A tummy tuck is one of the most popular procedures done today, especially after pregnancy. The midsection may be the most common part of the body that causes discontent in women. Pregnancy causes your stomach to extend and the skin to stretch. This is especially true if you’ve had more than one child. Also known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck gets rid of loose, excess skin and fat for a tighter abdomen. The procedure tightens the muscles of your abdominal wall.
The abdominal muscles are split into two halves but multiple pregnancies and big weight gain can pull them apart. Called diastasis recti, this condition can be rectified with a tummy tuck, which can tighten your abdominal muscles and restore a more fit appearance to your stomach.
Dr. Bartholomew makes an incision above the pubic area to remove the fat cells from the middle and lower parts of your abdomen. He narrows your waistline and strengthens your abdominal wall by drawing and stitching your underlying muscle and tissue together. A tummy tuck reduces the appearance of a protruding abdomen, resulting in a flatter abdomen.
The best tummy tuck candidates are men and women in good physical health looking to get rid of extra fat or loose abdominal skin despite exercising regularly. Great candidates are women who have had multiple pregnancies. Older patients who have lost skin elasticity can also benefit from a tummy tuck.
People who should wait to have this procedure done include those who intend to lose a lot of weight, women who plan future pregnancies, or anyone who has scars from a previous abdominal surgery.
Once you have had a tummy tuck, you are more likely to maintain a weight loss program. You will be motivated to keep the weight off and be the healthy person you’ve always wanted to be.
When you have weak abdominal muscles, it is difficult to exercise and have any strength to do it well. After a tummy tuck, your abdominal muscles are stronger allowing you to do aerobic activities and strengthen your body. Regular exercise is a big part of maintaining weight loss.
A tummy tuck strengthens and tightens your abdominal muscles giving you the power to have a better posture once again. You can stand up straighter and be aware of your posture. When you have weak abdominal muscles, it often leads to back pain. With stronger abdominal muscles, back pain disappears.
A tummy tuck has been done successfully often and is a pretty safe procedure. Like any other surgery, there are some risks that can occur. An example is an infection that can prolong your stay at the hospital.
Blood clot is possible but rarely happens. It can be minimize by being somewhat active after your surgery, nothing too strenuous. Sometimes, there can be poor healing that may necessitate a second operation.
An incision just above the pubic area is used to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen.
Skin is separated from the abdominal wall all the way up to the ribs.
During your initial consultation, you will have a chance to discuss what you want to get out of the surgery and what your concerns are about getting a tummy tuck. Dr. Bartholomew will go over your health and your medical history and determine how much fat to extract from your abdominal area.
He will examine your unique situation and make recommendations. For example, if your fat deposits are limited to the area below the navel, you may only need a partial abdominoplasty (which is not as complex as other procedures). This mini-tummy tuck can often be performed on an outpatient basis. Or it might be better for you to get a complete tummy tuck, done in conjunction with liposuction. There are many options available to you.
Dr. Bartholomew strives to offer the best Tummy Tuck Portland has to offer. He will give you detailed instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including what not to eat or drink before surgery and dealing with your medications. If you smoke, it is best you quit at least a week before your surgery.
The surgeon draws underlying muscle and tissue together and stitches them, thereby narrowing the waistline and strengthening the abdominal wall.
A complete tummy tuck takes up to five hours while a partial abdominoplasty only an hour or two.
During a tummy tuck, Dr. Bartholomew will make one long incision above the pubic area and another to free the navel from surrounding tissue. He will separate your skin from the abdominal wall up to your ribs to lift a large skin flap. The vertical muscles in your abdomen are tightened by pulling them close together and stitching them into their new position. A hole is cut for your navel before being stitched in place. The goal is to end up with a firmer abdominal wall.
A mini-tummy tuck requires a much shorter incision and the navel may not be moved. The skin is only separated between the incision line and the navel.
Dr. Bartholomew concludes the procedure by stitching the incisions and applying dressings.
Abdominal skin is drawn down and excess is removed. With complete abdominoplasty, a new opening is cut for the navel. Both incisions are stitched closed.
After surgery, the patient has a flatter, trimmer abdomen. Scars are permanent, but will fade with time.
After your surgery, expect your abdomen to be swollen and to feel pain for a few days. Dr. Bartholomew can prescribe medication for the discomfort. Your stay at the hospital depends on your reaction to the anesthesia and the extent of the surgery. If all goes well, most Portland tummy tuck patients will be able to go home within a few hours. Or you may have to stay. Plan on having a family member or a friend take you home.
Dr. Bartholomew will offer suggestions on how to shower and change your dressings.
Your scars could appear to get worse at first as it takes a few months for them to heal properly. It can take up to a year before your scars flatten out and lighten in color. Your abdominal scars never completely disappear but can easily be hidden underneath your clothes and even your bathing suit.
If you were in great physical health prior to your surgery with strong abdominal muscles, your recovery will be much faster. You might be able to return to work after a couple of weeks. Some of our Portland tummy tuck patients need up to four weeks of recovery.
Light exercise will help your healing process. It reduces swelling and lowers the chance of blood clots. But strenuous exercise should be avoided until you feel up to it.
The goal is to have your tummy tuck done as efficiently and comfortably as possible with a result that will give you a youthful appearance and a new sense of self-confidence. The results are usually long lasting and a great choice for a new you.