A tummy tuck, also called an abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that aims to enhance and firm up the contours and tissues of the abdominal area. This involves tightening underlying muscles, removing loose skin, and improving the overall contour of the front part of the abdomen.
Concerns about the abdomen can arise due to major body changes that result from pregnancy and childbirth, age, weight loss, or other factors. The procedure is often performed alone or can be combined with other procedures for optimal body contouring.
Patients might opt for a tummy tuck procedure if they experience:
- Changes to the abdominal area after pregnancy and childbirth
- Lax, hanging skin after a dramatic weight loss
- Poor abdominal contour due to aging or other factors
Candidates for a tummy tuck are those who want to restore and/or enhance their abdominal contour. However, it is important to remember that a tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure. Cosmetic surgery like a tummy tuck can take some weight off by removing a significant amount of excess skin and tissue, however, the procedure should only be performed on patients who are within their ideal weight range.
Being at a healthy weight prior to the procedure not only makes it safer to perform in the first place, but will also help ensure long-lasting results. While some amount of excess fat will be removed during the procedure, a tummy tuck mostly removes excess skin and strengthens or repairs the muscles of the abdominal wall.
If you’re specifically concerned about removing stubborn fat in the abdominal area, talk with Dr. Shaddix about combining liposuction techniques with your tummy tuck.
The best candidates are those who do not plan on having future pregnancies, as having kids in the future often reverses the effect of a tummy tuck.
The tummy tuck is a highly customizable procedure, ensuring that your unique concerns will be addressed with the least invasive techniques possible. Because lax skin and hanging tissue can be present to a variety of degrees, Dr. Shaddix offers several different techniques depending on the extent of your concerns including:
A mini tummy tuck is the least invasive tummy tuck technique, suitable for patients with mild skin laxity and sagging. The procedure only addresses the tissue below the belly button, leaving the belly button and upper abdominal area intact. For this technique, one incision is made above the pubic area.
A full or traditional tummy tuck is the most common tummy tuck technique, addressing the lower and upper abdominal areas to remove moderate to severe amounts of excess skin and offering significant tissue tightening. During a full tummy tuck, the belly button is repositioned after tightening. For this technique, an incision is made from hip to hip, with another around the belly button. This common tummy tuck scar is easily concealable within even the most minimal clothing.
The extended tummy tuck is the most extensive technique, involving not only the upper and lower abdominal area but around the sides and flanks as well. The extended tummy tuck is an effective solution for patients with severe abdominal laxity that extends to the sides, flanks, and back. This requires an incision that goes around each hip as well as a circular incision around the belly button for repositioning.
Liposuction techniques are often utilized during an extended tummy tuck, which is capable of removing pockets of stubborn fat from the tummy and flanks.
Dr. Shaddix is AMAZING. He has the best bedside manner ever. I had a tummy tuck yesterday and he has answered all my questions. The surgical team was amazing. If I was to have anything else done I would 200% go back to him and I have recommended him already to people”READ PATIENT REVIEWS
Dr. Shaddix performs tummy tucks with general anesthesia to ensure patient comfort and safety. The appropriate incisions will then be made depending on the type of tummy tuck being performed. No matter which type of tummy tuck you are undergoing, Dr. Shaddix does everything he can to ensure your incisions are placed in well-concealed areas such as below the bikini line.
Next, Dr. Shaddix lifts the excess skin and tightens the abdominal tissue. The belly button is also repositioned during this time if necessary. The skin is pulled down and any excess is removed. The incisions are then closed using dissolvable sutures. Most patients are able to return home the same day as their surgery.
Like any surgical procedure, recovery is an important part of the tummy tuck process. While Dr. Shaddix will do everything he can to ensure successful results during the procedure process, it’s largely up to you to ensure a successful recovery. Tummy tucks involve at least one week of rest, so plan to take this time off work and have someone available to care for you.
You can expect some discomfort, especially in the first few days after your procedure. However, this can be managed with pain medication prescribed by Dr. Shaddix. You can also expect some swelling and bruising that can linger for several weeks, but will continue to improve over the course of your recovery.
While you can begin to get back to your regular routine after a week, more strenuous activity and exercise should be avoided for about a month. Throughout your recovery process, it is important to keep your incisions clean and dry and be sure to follow all post-op care instructions provided to you. Dr. Shaddix will be available to answer any questions you might have throughout the process.
After a tummy tuck procedure, swelling can be present for many months, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see your true results right away. Once the healing process is complete, patients can enjoy a flatter, more toned abdominal area with the removal of excess skin and tissue. Patients often find more confidence in wearing the clothes they’d like and showing off their new figure.
The results of a tummy tuck can offer a long-lasting enhancement, but like other body contouring procedures, what you do after surgery can affect your long-term results. The best way to maintain your abdominal contour is to avoid gaining a significant amount of weight or becoming pregnant. This is why it’s best to stick to a healthy diet and exercise routine for the best results in the long term. Your enhanced abdominal area will continue to age naturally with the rest of your body.
Who you choose for your plastic surgery procedure is the most important decision you will make during this process. Choosing a plastic surgeon near you who is board-certified with many years of experience performing tummy tucks is the best way to ensure safe and successful results.
Dr. Shaddix is a double board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience with tummy tucks and other body contouring procedures. Dr. Shaddix always customizes the procedure to meet your unique needs and uses the latest techniques to deliver satisfying results. To learn more about the procedure or to schedule your tummy tuck consultation with Dr. Shaddix in Pensacola, contact us at 850-476-7100.