A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the abdominal region in order to tighten and firm up the look of the area. While it is not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle or traditional weight loss methods, it can be an effective firming tool for patients who cannot otherwise seem to get rid of loose and sagging skin due to lifestyle conditions such as aging, pregnancy, previous surgery or even just basic genetics. For most individuals, the procedure results in a smoother, firmer stomach that can be maintained with proper diet and exercise well into the future. The best candidates for a tummy tuck are physically healthy, nonsmoking individuals with a stable weight, realistic expectations and a desire to smooth out their stomach.
How a Tummy Tuck Works
After giving the patient anesthesia—either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, depending on the case—Dr. Potyondy makes a horizontal incision above the pubic hairline, through which excess skin can be lifted and muscles repaired and tightened. Sometimes a second, higher incision is also needed at the same time in order for treatment to be most effective. The belly button is repositioned if necessary and excess skin and fat are removed. After finishing the lift, Dr. Potyondy closes up the area with sutures, skin adhesives and/or clips. The patient immediately has a firmer abdomen, even if there is some initial swelling that obscures the look. Full healing usually takes a few weeks of time.
Results Following Tummy Tuck Surgery
While there are no guarantees with abdominoplasty, most patients typically experience good results from the procedure. After healing is complete, the body will look leaner and more proportionate, and scars continue fading over the next several months or up to a year. Many patients only need one procedure, but some will require an additional future surgery to complete their success.