What Problems Are Fixed With a Tummy Tuck?
I’d say that the majority of my Dayton tummy tuck patients come to me with the Post-Baby Body, which leaves women with a saggy abdomen, stretch marks and bits of concentrated fat after they’ve birthed their children.
It’s also very popular with men and women who’ve lost a great deal of weight due to diet & exercise or weight loss surgery. They’re often surprised and saddened to find that their belly didn’t “bounce back” after the fat was lost.
Lastly, I see a fair number of patients for Tummy Tuck surgery who have reached their 50s and older and are disappointed with the aging in the abdominal area.
So, what can a tummy tuck fix? The standard tummy tuck procedure will do the following:
- Tighten the muscles under the belly (called the rectus abdominus), which often split apart with pregnancy and weaken with age.
- Eliminate most, if not all, stretch marks.
- Get rid of extra skin that was used to accommodate pregnancy or excess weight but sags after childbirth and weight loss.
- Eliminate extra bits of surrounding fat with liposuction.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
Healthy adult man or women with a sagging tummy can be helped with a tummy tuck. Reasonable expectations are key: a tummy tuck won’t give you a 6-pack but you will have a flattened stomach area and you will eliminate extra skin and most stretch marks. Notice I say “most” stretch marks, as some patients have stretch marks that extend beyond the area that a tummy tuck touches.
How is a Tummy Tuck Performed?
After inducing anesthesia, an incision is made from hipbone to hipbone just above the pubis. The skin and tissues over the area are pulled up to the bottom of the rib cage. After performing liposuction in the needed areas, the skin and tissues are pulled down like a window shade, the excess is removed, and the belly button is relocated to its new location. Careful suturing of the layers is then done, and drains are inserted into the incision line. A dressing and a compression garment are placed on the patient during the procedure.
What Can I Expect During Recovery of a Tummy Tuck?
You will be uncomfortable the first few days after your tummy tuck. You won’t be able to chase kids around the house, go to the store, drive the car, or lift little ones in and out of the tub, high chair or car seat. In other words, if you have young children, you will definitely want help the first week. If your kids are older or grown, you’ll still appreciate a little help at home to handle household cleaning, grocery shopping, meal prep and the like. Plan this in advance!
You will walk bent-over for the first few days because your abdomen will feel really tight at first. I’ll give you prescriptions for pain medication and advise you to avoid foods that might constipate you. I advise that you drink lots of liquids, especially water, to avoid the constipation that can happen due to the pain medication and lack of exercise while you’re recovering.
You’ll have a compression garment, a bit like a girdle, that you’ll wear 24 hours a day and remove only for showering (I’ll tell you when you can do that), and you’ll have some drains that you will empty several times a day. The drains are important, because they remove the extra fluid that builds up in the abdomen after a tummy tuck. Removing that fluid helps you get a flatter appearance, so it’s super important to drain them (we’ll show you how).
I’ll see you in the office within a few days postop and regularly thereafter for a few weeks. I’ll let you know when we can remove the drains and when you can stop wearing the compression garment. Most of my Dayton tummy tuck patients wear the compression garment and the drains for a month, and yes, it feels like forever, but when all is said and done, you’ll be glad that you put up with it because your new appearance will make you so happy!
Until I give the OK, you will need to avoid lifting, straining and all exercise other than walking—first, just around the house and later you can walk around the block.
If you have concerns about your tummy area and either miss the flat stomach you used to have—or you never had one—schedule a consultation with me and let’s give you the belly you’ve been craving! Call us at 937-839-4681 or complete this online consultation request form.
In the meantime, take a look at some Tummy Tuck Before/Afters. I look forward to seeing you soon!