A tummy tuck, also called abdominoplasty, is designed to make your stomach flat and tighten the skin. Weight gain and pregnancy can cause the skin and muscles of your abdomen to stretch and even with a good diet and regular exercise, this excess skin can remain. A tummy tuck is used to remove this skin and tighten the underlying muscles. Small pockets of extra fat can also be removed to create a smoother contour.
As a mom herself, Dr. Cat understands the desire to have a smoother stomach, especially after pregnancy. She has developed special technical details in her surgery to help minimize bruising and swelling, post operative pain and the recovery period, as well as creating a belly button and scars that look as nice as possible.
Preparing for Surgery
Preparing for your tummy tuck involves a full review of your medical history and an examination by Dr. Cat. You should be near your target weight prior to surgery, as abdominoplasty is not designed as a substitute for natural weight loss. Obesity and smoking can cause difficulties when healing from this procedure. Prior to your tummy tuck, Dr. Cat will ask you to refrain from using any products that may increase your risk of bleeding during surgery.
Your tummy tuck procedure will be performed under general anesthesia and may take four to five hours. Using an incision from hip to hip – placed strategically so that any scars will be concealed beneath your bikini bottom or underwear – Dr. Cat is able lift and tighten the tissues. Loose abdominal muscles are tightened using sutures. The excess skin and fat are removed. Then, the remaining skin is redraped and the new bellybutton is reconstructed. Dr. Cat takes extra care when reconstructing the bellybutton to make it look natural and attractive. The fat is carefully sculpted to create the proper contour. Once all these steps have been completed, the incisions are sutured shut.
The recovery period for a tummy tuck is longer than most plastic surgery procedures and is about 2 weeks. You will have drains after surgery. You will feel swollen and sore the first few days after surgery. Pain medication and a compression garment are used for these problems, mostly during the first week of recovery. Most of Dr. Cat’s patient are able to return to most every day activities in about a week, but patients need to minimize activity for 2-3 weeks. How quickly you recover depends on a number of factors. Most patients feel well enough to return to work after two to four weeks. You should also wait at least four weeks before engaging in strenuous exercise, six weeks for abdominal exercises. However, walking should be done immediately to reduce the risk of blood clots.
It usually takes about a year for the scars from your tummy tuck to fade.
Schedule a Consultation
A tummy tuck is a life-changing procedure. To learn more about abdominoplasty and whether it is right for you, contact us to schedule your consultation with Dr. Cat today.
This is a young mom of 4 who had a a lot of excess skin of her abdomen.
This patient had lost about 80 pounds with lap band. Abdominoplasty with liposuction helped remove the excess fat and skin.
This mom of three had a much improved contoured abdomen and belly button after her abdominoplasty
This patient had excess skin and fat which she wanted removed
This woman had tummy tuck with liposuction to the flanks