Tummy Tuck: How It Works

Interested In a Flatter Tummy?

The name ‘tummy tuck’ speaks for itself – it gives you a perfect tummy; whether you seek a chiseled, flat, or curvaceous look, this procedure can deliver that. Before you make the decision to go under the knife, learn more about what this procedure entails and how it can help you get the body of your dreams. 

Mini Tummy Tuck

If your skin looseness is mostly below the navel, and you don’t have much excess skin and bulging in the upper abdomen, a mini tummy tuck may be for you. This procedure only takes about an hour, and the recovery time is much shorter due to its minimally-invasive nature. 

A mini tummy tuck consists of liposuction in the upper abdomen and flank (between the ribs and the hips) areas. A small incision is made in the bikini area so there is no cutting around the belly button. Excess skin and fat are removed and permanent sutures are placed to tighten the abdominal muscles. 

Full Tummy Tuck

If you have a fair amount of excess skin around the abdomen, bulging in the upper abdomen, and/or muscle separation, a full tummy tuck may be for you. This procedure takes about 4 hours and may result in some scarring. The recovery for this procedure is longer than for mini tucks.

A full tummy tuck consists of an incision around the belly button and on the lower abdomen. Excess skin and fat are removed and the entire abdominal wall is tightened with permanent sutures. 

African-American Tummy Tuck: What’s The Difference?

You might be wondering how this procedure differs from a regular tummy tuck. After all, our bodies are all the same. You are correct, but there are many African-American patients who have good reasons for requesting a more personalized approach. 

Compared to Caucasians, African-Americans are more likely to develop keloid scarring on their skin. This refers to irregularly shaped and raised scar tissue that forms over an incision, and can affect the appearance of the body. To address this, surgeons use internal (as opposed to external) sutures and surgical glue to minimize scarring. The recovery time does not significantly differ from traditional tucks. 

Aside from scarring, some African-American patients request a more full-figured silhouette, in addition to removing excess skin and fat from the tummy. As opposed to an overtly skinny appearance, some may desire an emphasis on their curvaceous feminine contour. At the end of the day, everyone has a different goal and expectation, and your plastic surgeon is here to help you achieve what YOU want.

Can Men Get a Tummy Tuck? Absolutely! 

An increasing number of men are requesting this popular procedure to stay fit and feel young. Each patient will have different expectations, and this is the same for males. When it comes to male tummy tucks, they are most effective after a period of weight loss, as it helps to tighten loose skin that will not go away on its own. 

Males and females tend to have different patterns of fat distribution, contours, and muscle tone. These are all aspects that your surgeon will discuss with you and consider during the procedure. In male tucks, the surgeon enhances the contours of the abdomen to achieve a masculine and toned form. In addition, some males may have an excessively large, round, and/or protruding belly button – this can be addressed at the same time as the tummy tuck.

What To Expect 

As with any surgery, avoid eating and drinking after midnight the day before the surgery. Avoid wearing makeup or perfume to the surgery. On the morning of, you may take a prescribed nausea medication with a small sip of water.

After the surgery, you must have someone you can count on to drive you home. If you are unable to arrange a ride home, you can notify your doctor and they can prepare an after-care facility for you to stay overnight. You will need assistance with your daily chores for at least 48 hours after the procedure.

You will experience a certain degree of swelling and bruising immediately after surgery – this is normal. Your surgical team will follow-up with you regularly after the procedure to monitor your healing and to prescribe any medications for discomfort (if needed).

During recovery, avoid heavy lifting and other strenuous activity. Wearing a compression garment helps reduce swelling and quickens the healing process. The swelling takes an average of 6 to 8 months to subside; the scars fade after about a year. The self-confidence and satisfaction last forever. 

If you are considering a tummy tuck and would like to discuss this decision with our double-board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Michael Omidi, call (800) 555-5551 today for a consultation! 

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