Also known as Adominoplasty
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that improves the contour of the abdomen. Time, gravity, pregnancy, and weight gain or loss can all lead to unwanted sagging skin, loss of contour, and stretch marks. Abdominal muscles can also weaken or separate and create a bulge in the lower and upper abdomen. The tummy tuck procedure works to improve these unwanted features by removing excess skin and fat, and tightening the muscle layer to improve the overall contour of the abdomen.
Setting The Right Expectations
Potential patients should understand that the tummy tuck procedure is not a weight loss alternative. Ideal candidates should be at or near a healthy weight and have a body mass index (BMI) under 40. Those at a healthy weight are more likely to achieve better results. Strict diets that quickly get you to your “ideal weight” are not recommended before tummy tuck surgery because the weight can be easily gained back once you return to your regular lifestyle after surgery, thus affecting the results. Typically, those who consider tummy tuck surgery do not plan on having future pregnancies, as this can compromise results.
Discreet Scars, Retightened muscles, Go Home After Surgery
Through the abdominoplasty procedure, Dr. Behar is able to provide you with a flatter, more attractive abdominal contour for patients throughout Middle Tennessee. After general anesthesia is administered, excess skin is typically removed from just above the pubic hairline to just above the belly button. This is then brought together to make the skin of the abdomen attractively tight and smooth. This will provide the flatter and younger abdominal appearance you desire. During the procedure, the muscles of the abdominal wall are tightened to further enhance the flattening effect of the tummy tuck. Scars are discreetly hidden within the bikini line and within the hollow of the belly button. A more youthful belly button contour is typically provided during this wonderful procedure. With careful and thorough surgical care, Dr. Behar is able to provide abdominoplasty as an outpatient procedure, getting you back to your day-to-day activities as soon as possible. A tummy tuck can also be combined with other procedures such as breast augmentation or breast-lift/reduction if desired (frequently called a “mommy makeover”).
Mini Tummy Tuck
Quicker Recovery For Less Dramatic Needs
For patients who have less dramatic needs, a mini tummy tuck (mini abdominoplasty) may be an appropriate alternative. In this procedure, less skin is removed. A mini tummy tuck provides a quicker, easier recuperation with a shorter scar but is not for everyone. A mini tummy tuck does not address any laxity that has developed in the muscle portion of the abdominal wall. During your consultation in the Cool Springs/Franklin or Smyrna locations, Dr. Behar will guide you as to whether you would best be served with a full abdominoplasty or a mini abdominoplasty. He will also help you to understand what can and cannot be achieved with each.
Advice For A Quicker Recovery
Dressings will be applied to the incisions, and it is recommended that you wear a compression garment to support your new tummy as it adjusts to its new shape. Drainage tubes are typically inserted to drain excess fluid and to minimize swelling. You will be given special instructions regarding how to care for any dressings or drains.
Your daily activity will be limited for a time after surgery, depending on the extent of work that was done and how your body reacts to the procedure. Typically, patients will have the following restrictions:
- Do not shower until the fourth day post-op. Do not soak in a tub until the drains have been removed. The drains are typically removed on your first follow up office visit
- Eat lightly after surgery, and slowly increase intake as tolerated
- Expect to take at least 10 days off from work
- Refrain from lifting objects over 10 pounds for the first 6 weeks post op to avoid placing strain on the abdomen
- Avoid strenuous exercise for 6 to 8 weeks
- Do not drive until you are pain-free and off of pain medications
- Do not sleep on your stomach until soreness has decreased
You may be prescribed a pain reliever, and antibiotics. Most patients will need the pain medication for only the first week or so after surgery.
If you are considering a tummy tuck please schedule a consultation with Dr. Behar by filling out our online form, calling the office or emailing us. During this initial meeting, you will discuss your health history, expectations for surgery, use of medications, and previous surgeries. Based on this information, Dr. Behar will let you know if you are an appropriate candidate. You should come prepared with your medical history information and any questions you may have about the surgery process. Dr. Behar may also photograph you for your medical record.