A tummy tuck is another name for what is medically called an abdominoplasty. This body contouring surgery focuses on shaping the abdominal area by removing excess fat and trimming away loose skin.
When a certified plastic surgeon performs an abdominoplasty, they also reinforce the abdominal muscles to further improve the look of your tummy. Abdominoplasty can also remove some, if not all, stretch marks in your lower abdomen.
Tummy tucks are popular options for women following pregnancy or massive weight loss. However, it is important to understand that an abdominoplasty is not a weight loss solution; as you can always gain the weight back later.
How Much is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck qualifies as major surgery, and that status is reflected in the average cost for the procedure. However, at Garza Plastic Surgery in Nashville, we recognize that every patient’s body is different. Therefore each treatment will be uniquely personalized to the patient.
As a result, the cost of a tummy tuck at our practice will also differ from patient-to-patient. And while this procedure is expensive, we will do our best to provide the surgery to you at a reasonable price.
When to Consider a Tummy Tuck
Many people consider receiving abdominoplasty to help with these concerns:
Stubborn fat around the stomach
Weight fluctuations have left you with extra skin on your abdomen
Abdominal muscle weakness
You may also want to consider a tummy tuck if you relate to one or more of the following statements:
The shape of your abdomen has been affected by pregnancy or massive weight loss. You feel that your protruding abdomen is unattractive. Your self-confidence is negatively affected by the contour of your stomach.
Pros and Cons of Getting a Tummy Tuck
Tummy-tuck surgery will restore a flat tummy.
You will look better in clothes and swimwear.
You will have a more youthful-looking body.
Your abdominal muscles will have more structural support.
Your risk for abdominal hernias will decrease.
May improve female urinary incontinence.
You will have a scar (located below your bikini line).
Another pregnancy may influence surgery results, so it is best to wait until you’ve finished having children before undergoing this procedure.
Weight gain following abdominoplasty may negatively affect your surgery results.
This is not a weight loss solution, and it is possible to undo the results of the procedure if you do not have a lifestyle consistent with your new body contours.
There are several possible complications after this procedure, including blood clots, bleeding, asymmetry, fat necrosis, and infection.
These are just a few of the pros and cons to weigh when considering a tummy tuck in Nashville, TN. If you want to focus on what is unique to you, please consult with your Nashville plastic surgeon.
What Do I Need to Do Before Getting a Tummy Tuck?
Smoking slows down the healing process and increases the risk of serious complications during and after surgery. If you smoke, you must quit at least six weeks before surgery.
Get To A Stable Weight
Slender individuals with extra fat and loose skin in the lower tummy are the best candidates. As mentioned, tummy tucks are not weight loss solutions but are cosmetic solutions.
Improve Your Physical Health
You must be in relatively good physical shape to tolerate this procedure. Also, if you’re not careful, you might undo the results of your surgery if you gain more weight.
Make Sure You’re Done Having Children
The muscles that are repaired during an abdominoplasty can separate again during a future pregnancy. Not to mention other stretch marks may appear with the additional weight gained during pregnancy.
Consult With A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Nashville, TN
Dr. Robert Garza is a double board-certified plastic surgeon who provides excellent cosmetic care for his patients throughout Nashville. During your consultation, Dr. Garza will work with you to review your medical history, expectations, and goals for this body contouring surgery.
Additional tests may be recommended depending on your medical history. For instance, internal or external scars from any previous abdominal surgery may also affect your candidacy.
If you are in good general health, have a positive attitude, and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for a tummy tuck.
Tummy Tuck Procedure Steps
During an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), your plastic surgeon will remove your loose abdominal skin and tighten up your abdominal muscles with sutures.
Your plastic surgeon will mark your abdomen to indicate the location of the incisions, the center of your torso, and the location of the repositioned navel.
A solution of lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and epinephrine (a vasoconstrictor that controls bleeding by constricting blood vessels) will be injected.
The primary tummy tuck incision will be above the pubic mound, from one hipbone to the other. In a full abdominoplasty, another incision is made around your navel. In a mini-tummy tuck, your surgeon will use a shorter incision.
The surgeon will loosen the skin from your abdominal wall to your ribcage and then place sutures in the fascia of your abdominal muscles to pull them into a tighter position. This is the muscle repair portion of the surgery.
Fat Reduction & Skin Stretching
After your abdominal muscles have been sutured, your surgeon will remove excess fat by liposuction or other methods. Your abdominal skin is then stretched down over your incision line, and the excess skin is removed.
Creating The “New” Navel
Next, your surgeon will mark the placement of your navel. Although the skin around your navel has been moved, the navel almost always stays in the same place. Your surgeon cuts a hole through the redraped skin and sutures it around your navel.
Your surgeon will use tissue glue, sutures, staples, or Steri-Strips to close the incisions.
In a full abdominoplasty, the surgeon will often insert one or more drains to prevent fluid buildup, which can cause pressure on the incision.
The drain is a clear plastic tube placed through a very short incision below the main incision, which leads out of the body to a small oval-shaped bulb. Each time you empty a bulb, and before you close it again, you will be asked to squeeze it to help drain the wound. This will help the surgery site heal effectively.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Tummy Tuck?
Because abdominoplasty is an intense cosmetic surgery, it can take up to 3 months or more to fully recover. Luckily, most patients tend to recover in as little as 6 weeks.
During recovery, you will need to limit physical activity. You will also work with Dr. Garza to set up follow-up appointments to evaluate your recovery process. It is very important that you strictly follow your doctor’s instructions so you can avoid complications.