What is an Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)?
Are you frustrated by the appearance of unwelcome bulges around the middle, “love handles”, and the dreaded “muffin top”? Loose skin, stretched-out stomach muscles, and extra tissue in the lower abdomen may be keeping you from truly getting the flat abdominal contour you desire. Unfortunately, no amount of diet and exercise can fully eliminate these problematic issues, and non-invasive techniques can only deliver small, incremental improvements. For patients seeking truly dramatic abdominal contouring, a surgical procedure known as an abdominoplasty is often the best option. By removing the extra skin and fat in the lower abdomen and repairing the underlying musculature, a “tummy tuck” is often the only way to get a firm and trim midsection.
Why you should Choose Dr. Ross Bunch for a Abdominoplasty
At Plastic Surgery of Tuscaloosa, Dr. Ross Bunch prides himself on delivering optimal abdominal contouring results with tummy tuck procedures. Dr. Ross Bunch is one of the few Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in the United States that specializes in High BMI patients. Patients travel from all across the United States to get Tummy Tucks along with other procedures done by Dr. Bunch. Regardless of your body type and how much weight you have or have not lost, Dr. Bunch will work you and create a surgical plan specific to you that will achieve and exceed your goals! We understand that selecting a surgeon for your procedure is a highly personal one and we value the trust our patients place in us by providing them with the highest quality care and the most optimal results possible!
Candidates for Tummy Tuck Surgery
Pregnancy and childbirth, weight fluctuation, time, and even heredity can affect the appearance of your abdomen and it can be difficult to know the best way to address this troublesome “problem zone”. Patients often question whether they would make a good candidate for a full tummy tuck or whether a less invasive fat reduction with liposuction would be the better option. The answer depends on your unique anatomy, and whether fatty deposits alone are the culprit behind your particular issues.
Liposuction allows for reduction of fat deposits and is often combined with a tummy tuck in order to help shape the waist area, but on its own, liposuction does not improve the elasticity or tone of the skin. Therefore, if you are experiencing one or more of the following conditions, a tummy tuck procedure may be indicated:
- Excess skin and fat in your lower abdomen
- A protruding abdomen
- Weakened or stretched out abdominal muscles
- Crepey or sagging skin
- Stretch marks
What kind of Tummy Tuck procedures do you offer?
Not all tummy tuck procedure options are the same for everyone. The type of procedure that best suits you is dependent on your specific situation or concerns. The following are some of the options available to you:
- Mini Abdominoplasty: A mini abdominoplasty, otherwise known as a mini-tummy tuck is best suited for patients with minimal excess skin and fatty build-up in the lower abdomen only. The incision is about the same size as a C-section scar and placed very low in the abdomen in the pubic area.
- Full Abdominoplasty: A Full Abdominoplasty, otherwise known as a Full Tummy Tuck, addresses all of the skin and fat from the belly button down and requires an incision that runs below your bikini line from hip bone to hip bone eliminating any stretch marks found on the lower abdomen. A cut-out incision is made to reposition the belly button once the skin has been pulled down to create a natural appearance. The underlying muscles are repaired and tightened with the full abdominoplasty.
- Extended Abdominoplasty: The Extended Abdominoplasty, otherwise known as the Extended Tummy Tuck, is similar to the Full Tummy Tuck in that it addresses all of the skin and fat from the belly button down. The benefit with an extended tummy tuck is that the incision extends around your hips to the flank area. This type of tummy tuck is for patients that have lost a lot of weight and have excess skin or love handles which will be eliminated. A cut-out incision is made to reposition the belly button once the skin has been pulled down to create a natural appearance. The underlying muscles are repaired and tightened with the extended abdominoplasty.
- Fleur De Lis Abdominoplasty: The Fleur De Lis Abdominoplasty, otherwise known as a Fleur De Lis Tummy Tuck, is a specialized tummy tuck that is very beneficial for post-bariatric patients that have significant weight loss and need skin removed vertically and horizontally. There are two incisions made with the Fleur De Lis. The first incision is made vertically along the midline and the second incision is made horizontally hip to hip. The Fleur De Lis can also be upgraded to an Extended Fleur De Lis which will extend the incision around the hips eliminating excess skin or love handles. A cut-out incision is made to reposition the belly button once the skin has been pulled down to create a natural appearance. The underlying muscles are repaired and tightened with the Fleur De Lis abdominoplasty.
Ask about Exparel!
Exparel is an FDA approved local anesthetic that is injected around the abdominal muscles during surgery to help alleviate postoperative pain caused by muscle repair. Exparel usually lasts up to 3 to 4 days after surgery and can be added at an additional cost to any Abdominoplasty that includes muscle repair.
Surgery Duration and Recovery
All tummy tuck surgeries are performed under general anesthesia. Most abdominoplasties require the use of drains to allow for the removal of excess fluids after surgery. These can usually be removed 2 to 3 weeks after surgery depending on the output. Depending on which tummy tuck is chosen, the time you are under general anesthesia can vary from 2 to 4 hours.
The recommended recovery time for an abdominoplasty is 4 to 6 weeks before returning to mid-strenuous activities. It is possible to return to work after 2 to 3 weeks on extremely light duty if you have job that does not require strenuous exercise or movement. Caution must be taken not to open incision sites. Our highly trained nurses will go over post-operative care with you and your caretaker before surgery. Post-operative care sheets will be sent home with you along with contact information for any issues that may arise after hours.
Will I Have Scarring after an Abdominoplasty?
Although all tummy tuck procedures produce a horizontal scar on the lower abdomen, they fade considerably with time and Dr. Bunch makes every effort to make incisions that are well hidden under the majority of bathing suits and undergarments. In short, tummy tuck procedures can give you the flat, taut abdominal contour you have been unable to attain with other methods.
Dr. Ross Bunch is one of the few Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in the United States that specializes in High BMI patients. Patients travel from all across the United States to get Tummy Tucks along with other procedures done by Dr. Bunch. Regardless of your body type and how much weight you have or have not lost, Dr. Bunch will work you and create a surgical plan specific to you that will achieve and exceed your goals!
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