Who is a Good Candidate?
Candidates for this surgery are individuals who have excess loose skin and fat on their abdomen which cannot be removed with diet and exercise. Also, individuals who have had hernias or have weakened abdominal muscles can benefit from this surgery. It is important the patient is completely done having children, as future pregnancy can affect tummy tuck results. Candidates should note that this is not a weight loss surgery, they should already be at a healthy, stable weight prior to undergoing a tummy tuck. A consultation with Dr. Homas or Dr. Brostrom can determine if this procedure is right for you.
For the procedure, traditionally a curved incision is made horizontally from hip to hip just above the pubic hairline. A second incision will be made around the navel to help with the removal of excess skin in the upper abdomen. Excess skin and fat will be removed through these incisions and weakened or separated muscles will be repaired. This is the traditional tummy tuck. There are two other tummy tuck techniques that can be done: the mini tummy tuck or the extended tummy tuck.
Mini Tummy Tuck
This tummy tuck technique is performed on patients who are already slim but have a small pocket of fat or belly pooch on their lower abdomen. The incision is shorter for this procedure and no excess fat or skin is removed from the belly button. Due to these differences, the recovery time is often also shorter.
Extended Tummy Tuck
This tummy tuck technique is ideal for patients who have experienced massive weight loss. The incision made is longer than the traditional incision to address excess skin and fat in the waist and hips. The recovery for this procedure tends to be longer since it is more extensive, but the results are dramatic.
During the recovery period, swelling and redness will occur. Any discomfort can be managed with pain medication. To collect any excess fluid drainage during recovery, post-surgical drains may be placed. Patients will need to wear a special surgical compression garment to help reduce swelling, improve blood circulation, and hold the tissues in place. Recovery will differ between patients, but most people take about two weeks off of work.