What is a Tummy Tuck?
Aging, weight fluctuations, genetics, and previous pregnancies can contribute to an abdominal appearance that is less than ideal. Even individuals at their goal weight can struggle with sagging belly skin and stubborn fat deposits. Many patients are unable to attain the toned tummy they desire through diet and exercise alone despite vigorous and dedicated efforts. Tummy tuck surgery, also known as “abdominoplasty,” produces a slimmer, flatter midsection with improved muscle tone. Dr. Constantino Mendieta performs this procedure to restore the abdomen to a more youthful and appealing contour, helping patients revive their confidence and physique.
Ideal candidates for a tummy tuck can relate to some or all of the following concerns:
- Stretched skin
- Stretch marks on the lower abdomen
- Excess fat
- Weakened or separated abdominal muscles
Tummy Tuck Options
Depending on the extent of correction required, tummy tuck surgery can last between two and four hours. During the procedure, the underlying structures of the midsection are adjusted through a horizontal incision along the lower abdomen. The shape and length of the incision will depend on the amount of excess tissue to be removed. Dr. Mendieta offers four tummy tuck techniques and liposuction to meet the unique needs and goals of his patients.
Mini Tummy Tuck
The incision created during mini tummy tuck surgery is placed below the bikini line. Through this opening, excess skin can be removed, and lower abdominal muscles can be repaired. This technique is appropriate for patients with minimal cosmetic concerns that fall below the navel.
Full Tummy Tuck
A full tummy tuck involves creating an incision that extends from hip to hip. Through this incision, excess tissue can be removed and muscles can be repaired. A secondary incision around the navel may be necessary to achieve optimal results. This technique is appropriate for patients with moderate to severe skin laxity and muscle weakness.
Extended Tummy Tuck
An extended tummy tuck is a more comprehensive approach to abdominal enhancement. The incision created during this procedure extends from the side of one thigh, around the hip and along the bikini line, and around to the other thigh. This technique is appropriate for patients who desire improvement to the hips and thighs as well as to their abdomen.
Circumferential Tummy Tuck
As the name suggests, a circumferential tummy tuck involves creating an incision that encircles the entire midsection, through which excess tissue can be removed. Circumferential tummy tuck surgery, also known as a “body lift,” improves the appearance of the entire midsection, including the buttocks, hips, abdomen, and back. This technique is appropriate for patients who have experienced significant weight loss that has resulted in severe skin laxity and folds of excess fat.
Most tummy tuck surgeries are combined with liposuction to achieve the best body contouring results. Liposuction is a fat removal procedure that utilizes a cannula to suction localized fat from targeted areas of the body. This technique is appropriate for patients with pockets of fat that obscure their body contours and do not respond to diet and exercise.
You can expect to have some bruising and swelling following your tummy tuck surgery. A compression garment will be applied to reduce swelling and bruising and to help support the abdomen as it adapts to its new shape. Small tubes may be placed under the skin temporarily to drain any excess fluid that may collect. Most patients can return to work about one or two weeks after surgery, although strenuous activities and heavy lifting should be avoided for several weeks to prevent postoperative complications.
You can resume light activity such as walking or aerobics after three weeks, and aggressive workouts may be resumed after six weeks of recovery. During your tummy tuck consultation, Dr. Mendieta will provide you with a detailed recovery timeline explaining when you can continue your usual exercise routine.
You will notice an immediate difference in how your midsection looks following tummy tuck surgery. Your results will continue to improve over the next few months as the swelling subsides. The effects produced by tummy tuck surgery are considered generally permanent as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle and have no pregnancies after the procedure.
Tummy Tuck FAQs
How much does a tummy tuck cost?
The cost of tummy tuck surgery depends on several factors, including the extent of correction, techniques used, surgical fees, anesthesia fees, and geographical location. The exact cost of your personalized tummy tuck will be determined during your private consultation.
What are the risks associated with tummy tuck surgery?
Complications that result from tummy tuck surgery are rare. However, some of the common risks associated with any cosmetic surgical procedure include:
- Impaired healing
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
Will I have scarring after my tummy tuck procedure?
Patients who undergo tummy tuck surgery can expect some scarring; however, Dr. Mendieta is careful to place all surgical incisions in discrete areas of the body so that they may be easily concealed with clothing and bathing suits. Additionally, any scars are likely to fade over time.
What type of anesthesia is used during a tummy tuck procedure?
Tummy tuck surgery is performed using either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. For your safety, you also want to ensure you are working with a board-certified anesthesiologist, regardless of the type of anesthesia chosen.