What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is a procedure that is used to improve the contour of the stomach and abdomen area. It essentially flattens the stomach to provide a slimmer and sleeker look. The procedure is also known as abdominoplasty. Excess skin and fat are removed from the area, and the muscles in your abdominal wall are tightened. The procedure can smooth out skin imperfections on your abdomen area and can also reduce the appearance of stretch marks. A flat, toned stomach is something most people strive for. However, when diet and exercise alone cannot get you there, a tummy tuck may be the right option for you.
Candidates for a Tummy Tuck
There are many reasons why you may want a flatter stomach. If diet and exercise cannot kick the extra fat in your stomach, this procedure may be right for you. Below are some of the common reasons our patients contact us for a tummy tuck.
- Natural Aging: The effects of aging can increase weight retention. Also, the skin becomes less elastic and can sag. If the effects of natural aging cause problems in your abdomen area, a tummy tuck can help flatten and tighten the area.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy can be difficult on a woman’s body, especially the stomach area. With the skin and muscles stretching to carry the baby, getting your body back to its pre-baby state can be difficult. Pregnancy also can often come with weight gain, which can make your stomach area even more problematic.
- Weight Fluctuations: While a significant weight loss can be notable for your body and overall health, it may come with some issues. Often major weight loss will result in excess skin that has stretched from the prior weight gain.
If you are interested in a tummy tuck, contact our office today for a consultation! We are happy to answer your questions and provide you with the information you need to decide what’s right for you.
Your Consultation with Dr. Brent Moelleken
Every procedure begins with a consultation. It’s essential to let the surgeon know what your expectations are at this appointment. This will help them understand if the procedure is right for you. Depending on your aesthetic goals, our office provides a variety of cosmetic procedure options that can help you attain your desired look. At the appointment, you will undergo a physical examination. You must be in good overall health before surgery. At this appointment, you must share any medical conditions you have, your current medications, and any prior surgeries you have undergone.
Safety is Dr. Brent’s primary concern. With that, in addition to the physical examination, you will need to undergo routine lab work. This will need to be done with your primary care physician, or our office can refer you to a local doctor. All of this paperwork needs to be submitted at least two weeks before surgery to ensure you are fully prepared and in good health.
Tummy Tuck Evaluation
Dr. Brent Moelleken will evaluate the quality of your abdominal skin and the amount of excess skin you have. Your loss of skin elasticity and the ability of your skin to reshape itself will determine the best procedure and the length of your scar. Dr. Brent Moelleken will also evaluate the looseness of your abdominal muscles called diastasis. Muscle looseness can be located either below your belly button area or the entire abdomen from the xiphoid to the pubis.
When deciding your best treatment option, this differentiation is the key. If your abdominal bulge is located below your belly button and it is due to weak muscle, and a mini tummy tuck is usually an excellent choice. If the looseness is in your entire abdomen, however, a full abdominoplasty is required to tighten the whole muscle. The most effective procedure for you will depend on your skin, fat, and muscle components and how they interact.
Types of Tummy Tuck
There are multiple types of tummy tuck procedures that Dr. Brent offers. Depending on your unique needs, Dr. Brent can help you find the right one for you during the consultation. Below you will find the various types of tummy tuck options that Dr. Brent offers.
THE HYBRID TUMMY TUCK®
This is designed to get rid of the extra bulge in your lower stomach by tightening the deep layer via a small incision in your abdomen. Dr. Brent designed the technique to be able to use an existing C-section scar for the small incision. Even if you don’t have the C-section scar, the incision is minimal.
Mini Tummy Tuck
For those who only have fat deposits below the navel, mini tummy tuck is a less complex option. This is similar to a full tummy tuck, except it is only on the area below your navel. Removing the fat and tightening the muscles, provide you with a flat and sleek lower stomach that matches the rest of your abdomen.
Full Tummy Tuck
A full tummy tuck involves creating a new belly button as the muscles from your lower chest to your pubis will be pulled and tightened. This is frequently performed with liposuction to enhance the effects dramatically.
Extended Tummy Tuck
An extended tummy tuck is for obese patients who have a large amount of excess fat and overhanging skin that extends to the back area. This procedure also includes creating a new belly button and tightening up the muscles. The scar will reach beyond the hips and towards the back due to the amount of fat that will need to be removed.
Circumferential Tummy Tuck
A circumferential tummy tuck is for patients who have lost a lot of weight and fat, usually after gastric bypass surgery. In order to create a sleek contour, the scar will extend around the waistline. Dr. Brent will also lift your outer thigh and buttock, tighten your muscles, and create a new belly button.
Tummy Tuck Surgery
Dr. Brent and his team will provide you with pre-operative instructions that are uniquely specific to you. However, some guidelines apply to patients across the board. Below you will find the necessary steps you will need to take before surgery.
- No Smoking
- Meal Prep
- Avoid Certain Medications:
- Purchase Special Garments
- Driving Arrangements
The procedure is performed under “light” general anesthesia, which will help keep you relaxed and asleep. A board-certified anesthesiologist will monitor you throughout the entire procedure. If you are only getting a tummy tuck, the procedure should take only two to three hours, depending on the type of tummy tuck. The incisions and procedure can be different based on the type of procedure you are getting as well.
Tummy Tuck Incisions
The procedure usually involves two incisions. One scar above your pubic hairline and the doctor cuts the skin up toward the rib cage. Another is around your belly button so that it can be freed from the surrounding tissues. The muscles in your stomach are tightened and reposition the belly button. Any excess skin is removed, and Dr. Brent closes the incisions with stitches. You will likely have drains for any excess blood or fluid but removed within two weeks.
After the procedure and medical clearance, you will able to go home. It’s important to follow doctor’s orders by taking all prescribed medications, resting, and attending follow up appointments.
Tummy tucks are performed on an outpatient basis, so you can usually go home the same day. The results will be clear immediately after the procedure in some ways. However, the full effect of the procedure will take several weeks. You will experience swelling and bruising, and it will take some time to settle and get back to normal. The first three days are the most difficult, but you should be able to return to work within two weeks. However, it will take roughly one month before you feel like your old self again.
After a few weeks, you will notice a narrower waist, reduction in stretch marks, and a flatter stomach. Your abdomen will be more proportioned to your body type and weight. If you want to see the full effect of the procedure, rest is vital for recovery.
Tummy Tucks in Beverly Hills and Santa Barbara
Dr. Brent Moelleken is a double board-certified plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills. He is one of the most highly skilled surgeons in the country and has received his training at Harvard, Yale, and UCLA. Due to his commitment to patient outcomes, he has been selected as one of Vogue Magazine’s “Top 10 Plastic Surgeons in America.” Contact Dr. Brent today for a consultation.