuck
Many patients opt to add liposuction to their tummy tuck. This is something you can discuss with your plastic surgeon at your consultation appointment. Not all patients who would benefit from a tummy tuck would benefit from liposuction, but it is quite common to have both procedures performed during the same surgery.
Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that removes pockets of excess fat from areas like the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, upper arms, and chin and neck. During the procedure, a thin tube (called a cannula) is used to agitate and remove excess fat through small incisions made in the target areas.
While liposuction is not a weight-loss procedure (only a small amount of excess fat should be removed via liposuction), it can provide enhanced results when combined with a tummy tuck. In order to qualify for liposuction — and in many cases a tummy tuck — patients should be at or within close range of their target weight.
What to Expect During Recovery From a Tummy Tuck
Swelling is very normal after undergoing a tummy tuck. To reduce swelling and support the affected area, your surgeon will have you wear compression garments as well as dressings and bandages at the beginning of your recovery period. In some cases, short-term use drainage tubes may be necessary to drain out excess fluid.
Some pain and discomfort may accompany the healing process. Your surgeon can prescribe pain medications and recommend other helpful steps to mitigate discomfort and aid in the process of healing.
You’ll meet with your surgeon several times during your recovery. After a time, the bandages and wraps can be removed, and as your recovery progresses, your surgeon will let you know when you can return to normal activities such as light physical exercise, work, and more.
Book Your Tummy Tuck Consultation Appointment
When looking for the best plastic surgeon to perform a tummy tuck San Francisco residents turn to Dr. David Sieber of Sieber Plastic Surgery.
Dr. Sieber is one of the only double board-certified reconstructive and plastic surgeons in the San Francisco Bay Area. With extensive experience performing tummy tucks, Dr. Sieber is highly sought-after, providing the best possible care for his wide range of patients.
To book a consultation appointment with Dr. Sieber today, give our San Francisco office a call at 415-915-9000.