Abdominoplasty, commonly known as tummy tuck, is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to create a flatter and firmer abdomen by removing excess skin and fat and tightening the underlying abdominal muscles. The procedure is typically performed to restore a youthful abdominal contour after pregnancy or major weight loss, or when a person has a loose abdominal skin with weak muscles that impair the body contours.
Patients not only manage to achieve a younger appearance and experience more freedom in their choice of clothes, but also report an improved self-image and confidence. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jacob Bloom provides tummy tuck surgery and various other cosmetic procedures to patients in Chicago, IL and surrounding locations.
Ideal candidates for tummy tuck plastic surgery will have one or more of the following attributes:
- They are bothered by the appearance of loose skin and weak abdominal muscles due to heredity, aging, pregnancy, weight fluctuations or previous surgery.
- They are non-smokers or are committed to quit smoking at least four to six weeks prior to the surgery.
- They have a stable body weight, and are not obese, but only suffer from excess fat and skin in the lower abdominal area.
- They are in reasonably good health to tolerate the surgery and anesthesia.
- They have no foreseeable plans to have another pregnancy.
Following anesthesia, the surgeon will create a primary tummy tuck incision above the pubic mound, from hipbone to hipbone. In case of full abdominoplasty, an additional incision around the navel will be made, but in a partial surgery the incision will be shorter. The muscle repair part of the surgery will be performed by loosening the skin from the abdominal wall to the ribcage and suturing in the fascia of the abdominal muscles to pull them into a tighter position.
Once the muscles are sutured, the excess fat from the abdomen will be removed through liposuction or other techniques. Thereafter, the surgeon will stretch down the abdominal skin over the incision line and trim away the excess skin. Although the skin around the navel would have shifted, but the navel will usually be retained in the same location.
The surgeon will create a hole through the redraped skin and suture it around the navel. Incisions will then be closed using sutures or other methods. Experienced cosmetic surgeon Dr. Bloom receives patients from Chicago, IL and nearby areas for tummy tuck surgery.
Drain Tubes and Recovery
In case of a full tummy tuck surgery, drain tubes will be inserted below the skin in the incision areas to prevent fluid buildup. A short incision will be made below the main incision to place the drain tube. The nursing staff will guide the patient about maintaining the drain and emptying the collected fluid every day.
Drain tubes will usually be removed along with sutures in about 10 days. The patient will be able to return to their normal activities usually in about 10 to 14 days. However, strenuous exercises should be avoided for about one month after the surgery.