Many patients are frustrated by the loose skin/stretch marks and protuberant (“beer belly”) appearance of their abdomen after pregnancy or significant weight loss. One can exercise 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but the loose skin and the weak abdominal muscle will remain. Only plastic surgery can address these issues.
The abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) procedure involves separating the abdominal skin above the pubic hair line, all the way to the costal margin (the lowest ribs which you can feel). The skin around the umbilicus (belly button) is cut, so the umbilicus is attached to the abdominal wall. After elevating the skin, the abdominal muscles (six-pack muscles) are brought together by suturing the fascia (thick) layer on top of the muscles. This, in effect, gives the same result as when one sucks their stomach in. The patient is then placed in a semi-sitting position, and the excess skin is removed. A new hole is made for the umbilicus to come through. The new abdomen, therefore, will have little or no stretch marks and be flatter, due to improving the abdominal muscle weakness. Typically, two drains are placed under the skin to remove any leakage after the surgery. The drains are usually removed at 7-9 days. The addition of a pain pump catheter (a catheter which drips pain medication slowly over 3 days), has significantly lessened the pain patients experience after surgery. Patients may resume light exercise after 4 weeks, but it will take 2-3 months or longer before normal routine can be reached.
In addition to abdominoplasty, liposuction of the flanks (love handles) can be performed at the same time. This will improve the waist-line. I have attached before and after photos to illustrate the effectiveness of this procedure.
Michael Jazayeri, M.D. is a board certified plastic surgeon with over ten years of experience. He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a member of American Society of Plastic Surgeons. To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Jazayeri, please call 714-834-0101.