Dr. Kelli Webb: What are the different options for abdominoplasties?

What is a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)?

A tummy tuck, also called an abdominoplasty, is a procedure which removes loose abdominal skin and fat to improve the appearance of the abdomen. Removing this excess skin and fat leaves patients with a slimmer, more toned abdominal region.

How much is a tummy tuck?

Cost varies significantly based on an individual’s goals. We’d love to talk with you about yours today. Request a consultation or call us at 618.351.9140 today.

How does a tummy tuck surgery work?

During the procedure, an incision is made to lift the skin below the belly button. Once the skin is lifted, the surgeon repairs the abdomen walls. For some patients, connective tissue in the abdomen (fascia) requires sutures to tighten and join the muscles prior to the final skin restoration. Once the muscles have been repaired, the surgeon uses skin from the upper abdomen to restore the surface of the lower abdomen.

Any stretch marks or loose skin below the belly button can be smoothed out or eliminated during the procedure. Stretch marks outside of this region will not be corrected. If you have scarring from a previous abdomen surgery such as a c-section, your surgeon may be able to integrate the tummy tuck scar into your existing incision site. 

Your tummy tuck will be performed at our outpatient surgical facility and only takes a few hours. The procedure uses general anesthesia which makes you unconscious and unable to feel pain. Following the surgery, you will be released and able to return home to recover.

Who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck?

Anyone who is generally healthy and has concerns about excess skin or fat in their abdominal region is a good candidate for a tummy tuck. This is a common procedure for patients with excess skin or fat as a result of pregnancy, significant changes in weight, aging, their natural body type, or those who have undergone an abdominal surgery, like a c-section. A tummy tuck is also a popular procedure performed as part of a mommy makeover, a surgery which addresses a variety of body contouring concerns following a pregnancy.

For patients that have excessive fat or loose skin that hangs from the abdomen, an alternative surgery known as a panniculectomy, may be a better option. This is something that can be discussed with your doctor during your consultation.

Is a tummy tuck safe and effective?

Overall, a tummy tuck is a safe procedure. However, it does have similar risks to any other surgical procedures including bleeding, infection or potential complications from anesthesia.

The results of a tummy tuck are expected to last a lifetime. However, patients who experience significant weight gain or loss may have issues with the appearance of their abdomen along with these kinds of changes.

How do I prepare for tummy tuck surgery?

With tummy tuck surgery, it’s important to plan ahead. This requires some preparation on the patient’s part. Preparing for the surgery and recovery should begin as early as two weeks before the procedure.

Specific requirements can be discussed with your surgeon, but prior to your tummy tuck you should plan ahead by:

  • Arranging for someone to transport you to and from the clinic on the day of the surgery
  • Arranging for someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours following the surgery
  • Arranging for child or pet care, as needed
  • Avoid aspirin or other drugs that increase blood thinning
  • Stop or pause taking certain supplements or medications
  • Stop smoking

What should I expect following the procedure?

Tummy tuck recovery can take anywhere from 6-8 weeks. Specific factors such as age, general health and post-surgery care will determine how quickly a patient will recover. Use of smoking and alcohol can slow recovery time as well, so it’s recommended that patients do not smoke or drink for 3 months following their surgery.

After your surgery, you will have a dressing over your abdomen which needs to be kept secure and clean. Your doctor will go through how to maintain this dressing and apply any topical medications to the treatment area to ensure optimal recovery.

Once you are home, your mobility will be limited and you’ll need assistance from someone for the first 24-48 hours, including pet and childcare as applicable.

Once fully recovered, you may notice visible tummy tuck scars. These fade over time and become virtually unnoticeable.

Is there a consultation fee for a tummy tuck surgery?

All cosmetic consultation fees at SIH Dermatology & Plastic surgery are $100.00, which is applied to the cost of surgery (if booked).

How can I book an appointment to discuss a tummy tuck?

For consultation and treatment with one of our tummy tuck surgery doctors, please request a consultation or call our office at 618.351.9140.

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