Tummy Tuck Before-and-After Photos
Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the abdominal area and tightens the underlying abdominal muscles to create a flatter, more toned stomach. While this surgery can be performed alone, it is often combined with liposuction to improve the contours of the body and achieve the best possible results.
For patients with less extensive sagging skin, a mini tummy tuck can be a good option. This procedure involves removing and tightening the skin below the belly button only. A full tummy tuck addresses the entire abdominal wall and requires repositioning of the belly button.
Tummy Tuck Vs. Liposuction
Both tummy tuck surgery and liposuction are body contouring procedures that can improve your physical appearance in varying ways and enhance your quality of life, as noted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
The real difference lies in the purpose of each procedure. Liposuction removes unwanted body fat from areas with stubborn fat deposits but does not tone muscles or tighten the skin in the target areas. An abdominoplasty tightens the stomach muscles and also removes excess abdominal skin and fat, thereby improving the contour of the entire abdomen.
While tummy tuck surgery primarily targets the abdomen/stomach area, lipo removes fat from different areas of the body and can even target sensitive areas like the submental/chin region. Oftentimes, a tummy tuck can address stretch marks in the abdomen, which is why these procedures often go hand-in-hand during combination procedures like the “Mommy Makeover.”
It’s important to note that your results from either procedure will depend on your skin elasticity. To optimize the results of both these operations, patients must maintain a healthy lifestyle, diet, and exercise regimen to make the results last.
Patients interested in abdominoplasty often worry about how their tummy tuck scars will look after surgery. While the procedure does yield one large scar, Dr. Baker makes the incision along the underwear line as inconspicuous as possible. The scar should not be visible beneath a bikini bottom or underwear.
Liposuction involves less scarring since only tiny incisions are necessary to complete the procedure. To find out whether an abdominoplasty or liposuction is better for you (or perhaps even both), contact us today for a consultation.
Reasons People Choose Tummy Tuck
During a consultation at our Miami practice, Dr. Baker will evaluate you to see if you’re a good candidate for a tummy tuck procedure. Sometimes, the doctor may recommend other treatments if he feels your concerns and goals can be better addressed with other surgical or non-surgical approaches.
Patients choose to undergo a tummy tuck for several reasons. These may include:
After having children, many women are left with flabby skin, a belly “pooch,” excess fat and tissue, and loose abdominal muscles. Despite attempts to live a fit and healthy lifestyle, some women never regain their pre-baby body without surgical assistance. The abdominal pooch, which is often a major concern, occurs when the connective muscle fibers weaken during delivery. A tummy tuck can address the last bit of “baby weight” many mothers gain during pregnancy. Depending on how much excess fat and skin is present, a tummy tuck might be the ideal solution, and can be combined with other body surgeries, such as breast augmentation, for comprehensive rejuvenation and body contouring. For more information, visit our Mommy Makeover page.
Many patients who have dealt with obesity in the past have adopted a healthier lifestyle and diet or gotten gastric bypass surgery and lost a significant amount of weight. While this is typically a positive change, massive weight loss usually results in a large amount of excess, loose skin. An abdominoplasty is ideal for addressing the midsection and removing excess skin after reaching one’s weight goal.
Fluctuations in weight can cause both men and women get stretch marks in certain areas of their bodies. Luckily, Dr. Baker’s tummy tuck method is excellent for removing excess skin, which is the only effective way to fully eliminate the stretch marks found on the abdomen.
Aside from the obvious cosmetic benefits, there are sometimes medical benefits of a tummy tuck procedure as well. These may include:
This type of hernia occurs when the intestines or abdominal tissues poke through the abdominal wall, creating a pouch. Abdominal weakness from weight loss, an appendectomy, or a C-section are all causes of this type of hernia. An abdominoplasty can correct this problem by tightening the abdominal muscles.
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) causes urine leakage when the patient is sneezing, laughing, or coughing, due to pressure on the bladder. While this type of bladder control issue is typically treated without surgery, abdominoplasty may help patients with this condition regain some control.
Abdominoplasty can also help to decrease back pain. Childbirth and significant weight loss can cause the stomach muscles to weaken. These muscles help support the back and may cause back pain when they are weak. The surgery tightens the abdominal muscles and can take tension off of the back.
Improving posture is another side benefit of tummy tuck surgery. By tightening and creating stronger abdominal muscles, abdominoplasty can also support the spine and give patients better posture.
Candidates for Abdominoplasty
The best candidates for a tummy tuck include:
- Healthy men and women wishing to remove excess skin and fat from the stomach area
- Moms who have had multiple pregnancies and wish to tighten their stretched stomach muscles
- People who have experienced massive weight loss (though a body lift is sometimes recommended, as well)
Women who plan to get pregnant in the future should plan their surgery once they are finished having children. Since the vertical muscles in the abdomen are tightened during abdominoplasty, pregnancy may separate the muscles and undo the results of the surgery.
