During the winter months, it’s easier to cover up a protruding tummy with sweaters and other bulky clothes. But now that bathing suit season is around the corner, you may be thinking about ways to slim and trim your middle.
Exercise and weight loss can help. However, sometimes after pregnancy or weight gain, abdominal muscles weaken — and fat around the waist and stomach can be difficult to shed. You may also have excess skin after losing extra pounds.
A “tummy tuck,” technically known as abdominoplasty, can tighten muscles and skin and help you get the body shape you desire.
Dr. Lisa M. DiFrancesco answers your questions about abdominoplasty.
What does a “tummy tuck” do?
If you’ve tried dieting and exercising but still aren’t happy with your mid-section, abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”) can help. The procedure tightens abdominal muscles and removes excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen. If you have small areas of excess fat or loose skin, a mini-tummy tuck may be all you need.
Can liposuction reshape body contours? Liposuction removes unwanted fat from the neck, abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper-arms, the back “bra roll,” and calves. Laser liposuction is an advancement which liquefies fat so it can be gently removed through small incisions. The result is less bruising and swelling and a faster recovery time than traditional liposuction.
How is a tummy tuck performed?
In this procedure, abdominal wall muscles are surgically tightened. Excess fatty tissue and skin are also removed in order to make the abdomen flatter and give it a more toned appearance.
How does a tummy tuck differ from liposuction?
Liposuction only removes fat and may be all some people need to slim the waist area. Depending on individual needs, however, liposuction can be used along with abdominoplasty to remove excess fat and sculpt the flanks, hips and lower back.
What’s the difference between a mini-tummy tuck and a full abdominoplasty?
The mini version is used on patients with only mild to moderate amounts of excess fat and skin. A full tummy tuck involves removal of more significant fat and skin and tightening of the abdominal muscles from the rib cage to the pubic area. Incisions for both mini and full tummy tucks are low and well hidden in a bikini line.
How long does it take to recover from a tummy tuck?
Mini and full tummy tucks are two to three hour long surgical procedures performed under general anesthesia. Medication is used to control any post-operative pain. The full tummy tuck involves a slightly longer recovery period than the mini version, but all abdominoplasty patients are usually able to resume their regular work and most activities in 2 to 3 weeks. Strenuous exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for one month, however.