Abdominoplasty, more commonly referred to as tummy tuck surgery, can be one of the most rewarding procedures Dr. Tiffany McCormack—board-certified plastic surgeon—performs at McCormack Plastic Surgery. 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 frequently unresponsive to exercise, diet, or skin creams. A tummy tuck is designed to flatten and smooth the stomach for a slimmer silhouette.
What is Abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty is a body contouring option that removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen while also tightening the underlying muscles. This can significantly minimize the appearance of a protruding abdomen and result in a sleeker abdominal profile. An incision is made low on the abdomen, near the pubic region, so that any scarring can be hidden by underwear or a bathing suit bottom. The results from this surgery are often immediate and dramatic. A tummy tuck is also often incorporated as a key component to a mommy makeover, allowing mothers to regain their pre-pregnancy figure.
What Can Tummy Tuck Surgery Accomplish?
Even with a nutritious diet and regular exercise, many patients struggle to attain their physical goals. A tummy tuck can help men and women achieve a flatter stomach and a more toned appearance by removing lax, excess skin. In some cases, liposuction may be combined with abdominoplasty to target isolated pockets of fat that are resistant to traditional means of weight loss. Ideal tummy tuck candidates are typically at or near their ideal weight but still have areas of skin laxity or excess fat. The benefits of a tummy tuck may include:
- Removal of excess skin and fat
- Reparation of stretched or torn abdominal muscles
- Flatter, smoother abdomen
- Reduced appearance of stretch marks
- Slimmer silhouette
Many tummy tuck candidates are patients who have lost a significant amount of weight or women who have had one or more children. The best way to determine your candidacy for abdominoplasty is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. After a physical exam, review of your medical history, and discussion of your personal goals, Dr. McCormack can recommend which body contouring procedure is suited for your unique needs.
How Is the Tummy Tuck Procedure Performed?
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.
Mini Tummy Tuck
For individuals with loose abdominal muscles and minimal skin excess, a “mini abdominoplasty” may be sufficient to achieve the desired outcome. This less extensive version of a tummy tuck typically results in a shorter scar. A mini abdominoplasty may be ideal for patients who wish to rejuvenate the appearance of the abdomen below the navel, while a traditional abdominoplasty can be more effective for improving the full abdomen. During the consultation process, Dr. McCormack will help you determine which version of abdominoplasty is best for your body and your health.
What Is Recovery from Abdominoplasty Like?
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.
Tummy Tuck Before and After Photos
We encourage you to view our gallery of abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) patient results to view before and after photos 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.
3D Procedure Animations
How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?
Each tummy tuck procedure is customized to meet the unique needs of the patient. As a result, there is no fixed price for the procedure. There are many factors that may impact the final cost of tummy tuck surgery, including the volume of excess tissue removed, whether liposuction is combined with abdominoplasty, fees associated with the operating facility and anesthesia, the experience of the plastic surgeon, and the geographic location of the practice. At the end of your initial consultation, Dr. McCormack will be able to provide you with an accurate quote for your custom-tailored tummy tuck before the start of any treatment. To accommodate the diverse needs of our patients, our practice accepts a multitude of payment methods and qualifying patients may take advantage of our numerous financing options, such as CareCredit®, Prosper HealthCare Lending, and ALPHAEON® CREDIT. These highly reputable healthcare finance providers can offer monthly installment plans with low- to no-interest rates to suit your budgetary concerns.
Will I Have Visible Tummy Tuck Scars?
Prospective tummy tuck patients often wonder how noticeable or prominent their scars will be after surgery. Most abdominoplasties are performed with an incision that spans from one hip to the other. However, Dr. McCormack typically places this incision very low on the abdomen, well below the waist. Women often find that the scar is easily concealed by their underwear or a bikini bottom. Prospective patients may also bring a favorite swimsuit or pair of underwear to their initial consultation so Dr. McCormack can factor in the location of the waistline when planning the procedure. She will also provide detailed post-operative scar care instructions to all patients to further minimize the appearance of scarring once the healing process is complete.
Questions? Our team is happy to speak with you about any concerns you may have. For more information about a tummy tuck, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. McCormack, please contact our practice today.