For men and women who have experienced dramatic changes to their body thanks to weight loss, pregnancy, exercise, or even aging, a tummy tuck is an excellent way to achieve a slimmer, more aesthetically pleasing appearance to the abdominal area. With this procedure, the abdominal muscles are tightened and any excess skin is eliminated, helping to flatten a protruding belly and leaving the entire midsection looking more toned. This can make a big difference in the way clothing fits and looks, which in turn helps increase self-confidence and self-esteem!
At Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis, we believe the best candidates for a tummy tuck are at or near their ideal body weight with realistic expectations about what surgery can achieve for them. Our board-certified plastic surgeons have years of experience in performing tummy tucks, and know that patients choose to have them for a variety of reasons. You could be a good fit for this procedure if:
- A healthy diet and regular exercise have helped you lose weight, but your belly still protrudes and lacks tone
- Your abdominal muscles and skin have stretched with pregnancy and now sag significantly After losing a significant amount of weight, you have been left with loose, excess skin hanging around your abdomen
- Your belly has always protruded noticeably, even though you’re in very good shape
No two patients are the same, and our surgeons will take your individual concerns and goals into consideration when recommending the type of tummy tuck that would best meet your needs and give you the best results. Let’s take a closer look at the types of tummy tucks that can address your particular issues and help you achieve a firmer, flatter abdomen.
A mini-tummy tuck is able to improve the lower belly with less extensive surgery necessary. If you are mainly unhappy by loose skin and stretch marks below the belly button, this could be a good option for you. The technique involves a single incision that is made just above the pubic mound, through which one of our surgeons will tighten the loose muscles and remove the excess skin, giving you a smooth, flat abdominal wall. Scarring from a mini-tummy tuck is typically nothing more than a thin, horizontal line just a few inches long. Because this is a shorter, less involved procedure, you will experience a quicker recovery and a less obvious scar in addition to a flatter, slimmer lower abdomen.
Classic or “full” tummy tuck
The classic tummy tuck addresses the full length of the abdominal wall, and will generally offer the best results if you are bothered by any roundness or excess skin folds both above and below your belly button. With this technique, our surgeon will make a horizontal or U-shaped incision above the pubic mound, through which the excess skin will be removed and the abdominal muscles will be tightened. In some cases, a second incision will be made around the navel in order to improve any excess skin above the belly button. This can help achieve more natural looking results.
The mini-tummy tuck and the full tummy tuck have a similar scar, but with the classic procedure, the scar will tend to be longer, running from about hip bone to hip bone. But because of its placement, it will be hidden the vast majority of the time, and can’t be seen even in most swimsuit bottoms. With a full tummy tuck, you’ll enjoy a much flatter, smoother abdomen, the reduced appearance of stretch marks, and more comfortable, better fitting clothing.
Extended tummy tuck
The extended tummy tuck is able to improve not only the upper and lower abdomen, but also the flanks. If you’ve lost a significant amount of weight and now found yourself with excess sagging skin around the front half of your body, or if you have suffered severe laxity in your abdominal muscles following pregnant, this procedure could be the best choice for you. Though it does involve a longer incision, an extended tummy tuck can remove excess, hanging skin from the front upper and lower abdomen and the flanks, as well as tightening the abdominal wall.
The scar that results from an extended tummy tuck can often be hidden by clothing, including many swimsuits. However, some patients may not be able to completely cover it. Even so, many consider a bit of visible scarring to be an entirely worthwhile price for a much improved body shape.
A note about a breast augmentation and tummy tuck combined procedure
Pairing a breast enhancement with a tummy tuck is a common solution for women wishing to enhancing their overall curves. If you’ve had children and have loose or sagging skin in the abdominal area as a result, or you have experienced massive weight loss, you may get more comprehensive results that highlight your natural curves with this safe and effective combined procedure.
One of the biggest benefits of combining procedures like a tummy tuck and breast enhancement is that you’ll only need to recover once. The recovery period for a combined procedure is slightly longer than it would be for a single procedure, but in the long run, you’ll spend less time recovering if you have both surgeries done at the same time. This can be a big benefit if you have younger children to care for, or a limited amount of time that you can take off work.
After your tummy tuck procedure with Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis
Most tummy tucks are performed as outpatient procedures, and you’re able to go home a few hours after surgery. However, more extensive tummy tucks or combined procedures may require an overnight hospital stay so you can be safely monitored in the initial hours after your surgery.
Since a tummy tuck involves surgery on the abdominal muscles, the recovery can take more time than that of other procedures. You can expect to be sore and slightly uncomfortable for the first week or so, and you’ll need to spend the first few days resting quietly at home. We will encourage you to get up and walk around the house to maintain healthy circulation, though! You may have drains temporarily placed in the incisions to help remove fluid after surgery. If this is the case for you, you’ll be given detailed instructions for keeping the area clean until they are removed after a few days.
You should be able to return to work after 2 to 4 weeks, depending on how physically demanding your job is. Because of the limits placed on lifting and straining, you should plan to have full-time help with small children for the first few weeks after a surgery. If you have older children that don’t need lifting or carrying, you should be able to resume most of your parenting duties like driving, cooking, and shopping, after the first 2 or 3 weeks. Just make sure you have help lined up for carrying groceries, feeding the pets, and doing all the other active tasks you’re used to.
Tummy tucks results are meant to last, and your abdominal muscles will remain firmer and tighter with no excess skin returning. That said, future pregnancies or weight gain can cause the muscles or skin to stretch back out. If you’re planning on having more children or you’re still working on reaching your goal weight, it’s best to wait on a tummy tuck or combined procedure.
Experienced plastic surgeons provide the best results in Memphis
When considering tummy tuck surgery, the most important choice you make is deciding on cosmetic surgeon to perform it. Like any surgery, a tummy tuck requires specialized training and experience to ensure a safe outcome and beautiful, lasting results with minimal scarring. At Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis, you will be working with only the most trained and experienced surgeons in Memphis, with many successful tummy tucks performed between them. If you’re in the Mid-South and considering a tummy tuck to improve your shape, give us a call at 901.761.9030 or click here to schedule a consultation.