Your Guide to Tummy Tuck Procedures

Abdominoplasty, commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a procedure that removes excess fat and loose skin while also tightening and strengthening muscles. It can be a helpful procedure for women who have had body changes during pregnancy, individuals who have gained or lost weight, or people who need the procedure for medical reasons.


If you have loose skin on your abdomen or you have stomach fat that isn’t coming off through diet and exercise, you may be a good candidate for abdominoplasty. At Palms Wellington Plastic Surgery, we can help you determine if a tummy tuck in West Palm Beach is suitable for you. 


What Is Involved in a Tummy Tuck Procedure?


Removal of Excess Skin


Excess skin is a common result of weight loss and pregnancy. During a tummy tuck procedure, your surgeon will be able to remove any excess skin that you may have in the area. Often, stretch marks that are below the navel will also be eliminated or minimized during this procedure. 


Removal of Fat


While not every tummy tuck procedure includes liposuction, this can often be a part of the process. This is something that we will discuss during our consultation. 


Tightening and Reinforcing Abdominal Muscles


During a tummy tuck, your surgeon will suture your abdominal muscles together, bringing them closer together and creating a stronger and firmer abdominal wall. Many people with diastasis recti can benefit from this portion of the procedure.  


What Is Diastasis Recti and How Can a Tummy Tuck Help? 


Diastasis recti is the separation of the abdominal muscles. Normally, the right and left rectus abdominis muscles come together in the middle, forming a strong wall. However, during pregnancy, these muscles can separate. Through gentle and specialized exercises, or with the passage of time, these muscles can often repair themselves. However, in some people, the separation is more extreme or does not correct itself. In this case, a tummy tuck procedure is one of the most effective ways to restore the abdominal wall.


Are You a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck? 


You may be considering a tummy tuck if you are having a hard time flattening your abdominal area even through diet and exercise. The best candidates for a tummy tuck are those who are at a healthy weight, are in good overall health, are not planning on any future pregnancies, and plan to maintain a healthy weight after the surgery. You should also be able to take enough time off of work for recovery. If you smoke, we may recommend that you stop smoking to decrease the risk of complications during recovery. You may also have to avoid some medications before and after the procedure. 


How an Abdominoplasty Is Performed


When you arrive at our clinic for your abdominoplasty, we will put you under anesthesia for the procedure. An incision will be made along your bikini line, typically from one hip to the other. The size of this incision can vary depending on the amount of excess skin that you have, but we always place it in as discreet a location as possible. Another incision is often made around the belly button so that it separates from the rest of the skin. 


The next step of the surgery is suturing the abdominal muscles, bringing them together and repairing any damage. Liposuction may also be performed at this stage to remove excess fat. 


Once the abdominal muscles have been sutured, the skin is pulled down and flattened. The excess skin is removed from the bottom and the skin is sutured back together at the incision line. A new hole is made for the belly button and the belly button is put into the hole and sutured into place. Small incisions may be made at the bottom of the abdomen so that drainage tubes can be placed to remove any fluids. At this point, the surgery is complete, and the area will be dressed. 


What to Expect After the Procedure


After the procedure, we will help you recover from the surgery as quickly as possible. You may have pain and swelling in the incision area and we can prescribe medication to help minimize your discomfort. You may also be prescribed an antibiotic to prevent infection. You can expect the pain to subside to more comfortable levels after the first 1-2 weeks. 


You will receive instructions on how to care for your body including how to take care of the fluid drains and how much you should be moving each day to prevent blood clots or other complications. We will send you home with a special support garment that you will wear to help reduce swelling, protect your abdominal area during the healing process, and make you more comfortable. Make sure to care for your body in the next two months after the surgery. Do not do any strenous activity and stay away from any activities that may irritate your incision. 


Is a Tummy Tuck Part of the Mommy Makeover?


A “Mommy Makeover” is a customizable set of procedures that can help you regain your desired appearance after having children. A Mommy Makeover typically includes an abdominoplasty to achieve a flatter and more contoured abdomen, a breast lift to help with sagging breasts, breast augmentation to restore volume after breastfeeding and pregnancy, and liposuction to help with stubborn fat deposits.    


Tummy Tuck in West Palm Beach


A tummy tuck can be beneficial for individuals who are struggling with weakened or separating abdominal muscles, excess skin, and stubborn fat. If you want to restore a flat and firm abdomen, you can contact us to discuss your options. We would be happy to schedule a consultation with you at Palms Wellington Plastic Surgery. 


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