What is a Tummy Tuck?
A “tummy tuck” is a cute name for a custom surgical procedure called an abdominoplasty. This procedure varies, patient to patient, based upon the extent of the damage. A tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure – you must be at close to your ideal weight to undergo an abdominoplasty.
The goal is to recontour your lower abdomen, remove excess skin, tissue, and fat, and tighten the underlying muscle structure. For women who developed stretchmarks on the lower abdomen during pregnancy, a tummy tuck has an added benefit – stretch marks in this area may be partially or fully removed when the loose skin and tissue is excised.
Am I a Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
If you are one of the countless people who feel depressed about a flabby, loose abdomen, you may be a candidate for our tummy tuck in New York. Whether your abdomen lost its fit, firm look due to pregnancy, aging, or weight loss – it is often impossible to regain a fit, firm look, no matter how many hours you devote to working out. To be safe to undergo surgery requires the following:
- You are at or near your ideal weight
- You are in good general health
- You do not smoke
- You are unhappy living with excess skin, tissue and fat on your abdomen
- You understand the procedure and what to expect
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
If you are ready to resculpt your abdomen with a tummy tuck, planning is part of the process. You will need certain tests and a medical evaluation and may need to alter your medications if they are blood-thinning products, stop taking products such as aspirin, anti-inflammatories, and any herbal products that have blood-thinning properties.
Once the day of your surgery is set, the process moves ahead with the following steps:
- You will be put under intravenous sedation or general anesthetic.
- Incisions are placed in various locations, depending upon what is needed. The incision is at the lower abdomen, and for some patients, a second incision around the navel may be required.
- If you have fatty deposits, liposuction may be employed to remove excess fat at tummy and love handles.
- The muscle structure is tightened and repaired.
- Excess skin and tissue are removed from the lower abdomen.
- The navel structure is moved so it appears in the right spot on your newly sculpted abdomen.
- The incision is now sutured.
- Your surgery is complete.
Types of Tummy Tucks
While every one of our tummy tuck surgeries in New York will be slightly different, based on the individual, there are three basic types:
- Standard Tummy Tuck: This is the traditional abdominoplasty procedure, appropriate for people who need to trim and slim the abdomen both below and above the navel. In involves two incisions, one low between the hips, and one around the belly button. This procedure is often used for patients with more extensive stretched skin and muscles, as it trims the entire tummy zone. The belly button is also repositioned in this procedure.
- Mini-Tummy Tuck: A mini-tummy tuck requires a shorter incision, placed beneath the belly button. It is an appropriate procedure for slimmer patients who have a bulging area below the navel due to pregnancy, in most cases. This procedure does not involve repositioning the belly button.
- Circumferential Tummy Tuck: Often called body contouring, this procedure is appropriate for patients who want to entirely resculpt the lower body, including hips and lower back. The incisions are placed low between the hips and vertically to the belly button. Liposuction is performed to remove excess fat from the lower back and hip zones to further sculpt the body. The belly button will be repositioned. This procedure is often appropriate for more extensive signs of sagging, such as after a dramatic weight loss, and have loose hanging skin on the body. It fully recontours the area, front to back.
What Tummy Tuck Procedure is Best?
There is no “best” procedure, as every person is different in what will be needed, surgically. A patient who has lost a large amount of weight, whether through diet and exercise or gastric surgery, is often left with unsightly hanging skin that must be removed. For those patients, a more extensive body sculpting procedure may be necessary. For people who are generally fit but have excess skin and tissue that protrudes or hangs on the lower abdomen, a mini-tummy tuck may be the appropriate procedure. A standard, or traditional tummy tuck, is often the procedure employed for people who are struggling with a bulging tummy due to aging or pregnancy.
Only an in-person consultation will reveal which procedure is appropriate for you – some patients may achieve the slimming effect with our advanced liposuction techniques. At Scarpidis Aesthetics, we offer a full range of body sculpting techniques, from surgical to non-surgical. Meet with us for a consultation.
Hi! My name is Julia. I am the Chief Plastic Surgery Specialist at Scarpidis Aesthetics.
Feel free to ask me any questions, I'll be happy to help!
Tummy Tuck Recovery
A tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure. It will require a few weeks to feel like yourself again, but the results are well worth it – and there for the long term. As long as you continue to live a healthy lifestyle, exercise, and care for your body, your trimmer, more athletic figure will be maintained.
Taking adequate time off is vital – you want the most attractive results. As your abdominal muscles have been tightened, it can be difficult to move as normal. Plan on having another person with you for the first several days to help you. You will feel the pain of the incisions as the anesthetic wears off, but you will have pain medication to keep your comfortable. You will be wearing a compression garment to hold your resculpted abdomen in place while it heals. Plan on taking at least two weeks off work and avoid any strenuous physical exertions for six weeks.
A tummy tuck surgery is a team effort between you and our plastic surgeon – you will need to carefully follow all aftercare instructions so your recovery proceeds as it should. Every person heals at a different rate, so an exact estimation is not really possible, but these are general guidelines about what to expect.
Common Questions and Answers: Tummy Tuck
Will I be left with visible scars after a tummy tuck?
The procedure involves incisions – but these are placed low on the abdomen, so they are hidden, even in the most revealing bikini bottoms. The idea is to ensure your incisions heal correctly. We have various procedures to help you heal to the point where a surgical scar is almost unnoticeable. Our medical team will be monitoring your progress, but you should keep a close eye on your incisions during healing.
We can advise you of the most effective topical creams to apply once the incision is fully closed. Keeping your skin moisturized during healing is helpful. Keep the area of the incision out of the sun’s rays at all times to avoid darkening. Wear clothing that is comfortable and non-irritating. Your scars will soon be forgotten.
How long before I will feel normal?
Most of our NYC patients are surprised at how quickly they recover – many are ready to return to work far sooner than expected. You will have some swelling and bruising for a time, but the swelling reduces as the days pass, and the bruises fade. You should be feeling yourself within two weeks, and ready to get back to your normal life – without vigorous exercise until you are given the go-ahead.
At what age can a person have a tummy tuck?
You should have reached adulthood, but there are no other age restrictions. Many of our patients are women who have a stretched tummy area as a result of pregnancy, while others have successfully lost a significant amount of weight and were left with hanging skin and tissue. It is advised that women who plan on having more children should wait until all childbearing is completed before undergoing a tummy tuck, as the area can stretch once again, requiring another procedure. Men who have a flabby abdomen can have tummy tuck surgery in adulthood. The main issue is that you are in good general health, don’t smoke, and don’t have a condition or illness that would make it unsafe for you to undergo surgery.
Why Scarpidis Aesthetics in New York for a Tummy Tuck?
Dr. Ulysses H. Scarpidis is not your average plastic surgeon – and his exclusive clinic in New York was built around providing the most positive patient experience. Dr. Scarpidis is a talented, board-certified plastic surgeon, known for his outstanding surgical work. When planning to undergo any body contouring procedure, it is the skilled hands of your plastic surgeon that matter above all. You can trust in Dr. Scarpidis to work closely with you to help you achieve your vision for a fitter, firmer, more attractive body shape.