The tummy is a problem area for so many women. Pregnancy, genetics, and the weight gain/weight loss yo-yo can all leave you with excess skin, stretch marks and widened or loose abdominal muscles that are resistant to diet and exercise. A tummy tuck will restore your youthful figure, lifting and trimming the excess skin and muscle in your abdomen to transform your body into something you’ve always desired. If you also have stubborn areas of fat in your abdomen, back, or flanks, then these can be addressed with liposuction at the same time as your tummy tuck.
During your initial consultation, Dr. David Sieber will work closely with you to understand your goals for surgery, and together you’ll develop the personalized surgical plan that will best deliver your desired outcome. A tummy tuck is not weight loss surgery. It’s about body contouring so the ideal candidates for a tummy tuck are those patients who are of normal weight with an active, healthy lifestyle, but who have excess skin and/or stubborn areas of fat.
One of the biggest deterrents for many women who want a tummy tuck is the scars. We’ve all seen pictures or had friends with long wide scars after their tummy tuck surgeries, but that doesn’t always need to be the case. The length of your scar is totally going to depend on the amount of excess tissue that needs to be removed so those patients with just a small amount of excess skin may be candidates for a short scar or mini-tummy tuck. Other patients who have poor skin quality and excess skin that extends around into the hips may require longer scars to achieve optimal results. All of these options will be discussed with you in detail during your initial consultation. For every patient, Dr. Sieber uses his extensive skill, advanced training and knowledge as a plastic surgeon to deliver the best possible scar results. He also puts all of his patients on a scar therapy program to help you form the best quality scars possible.
A tummy tuck may be performed alone or as part of a Mommy Makeover.
A tummy tuck can improve:
- Remove unwanted stretch marks
- Contour hips and thighs
- Tighten widened abdominal muscles
- Remove excess skin (above and below the belly button)
- Deliver a flatter, smoother abdominal area
- Length: 3-4 hours
- Anesthesia: General
- Inpt/Outpt: Outpatient or outpatient
- Side effects: swelling, bruising, numbness
- Recovery: 1-2 weeks
To find out more about a tummy tuck with Dr. David Sieber at Sieber Plastic Surgery, call us today at: 415-915-9000 or schedule a consultation here.
Tummy Tuck Technique
A tummy tuck may be performed as an outpatient surgery or may require an overnight stay. During the procedure, Dr. Sieber will make the appropriate incisions depending on the type of tummy tuck technique that you require. This will all be discussed with you in detail during your initial consultation. Dr. Sieber believes in placing his incisions as low as possible so that when you wear low cut jeans or swim suits, your scar will not be visible. During your surgery, Dr. Sieber will perform liposuction on those stubborn areas of excess fat, if needed, to re-contour your hips and narrow your waistline. Any abdominal muscles which were pulled apart during pregnancy will be tightened back together, and then your excess skin will be removed to leave you with a narrowed waist and flat abdomen.
Preparing for Tummy Tuck Surgery
As with any major surgery, all medications and supplements which cause an increased risk of bleeding should be stopped 2 weeks prior to surgery. Please see our list of medications and supplements to avoid. As always, make sure to check with your doctor before stopping any medications.
Recovery from Tummy Tuck Surgery
After surgery, you will be wearing an abdominal binder or compression garment that will need to be worn 24/7 for about 6-8 weeks. You may also have two drainage tubes in place to remove any fluid from beneath your incisions. Dr. Sieber does perform “drain-less” tummy tucks in select patients. Whether or not you are a candidate for this can be discussed during your initial consultation.
You can expect moderate swelling and bruising throughout your abdomen and in any areas where liposuction was performed. Wearing your compression garment will help reduce the swelling. Patients typically have noticeable swelling for the first 1-2 weeks after surgery before it begins to taper off, but it can take anywhere from 3-6 months for your swelling to completely resolve. Immediately after surgery, you will notice that some areas above your incision line are numb with decreased sensation. This is normal. Your sensation will return as the swelling decreases and your nerves recover from the stress of surgery.
Recovery after a tummy tuck over can take some time. For at least the first week after surgery you’re going to be sore and uncomfortable. It is normal to feel pulling, tugging and tightness throughout your abdomen for the first few weeks to months after surgery. This will gradually improve with time. You should refrain from any rigorous activity for the first 2 weeks after surgery, and avoid lifting anything heavier than 10 lbs. for at least 4 weeks. So if you have kids at home, you’ll need to have someone around to help.
You can start moderate exercise at 2 weeks post op, more intense exercise at 4 weeks post op and you’ll be released back to all normal activities at 6 weeks post op. Most patients are ok going back to work after the first week.
Q: I’m afraid of having a long scar. Will I still be able to wear a two-piece swim suit?
A: Having a tummy tuck is a major operation and to get the best possible results, you will end up with a scar. Dr. Sieber will be able to give you a better idea of the length of that scar during your initial consultation. Dr. Sieber places his incisions as low as possible so that you’re able to wear any clothes you want after surgery. He also puts all of his patients on a scar therapy program after surgery to make sure you end up with the best scar possible.
Q: When will I be able to go back to work after surgery?
A: Most patients find that they require about 1 week off from work, depending on your job. Immediately after surgery, you will be limited in your mobility and will need someone to help you for the first few days. During the first week after surgery, you will experience tightness in your incision and where your muscles where tightened. This sensation will gradually improve during the first 1-2 weeks following your surgery. You should not lift anything heavier than 10 lbs. for the first 4 weeks after surgery.
Q: How long after surgery before I can see results?
A: You’ll notice a huge difference in your body as soon as you wake up from surgery! Although you will see a difference right away, you will have some swelling for at least 3-6 months after surgery. Wearing your compression garments as instructed, limiting salt intake, and staying active will all help to reduce your swelling faster.