What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, otherwise known as an abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that tightens and slims the abdomen and waist, turning a round or protruding tummy into a flat, sculpted one. By removing loose skin, stubborn fat, and tightening the abdominal muscles, a tummy tuck will minimize a bulging waistline and reduce your overall tummy circumference.
Abdominoplasty is great for women who developed loose skin or an abdominal bulge after pregnancy. The procedure is also helpful for those who have lost a significant amount of weight, people who have developed loose skin from the natural aging process, or anyone who desires a flatter abdomen and tighter skin. Beyond tightening loose skin and flab, a tummy tuck can correct a condition known as diastasis of the abdominal wall. This is when the midline abdominal muscle becomes weakened and can separate. The condition most frequently happens during pregnancy.
Benefits of Abdominoplasty
As you age and your body changes, you may notice sagging and loose skin around your midsection. After pregnancy, many women notice these changes because the muscles and skin have been stretched. Regardless of your reasons for seeking this procedure, abdominoplasty will leave you with a more youthful and sleek profile.
It is recommended that female patients wait to have abdominoplasty until they no longer plan on becoming pregnant in the future. This will ensure that the weight gain and stretching associated with pregnancy will not alter the results of your tummy tuck surgery.
How is a Tummy Tuck Performed?
There are different options for a tummy tuck procedure, and each one works differently. At Hess and Sandeen, we strive to give you as many treatment options as possible. We stay on top of the newest technologies and trends. Your plastic surgeon will meet with you to determine which surgery or combination of surgeries will best give you the results you are looking for. Some of the options include a complete abdominoplasty, a mini tummy tuck, and an extended tummy tuck.
A complete abdominoplasty requires your plastic surgeon to cut from hip bone to hip bone across your abdomen. In most cases, your surgeon will work with you to keep the scar lower on your abdominal area and less visible. After making the incision, your surgeon will perform body contouring by tightening your ab muscles and removing excess skin and fat. Your belly button will be repositioned to look more natural.
A mini tummy tuck is used for individuals who are in good shape but desire a flatter stomach. It is best suited to those who have more loose skin below the belly button than above. Compared to the complete abdominoplasty, this cosmetic surgery takes a shorter length of time to complete and your belly button will not move during the process. It may also leave less scars, although the results are not as dramatic as the full procedure.
Alternatively, you can opt for an extended tummy tuck, which alters your hips as well as your stomach. This type of abdominoplasty is best suited for a patient who requires total body contouring and skin tightening after major weight loss. The extended tummy tuck requires a longer incision as well as one around the belly button. During the procedure, liposuction may be used to remove fat deposits, excess skin and fat are trimmed, and abdominal muscles are tightened. The surgery repositions the belly button and slims your figure.
Recovery from An Abdominoplasty
As with any other surgery, recovery from a tummy tuck will take time. After the surgery, you will be asked to limit your movement for 48 hours. However, it is important to move around a small amount in order to help promote blood circulation. You will be wearing a compression garment and will be given pain medication to help with your post-surgery discomfort.
Your ability to go back to work usually depends on the nature of your work, how physical your work is, your level of tummy tuck, and your tolerance to pain. Under most circumstances, you can return to work in 10 to 15 days. However, if you do not work at a desk job and your work requires physical activity then you will be out of work longer. Normal exercise and physical activity are usually allowed within 4-6 weeks.
Will Insurance Cover Tummy Tuck Surgery
Almost all tummy tuck surgeries are considered cosmetic. As a result, most insurance companies will not cover the procedure or its complications.
Occasionally, some abdominoplasty procedures will be covered if there are other conditions involved such as hernias. Panniculectomies, which is the removal of excess skin and fat, may also be covered if there are problems such as rashes, dermatitis, or back pain. It is always a good idea to check with your insurance company in advance so you know which costs you will need to pay. Hess and Sandeen offer financing through Care Credit to help you accomplish your goal of a younger, more confident you. Call our office for more information about financing options.