Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck surgery is one of the most rewarding procedures Dr. Tiffany McCormack—our board-certified plastic surgeon—performs at McCormack Plastic Surgery, as results are often immediate and dramatic. Pregnancy and weight loss can cause the skin of the abdominal wall to become loose and sometimes leave permanent stretch marks behind. In addition, abdominal wall muscles can become lax and cause the lower abdomen to appear more prominent. This condition is often unresponsive to exercise and skin creams. Abdominoplasty is a body contouring option we offer as a way to correct these problems. Tummy tuck surgery removes excess skin and fat, and tightens abdominal muscles. The incision is made low on the abdomen, near the pubic region, so that any scarring is hidden by most underwear and bathing suits. For individuals with loose abdominal muscles and minimal skin excess, a “mini abdominoplasty” may be all that is needed. Many patients find this procedure highly beneficial because it results in a shorter scar.
A full abdominoplasty takes between two to four hours depending on the extent of work involved and whether or not it is combined with some degree of liposuction. After the incision is made, the abdominal skin above the umbilicus is lifted. The umbilicus is cut free from this skin and left on its attachment. This is later brought out through a new incision. The abdominal muscles are tightened with heavy sutures to help narrow your waistline. Excess skin and fat are removed and the incision is closed. An abdominal binder or compression garment is placed to support the abdomen and help to decrease swelling during your recovery.
Drain tubes are left in place for approximately one week after surgery. Showering is permitted once the drain tubes have been removed. During your recovery, you will remain somewhat flexed at the waist and the knees to feel comfortable and to minimize tension on your incision. Heavy lifting, aerobic activity, and vigorous exercise should be avoided for six to eight weeks. Lifting should be limited to fifteen to twenty pounds during the first six weeks. Patients are encouraged to walk around as soon as it feels comfortable, as this will aid in their recovery. The abdomen feels “tight” for several weeks after surgery. Numbness is common in certain areas and may be permanent for some. The scar begins to fade two to three months later and may take one to two years to reach its final appearance. Swelling will resolve within six weeks by 75 percent, and the remainder will be gone after six months.
Before and After Photos
We encourage you to view our gallery of abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) patient results to view before and after photographs and patient descriptions. If you have further questions about the tummy tuck procedure please call our office at (775) 284-2020 or fill out our online contact form to submit your questions to Dr. McCormack.