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What is a Tummy-Tuck?
Abdominoplasty, also called a tummy-tuck, is a procedure which removes extra fat and skin from the abdomen, removes stretch marks from the lower abdomen, and tightens abdominal muscles to produce a flatter, more youthful torso. Dramatic improvements to the appearance of the abdomen can be accomplished. A tummy tuck will flatten your tummy and slim your waist. There were 127,633 tummy-tucks performed in the United States in 2016.
If you are losing weight or plan to lose a significant amount of weight, abdominoplasty should be delayed until your weight has become stable. It is also a good idea to delay having a tummy tuck if you are planning any future pregnancy, as the tissues that are tightened during the surgery will again stretch out from another pregnancy.
individual results may vary
Your Tummy-Tuck Consultation with Dr. Weinrach
During your initial consultation, Dr. Weinrach will evaluate your health, examine you, and carefully evaluate your skin and muscle tone, as well as the extent of your excess skin and fat in the area of your abdomen. Please let Dr. Weinrach know if you smoke, and if you are taking any medications.
Of course be open and honest in discussing your expectations with Dr. Weinrach. Dr. Weinrach will be equally open and honest with you and discuss your alternatives and the risks and limitations of each.
One possible alternative may be a “mini” tummy tuck, or “mini” abdominoplasty. This may be an ideal procedure if your excess tissue is limited to the lowest part of your abdomen only. This is a less complex and shorter procedure, and can give you just the result you are looking for. Sometimes liposuction is performed with a tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck, and at times even liposuction alone can produce the best result.
Dr. Weinrach will work with you closely to recommend the most appropriate procedure that will produce the best possible body contour for you.
During your consultation, Dr. Weinrach will also explain the anesthesia that will be used, the facility where the surgery will be performed, and the costs involved.
Before Your Tummy Tuck Surgery
Dr. Weinrach will give you instructions to prepare for your tummy tuck, including what medications to take, and when to stop eating and drinking before surgery. Arrangement should be made for a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery. It is also a good idea to have someone available to help you out for a couple of days.
Where Your Tummy Tuck Surgery Will Be Performed
Your safety is always Dr. Weinrach’s number one priority. He only operates in accredited surgery centers and hospitals. He has hospital priviledges for every procedure he performs, including abdominoplasty.
Anesthesia for Tummy Tuck Surgery
Abdominoplasty may be performed under general anesthesia or deep sedation with local anesthesia. Dr. Weinrach will discuss this decision with you and the anesthesiologist.
How Tummy Tuck Surgery is Done
A full abdominoplasty usually takes around 3 hours; possibly longer if liposuction is also done as part of the procedure. Partial abdominoplasty, or mini tummy tuck, takes less time; about one to two hours.
An incision is made in the lower abdomen, within the area that is covered by a bikini. An incision is also made in and around the belly button. A mini abdominoplasty involves a smaller incision; there is no belly button incision with a mini tummy tuck.
Next, the skin and underlying fat is separated from the abdominal wall. This exposes the muscles of your abdomen. The lax muscles are repaired by stitching them closer together. This narrows the waistline and produces a more contoured abdominal wall.
The flap of skin is then pulled down and the extra tissue is removed. A new opening is created for your belly button, which is then secured there with stitches. The lower incision is closed with absorbable stitches, and dressings are applied. Temporary drainage tubes are placed to prevent fluid from accumulating at the site. To relieve postoperative pain, a pain pump catheter is almost always placed as well.
After Your Tummy Tuck Surgery
Early after the surgery, your tummy will likely be mildly swollen. With the relatively new pain pump catheters now used, post operative discomfort is not nearly the issue it once was. These catheters give tremendous relief from discomfort after an abdominoplasty. They remain in place for three days after surgery. You may be able to go home a few hours after the surgey, or you may stay overnight in the recovery center. This varies based on patient preference and the extent of the procedure.
Dr. Weinrach will give you instructions for taking care of your dressings and bathing. You should start walking as soon as possible after surgery.
There are normally no sutures to remove, with the exception of the two sutures securing the drains. The drains are usually out by about day 7 after your tummy tuck surgery.
Getting Back to Normal after Abdominoplasty
Recovery from abdominoplasty will be much faster if you are in good physical condition before your surgery. Most people return to work after one to two weeks.
Exercise is good for healing and is encouraged. Dr. Weinrach will give you instructions pertaining to appropriate exercise.
During the months following your surgery, the scars gradually improve in appearance. Because of their carefully designed location, abdominal scars are covered by most clothing and bathing suits and do not show.
Your New Look After Your Tummy Tuck
Abdominoplasty, whether mini or full, produces excellent results with high satisfaction. In the great majority of cases, with regular exercise and a good diet, the results are long lasting, and life changing. It is always the goal of Dr. Weinrach to provide the best tummy-tuck in Phoenix.