Also Serving Abdominoplasty Patients in Beachwood
Sometimes even the strictest diets and exercise regimens are not enough to achieve the flat and toned abdomen we all want. That’s because factors like weight loss, pregnancy and aging often leave loose, saggy skin and stubborn fat pockets that are resistant to diet and exercise efforts. Fortunately, a sculpted midsection is very possible with tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).
Men and women who desire noticeable and long-lasting tummy tuck results trust Cleveland plastic surgeons Drs. Mark A. Foglietti and Alanna Foglietti Fostyk. The board-certified surgeons pride themselves on utilizing the latest techniques and a personalized approach to deliver consistently attractive and natural-looking results. If crunches and healthy eating are not giving you the results you want, contact Foglietti Fostyk Plastic Surgery to discuss tummy tuck.
Am I a Candidate for Tummy Tuck?
You may be an ideal candidate for tummy tuck if you have the following:
- Loose, sagging abdominal skin as a result of genetics, weight fluctuations, pregnancy or aging
- Surplus fat on the abdomen that does not respond to diet and exercise
- Weakened or separated abdominal muscles
In addition, you must be in good general health, not smoke and have a stable and healthy weight before undergoing tummy tuck. Although a common procedure, tummy tuck is highly individualized. Dr. Foglietti or Dr. Foglietti Fostyk will meet with you to discuss your concerns regarding your abdomen and design a treatment plan that achieves your desired outcome.
Tummy Tuck Procedure Details
Tummy tuck is performed as an outpatient procedure under anesthesia. To begin, an incision is made across the lower abdomen, extending from hipbone to hipbone. The surgeons place the incision slightly above the pubic hairline, which is low enough that it can be concealed by most underwear and bikini bottoms. Through this incision, the underlying muscles will be tightened and excess tissue removed. If surplus fat is present, it will be removed via liposuction. Skin and tissue will be tightened to reveal a flatter and tighter contour. An additional incision around the navel is made to improve the appearance of the belly button.
Mini Tummy Tuck
Drs. Foglietti and Foglietti Fostyk also offer a modified tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck. This technique may be appropriate if you have excess skin only on the lower abdomen and minimal fat. It requires a slightly shorter incision than full tummy tuck, placed below the bikini/underwear line. Through this incision, the surgeon will tighten the underlying muscles and remove/sculpt skin and tissues to create a flatter and more attractive contour. This does not correct the skin above the belly button.
Once all of the agreed-upon modifications are made, the surgeon will close the incisions with sutures, dress the treated area with soft bandages and place a compression garment on top to support the healing tissues.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
Your body needs plenty of time and rest during the abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) recovery period. The procedure is major surgery, and you may not feel ready to resume your normal routine for up to four to six weeks. Many patients return to work in two weeks, however.
Pain is a short-term aspect of the recovery process, and swelling is a long-term feature. Efficient healing requires that you wear a pressure garment and are careful not to strain your abdomen. You must also faithfully take antibiotics that can help prevent infection. Although the skilled Cleveland-area plastic surgeons of Foglietti Fostyk Plastic Surgery will advise you to be cautious with physical stress and movement, it is important to begin taking short walks as soon as possible, to improve circulation and help prevent blood clots.
Tummy Tuck FAQs
Is a tummy tuck right for me?
Abdominoplasty, popularly known as “tummy tuck,” is a surgical procedure that addresses loose skin and weakened muscles that may have developed in the abdominal area as a result of weight loss, pregnancy or simple aging. The stomach benefits from a smooth, tucked-in profile after removal of excess skin, some fat and tightening of abdominal muscles.
Women may choose abdominoplasty as a way to restore tone to stomach muscles that weakened or separated during pregnancy. The procedure can also be effective at improving the appearance of stretch marks in the area that is tightened.
Patients who have lost significant weight and now notice loose skin on the belly are also good candidates for the procedure. A tummy tuck is not a weight management tool. In fact, obese individuals are advised to lose as much weight as possible before considering a tummy tuck.
Should I consider other options?
During your initial consultation, the experienced Cleveland-area plastic surgeons of Foglietti Fostyk Plastic Surgery will examine your abdomen and discuss your expectations to determine the optimal approach.
