Description: helping to demystify the tummy tuck

One of the most popular procedures in plastic surgery is known colloquially as a “tummy tuck.” However, it is also an easily misunderstood procedure, because not many people know what it involves or what the purpose of a tummy tuck is.

A tummy tuck, or “Abdominoplasty” is a surgical procedure designed to correct the contour of the abdomen. This surgery is popular among both men and women after significant changes in weight, changes that can result in loose, sagging abdominal skin. A tummy tuck is also a frequent component in a “mommy makeover,” i.e., a combination of breast and body procedures designed to rejuvenate and revitalize a woman’s body after physical changes caused by pregnancy.

The Tummy Tuck Procedure

A tummy tuck is typically an outpatient procedure. It generally takes about two hours. Bear in mind that every tummy tuck is unique and the procedure time can vary, especially if the procedure is combined with additional surgeries.

The surgery involves an incision in the lower part of the abdomen, often below or along the waistline. If there is an existing C-section scar, the tummy tuck incision can be placed below or in line with that.

Skin is released from the lower part of the abdomen up to the belly button. An incision is made around the belly button, and the skin is then released to the top of the abdomen. This allows for the tightening of the muscles in the middle-abdomen and for the restoration of the flat contours of the abdomen. The skin is then gently re-draped, trimmed, and the belly button is brought through the skin before the incision is closed, effectively completing the tummy tuck procedure.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

For most patients, two to three “drains” are placed within the abdomen skin before the skin sutures are completed. These drains remain in place until any excess fluid is properly drained from the body. This is nothing to worry about, as fluid drainage is a common part of the tummy tuck procedure.

After a few days, the drains are removed during a simple follow-up visit. This only takes a matter of minutes. (Some patients are candidates for a drain-less tummy tuck, so be sure to ask your plastic surgeon about this option).

As for on-going care post-operation, patients are placed in a surgical girdle immediately following surgery. The girdle is easy to take on and off for bathing and cleaning, but it should be worn for several weeks as much as possible, simply to ensure that the abdominal skin heals properly. Once the surgical girdle is no longer needed, patients are transitioned to a different style of girdle, not unlike an adult onesie. They will use that device for a total of eight weeks.

Patients may experience a sensation of aching muscles as a result of a tummy tuck procedure, but the healing period is not said to be significantly painful. By about two weeks post-operation, most patients have the drains out and can drive and return to work if their job is not too physically demanding. By the end of the second month (eight weeks), as long as there are no unforeseen consequences, patients can go back to their regular routines, all while enjoying a tight core and smaller waist!

Is a Tummy Tuck Right For You?

Does a tummy tuck procedure sound like it might be the right cosmetic improvement for you? Most patients are thrilled with their results after surgery. But as with any surgical procedure, cosmetic or otherwise, be sure to discuss the risks and benefits with Dr. DeLozier. He is currently offering no-cost tele-health and digital consultations, and he will gladly answer any questions you may have!

If you’re considering tummy tuck surgery and are ready to take the next step, call DeLozier Cosmetic Surgery Center at 615-565-9000 to schedule your consultation appointment. You can also fill out our online contact form. One of our staff will reach out to you shortly.

Dr. DeLozier is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the only plastic surgery board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Dr. DeLozier is  also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, an organization that ensures you are entrusting your appearance to a plastic surgeon who has been thoroughly vetted and who practices with the highest standards and ethics.