I absolutely love this procedure for patients who are appropriate candidates. For patients who have had children and developed excess skin laxity (looseness) as well as muscle laxity in Orange County, tummy tuck surgery is a wonderful procedure that can produce dramatic results.
- Browse our Orange County Tummy Tuck before and after pictures
I refer to this procedure as one of those "wow" procedures in plastic surgery, because after we take their initial postoperative bandages off, the patients invariably say "wow, what an incredible difference!" It is truly gratifying to see a woman feel as though I have brought her abdomen back to where it was before she had any children. Again, patients are always concerned about the scars involved with this procedure, but if there is appropriate attention to detail placed towards camouflaging it within the bikini line (as well as a specific postoperative scar minimizing protocol), the scar fades beautifully.
What is a Tummy Tuck
Abdominoplasty, known more commonly as a "tummy tuck," is a major surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. As I tell my patients in Orange County, tummy tuck surgery can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen. However, it does produce a scar and the extent of the scarring depends on the severity of the original problem and the surgery required to correct it.
What to Expect
Because every procedure is unique with surgical plans that differ according to the extent of the work required, the abdominoplasty procedure can take somewhere between two and five hours. There are also partial abdominoplasty options available, which will take about half the time.
The procedure generally begins with the surgeon cutting an incision that runs from either side of the hips. After that, there is another incision made so that the navel can be separated from the rest of the waist tissue. In the case of partial abdominoplasty, the navel might not have to be moved at all since a smaller incision is often sufficient. Even so, since the skin will be tightened and stitched, the navel could be pulled and moved into an abnormal shape.
In order to reach the muscles that run vertically within your abdomen, another incision will be made to remove excess skin and fat. Then, the muscles are pulled together, tightened and stitched in place, effectively narrowing the waistline and creating an abdominal wall that is firmer than it was before.
After this, the surgeon begins to work on the remaining skin. After removing the excess skin, what remains is stretched and placed into position. All the incisions are then stitched closed, and bandages are applied. There may also be a tube used to drain any excess fluids from the healing incisions.
Meanwhile, a partial abdominoplasty would involve only a minor incision separating the skin between the cut and the navel. The excess is removed after the skin is stretched back into place and stitched.
There will likely be swelling and pain within your abdomen in the coming days. With a bit of controlled medication, however, this discomfort can be controlled. Whether you're released within a few days or a few hours depends on the extent of your surgery and the methods of your particular surgery center.
You will receive instructions on how to shower and consistently change your dressings in order to avoid aggravating the healing areas. Walking cautiously and at a slow pace is important, even if you don't feel like you can stand up straight.
The doctor will remove the stitches within five days to a week depending on the patient. The sutures that are below the skin can be removed in two or three weeks. At some point, you can also replace the dressings on the incision with a support garment.
For a consultation with Dr. Milind Ambe of Newport Beach Plastic Surgery, call (949) 759-5539 today.