Tummy tuck surgery, also called abdominoplasty, is an extensive procedure that can help to flatten and tone the abdominal area by removing excess skin and fat from the stomach and belly. Women who have had one or more children often benefit most from a tummy tuck, because pregnancy and childbirth can take such a toll on the body. However, anyone with a protruding, sagging abdominal area can be a candidate. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Douglas Cusick can help you determine if a tummy tuck is the best body contouring procedure for your specific body and goals during your initial consultation.
A tummy tuck helps to eliminate sagging skin, tighten stretched muscles, and reduce excess fat in the abdominal area. If you are interested in seeing if you are a candidate for a tummy tuck, please call Dr. Douglas Cusick today at 913-661-0202 to schedule your consultation or fill out the form at the bottom of this page to email our office.
How Tummy Tuck Surgery is Performed
Your tummy tuck is performed on an outpatient basis using general anesthesia. There are two different tummy tuck options:
- Full tummy tuck – This procedure addresses the entire abdominal area. It is a more extensive procedure with a longer recovery, but more dramatic results can be achieved.
- Mini tummy tuck – This procedure focuses on the area below the belly button and is an ideal solution when only small amounts of excess skin and fat are present. You’ll have a smaller scar and shorter recovery, but you won’t achieve the same dramatic results as are accomplished by a full tummy tuck.
Dr. Cusick will recommend the right technique to deliver your desired outcome. The length of time for your procedure will vary based on the technique used. In general, a tummy tuck takes between 2-5 hours to complete.
For a full tummy tuck, Dr. Cusick will make an incision extending from hip to hip, and a second incision that will release your belly button. If you undergo a mini tummy tuck, your incision will be smaller, allowing for a shorter scar.
Once the incision is made, Dr. Cusick will remove any excess skin and fat from the region. Loose, stretched or torn abdominal muscles will be tightened as well. Sutures will be used to close the incision. If you have any stretchmarks below the belly button, Dr. Cusick will eliminate them during your procedure. Stretch marks located above the belly button may be improved, but most likely not eliminated entirely.
The following animated video demonstrates how Dr. Cusick performs a tummy tuck.
Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
Some of the main benefits of a tummy tuck include:
- Feel more confident in your body
- Get the extra help you need in taking off those last few inches
- Improve issues that can’t be addressed through healthy diet and regular exercise
- Enjoy the results permanently, as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Reduce the appearance of stretch marks below the navel
It can be incredibly frustrating to put in the work to get the body you want, only to discover that you can’t reverse sagging skin and no amount of ab workouts will restore your stomach muscles. Plus, it can be nearly impossible to shed your last few inches of stubborn abdominal fat.
A tummy tuck is a great way to finally get the body you want and deserve. While it does leave a relatively long scar, Dr. Cusick is careful to position the scar as low as possible so that it can be hidden by underwear or a bathing suit. Most tummy tuck patients find that their results are well worth the scar.
Candidates for a Tummy Tuck
While most people who seek out tummy tucks are mothers who want to get their pre-baby body back, you don’t need to have had a child to be a candidate. If you have sagging skin, excess fat, or stretched abdominal muscles, you may be a candidate. Often, people who have undergone massive weight loss from bariatric surgery and have excess skin to be removed are candidates for a tummy tuck as well.
In order to be a good tummy tuck candidate, you should:
- Be in good overall health
- Be at or near a healthy, stable weight
- Not smoke, or be willing to quit
- Be finished having children
While a tummy tuck will not prevent you from having children in the future, we recommend that you be finished building your family before undergoing one. Pregnancy and childbirth after a tummy tuck can ruin your results, and you may need to undergo revision surgery if you want to regain them.
Additionally, some patients do not need as elaborate of a procedure as a tummy tuck for their weight loss and aesthetic goals, and might be better candidates for liposuction instead. Dr. Cusick will carefully work with each patient to determine which body contouring procedure is best for their body and goals.
What Results Can You Expect from a Tummy Tuck?
It’s important to understand that a tummy tuck isn’t a tool for weight loss. You shouldn’t expect to shed many pounds from your procedure. In fact, the best results are generally achieved when you are at or near your ideal weight.
Instead, you can expect to lose inches off your waistline. By removing excess skin and a small amount of fat, Dr. Cusick is able to deliver a flatter, more toned stomach. Your pants may fit a little looser and your dresses will hang freely, accentuating your tighter abdominal area.
You should begin to experience initial results once bruising and swelling subsides. However, your final results won’t be visible for several months.
In order to maintain your tummy tuck results long term, you will need to live an active healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise. Dr. Cusick will let you know when it is safe to resume exercising. Once you are cleared for this activity, you should build consistent exercise into your routine.
Recovery After a Tummy Tuck
Immediately after your tummy tuck, you should take some time to rest and recover. We strongly recommend having help around the house and with childcare, as you will not be able to lift anything heavy (including a child) or do any strenuous activity for a few weeks. You should also not care for a child while on prescription medications.
A general timeline for tummy tuck recovery goes something like this:
- Rest and recover for the first few days
- Return to work within the first two to four weeks
- Make sure to walk around as much as you can during your initial recovery, taking care not to overdo it
- Resume light exercise as soon as you feel able
- Resume more strenuous exercise after around 6 weeks, avoiding exercises that strain the abdomen
If you have any questions or concerns during your recovery, please don’t hesitate to contact our Leawood office. We will do everything we can to ensure you have a smooth recovery.
Schedule Your Tummy Tuck Consultation
If you’re interested in learning more about a tummy tuck procedure, schedule your consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Douglas Cusick today by calling 913-661-0202. We serve patients in Leawood, KS and nearby areas of Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri.