What You Need to Know About Tummy Tucks

Rhode Island woman wraps measuring tape around abdomen showing tummy tuck resultsThe tummy tuck, officially known as abdominoplasty, is the fifth most common cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States. There were more than 130,000 abdominoplasties in 2018, and eight percent of those involved were men. Most men and women have at least heard of the tummy tuck, but many do not realize the extent of their options and what the plastic surgery can accomplish for their figure.

Dr. Andrea Doyle is our board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in body contouring procedures, including the tummy tuck. 

You Have Several Tummy Tuck Options 

The tummy tuck procedure is customized to each patient, but there are variations to choose from based on your anatomy and goals. The Centre for Aesthetic + Reconstructive Surgery offers the full abdominoplasty and the mini tummy tuck. The complete procedure addresses loose, sagging skin tissue and stretched abdominal muscles in the upper and lower abdomen, whereas the mini-tummy tuck focuses on the area beneath the belly button. If you have other body areas with excess skin, your tummy tuck could be combined with a lift procedure to eliminate sagging tissue in multiple areas such as the arms or thighs. 

There is also a combination of procedures named the “mommy makeover,” which is designed to restore a woman’s body after pregnancy and childbirth. Mommy makeovers typically include a form of breast surgery such as a breast lift or breast augmentation as well as liposuction. 

The Tummy Tuck Involves More than Loose Skin 

The tummy tuck procedure involves removing excess skin tissue and tightening underlying abdominal muscles. During pregnancy or massive weight gain, the stomach muscles, which come together like a corset, can stretch and separate. That is known as “diastasis recti.” The first portion of the tummy tuck involves correcting that separation by repositioning, tightening, and strengthening the abdominal muscles to provide a flatter stomach.

Once the muscles are addressed, the skin is pulled down taut, and the excess is removed. This process may relocate your belly button, but our skilled female plastic surgeon will restore the navel to a natural-looking position. 

Abdominoplasties do not eliminate unwanted fat and are not a solution to weight loss. You must be within 10-15 pounds of your goal weight and have realistic expectations for what can be accomplished with your tummy tuck. The goal of the procedure is to offer the final touches after you have slimmed down with diet and exercise. 

Be Prepared for Tummy Tuck Recovery

After your tummy tuck, you will have post-operative dressings and drains to help your recovery. The drains help your body adjust to its new shape and avoid fluid retention between the abdominal muscles and tissues. These are typically needed for one to two weeks after an abdominoplasty. You will need to limit your activities and exercises for one to two months and take two weeks away from work to ensure proper healing. Many patients choose to have a tummy tuck over the holiday season to make the most of the extra days off. 

Tummy tuck results settle in two to three months after the procedure and are long-lasting. However, you can still gain weight, which stretches the skin. That is why Dr. Doyle recommends waiting to have this procedure until you are done having children as future pregnancies alter results. 

Schedule Your Tummy Tuck Consultation in East Greenwich

If you are interested in a tummy tuck, contact Dr. Doyle at the Centre for Aesthetic + Reconstructive Surgery in Rhode Island today at (401) 336-3770 to schedule your consultation. Our board-certified plastic surgeon and skilled staff serve surrounding areas of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, including Providence.