Individuals planning to lose a lot of weight should also wait until they are close to their goal weight, with a BMI of 30 or lower. Abdominoplasty is not intended as a weight-loss procedure.
People who have a chronic illness like diabetes, IBS, or heart disease may not be good candidates for this procedure. Other health conditions may also make prospective patients ineligible. Safety is the priority. You will have your candidacy assessed during your tummy tuck consultation with Dr. Stephan Baker.
Before going forward with surgery, patients must attend an abdominoplasty consultation with Dr. Stephan Baker. During this initial visit, be prepared to spend time discussing your surgical goals and expectations. Dr. Baker will examine you to evaluate your candidacy and to determine if your goals for abdominoplasty are realistic.
Before the meeting, take notes about any questions you have and be sure to come prepared with a list of your medications and supplements, plus information on any current or previous medical conditions. Be honest about any smoking, alcohol & drug use, as these habits can impact the results of the surgery. It’s important not to withhold any important medical information as doing so could impact your safety and results.
How to Prepare for the Procedure
Before having a tummy tuck, it’s important to get a medical evaluation and lab testing. Certain medications should be temporarily put on hold or adjusted. Stop smoking at least 8weeks before surgery, but the further in advance you can stop, the better. Stop taking any anti-inflammatory drugs two weeks before the procedure, including aspirin and certain herbal supplements, as they can increase bleeding.
Before the day of the surgery, arrange to have a friend or family member drive you to and from your surgical appointment. They should also stay with you the first night after surgery, if not longer. Have a plan in place for childcare and other duties that may require physical strength during the first several weeks. There are certain things you will not be able to do for two weeks after surgery.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
Tummy tuck surgery involves the use of general anesthesia to allow for optimal tightening of lax muscles which is not possible with sedation anesthesia alone. The next step is the incision. Abdominoplasty surgery requires a long, gently curved ‘smiley’ incision below the bathing suit/underwear line. A mini tummy tuck requires a slightly shorter incision.
After the incision is made, the skin is lifted to expose the abdominal muscles. These muscles are sutured down the middle to create a strong central core along the full length of the abdomen. The lax skin is then pulled down and excess bulk is removed. Excess fat may also be removed. Sutures are placed to create a taut stomach and a new opening for the belly button is created so it remains in its same natural position.
Once Dr. Baker has made all the necessary adjustments, he closes the incision.
Aftercare and Recovery
After the abdominoplasty procedure, a surgical dressing is placed over the stomach area to protect the incision and belly button and to aid in the healing process. One small drainage tube is typically placed under the skin to remove excess body fluid which otherwise might accumulate and delay healing. For several days, patients should sleep with their upper body raised and their knees at an angle.
Moderate pain is normal and can be controlled with prescription pain medication. Swelling in the area can be expected for about six weeks after the surgery. A supportive compression garment should be worn around the tummy to support the new contours of the abdomen during the first few weeks. This also facilitates movement and mobility. Patients should plan to take about two weeks off from work and postpone strenuous activity for up to four to six weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
If we’re talking about post-surgery meals, we recommend eating something light.Vitamins are also essential, so lots of vegetables and fruits should be included in your diet. Once you’re back to tolerating regular foods, a protein-based diet is recommended to help your body build new cells and to keep you on track for long-term results.
All surgeries come with risks. The principal risk is fluid accumulating under the skin (a ‘seroma’), hence the drain after surgery to help avoid this. Rare complications include infection, bleeding under the skin, slow healing and blood clots. Poor circulation, diabetes, and heart disease can increase the risk of developing complications and may prevent a patient from being a candidate for this procedure.
Dr. Baker may recommend combining other procedures with a tummy tuck surgery, such as breast augmentation and liposuction of the hips to rejuvenate the body post-pregnancy or after weight gain/loss. These options will all be discussed during your consultation. Dr. Baker creates a custom treatment plan for each patient.
When searching for a surgeon to perform your tummy tuck surgery, make sure to select a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive body contouring experience. It is always important to check before-and-after photos of former patients before or during your consultation.
Why Choose Dr. Baker
- American Board of Plastic Surgery
- New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, Doctor of Medicine
- General Surgery: Five-Year Residency/Chief Residency, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York
- Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Four Year Residency/Chief Residency/Fellowship with Dr. D. Ralph Millard Jr., MD, FACS, Hon. FRCS England, University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, Miami, Florida
- University of Miami, School of Business Administration, Miami, Florida, Exec. MBA-Health Administration, Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society
Stephan Baker MD, FACS, has 25 years+ experience performing tummy tuck surgery for patients in South Florida and worldwide. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Baker, contact our Miami office today at (305) 381-8837.
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