Many women and men throughout Chicagoland seek to eliminate stubborn abdominal fat which can compromise their goals of enjoying a slim, athletic figure. An excessive belly bulge can result from pregnancy, weight fluctuations, aging, or genetics. It is often impossible to eliminate a soft and flabby tummy with a healthy diet and a disciplined exercise routine because of skin laxity and damage to the abdominal wall.
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is one of the more popular body contouring procedures in Chicago because it dramatically reshapes the torso and delivers a taut, thin tummy associated with a youthful body.
This amazing surgery provides improved belly contours by removing pesky fat pads, sagging skin, and reinforcing the abdominal wall. Board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. David Dreyfuss performs multiple tummy tuck techniques which include a full abdominoplasty, mini abdominoplasty, and a tummy tuck with or without liposuction.
Tummy Tuck Candidates
Good candidates for abdominoplasty are patients who want to reduce a bulge and sagging skin in their abdominal area. Although it is not a weight loss procedure, a tummy tuck is an optimal surgery to eliminate stubborn fat in this problem area and make you look significantly slimmer, with a flatter stomach and trimmer waistline.
If these criteria fit you, then you might be an ideal candidate for abdominoplasty:
- Are healthy and relatively fit
- Have realistic expectations
- Don’t smoke
- Want to eliminate unsightly excess abdominal skin and fat
- Wish to improve their overall body contour
- Not planning on having children in the future
After a consultation, Dr. Dreyfuss may recommend a tummy tuck if it is appropriate for your goals and he is confident it will be a safe procedure for you.
Tummy Tuck Procedure
Your tummy tuck employs general anesthesia for your comfort during surgery. First, Dr. Dreyfuss will try to determine the best incision placement with the goal of ensuring the incision will be easy to conceal. He will consider your clothing preference if applicable.
He commonly performs incisions across the waist, in between the navel and pubic hairline. Then, excess tissue, fat, and skin will be lifted and removed. Some patients require a fleur des lis incision if there is a considerable amount of excess skin tissue. This type involves a vertical incision in the center of the abdomen.
Non-dissolvable sutures will then be placed to repair the weakened abdominal muscles, and the incisions will be closed. In some cases, Dr. Dreyfuss makes a separate incision to remove any excess fat surrounding the upper abdomen. Other procedures like liposuction can be combined with the tummy tuck to enhance your results.
You can expect to go home the same day after surgery, so make sure you have a responsible adult accompany you to our surgical center. It is also wise to make sure someone is available to care for you for the first few days after surgery.
Mini Tummy Tuck
Women who have concerns about a protruding lower belly area with loose skin can achieve great results with minimal surgery when comparing to a full abdominoplasty. Stubborn fat which is resistant to exercise can reside beneath the bellybutton and cause an aesthetic problem. This fat may hide well defined abdominal muscles causing an unwelcome bulge in this area. Patients choose a mini tummy tuck to remove excess pockets of fat when the abdominal wall has little to no damage.
The incision is much shorter than those of full abdominoplasty which reduces the amount of scarring. Typically, there is only one incision with the belly button allowed to reposition downward without an additional incision. The incision placement will be unique to your body and will be discussed during your consultation.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
Typically, our patients require about two or three weeks away from normal activities after surgery; a mini tummy tuck may require only a week. Because the abdominal muscle needs to tighten and heal, there are no shortcuts for tummy tuck recovery. Dr. Dreyfuss will make your recovery process as painless as possible with pain blockers prescribed or administered after surgery.
We will fit you with a compression garment to wear after surgery and during your recovery. This garment will help support the surgical area including your abdominal wall and incisions during the healing process. Patients will experience swelling in areas like the abdomen, back, hips, legs, and ankles. Swelling is most severe during the first week after surgery. Afterward, the body will release the fluids it retained, and the majority of swelling will subside.
The abdomen will have some puffiness and firmness for four to six weeks but will continue to improve daily. Most patients can see an immediate difference in their abdominal area during the first 48 hours after surgery with final results realized after four to six months.
Tummy Tuck Benefits
Abdominoplasty benefits include:
- Tighter, firmer abdominal skin
- Reduced stretched marks and scars
- Improved muscle tone
- Contoured abdomen that reveals the central depressions on the upper abdomen
- A non-hooded navel
Frequently Asked Questions
Historically abdominoplasty was one of the more uncomfortable procedures in plastic surgery, especially when muscle repair was required. This fact has changed over the last decade because of new developments in controlling pain during surgery and a couple of days after. Traditionally, pain pumps were optimal methods for controlling pain during recovery for the first week or so. Pain is usually at its severest during this time, more specifically the first two days.
A new anesthetic, however, has changed things. Exparel is a pain blocker designed to provide a significant amount of pain relief for the first several hours after abdominoplasty. This anesthetic makes your recovery more pleasant during its most trying period.
Yes, we can combine a tummy tuck with breast surgery to help you regain your pre-pregnancy body. This combination of procedures is called a mommy makeover and can include multiple procedures.
A tummy tuck involves surgery, and any surgery has associated risks which will be discussed during the consultation. Risks associated with abdominoplasty can include reactions to anesthesia, infections, and bleeding.
When an abdominoplasty is extensive, tissue loss along the horizontal incision is possible. This risk is common with smokers, so, we ask smokers to quit for at least four weeks before and four weeks after tummy tuck surgery. Failure to quit may delay healing and prolong recovery.
Another risk associated with a tummy tuck is Seroma. This complication is when fluid gets trapped under the skin.
Usually, a couple of weeks after tummy tuck surgery will suffice, however, Dr. Dreyfuss may recommend a longer period.
Be honest about what you want to achieve with your abdomen. Listen carefully to Dr.Dreyfuss related to scarring and recover based upon each procedure discussed.
You will need to be at the surgery center about an hour early. Dr. Dreyfuss will see you before surgery and answer any remaining questions. After surgery you will be in a garment and drains will be in place. You will not be able to lay totally flat or stand up straight for a few days.
Dr. Dreyfuss does use drains and they normally stay in place for 3-7 days.
The muscle is always repaired in a full Tummy Tuck. I may only be partially tightened in a mini tummy tuck.
That will be dependent upon the thickness of the skin of the abdomen.
Actually in the first few weeks, you will weigh more due to swelling and fluid retention. Ultimately there will be some weight loss.
All incisions sutures are dissolving. A suture does need to be removed around the drain when it comes out.
Smooth skin and limited excess skin. Improved contour and better muscle structure.
Swelling around the incision and toward the lower and outer abdomen. Over time this does resolve.
You can get pregnant after a tummy tuck, but the procedure is best done after you are no longer planning children. Additional pregnancies may change your results and require additional surgery.
Normal recovery is 4-6 weeks to resume normal activity. Limited daily activity and a desk type job can be resumed at about 7 days. The final result often takes 6-8 months.
Bleeding, prolonged swelling, widened scars and numbness.
Full body sculpting can be done at the same time, but it is best to plan with Dr. Dreyfuss on staging procedures or combining procedures.
With common sense body mechanics, you can pick up a child within a few days. Fully lifting in a week or so.
A tight feeling is normal and unless you try to lift very heavy objects or exercise, you will not hurt yourself.
We always maintain your belly button and move the tissue around it and create a new incision.
The belly button remains in its normal location and we make a new hole and suture your umbilicus in place.
A procedure can take 1 ½ -3 hours depending upon the extent of each individual procedures.