An abdominoplasty, better known as a “tummy tuck”, is one of the most effective ways to get rid of excess abdominal skin and fatty tissue. This cosmetic surgery procedure includes the removal of excess skin and fat, the tightening of your abdominal muscles – if necessary -, and the enhancement of your unique contours. If present, scars on your abdomen will be removed during surgery as well. Via a convex-like incision, our plastic surgeons cut out and remove both skin and fat from your abdomen and eventually place sutures to allow for a speedy and healthy recovery through the successful regeneration of cutaneous and subcutaneous tissue in your abdominal area.
There are various abdominoplasty procedures we offer at Knoxville Cosmetic Surgeon, each of them focusing on and addressing different variations of skin, fat, and muscle issues in a patient. To find out more about all the different types of procedures, we recommend going through the list until you have found the one – or a combination – that is well-suited for addressing your specific needs. Continue reading this page for detailed information about our most popular tummy tuck procedure, the Complete Abdominoplasty , and follow the links for more details regarding Circumferential Abdominoplasty, Partial (or ‘Mini’) Abdominoplasty, Floating Abdominoplasty, High Lateral Tension Abdominoplasty, Reverse Abdominoplasty, Vertical Abdominoplasty, Endoscopic Abdominoplasty, Extended Abdominoplasty, Apronectomy, Panniculectomy, and Dermolipectomy.
What Does a Complete Abdominoplasty Involve
The Complete Abdominoplasty , also known as Standard Abdominoplasty, is a tummy tuck procedure which deals with the skin, fat, and muscles in the abdominal area. It specifically involves the area between the pubic hair-line and the navel. Excess fat and skin of the abdominal wall are cut out and removed, leaving the navel intact. The skin at the navel level is then stretched down to meet the skin at the pubic area level, after which they are both sutured together.
Also, a Full Tummy Tuck is well-suited for both the repair of muscle damage such as hernia (resulting in looseness of the abdominal muscles for instance) and a combination with liposuction to obtain an even shapelier figure. During the procedure the thickness of the abdominal wall is greatly reduced and surgery usually leaves a scar at the lower part of the abdomen, close to the pubic area.
The Complete Abdominoplasty is significantly differs from other tummy tuck procedures. By way of comparison, the Mini Tummy Tuck, or Partial Abdominoplasty, involves only the removal of excess skin from the area just above the pubic area and does not extend towards the area below the navel. Although they are both similar in that the navel is left intact and liposuction as well as abdominal muscle repair can be performed during surgery, a Mini Tummy Tuck is especially suited for female patients with ‘pouches’ below and male patients with ‘pouches’ above their navel. Surgery takes about 3 to 4 hours and is carried out on an outpatient basis.
Physical Requirements for This Kind of Procedure
Patients awaiting a full tummy tuck have to prepare their body for the procedure. This preparation includes:
- Achieving a stable weight;
- Quitting smoking at least two weeks before the set surgery date;
- Ceasing the intake of aspirin and nutritional supplements, like vitamins and herbs, several days prior to surgery;
- Undergoing both a physical examination and an anemic detection – which must be cleared;
- For patients who are initially overweight, we advise taking on a diet in order to achieve a weight that corresponds to their height. This way, better results will be obtained;
- Patients taking contraceptives are advised to stop using them at least 6 weeks prior to the scheduled surgery date;
Ideal Candidates for This Type of Abdominoplasty Procedure
The Complete Abdominoplasty procedure can generally be performed on any patient with excess abdominal skin and fat. Unlike other tummy tuck procedures, however, it is predominantly meant to address the issues of patients with large amounts of loose skin and fat (caused by aging, pregnancy or drastic weight loss), patients with stretch marks (caused by pregnancy or drastic weight loss), and patients whose abdominal muscles have been damaged. Obviously, the Complete Abdominoplasty is not the only plastic surgery procedure to solve all of the above listed problems. Yet, only this kind of abdominoplasty can take care of all of these issues at once, in a single surgery.
Recovery after Surgery
Although it is possible to be discharged ~2 hours after surgery, recovery takes about 5 weeks on average. On the 5th day post-surgery, you are expected to return to our office so we can remove both your pain pump – if applicable – and drains and replace your compression garment with a new and clean one.
You will also be expected to wear your compression garment at all times for the first 2 weeks and about 12 hours/day for the following 2 weeks.
Furthermore, you are not meant to drive during the first 3 to 4 weeks of recovery and work is limited to a desk-job of no more than 8 hours/day after the first 2 weeks.
Further scheduled appointments are primarily for purposes of monitoring your convalescence at regular intervals and will be communicated to you by one of our plastic surgeons.
The effects of this procedure can last for a lifetime, given that you stick to a steady exercise routine (especially addressing the muscles in your abdomen), do not get pregnant again, and continue to maintain a healthy, steady weight.
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