The term abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck” is a surgical procedure which smooths and flattens the abdominal area. It reshapes the waist and stomach while removing excess abdominal skin and fat. It is appropriate for both men and women who have an excess roll around the midline, especially in association with lax skin or an overhang, also known as a pannus. It is often most appropriate after pregnancy or significant weight loss where the skin has failed to retract. An abdominoplasty will give the stomach a flat contour, tighten the rectus abdominis muscles (the stomach “boxes” you can see defined on thin fit individuals), and narrow the waist.
As noted, there are several different techniques for performing an abdominoplasty. The most common variations are mini-abdominoplasty, modified abdominoplasty, high lateral tension abdominoplasty, and panniculectomy. Needless to say, Dr. Davis will tailor your procedure to both your body type and desires, using any one or a combination of these techniques. Incisions are hidden low on the waist and around the belly button to accommodate bathing suits and hip hugging jeans. Dr. Davis pays particular care closing the incisions around the navel so that they are buried, inconspicuous, and give a youthfully shaped belly button.
An abdominoplasty can produce a significant improvement in body contour. The surgery usually takes 2 to 3 hours and is performed under anesthesia. Following surgery, there is a drain in place which requires a little attention while at home and is usually removed the first week after surgery. Patients can expect to spend a week or two of light activity at home walking slightly bent over before being able to resume regular non-strenuous activities. Most patients return to work after 7 to 14 days. Vigorous exercise or other strenuous physical activity will be resumed in 4 to 6 weeks. The procedure is generally performed on an outpatient basis, although the option to spend a night in the hospital or have a home nurse is always available.
Patients should expect to see an immediate improvement and change in their appearance. However, it takes several weeks to months for all the swelling to subside revealing the final permanent contour changes. Of course, excessive weight gain or pregnancy can alter the final results.
As with any surgery, complications can occur following your procedure. Dr. Davis takes care to ensure you are well informed so that you know how to care for yourself in the first few weeks you are home. Complications are kept to a minimum in Dr. Davis’s practice but can include bleeding, infection, fluid collections and wound healing problems. Dr. Davis will discuss these in detail with you at your consultation.
Dr. Davis and his staff will see you frequently following your procedure and will continue to monitor your progress throughout your recovery. Patients are encouraged to ask any questions that might arise, and Dr. Davis and his staff are available to help patients with any questions or needs.