....about tummy tucks
What exactly is a tummy tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin and, in most cases, restores weakened or separated muscles of the abdomen. The result is an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.
Who are good candidates for tummy tucks?
You might want to consider a tummy tuck if you have excess abdominal fat, sagging abdominal skin, or an abdomen that protrudes and is out of proportion to the rest of you body.
Its best if you’ve completed all your pregnancies before proceeding with surgery so that the results will be preserved.
(You may require revisional abdominal surgery to enhance your results if you do have an additional pregnancy afterward.)
As with most plastic surgery, patients should be within 20-30 pounds of their ideal body weight and in good general physical condition to optimize results.
Is there an age restriction as to who can get tummy tucks?
No. However, medical clearance will be required. So, especially if you are older than 65 years of age, its best to see your M.D. in advance to make sure you don’t have any issues.
How long does the procedure take?
Depending upon your specific case, a tummy tuck should take between 2 to 3 hours. Abdominoplasty is usually performed under general anesthesia.
Is there a lot of bruising/swelling after surgery? If so, how long will it last?
Bruising and swelling are minimal after abdominoplasty, however, they can be expected after most surgeries. The extent of bruising varies from individual to individual, however you should anticipate mild bruising. It usually clears up in 5 to 7 days.
Will there be scars from the surgery?
Yes. The woman considering abdominoplasty surgery should be aware that this procedure often results in hip to hip scars. However, these usually heal well and are placed in an inconspicuous location (such as the bathing suit line).
If you have scars after your surgery, you should realize that they will get worse before they get better. Your incision will heal relatively quickly, but your scars will go through a series of changes before they are completely healed and that can take months. Scars will look their worst at about 3 months after abdominoplasty surgery. They tend to get very red, thick and raised, but after about 6 months, they lighten and smooth out.
On rare occasions, scar revision surgery may be necessary.
How much weight will be lost from having tummy tuck surgery (if any)?
First, I want to point out that Tummy Tuck surgery is not intended to be a method for weight reduction.
However, a recent study does provide preliminary evidence that many patients have lasting weight loss after abdominoplasty- especially those who are overweight or obese before the procedure.
Satiety appears to be a prominent contributing factor, as does the amount of fat removed. Removing fat cells from the abdomen may lead to reduced levels of hormones affecting appetite, which are secreted by fatty tissues.
However, this has not been proven yet and I would not encourage anyone to have a tummy tuck purely for weight loss purposes. Its not a replacement for diet and exercise.
How long is the recovery period after having a tummy tuck?
About a month.
You should be able to return to non-vigorous activity (such as walking) after 5 to 7 days.
After 7 - 10 days your sutures will be removed, but most patients need to wear an abdominal stretch binder (or SPANX) for 2-3 weeks.
The scars may take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks to heal, but will take anywhere from 1 to 3 years to resolve.
When will it be okay to resume working out?
Usually it takes 3 weeks until you’ll be ready to return to sweat provoking exercise and about 4 weeks until you’ll be ready to return to sports.
10. What can one expect after tummy tuck surgery?
The final results of tummy tuck surgery may be initially obscured by swelling and your inability to stand fully upright until internal healing is complete.
Many patients look at the bruising and swelling immediately after their procedure and begin to feel a bit depressed. This is quite normal during the initial period of recovery.
However, within a week or two, you should be standing tall and confident with a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with your body type and weight.
My patients report a much improved self esteem and higher quality of life as a result. I cant think of one who doesn’t say they would do it again. Most say at one week it was the worst thing they ever did – but after a year it was the best thing they ever did!
For women who have had children, will getting a tummy tuck get rid of loose skin and stretch marks?
It will get rid of excess skin and the stretch marks that are on the skin that is removed. That is mainly the skin beneath the belly button. If you have noticeable stretch marks above the belly button, they will remain. But they usually look less noticeable as a result of the skin being smoothed and stretched during the procedure.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. LaTrenta, please call
New York : 212 369 5300 or Connecticut: 203 309 5701.
For further information, please visit latrenta.com
What is this?
'Ask Dr. LaTrenta' is an archive of interviews with Park Avenue Plastic Surgeon, Gregory LaTrenta. The doctor answers patients' questions about the latest cosmetic procedures and helps us separate fact from myth.