Abdominal Skin Tightening
Having a child, losing a large amount of weight, and age itself can all have a major impact on the look and feel of your stomach. When the skin around your belly loses elasticity, it can become loose or saggy, causing a bulge in your figure. This can result in your clothes fitting a bit awkwardly and a lack of self-confidence due to your physical appearance. If you have tried everything but can’t seem to get rid of that leftover flab, a tummy tuck at UCI Plastic Surgery could be the solution for the slimmed-down figure you are looking for.
Why Won’t the Extra Belly Flab Go Away?
It might not be fat that you are dealing with. Often, when a man or woman notices sagging in his or her abdominal region, he or she will associate it with stubborn fat; however, this isn’t always the case. You can go to the gym and run on the treadmill or StairMaster five days a week while keeping to a strict diet, but if this isn’t doing anything to get rid of that belly flab, it is likely because of excess skin.
Unlike fat, the problem of excess skin cannot be solved with diet and exercise alone. While it is important to eat right and stay active to maintain your health and figure, there is not much that can be done to restore elasticity to skin that has been left sagging after pregnancy or massive weight loss.
How a Tummy Tuck Gets Rid of the Flabby Skin
The tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure, but rather a surgery that is designed to remove excess skin and achieve a tighter, flatter abdomen. This is why it is important for patients considering abdominoplasty (the medical term for a tummy tuck) to already be at a stable, healthy weight. There are some instances in which one of our plastic surgeons may decide that you are an ideal candidate for a combination liposuction and tummy tuck procedure. This will help to reduce any stubborn deposits of abdominal fat while trimming away excess skin for an improved contour.
Your tummy tuck surgery will be performed under the sedation of general anesthesia. One of our highly trained plastic surgeons will then make a horizontal incision, from about hipbone to hipbone, a few inches below your belly button – but don’t worry, you will be able to conceal any future scars under most underwear and bathing suits!
From the incision location, we will be able to repair any damage to the abdominal wall and reshape the underlying tissue. Your skin is then pulled tight to achieve a naturally taut appearance and any excess is then trimmed away. Once your incisions are closed, we will apply any necessary bandages. A compression garment may be required to help minimize swelling and to ensure proper healing of the skin.
Repairing the Abdominal Wall Muscles
Pregnancy can have a significant impact on your abdominal muscles. While your uterus grows, the two large parallel bands of muscles in your midsection can separate, medically known as diastasis recti, which leads to a weakened abdominal area. In many cases, those muscles do not regain their original level of strength following childbirth without some surgical help. This can cause many women to experience pain and discomfort in the surrounding muscle regions, especially the lower back, due to overcompensating.
The tummy tuck will repair the abdominal wall muscles, if necessary, and restore tone and tightness to the damaged fibers. During the procedure, your UCI plastic surgeon will work to reattach the muscle bands together, creating a firm and smooth abdominal profile.
Types of Tummy Tucks
Depending on your specific needs, your surgeon may recommend that you undergo a full tummy tuck or the less-invasive mini tummy tuck. The full tummy tuck is a more in-depth procedure that will address all aspects of the abdominal area. The surgery removes excess skin and fat (with liposuction as needed) while tightening the muscles in the abdominal wall to contour and shape your midsection.
The mini tummy tuck, on the other hand, is perfect for those who do not need the muscles tended to and only want the lower portion of the midsection tightened and contoured, making it a much less intensive procedure. The mini is designed to target only the drooping skin and extra pockets of fatty tissue that can linger after pregnancy or significant weight loss. This type of procedure usually allows for much less scarring because there is no incision at the belly button. It also makes the mini tummy tuck a quicker procedure with less downtime and a speedier recovery period.
What Will the Resulting Scar Look Like?
Unfortunately, there will be scarring left by your abdominoplasty surgery. The procedure requires incisions to let your surgeon remove excess skin and fat, access the abdominal wall muscles, and shape your belly button. Whichever variation of the tummy tuck you opt for, your UCI plastic surgeon will go to every length to conceal the resulting scar by hiding it in the natural folds and contours of your body. It will be strategically placed so to be easily obscured under the bikini line and hidden away when you’re in more revealing outfits or a bathing suit. The scar will fade over time on its own but will never completely disappear. You can take steps to further reduce the appearance of scarring with laser scar revision and topical treatments.
What Are the Risks?
As with any surgical procedure, there are inherent risks to the tummy tuck. Although rare, blood clots or an infection can occur. Blood clots can usually be avoided by ambulating as soon as you can after the procedure. Getting up and walking around the house will increase blood flow and stimulate the healing process. Infections can be treated with antibiotics, which may be prescribed prior to your surgery. There is also the possibility that the incision will not heal properly and excessive or abnormal scarring may develop, potentially requiring a second procedure.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
Each patient will recover differently from their tummy tuck surgery, but you should plan for about two weeks away from work while your body heals. You will begin to notice your new shape very soon, but bruising and swelling may linger for a few weeks. It will take some time before you see the final results of your procedure.
The tummy tuck provides men and women with life-changing results. They are often thrilled about their new, flatter bellies and cannot wait to throw on their swimsuits and spend an afternoon at the beach. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can enjoy the results of your tummy tuck surgery for years and years to come.
Tummy Tuck Surgery
If you’re struggling with your own belly flab that won’t go away no matter what you try, it may be because of excess skin and tissue. A tummy tuck can help provide you with the lean abdomen you desire. For more information about the tummy tuck, give us a call to schedule your consultation. We are currently serving Los Angeles, Orange, Tustin and Costa Mesa locations.