The medical term for tummy tuck is abdominoplasty. This procedure removes loose extra skin and tightens the muscles of the abdomen. Although some people believe that a tummy tuck helps you lose weight, it actually works best on thin people who either have lost considerable weight, leaving their tummy skin loose, or on women who have had children, and have loose abdominal skin and muscles due to their pregnancy.
Ideal Candidates for a Tummy Tuck in New York
Healthy adult women with loose skin and/or tissues in the abdomen due to aging, pregnancy and/or weight gain/loss cycles are usually appropriate for a tummy tuck. It’s important that any woman considering this procedure to have finished her family, as a pregnancy after an abdominoplasty can ruin the beautiful results.
Two Types of Tummy Tucks
- Full tummy tuck
- Mini tummy tuck
Full Tummy Tuck
In the full tummy tuck, the skin from just under the rib cage to just above the pubic bone is lifted and pulled down, like a window shade, for a flatter, tighter tummy. The abdominal muscles are also tightened and, because the skin has been moved, the belly button is relocated.
Mini Tummy Tuck
In the mini tummy tuck, the improvement is focused on that part of the abdomen between the belly button and the top of the pubic bone, rather than the entire abdomen. This is ideal for women who have a “pooch” in the lower abdomen.
How a Tummy Tuck is Performed
A tummy tuck in New York is an elective outpatient plastic surgery performed under general anesthesia in Dr. Gerut’s fully accredited and licensed surgical suite located in his office in Hewlett, Long Island. Plastic surgery patients benefit from the attention to detail and patient comfort and safety that result from Dr. Gerut’s many years with the same surgical team, which includes a board certified anesthesiologist.
Once anesthesia has taken effect, Dr. Gerut will make an incision from hip to hip on the lower part of the abdomen just above the pubic area. After lifting the skin and tissues up to the rib cage, he will tighten the muscles in the abdomen with sutures to create a stronger, flatter appearance. Depending on the patient’s needs, liposuction may also be performed to smooth out the abdomen. The skin is pulled down like a window shade and extra skin is removed. A new belly button is created and sutures are placed to close the incision. Drains are often inserted, and will remain in place for approximately four weeks or until drainage is at a minimum or stops completely. The drains, although inconvenient, aren’t painful, and serve the purpose of assisting healing and giving the patient a flat tummy. A compressive abdominal garment is then put on the patient before she goes to the recovery room.
A mini tummy tuck is similar in procedure except that the procedure is limited to the part of the abdomen between the belly button and the pubic bone.
Recovery from a Tummy Tuck
The first few days are the toughest for tummy tuck patients, because the abdomen feels sore and tight both in front and back, forcing the patient to walk bent over at first. Walking from the bed to the bathroom is often all a patient can manage for the first 3-5 days, after which walking around the house and progressing to short walks outside is recommended to speed healing. Drains are usually removed around the 3-4 week mark, if little or no drainage is experienced, and the compressive garment is usually worn until drains are removed, perhaps a bit longer. Dr. Gerut gives his New York tummy tuck patients prescriptions for pain medication at the pre-op appointment, about two weeks prior to the procedure and recommends that, unless the patient has problems with addiction to pain meds, the prescriptions are filled and taken as directed. There is to be no aggressive exercise or lifting for at least the first six weeks. This includes lifting young children, grocery bags, and the like. The scar will fade with time, usually resolving to its final appearance within 6 to 9 months.
If you’re concerned about abdominal sagging due to aging, weight loss or pregnancy, board certified New York plastic surgeon Dr. Gerut can help you. Call us at 516-295-2100 or complete our online consultation form to learn how you can get the look you’ve always wanted!