If you’re over 40, odds are you have some degree of a pooch on your lower abdomen, aka your tummy. It’s just a fact of life as we age and our underlying muscles and support tissues aren’t as tight as they once were.
Or if you’ve had children or have gained and then lost a large amount of weight, you likely have a good deal of loose skin. Plus, your muscles in the area may have become separated by the weight gain. In both cases, there isn’t anything you can do to tighten the area back up once this has happened.
A tummy tuck with the team at Elite Plastic Surgery can give you back the stomach of your younger days.
A tuck and lipo address different things
People sometimes assume a tummy tuck and liposuction are addressing the same thing. While a slimmer contour is the mutual goal, the two procedures have different targets. Liposuction targets pockets of fat. Liposuction is a good procedure if the patient is young and has good elasticity in her stomach skin and muscles that are still taut.
Conversely, a tummy tuck targets loose skin and sagging. If your underlying muscles have been stretched or separated by pregnancy or gaining and losing a large amount of weight, a tummy tuck is an answer. A tummy tuck will remove pockets of fat, but its main goal is to remove excess loose skin and tightening and repositioning the underlying stretched muscles. That’s why a tummy tuck requires months of recovery versus liposuction’s days of recovery — a tummy tuck is much more involved surgically.
How is a tummy tuck done?
For a full tummy tuck, your Elite surgeon usually will make two incisions. One incision usually runs from hipbone to hipbone at the bikini line. The second incision is made at the belly button. The length of the first, longer incision can vary depending on just how much sagging skin needs to be addressed. The incision can run past the hipbones around to the lower back if the flanks and lower back also have serious sagging.
After the incision is made, the skin is separated from the abdominal muscles, which are then pulled together and stitched into place for a firmer, narrower waist. Next, we take the skin flap and stretch it downward over the newly tightened muscles. Excess skin is trimmed, and the navel repositioned in many cases. The upper incision around the navel is not always required, but it allows for tightening of the skin above the navel.
Tummy tuck recovery
After your surgery, you’ll need to wear compression garments for at least two weeks to reduce swelling and help the body adapt to its new contour. Recovery times will last up to a few months, due to the incision locations and the muscle repositioning. Heavy lifting and exercise need to be avoided for at least six weeks.
Say adios to that saggy stomach with a tummy tuck from Elite. Call us at 616-459-1907 to set up a consultation.