What is a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tucks have gained popularity in the United States, becoming one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed today. Tummy tucks, also known as abdominoplasties, are a type of cosmetic body contouring procedure that addresses excess fat and loose skin in and around the abdominal area.
Tummy tucks guarantee a flatter and firmer abdomen by removing excess fat and skin as well as tightening abdominal muscle walls. This body contouring procedure gives patients a flat stomach when diets, exercise, and other means fail.
Tummy tucks are a body contouring cosmetic procedure, not a weight loss alternative. Patients who undergo tummy tucks should already be between 10lbs to 15lbs of their goal weight. Most patients who get a tummy tuck are those who have had children and those who have had significant weight loss or were left with excess fat and skin in the abdominal areas as a result of aging.
Our team of board-certified plastic surgeons at Adore Plastic Surgery have years of experience in performing tummy tucks with complete patient satisfaction. Our surgeons help patients reach their desired abdominal aesthetic giving them a boost in self-love and confidence!
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is an invasive cosmetic procedure that lasts anywhere from two and a half to five hours to complete depending on the complexity of a patient’s specific circumstance. Depending on if a patient undergoes a mini/partial tummy tuck or a full/complete tummy tuck, their surgical time and process will vary. For both mini and full tummy tucks, general anesthesia will be administered.
Full/complete tummy tucks address the entire abdominal area while mini/partial tummy tucks address the lower abdominal region. After cleansing the treatment areas and administering the general anesthesia, an incision is made above the pubic area (just under the bikini line) and an additional incision around the navel for a full tummy tuck. Depending on the amount of excess fat and skin is being removed, the incision size will vary but it usually runs from hipbone to hipbone so that the surgeon can contour the skin, tissues, and muscles.
The skin around the abdominal area is then loosened so that the surgeon can tighten the abdominal muscles by suturing them back together. Afterward, the surgeon will remove the excess fat through liposuction (additional liposuction can be added to other areas during the procedure). Then the skin is stretched to the incision area, stitched back together and the excess skin is removed. Drains are placed so that there is no fluid buildup before moving patients to recovery.
It’s important that patients understand that while some stretch marks can be removed or lessened during a tummy tuck, patients must keep in mind that it is not guaranteed that every stretch mark will be removed. Tummy tucks are designed to address excess skin and fat, and it does it well; stretch mark removal is an additional benefit so not all areas with stretch marks can be removed. Generally, if the skin with stretch marks is classified as “excess” skin then it will be removed.
The Recovery Process
The time needed for complete recovery varies from person to person based on age, health, type of tummy tuck (mini tummy tuck or complete tummy tuck), and post-procedure care. Generally, the recovery process takes about six weeks but, some patients heal at a faster or slower rate than others. Patients need to plan accordingly knowing how their own bodies tend to heal by making the proper adjustments so that they don’t put any strain on themselves. Rushing back into their usual lifestyles will greatly increase the chance of altering the results of their tummy tuck procedures. Patients will need to take two weeks of downtime for recovery immediately after the procedure.
The first few days after the procedure, patients will be in slight pain and discomfort while their bodies process through the shock of the procedure. Surgeons will prescribe pain relief medication during this time for patient comfort. Patients are limited in mobility during this time and should take it easy as their bodies heal with a restriction on exercising for a month after the procedure. At the six-week recovery mark, patients can begin incorporating their usual activities slowly as their bodies get accustomed to the movements. Patients are advised to take up activities like reading, working online, blogging, crafting, or any hobby that requires minimal movements.
Compression garments and drainage tubes will be present after surgery. Do not remove any garments or drains until advised or removed by your doctor. Sutures or stitches will be removed after about one to two weeks in your follow-up visit. During one of these visits, some pictures might need to be taken to compare the tummy tucks before and after effect.
Patients have usually recovered to the point where they feel like they can stop wearing their garment(s) and resume all of their usual activities by the four-week mark but, if they don’t abide by the surgeon’s post-procedure instructional care then their safety and results of the tummy tuck can be compromised. Immediately after the procedure, patients will spend a couple of days on bed rest usually with drains in their incisions so that the excess fluid doesn’t build up. Patients will also be put into a compression garment which they will have to keep on at all times (except when showering) for the full six weeks after the procedure.
Just like every individual is different, their recovery processes will be different. Following what your surgeon tells you and listening to your body while practicing patience will lead to a quick, safe, and successful recovery.
Who is the Best Candidate for a Tummy Tuck in Miami?
Patients who are healthy, within 10-25 pounds of their ideal body weight, and have realistic expectations of their tummy tuck procedure. Patients with excess skin and/or fat and who want to address a protruding abdomen that doesn’t go away with dieting or exercising are good candidates for tummy tucks.
The majority of patients who undergo tummy tuck procedures are those who had been pregnant and gave birth and were left with excess fat and/or skin as a result. Once these patients decide they won’t become pregnant again (not have any more children) they become good candidates for tummy tuck procedures. If a person becomes pregnant after a tummy tuck they’ll lose the results of the procedure.
Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight and were left with loose/hanging skin are also good candidates for a tummy tuck procedure as long as they don’t plan on losing or gaining any more weight. Generally, patients who have loose skin or muscles due to aging or other reasons are good candidates for a tummy tuck procedure.
How much is a Tummy Tuck?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average tummy tuck cost in the United States is $6,200. Adore Plastic Surgery Center holds one of the most competitive prices for tummy tucks ranging from $4,200 to $5,900. This pricing includes pre and post-op appointments, facility fees, anesthesia, surgical procedure, and medications.
Depending on the circumstance of the patient and the complexity of the procedure(s), the definitive price varies. Factors such as age, BMI, and physical health surgical complexity, the combination of procedure(s), surgical time, aftercare, etc all affect the total end cost of a specific patient’s tummy tuck.
Patients can combine the tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) with other cosmetic procedures like liposuction and/or mommy makeovers. Patients should keep in mind that if they do combine the two or more procedures (or have any other additions), the overall cost will naturally increase since there are additional actions being performed during and after surgery.
Abdominoplasty With Liposuction
Many patients come with the request of wanting both a tummy tuck and liposuction with the goal of removing some excess fat in addition to the “flattening” results of a tummy tuck. Since each patient has different circumstances and goals, surgeons need to assess the best way to achieve those goals with the patient’s safety in mind. Patients that have excess fat and skin are the best candidates for this combination procedure. Patients that don’t have much fat should not combine these procedures since it may result in bumps or an abnormal-looking abdominal area.
Speaking with your surgeon during your consultation to find out if the combination of a tummy tuck and liposuction is the best way to get the results you’re looking for. Patients should keep in mind that if they do combine the two procedures, the overall cost will naturally increase since there are more procedures being performed.
Plastic Surgery Risks and Complications of Tummy Tuck in Miami
Like in any surgical procedure, there are possible risks and complications associated with tummy tucks. Patients need to be aware of and review all possible risks and complications before proceeding with a tummy tuck procedure. All patients should be aware that risks, complications are possibilities of any surgical procedure (during the procedure itself and the recovery process) that could alter the results of the procedure.
Patients should expect soreness, pain, bruising, and swelling immediately after the procedure; these are normal side effects from almost every procedure. Other risks that aren’t as common include infection, poor healing, bleeding, allergic reaction to anesthesia, numbness at the site of incision (temporary or permanent), and tissue loss.
More serious risks like hematomas may occur but are rare and are often more likely depending on a patient’s health history. For example, hematomas are more likely to happen to patients who smoke or suffer from diabetes. In these cases, patients are monitored even closer than other patients and will most likely be watched over in recovery for a longer period of time to ensure surgical success and complete health. This is one of the reasons why doctors require patients to quit smoking two months before surgery.
Our highly experienced and knowledgeable team at Adore Plastic Surgery is well aware of the possible risks and complications and takes every patient’s case into careful consideration to try to eliminate any chance of risks or complications. Following all directions and advice given by your surgeon and nurses will help prevent any possible risks and complications before, during, and after surgery.
Questions & Answers
Short Answer: 6 months minimum/ about 3 months after you’ve stopped breastfeeding.
Extended Answer: If a person has given birth they need to wait until their bodies have completely recovered/healed. This can take anywhere from 6 months to a year after the birthing process. The reason this is essential is that the organs and muscles in the torso area are adjusting to post-partum life (trying to shrink back to their prepregnancy size and location. If they’re breastfeeding their baby then most doctors will have a patient wait about 3 months after they’ve stopped breastfeeding for the procedure.
A Tummy Tuck is an invasive procedure and patients who are recovering (or have just fully recovered) from something as invasive as giving birth should think about giving their bodies a bit of a break before putting it through another invasive occurrence which it has to recover from. Patients should also keep in mind that Tummy Tucks also requires two weeks of downtime for recovery during which they will not be able to lift anything over 10 lbs so they’ll need someone to attend to their newborns.
While there are no restrictions on how young a person can be to get a tummy tuck, as long as they are 18 years or over for general plastic surgery laws, surgeons do suggest patients be at least 21 years old to ensure complete development of their bodies before the procedure.
Youth isn’t the issue with tummy tucks rather, surgeons are concerned that if a patient is too young, they might want children down the line which will negate the results of the tummy tuck. Surgeons recommend that patients are sure they won’t become pregnant after the tummy tuck procedure, are healthy, and have enough elasticity in their skin (for the healing process).
A Tummy Tuck is a highly invasive procedure where patients should expect to have some sort of discomfort/pain for at least a week after surgery while the body gets through the shock and begins the healing process. Patients are recommended to take two weeks off from work and restrain from any activity that would require much movement, stress, or strain on the body. If patients combine their tummy tuck with liposuction, the recovery process might take a bit longer. It’s important to note that not all patients recover at the same rate nor feel the same type of pain (some have higher pain tolerances than others and might not feel as much).