Abdominoplasty San Diego
Some patient find that it is impossible to lose some of the extra skin and fat in their tummy after pregnancy or extreme weight loss, even with regular exercise and a healthy diet. An abdominoplasty, known more commonly as a tummy tuck, is a major surgical procedure which removes excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen and tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall to create a smoother, flatter, tighter abdomen.
Tummy Tuck in Oceanside, Carlsbad & San Diego Area
The abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is popular plastic surgery to achieve a flat tummy. A well-toned, flat abdomen that cannot be accomplished with diet and exercise alone may be achieved through this cosmetic procedure. Even patients with normal weight and proportions might experience protrusion of the belly, stretch marks, loose and sagging skin below the belly button. These conditions can result from significant weight loss, pregnancies, heredity, or prior surgery.
There are two main ways to remove excess abdominal skin and tighten the abdominal. Some patients can achieve their goals with the mini tummy tuck. However, most patients require a full abdominoplasty.
The mini-tummy tuck, also known as the partial abdominoplasty, is for those patients with excess skin and abdominal muscle laxity located mainly below the belly button.
On the other hand, the majority of patients benefit more from a full or complete abdominoplasty. Liposuction can be done with a tummy tuck, which removes extra fat deposits from the abdomen and waistline, for a better overall body contour and results. The full abdominoplasty will benefit patients with loose skin and abdominal muscle laxity located above and below the belly button.
To view Before and After Tummy Tuck photos, click photos above. Individual results may vary.
A full tummy tuck requires a horizontal incision in the area between the pubic hairline and navel.
Through this incision, weakened abdominal muscles are repaired and sutured and excess fat, tissue and skin is removed.
Your plastic surgeon draws underlying muscle and tissue together and stitches them, thereby narrowing the waistline and strengthening the abdominal wall.
In a full tummy tuck, a second incision around the navel may be necessary to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen.
Your consultation with our Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Gregory Park, will involve a detailed discussion about your goals and expectations. It is particularly important to let him know which areas of your abdomen bothers you the most. Sometimes, we might think that there is no way to fix something. However, Dr. Park will find the best solution to achieve your goals for a flatter, more shapely abdomen.
Skin tone and elasticity, stretch marks, belly button, and incision placement is assessed during your consultation, as well as health and future plans regarding children. If you were planning to have additional children after a tummy tuck, you should probably reconsider scheduling surgery until you have finished building your family.
Details regarding your tummy tuck, postoperative care, and long-term expectations will be discussed with you at the time of your consultation.
Preparing For Your Tummy Tuck
Before your surgery, Dr. Park and his nurses will see you at your preoperative appointment. During this appointment you will get another opportunity to ask any additional questions you may have with regard to surgery and review all the details of surgery again.
You will be provided with prescriptions for medications required after tummy tuck. You will also be provided with instructions to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on drinking, eating, smoking, and avoiding certain medications or supplements which can cause excess bleeding and bruising.
If you smoke, it is extremely important to stop at least for 1 month before and 1 month after surgery. Smoking around the time of surgery will lead to serious healing problems such as incision separations, skin slough, and wound infections.
While preparing your tummy tuck, make sure to make arrangements to have a family member or friend drive you home after surgery.
It is important to pick a surgery date where you can have a friend or family member assist you during your recovery period. The downtime could be anywhere from 1-2 weeks.
Your Abdominoplasty Surgery
A tummy tuck is considered major surgery. Generally, a full abdominoplasty takes anywhere from 2-4 hours whereas a mini-abdominoplasty may take an hour or two.
With the full abdominoplasty, the incisions in the lower abdomen extends from hip to hip and excess skin and underlying fat is removed, usually up to the level of the belly button. The incisions are designed so that the resulting lower abdominal scar is hidden below the panty line. An incision must be made around the entire belly button to mobilize abdominal skin up to the rib cage. So, a resulting scar around the belly button may be apparent if you wear a bikini or a cropped shirt.
With the partial or mini abdominoplasty, the incisions are much shorter and the navel is not circumferentially incised. Again, the resulting lower abdominal scar is hidden below the waistband of your underwear. There is no scar around the belly button.
After Your Abdominoplasty Surgery
For the first few days, your abdomen will probably be swollen and you will likely feel some pain and discomfort, which can be controlled by your prescribed medication.
Dr. Park will provide you with instructions for showering and changing your dressings. And though you may not be able to stand straight at first, you should start walking as soon as possible.
You will have no need for suture removal. All of your sutures will be underneath the skin. Steristrips on the skin incisions, will be removed in about three weeks. A support garment is recommended for at least 1 month following surgery.
Getting Back to Normal
Strong abdominal muscles prior to your tummy tuck may help you recover faster from your surgery. Some patients are able to return to a sedentary desk job as early as a week after surgery, while patients who do a lot of physical activities at work may need three to four weeks to be fully functional.
Light exercise such as walking is encouraged right after surgery. However, more strenuous exercises, such as bicycling, running, swimming, or core strength training should be avoided for about 8 weeks. Your friends or family should help you with chores around the house for at least two to three weeks.
For patients who have loose abdominal skin and protuberance due to weak or stretched abdominal muscles, a full or partial abdominoplasty can provide a tighter, smoother, and flatter appearing abdomen. Excellent long-term results do require maintenance consisting of a healthy diet and regular exercise.
To find out if you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck, call us at (760) 655-1414 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Gregory Park. We look forward to helping you in achieving your goals.