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Tummy Tuck

At Jaime Rodriguez Sierra Plastic Surgery, your health and well-being are our major concerns.

Women and men who have loose abdominal skin and fat that is concentrated in the abdomen can benefit from Tummy Tuck or abdominoplasty.

Sometimes these conditions are inherited.

In other instances, substantial weight loss may cause abdominal skin to become flaccid.

Abdominoplasty also can tighten muscles that have been separated and weakened by pregnancy.

The procedure may somewhat improve the appearance of stretch marks, especially those located below the navel.

During the consultation, you will be asked about the results you would like to achieve from abdominoplasty.

This will help your surgeon to understand your expectations and determine whether they realistically can be achieved.

You may be a good candidate for abdominoplasty if you have one or more of the following conditions:

  • Excess or sagging abdominal skin
  • An abdomen that protrudes and is out of proportion to the rest of your body
  • Abdominal muscles that have been separated and weakened
  • Excess fatty tissue that is concentrated in your abdomen

If you plan to become pregnant or lose weight in the future, you should discuss this with your plastic surgeon.

Scarring from previous abdominal surgery may limit the results of your abdominoplasty.

Dr. Rodriguez Sierra will examine your abdomen while you are standing as well as lying down.

Your skin tone and the degree of loose skin in the abdominal region will be assessed. Dr Rodriguez also will evaluate the amount of excess fat in your abdomen and the condition of your abdominal muscles.

You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history.

This will include information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments you have received, pregnancies, previous surgeries and medications that you currently take.

It is important for you to provide complete information.

Generally, a horizontal incision is placed just within or above the pubic area.

The length of the incision, which extends laterally toward the pelvic bones, depends largely on the amount of skin to be removed.

The contour of this incision will vary somewhat according to the structure of your abdomen and the style of bathing suit or undergarments that you prefer.

Generally, a horizontal incision is placed just within or above the pubic area.

Some patients have loose skin above the navel. In such cases, Dr. Rodriguez Sierra may make a second incision around the navel so that the redundant skin above it can be pulled down.

The excess abdominal skin is then removed.

The position of the navel remains unchanged.

To tighten the abdominal wall, Dr Rodriguez brings loose underlying tissue and muscle together with sutures. Skin of the lower abdomen that contains stretch marks may be removed as well.

Any remaining stretch marks may be somewhat flattened and improved, but you should not expect a dramatic change in their appearance.

When the amount of loose skin is minimal and the excess fat deposits are located below the navel, a short horizontal incision is all that is necessary. This procedure is called a partial, or “mini,” abdominoplasty.

Sometimes liposuction may be used alone, or in conjunction with abdominoplasty, to remove abdominal fat.

Understanding Risks

Fortunately, significant complications from abdominoplasty are infrequent.

Every year, many thousands of people undergo successful aesthetic surgery of the abdomen, experience no major problems and are pleased with the results. Anyone considering surgery, however, should be aware of both the benefits and risks.

If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of surgery at least for 2 weeks prior the procedure. Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding, so you should avoid taking these medications for 7 to 10 days before surgery.

The day after surgery, you will be encouraged to get out of bed for short walks to promote blood circulation.

Although you may not be able to stand up completely straight, it is best if you do not sit for long periods of time during the first several days.

Straining, bending and lifting must be avoided, since these activities might cause increased swelling or even bleeding.

You may be instructed to sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees.

Any surgical drains probably will be removed within a week following surgery, at which time your dressings may also be changed or removed.

Depending on the abdominoplasty technique used, you may be instructed to wear a support garment for several weeks.

The bruising and much of the swelling will disappear over a period of weeks.

You may also notice some numbness over portions of the abdominal area, and this may persist for several weeks.

Incisions will initially be red or pink in color.

They will remain this way for many months following surgery and may even appear to worsen before they finally begin to fade.

It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.

Depending on the extent of your abdominoplasty and your general physical condition, you may be able to return to non-strenuous work anywhere from one to three weeks after surgery.

In many instances, you can resume most of your normal activities, including some form of mild exercise, after a few weeks.

You may continue to experience some mild, periodic discomfort and swelling during this time, but such feelings are normal.

Unless you gain or lose a significant amount of weight or become pregnant, your abdomen should remain firmer and flatter for many years.

However, gravity and the effects of aging will eventually take their toll.

If, after a period of years, you again become dissatisfied with the appearance of your abdomen, you may choose to undergo a second procedure to restore a more youthful body contour.

The Surgery

  • Anesthesia: Epidural anesthesia with sedation.
  • Outpatient or 1 night of hospitalization.
  • Surgery: 3 to 4 hours.
  • Recovery time: 1 week.
  • Return to normal activities: 1 month.
  • Final results: 3 months.

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