Is a Tummy Tuck Right For You?

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Body contouring procedures have become a popular way to refine the body profile and remove stubborn areas of bulge that have not responded to diet and exercise. A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, focuses on your midsection, smoothing your abdomen and defining your waistline. Today, there are different options in tummy tucks to help us tailor your procedure to your unique needs and desired results. Check out these basic facts about tummy tucks to find out if this is the right body contouring procedure for you.

Tummy Tuck Goals

A tummy tuck is designed to achieve a variety of aesthetic goals:

  • Create a smoother, firmer abdomen
  • Remove excess, loose skin from middle
  • Eliminate stubborn areas of fat
  • Retighten underlying abdominal muscles
  • Allow you to fit comfortably in smaller clothing sizes

Typical patients seeking a tummy tuck may be those that recently lost a significant amount of weight are left with loose, hanging skin. Women also may consider the procedure after having their children, since pregnancy can lead to diastasis recti or separation of abdominal muscles. In some cases, patients that have achieved a healthy weight but are left with stubborn bulges around the middle might also wonder if abdominoplasty is right for them.

A tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure and patients are usually encouraged to reach a healthy number on the scale before undergoing the surgery. It is also important to maintain a healthy weight after abdominoplasty so that the results of the procedure do not change over time.

Avelar Abdominoplasty

This abdominoplasty technique, also known as lipoabdominoplasty, combines liposuction with a surgical tummy tuck to achieve the best possible results. The procedure primarily focuses on removing excess skin and eliminating deposits of fat, rather than altering the abdominal muscles. This procedure tends to be less invasive than a conventional or traditional abdominoplasty and can produce superior results in the right patients.

Avelar abdominoplasties can be performed under local anesthesia, which is why some doctors refer to them as “awake” tummy tucks. The advantages of local anesthesia over general anesthesia are fewer risks associated with the procedure and a faster recovery in most cases. Patients are generally back to regular activities within a week or so after their surgery.

Conventional Abdominoplasty

Conventional abdominoplasty is a more extensive surgical procedure that tightens and repositions the underlying abdominal muscles in addition to removing redundant skin and pockets of fat tissue. This procedure is generally recommended for female patients that have seen separation of the abdominal muscles due to pregnancy. It may also be a good option for male and female patients that experienced muscle separation because of extreme weight gain.

Conventional abdominoplasty is usually performed under general anesthesia. A longer incision is typically required to allow the surgeon access to the abdominal muscles as well as the extra skin and tissue that need to be removed. Recovery from conventional abdominoplasty also takes longer, with most patients returning to regular activities within 3-4 weeks.

The decision to have a tummy tuck procedure is a personal one that should be made between a patient and doctor. 

Article by
Staten Island General Surgeon