Tummy Tuck Surgery
Tummy Tuck Surgery
- Win Pound, M.D.
There are really two options when patients come to my office with
complaints about their stomach area – liposuction or tummy tuck.
In patients who have good elasticity in their skin, tight stomach
muscles, and fat, liposuction is the better option in most cases. In
patients with excess or hanging skin, poor elasticity or stretch
marks, a protruding stomach due to weakened stomach muscles, plus or
minus fat, a tummy tuck is probably the best option.
According to statistics, tummy tucks were the fifth most popular
cosmetic surgery procedure performed in 2013. While more invasive
than liposuction, much more can be accomplished with a tummy tuck.
Stomach muscles, weakened by pregnancy or weight gain/loss, can be
tightened during the tummy tuck procedure. Stretch marks, loose
skin, and fat between the belly button and the pubic area can be
removed as well. The trade-off is a fairly lengthy scar across the
lower portion of the abdomen but this scar can be located low enough
to be hidden by underwear or bathing suits. The longer the incision,
the more skin can be removed.
For some people with only a minimal amount of loose skin and muscle
weakness below the belly button, a mini-tummy tuck may be
appropriate. In this case, a shorter scar is used and undermining of
the skin and fat is only performed up to the belly button (rather
than up to the ribs with a full tummy tuck). This allows access so
that the stomach muscles below the belly button may be tightened but
limits the amount of skin that can be removed.
Drains may be used during a tummy tuck to keep fluid or blood from accumulating under the abdominal tissue. These are removed in the office once they have stopped draining, usually a few days to a week or two. The patient may also wear a compression garment for several weeks following tummy tuck surgery.