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What is a tummy tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to:
a) remove unwanted fat and excess abdominal skin; and b) tighten the abdominal musculature.
Variations of tummy tuck surgery include, among others, the mini tummy tuck (a.k.a., partial abdominoplasty), which corrects only the area underneath the navel and does not address loose or separated abdominal muscles.
Both procedures will correct a flabby, protruding belly, but to determine which procedure is right for you, our surgeons will need to evaluate your personal needs and the degree of correction needed.
Am I a candidate?
The best person to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for tummy tuck is an experienced, highly-qualified plastic or cosmetic surgeon at our practice. In general, appropriate tummy tuck candidates meet the following:
- Are within 30 pounds of their ideal weight
- Have been at a steady weight for at least six months
- Are in good general health
- Have not been able to achieve a flat abdomen through diet and exercise
- Have reasonable expectations of surgery (desire cosmetic improvement, not necessarily perfection)
- Do not plan to have children in the future
- Do not smoke; plan to stop smoking at least several weeks prior to and following surgery
Are tummy tuck results permanent?
Tummy tuck results are very long-lasting. As long as you maintain your weight (and do not become pregnant) you will maintain your results. If you gain weight, your skin and muscles will stretch and reverse the effects of tummy tuck. This is why we advise women of childbearing age to wait until they are finished having children before scheduling tummy tuck surgery.
How long will it take before I see results?
Post-operative swelling usually takes about four to six weeks to go down, at which point the results will start to become noticeable. Final results are usually achieved by about 6 months post-op.
Will my recovery be painful?
The abdominal area will be sore, swollen and tender for approximately two weeks after surgery. Pain can be managed with prescription painkillers that we will prescribe to you. Wearing a compression garment will also help reduce discomfort during tummy tuck recovery. After two weeks, patients are usually able to manage minor discomfort with regular Tylenol.
When can I return to my exercise routine?
We strongly advise our tummy tuck patients to avoid strenuous exercise for the first four to six weeks, depending their healing progress. It’s a good idea to walk around a little bit starting on the evening of surgery to ensure proper circulation, and to increase activity gradually over time. Our surgeons will advise when it is safe to engage in light to moderate activities such as walking or riding a stationary bike. For some patients, this is as soon as two weeks after surgery.
Will I have a tummy tuck scar?
Scarring from the tummy tuck incision is normal and common. However, your surgeon will be sure to place the incision in a discreet location (right above the pubic area) to ensure that any scarring is hidden underneath the panty or bikini line. At first, the scar will be red; gradually it will fade to purple, and finally pink or a flesh color. Scars will gradually become flatter and less noticeable. It usually takes about two years for a scar to fully heal to its permanent state.
How long does tummy tuck surgery last?
Tummy tuck surgery takes anywhere from one to three hours, depending on the specific treatment plan and procedure being performed. For example, a mini tummy tuck does not take as long as a traditional full tummy tuck. Also, incorporating abdominal liposuction or a hernia repair into the procedure can add to the completion time.
Where can I get more information about tummy tuck surgery?
For more information or to schedule a free consultation, please call Advanced Cosmetic Surgery of New York’s Long Island location (631-499-1831) or Manhattan location (212-206-0023).