A tummy tuck is often a good choice for patients whose loss of skin elasticity created folds in the skin after they lost weight. For patients whose fat is located mostly below the belly button, a partial abdominoplasty, or “mini tummy tuck,” may be advisable. Liposuction may be the preferred choice when creating a more natural-looking body shape requires the removal of a significant amount of fat in targeted areas.
What should I expect during the procedure?
While you are under general anesthesia, your surgeon will make an incision in the lower abdomen and begin separating skin from tissue, suctioning out some of the fat, reconstructing the abdominal wall and tightening the muscles. The surgeon will pull the skin taut and remove the excess amount. The incision will then be sutured and a tube put in place to drain blood and other fluids that may accumulate.
Will I have scars?
Because a tummy tuck requires an incision in the lower abdomen, scars are unavoidable. The experienced Cleveland-area plastic surgeons of Foglietti Fostyk Plastic Surgery are careful to make the incision in the least noticeable area, usually on the bikini line.
Will a pregnancy reverse the results of a tummy tuck?
It is recommended that women wait until they are done having children before doing the procedure. Pregnancy puts a great deal of strain on the abdomen, and muscles that have been repaired in an abdominoplasty may once again separate. Similarly, women or men who fluctuate significantly in weight after surgery may see a recurrence of the issues that led them to choose a tummy tuck.
How soon after a C-section can I have tummy tuck?
The experienced Cleveland-area plastic surgeons of Foglietti Fostyk Plastic Surgery recommend that women who are not nursing wait about three months before having tummy tuck. This allows time for the uterus to regain its normal size and shape. Ideally, the patient should be near or at their ideal weight prior to the tummy tuck in order to have the best results.
Will I retain my natural belly button?
Yes, although it may undergo some repositioning, depending on the amount of skin that needs to be removed. With a traditional tummy tuck the belly button is separated from the surrounding skin through an incision within the inner border of the belly button. The muscles are tightened, the excess skin is removed, and the remaining skin is pulled down. A separate incision is made overlying the natural position of the belly button and it is sewn in place. The scar is hidden within the belly button.
Will tummy tuck eliminate stretch marks?
Stretch marks are indentations within the skin that result from damage in the dermal layer. The only effective permanent solution for stretch marks caused by rapid weight gain, weight loss, or pregnancy is skin removal. If your stretch marks are located in the lower abdomen, a tummy tuck will eliminate them because the skin is surgically removed. Stretch marks on the middle and upper abdomen may be improved but not eliminated, since this skin is pulled down and tightened during the procedure.
Will I feel pain after tummy tuck?
Since tummy tuck involves the removal of skin and repair of abdominal muscles, feelings of soreness and tightness are common in the first several days after the procedure. Overall, patients handle the pain well. Pain medication, as well as medications to help with muscle spasms, are given post-operatively.
How soon will I be able to exercise?
For the first week or so, most patients walk slowly, leaning slightly forward to take tension off of the incision. After four to six weeks, you can begin progressive exercise, starting with low-impact aerobic activity, including extended walking and the gentle use of an exercise bicycle. Progressive exercise then allows you to slowly perform moderate aerobic activity, including brisk walks and the extended use of the exercise bicycle. You can lift light weights with your upper body or legs, as long as no strain is placed on the abdominal muscles. After two to three months, you may engage in more strenuous activity, including high-impact aerobic exercises.
Apart from reshaping the abdomen, are there any related benefits of tummy tuck?
In addition to the benefit of increased self-confidence, there may be other positive side effects. Tummy tuck appears to reduce the incidence of stress urinary incontinence and improve ventral and umbilical hernias. A tighter abdomen also seems to be associated with improved posture and even better weight management. For example, a study published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found evidence of short- and long-term weight loss in women who underwent the procedure. Removal of fat cells appeared to alter the hormonal activity that governs appetite.
A sculpted and toned abdomen is possible with tummy tuck surgery. To learn more about the procedure or the other body contouring treatments offered by the plastic surgeons at Foglietti Fostyk Plastic Surgery, schedule a personal consultation by contacting our Cleveland office today.