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Finding Your Way to a Flat Stomach

By: Dr. Daw
Topics: General
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Nothing says sexy quite like high heels and a great pair of jeans. But that muffin top around your belly just ruins the look. You may have tried exercise and dieting, but if pregnancy or weight loss has left you with stretched-out skin that sags over your belly, all the sit ups in the world won’t help you. Your best solution is a tummy tuck.

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, removes excess skin from the abdomen and tightens the abdominal muscles. The result?  A smoother, firmer profile and a shapely new figure for you!

During the procedure

Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is done under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. A horizontal incision is made on the lower abdomen, along the bikini line. If possible, the incision from a previous C-section will be used.  Through the incision, the abdominal muscles are repaired and sutured together. At this time any excess fat, tissue and skin are removed. The remaining skin is then pulled down toward the pubic bone, to give the stomach a tight, flat appearance. 

As the skin is repositioned over the belly, a new hole is created for the belly button, to keep it in its proper position. The belly button will look essentially the same as it did before, with a barely noticeable scar around it.

Stretch marks are a big concern for many women, and unfortunately, there is no good solution for stretch marks. However, a tummy tuck may help. When extra skin is removed during a tummy tuck (generally from the lower abdomen below the belly button), some of the stretch marks on the lower abdomen will also be removed. 

Patients also frequently inquire about liposuction. A limited amount of liposuction can be performed during a tummy tuck procedure, but if more aggressive liposuction is needed, it will need to be done as a separate procedure so to not compromise skin circulation. Liposuction may be recommended as a secondary stage, six to twelve months after the tummy tuck, to further refine your results.

What to expect during recovery

A pain pump will deliver a local anesthetic to the surgical area for three to four days to reduce pain and keep you comfortable.  A small, thin tube will be inserted into the wounds to drain fluid for seven to ten days.  You’ll wear a binder for four to six weeks, then Spanx for another six to eight weeks for additional support.

Plan to be off-work for a minimum of two weeks. You’ll need to limit your physical activity for three months, especially if you’ve had muscle work done, to allow the muscle repair to reach maximum strength.  Early on after your tummy tuck you can walk for exercise, and after three months, you can start jogging and using weights.

It’s best if you hold off on your tummy tuck until you’re done with pregnancy, otherwise you’ll potentially stretch both the skin and muscles again. And of course, you can reap the full benefits of your tummy tuck with diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

Consider abdominoplasty if nothing you’ve tried has given you that flat stomach you crave. With your tummy tuck, you’ll be fabulous with a toned, tighter tummy. 

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Daw for a tummy tuck, please call 630-348-3000.