Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty Seattle & Bellevue
Dr. Zemplenyi is a board certified cosmetic surgeon serving the Seattle-Bellevue area who specializes in Abdominoplasty (“tummy-tuck”) surgery. Abdominoplasty is a procedure for flattening and tightening the abdominal contour. Abdominoplasty candidates include those persons with sagging abdominal skin, stretch marks, or weakened abdominal muscles as can occur after pregnancy or weight loss. Tightening abdominal wall muscles and removing excess skin and fat can create the flatter, smoother abdominal appearance that exercise and dieting may not. The presence of many stretch marks on the belly skin or a large amount of overhanging skin and fat (panniculus) makes a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) the procedure of choice when simple liposuction may not be enough to address skin laxity. Large volume weight loss resulting in large amounts of excess skin, such as that following bariatric surgery (gastric bypass and gastric banding), may also require abdominoplasty to produce the more shapely contour desired. For more information, here’s a comparison between liposuction and a standard abdominoplasty.
Tummy Tuck Before/After
Tummy Tuck Before/After
Pre-operative Tummy Tuck Consultation
We wish to help you decide on the best treatment program tailored to your individual needs. During your consultation our doctors will address your abdominal contour cosmetic concerns and will advise you on the various abdominoplasty techniques available for their correction. In general, a full abdominoplasty consists of mobilization of the abdominal skin wall away from the underlying rectus abdominis muscle, freeing up the belly button and sliding the wall in a downward direction with removal of excess skin from the area immediately above the pubic region. The muscle wall is reinforced with sutures and a new opening for the belly button is created. Modified, lesser versions of a tummy tuck avoid the mobilization of the belly button and avoid the re-enforcement of the muscle wall. Although our doctors will provide you with their recommendations for your treatment, you will be empowered to make an informed decision about those procedures best for you. While tightening of the rectus abdominis muscles of the belly wall is not necessary in all cases of a tummy tuck, the results tend to be enhanced when the belly wall is reconstructed and tightened.
Tummy Tuck Surgery & Anesthesia
Our goal is to perform all surgeries in the safest manner, with the least amount of discomfort or anesthetic side-effects. Our doctors perform tummy tucks (abdominoplasty) most commonly under general anesthesia although sedation “twilight sleep” anesthesia is possible in some patients. Please refer to the section on Anesthesia and Pre-operative instructions for further information. The exact technique of abdominoplasty to be used is chosen by you and our doctors during the pre-operative consultation. We often perform an abdominoplasty along with liposuction of the epigastric (upper belly) and the “love handle” region.
The abdominoplasty incision extends across the lower abdomen toward the back. Its exact length depends on the width of the skin between the belly button and the pubic region to be excised in order to re-establish tightness of the belly skin envelope. The scar is designed to be covered by most clothing and bathing suits. Drains which remain in place for about seven to ten days are inserted for drainage of accumulated fluid. No drains are needed when the technique of lipo-abdominoplasty is used.
Tummy Tuck Before/After
Tummy Tuck Before/After
After Your Tummy Tuck Surgery
Most patients are discharged home after a 45 to 60 minute stay in the recovery room at the Bel-Red Center for Aesthetic Surgery. Post-operative discomfort is controlled with prescribed narcotic pain medications and muscle relaxants. A check-up visit with our doctors occurs the next day, and most patients take about one week off from work and avoid strenuous activities for three to four weeks. The drains are removed at seven to then days as are some of the sutures. Final cosmetic result is not achieved until three to four months when the residual changes resolve.
- What is a Tummy Tuck?
- Also known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck will essentially remove excess skin and fat from the abdominal area. If necessary, this procedure will also restore separated or weakened muscles to produce a smoother, flatter abdominal profile. Depending on the extent of tissue laxity, a mini or full abdomiplasty can be performed. The mini-abdominoplasty addresses abdominal laxity only below the belly button, whereas a full abdominoplasty restores contour and removes excess skin and fat above and below the navel. Both procedures have incisions hidden at the bikini line but the mini-tuck incision is shorter.
- Who is a Candidate for Abdominoplasty
- Individuals need not be overweight to benefit from abdominoplasty. The belly bulge from weakened abdominal muscles that may come with aging, after pregnancy, from prior surgery or just plain heredity can be flattened and tightened with a tummy tuck. Persons with excess sagging skin after a large weight loss can also regain a firmer, more youthful contour. Abdominoplasty is best deferred in women who are planning further pregnancies until childbearing is no longer considered.
- How can I prepare for a Tummy Tuck?
- If you smoke, you should quit. Don’t start a drastic diet. Continue to eat a healthy diet. You may need to discontinue some medications or supplements that could interfere with the procedure and healing time.
- What kind of Anesthesia is used for a Tummy Tuck Procedure?
- Most full abdominoplasties are done under general anesthesia. Mini-abdominoplasties can be performed under IV sedation. Both types of anesthesia are available at the Bel-Red Center for Aesthetic Surgery for patients to discuss and consider.
- What can I expect during the Tummy Tuck Procedure?
- During a full tummy tuck, an incision at the bikini line from hip bone to hip bone is made. Excess skin and fat is removed while sutures are used to strengthen and tighten the rectus abdominus muscles (abdominal muscles). A new hole is created for the belly button after which the skin and subcutaneous tissues are closed in several layers with dissolving sutures. In a mini or partial tuck, the excess skin and fat is removed below the navel and the lower half of the abdominal muscle wall is tightened with sutures to pull in the muscle bulge. Because the tightening and tissue removal only takes place below the navel, the belly button does not need to be repositioned. Both mini and full abdominoplasties can include liposuction for additional unwanted fat removal. At the close of surgery, drainage tubes may be placed to prevent build-up of tissue fluids between the skin and muscle layers.
- What can I expect post procedure? What is the recovery time for a Tummy Tuck?
- After surgery, compression garments are worn to decrease on swelling and support the surgical area as it heals. Discharge from the surgical center usually occurs within an hour after surgery and instructions for care and pain control are gone over prior to discharge. Patients must be accompanied by a responsible adult who will stay to take care of them for at least twelve hours after discharge. The drains and some sutures are removed about seven to 10 days after the procedure. Any discomfort is controlled with prescribed pain medication, along with muscle relaxants. Walking is encouraged within a few days after surgery but no strenuous activity or lifting is allowed for three to four weeks. If discomfort accompanies an activity it should be avoided. Most patients can return to work after one to two weeks depending on the type of work performed. More strenuous exercise should be deferred until approximately eight weeks after surgery when the abdominal wall is healed enough to take the strain of more stress. It is important that the freshly strengthened and reinforced abdominal wall be given adequate time to heal. The final contour evolves over several months as swelling resolves and skin and tissues drape over the newly tightened musculature. Abdominoplasty surgery can be combined with other procedures such as breast augmentation, liposuction, arm and thigh lift or mommy makeover procedures.
- What is the post-procedure care for a Tummy Tuck?
- You should follow all post-procedure care tips outlined in your post-operative instructions. • Keep a dressing over the incisions and drain sites. • Wear compression garments as instructed • Avoid strenuous activity as instructed • No tub soaking until OKd by the surgeon • Sleep with your head slightly elevated and pillows under the knees to reduce tension on the incisions. • Avoid exposing the suture scars to sun for at least 12 months. If exposure is unavoidable, use a strong sunblock
- What are the risks associated with a Tummy Tuck?
- All surgeries come with risks. Complications of a tummy tuck can include bleeding under the skin flap, infection, need for revision, skin loss, numbness which usually resolves with time, unfavorable scarring, and fluid accumulation. As with any other surgery there can be anesthetic risks. Very rarely there can be deep venous thrombosis, or cardiac and pulmonary complications.