Tummy tucks are indicated for patients who have loose, hanging skin of the abdomen. This is usually due to pregnancy, but it can also occur after major weight loss. Pregnancy or major weight gain will stretch the abdominal skin. This may result in stretch marks, and the elasticity of skin may be lost, resulting in hanging skin. Pregnancy can also weaken the strong fascia (white fibers) between the abdominal muscles (the six pack muscles), resulting in the abdominal contents pushing against the weak fascia. The medical term for this condition is rectus diastasis. This will result in a “beer belly” appearance.
Types of Tummy Tucks
Mini Tummy Tuck
A mini tummy tuck is indicated for patients who have loose skin in the lowest, central portion of their abdomen only. These patients do not have any loose skin near or above the umbilicus (belly button), and have no rectus diastasis. The mini-abdominoplasty scar will be as long as or slightly longer than a C-section.
Standard Tummy Tuck
In a standard abdominoplasty, the incision is from “hip to hip”. In these patients, there is loose skin above the umbilicus and possibly below as well. There is also rectus diastasis present. The skin is separated from the abdominal wall and the umbilicus and is raised to the edge of the rib cage. The rectus diastasis is repaired and then the excess skin is removed. A new “hole” is created for the umbilicus to come through. Two to three drains are placed under the skin to collect any fluid build-up. The drains are usually removed in 7-9 days, depending on their output.
Extended Tummy Tuck
An extended tummy tuck is indicated for patients who have loose skin extending into the flanks (love handles). The procedure is similar to a standard abdominoplasty with the exception of a longer scar. Commonly, the patient will have excess fat around the flanks, and liposuction of the flank area will be performed with the abdominoplasty (either standard or extended). The recovery for a tummy tuck is similar to a C-section. The patient should refrain from any physical activity or exercise for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, graduated exercise can be resumed as tolerated. In case of standard or extended abdominoplasty, sit-ups or abdominal exercises are not recommended. This is to allow the rectus diastasis repair to become as strong as possible.
The ideal candidate for tummy tuck is at or within 10 pounds of their ideal weight. However, it can be performed on patients who are slightly more overweight (up to 20 pounds over ideal weight) if the abdominal skin is very loose and can be easily pulled down.
Tummy tuck surgery can be a very effective means of tightening the stomach area. Therefore, patient candidacy is important. Ideal tummy tuck surgery patients are:
- Healthy adults who are within their normal weight range
- Affected by excess fat that is concentrated on the midsection
- Bothered by loose, hanging abdominal skin
By removing unwanted fat and sagging skin from the area, and then tightening underlying muscles, Dr. Jazayeri can help reveal a more slender and attractive midsection.
Schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Jazayeri by calling (714) 497-2269 or e-mailing him. Be sure to also fill out and bring the patient registration form with you to your visit.