Charles Perry, MD, Plastic Surgeon
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Tummy Tuck

Prepare to enjoy a flat tummy, a slim waistline, and a youthful attitude! Tummy tuck surgery helps men or women troubled by a protruding abdomen that has not responded to diet and exercise. These individuals may also have areas of loose skin coupled with excess fat. With the tummy tuck procedure, extensively trained plastic surgeon Charles Perry, MD is able to remove skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen while tightening the muscles to slim the waistline, giving back your youthful look and feel.

We offer both the full and mini tummy tuck surgery at our practice. Mini tummy tuck is a less drastic procedure than the full abdominoplasty, making it ideally suited for those with a protrusion primarily below the navel.

While full and mini tummy tuck can yield impressive results on their own, combining the surgery with liposuction is sometimes recommended to remove stubborn fatty deposits from around the abdomen.

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What Makes a Good Candidate for Tummy Tuck?

Full tummy tuck surgery is excellent for men or women who are of relatively normal weight and have a significantly protruding abdomen as a result of aging, pregnancy, weight loss, or other factors.

Ideal candidates for mini tummy tuck are those with trouble areas located primarily in the region below the belly button. Like full tummy tuck, mini tummy tuck may be combined with some liposuction.

Weight loss and pregnancy are common causes of abdominal protrusion and excess skin along the midsection. Pregnancy, in particular, stretches the skin and muscle of the abdomen in a way that can only be corrected surgically.

If you smoke, you should quit at least two weeks before full or mini tummy tuck surgery, and abstain from smoking for one to two weeks after surgery. Smoking delays healing and increases the chances of poor healing. This can result in conspicuous scars and the need for additional surgery.

Tummy tuck is not recommended for:

  • Individuals who intend to lose a significant amount of weight
  • Women who may become pregnant in the future
  • Individuals with unrealistic expectations
  • Individuals with scarring from previous abdominal surgery

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Things to Consider Before Undergoing Tummy Tuck Surgery

Financial responsibilities

Fees for tummy tuck are not covered by health insurance. Surgical fees include the cost of anesthesia, lab tests, medications, cost of surgical supplies, surgery center charges, and more. If complications develop, you will incur additional charges. However, if the complication poses a health risk, your health plan will cover hospitalization, anesthesia, and/or secondary surgery.

Scarring

Tummy tuck surgery leaves a scar. In the case of a full tummy tuck, the scar will extend from hip bone to hip bone. A mini tummy tuck leaves a less extensive scar. While this scar is designed to be hidden by swimsuits and similar garments, you cannot expect it to fully disappear.

How is tummy tuck performed?

Tummy tuck is performed under general anesthesia, or a local anesthesia plus a sedative. Tummy tuck, especially mini tummy tuck, is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, so you will be able to go home the day of surgery.

A full tummy tuck is performed through a long incision that extends from hip to hip. The surgeon will also make an incision to free the navel from its underlying tissue, preparing it to be moved upward. The surgeon will draw your abdominal muscles together and stitch them carefully into their new position, creating a flatter abdomen and slimmer waistline. Next the surgeon will excise extra skin and reposition the navel. Finally, the incisions are closed with sutures, and drains are placed to aid in the healing process.

In a mini tummy tuck, the incision is much shorter, and the navel is not repositioned. This procedure addresses protrusion below the navel. Just like in a full tummy tuck, excess skin and fat are removed and muscles are tightened, but on a smaller scale than full tummy tuck. To find out which type of tummy tuck is best for you, it is best to be examined by Dr. Perry.

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Are There any Risks of Tummy Tuck?

Tummy tuck and mini tummy tuck, just like any surgical procedure, carry some risks. Patients should know that one or more complications are possible.

Infection

While infection is unusual after tummy tuck surgery, the rare development of an infection would require treatment using antibiotics or drainage, possibly requiring a prolonged hospital stay.

Poor healing and conspicuous scarring

If you follow aftercare instructions and don’t smoke, you can expect excellent healing and scar resolution after tummy tuck surgery. However, poor healing, especially if you smoke, is always a risk, possibly leading to the formation of conspicuous scars that may require a second surgery to treat.

Unsatisfactory result

The exact results of tummy tuck surgery can never be predicted. For this reason, patients should maintain realistic expectations and not anticipate perfection. Even with realistic expectations, tummy tuck surgery may yield an unsatisfactory result. Additional surgery may be required to improve upon sub par results and can be completed six months to a year after the original surgery, when healing is complete and the final results have emerged.

Reactions to anesthesia or surgical materials

All types of anesthesia involve risk and the possibility of complications, injury, and even death. In rare cases, patients have experienced allergic reactions to suture material, surgical tape, and other products used during tummy tuck surgery. Reactions such as these are impossible to predict and may require additional treatment.

Complete Pre- and Post-operative Instructions for Tummy Tuck Patients

To make your tummy tuck experience a positive one, we have prepared this comprehensive list of instructions. We recommend that you read these guidelines over as soon as your surgery day is scheduled. On your surgery day, print out the instructions and bring them with you.

Tummy Tuck Instructions (printer-friendly)

Whatever your age, don’t let a protruding abdomen hold you back from enjoying life to the fullest! To learn more about this procedure or schedule a consultation, contact our cosmetic surgery practice today.

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*Individual Results May Vary

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