One of the primary aesthetic concerns for many individuals is achieving a slender and youthful abdomen. Pregnancy and extreme weight fluctuations often compromise the appearance of the abdominal area. Loose belly skin, weakened rectus muscles, and pockets of stubborn fat can make a person feel self-conscious about or unhappy with their body. Abdominoplasty, commonly known as tummy tuck surgery, helps flatten the abdomen by tightening damaged muscles and removing excess fat and skin. Dr. Sung utilizes various state-of-the-art abdominoplasty techniques to produce customizable body contouring results and help his patients obtain the smooth, firm, and svelte midsection they desire.
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AM I A CANDIDATE FOR A TUMMY TUCK?
Ideal candidates for abdominoplasty are in good physical condition, with pockets of fat or loose skin that do not respond to diet and exercise. Patients may consider this procedure if they can relate to any of the following cosmetic concerns around their midsection:
- Loose or stretched skin
- Unwanted fat deposits
- Bulging belly or “pooch”
HOW IS A TUMMY TUCK PERFORMED?
Abdominoplasty takes approximately two to five hours and is performed at a hospital, surgical suite, or ambulatory center. General anesthesia is administered to ensure patient comfort and safety. After abdominoplasty, all incisions are closed, and sterile surgical dressings are applied over the sutured areas. Dr. Sung performs the following abdominoplasty or tummy tuck techniques according to each patient’s individual anatomy and goals.
Tummy Tuck Options
Full Tummy Tuck
A full tummy tuck involves creating an incision close to the pubic area that follows from hip bone to hip bone, and a second incision is created around the navel. The skin is separated from the abdominal muscles, which are then pulled together and stitched into place for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. The skin is then redraped, excess skin is removed, and the navel is reattached.
Mini Tummy Tuck
Mini tummy tuck surgery requires only one incision, which is created near the pubic area and is shorter than that of a full tummy tuck. Through this incision, Dr. Sung can tighten weakened rectus muscles as well as remove excess tissue. This technique is ideal for candidates with skin laxity and bulging below the navel.
Extended Tummy Tuck
An extended tummy tuck is a much more involved abdominoplasty approach. The incision created is like a full tummy tuck in the front of the abdomen, but it extends to both hips and around the upper thigh for a full lift. Patients who suffer from significant excess skin and stubborn fat after massive weight loss can benefit tremendously from an extended tummy tuck.
Most abdominoplasty procedures involve liposuction to remove stubborn fat deposits and produce the best abdominal contours possible. Dr. Sung offers three different approaches to liposuction:
- Tumescent Liposuction
- The treatment area is injected with tumescent fluid composed of saline solution, anesthetic, and epinephrine.
- Epinephrine constricts blood vessels, so there is minimal blood loss.
- The fluid causes the area to swell, making it easier to move the suction cannula through the targeted fat.
- Assisted Liposuction
- Laser-assisted liposuction can be used to melt unwanted fat for efficient removal and contract the skin at the treatment site.
- Ultrasound-assisted liposuction utilizes ultrasonic energy to liquefy targeted fat.
- The LipoSurg System
- The LipoSurg System combines high flow infiltration technology with a high-efficiency suction cannula for efficient fat removal.
- Patients can expect maximum tissue protection from the LipoSurg System.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING MY TUMMY TUCK RECOVERY?
Patients can normally go home after their abdominoplasty, although some may require an overnight stay for observation. Drainage tubes may be inserted to remove excess fluids from the surgical site, which should minimize swelling and discomfort. Typical recovery can take between two and four weeks, but patients must avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for at least six weeks. Most patients return to work after one to two weeks. Abdominoplasty leaves a scar spanning the anterior aspect of the lower abdomen however it is low enough to be concealed by a bikini. Maintaining weight with a balanced diet and regular exercise provides long-lasting results.
Complications after abdominoplasty are rare, especially when it is performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. However, the risks of any surgery may include any of the following:
- Numbness or changes in sensation
- Skin laxity
Patients who have had previous abdominal surgery or darker skin tone may find that their scars look more noticeable in general. Undergoing a scar revision or laser treatment may minimize their prominence.
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