ABDOMINOPLASTY (“Tummy Tuck”)
An abdominoplasty is a powerful technique to address loose abdominal tissue and separation of the rectus abdominus “six-pack” muscles. Many women undergo fluctuations in weight as they age and regardless of diet or exercise, they are unable restore their core abdominal strength. This is often the case during pregnancy, when the fasica between the muscles separates, causing a diasthasis recti. Additionally, many women complain of the challenges associated with loose abdominal skin and fat above and/or underneath the belly button.
My approach to treating these issues focuses on restoring that “six-pack” of muscle through surgical tightening while at the same time excising excess skin to create or restore a feminine waistline.
1. Who is a good candidate for this procedure?
This operation is great for women who are finished having children. During pregnancy, the rectus abdomininus muscles separate to accommodate a growing uterus. In some women, they never realign and this results in a rectus diastasis.
2. What’s difference between a rectus diastasis and a hernia?
A rectus diathesis is a separation of the rectus abdomininus muscles. However, the fascial layer connecting the two muscles (the linea alba) remains intact.
In a hernia, there is a hole in the fascia and as a result, bowel and other contentes from your peritoneum may pass back and forth through the hole. We are able to test for this in the office. If you are diagnosed with a hernia, it is often easily repaired at the time of abdominoplasty by a general surgeon, and this is covered by insurance.
3. How long does the surgery take? How long is the recovery?
On average, this surgery can take several hours (2-4). I recommend overnight hospital observation for pain control and to monitor signs of blood clots, which is an uncommon but serious complication that can arise from this procedure. Most patients are back to their activities of daily living by 2 weeks, and may resume physical activity starting around 4 weeks.
4. Where is the scar?
A scar (usually from hip to hip) is hidden under your underwear or bathing suit line. It may incorporate into a c-section scar as well.
5. Do you do “drain-less” abdominoplasties?
No. The body’s response to healing is to create fluid, and that fluid must be drained. For that reason, I place 2 drains at the time of surgery and these are removed in the office. Patients who opt for a “drain-less” technique often battle seromas, or fluid accumulations, in the abdomen which must be drained with a needle in the office.
6. What’s difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction?
Liposuction is a noninvasive (no skin incision and no long scars) procedure that focuses on removal of fat, but does not address excess skin. Liposuction does not address diastasis recti. In some patients, it is safe to combine liposuction with an abdominoplasty, depending on where excess fat resides.