Abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a tummy tuck, is used to target excess abdomen tissue including loose skin and fat that accumulates after pregnancy and major weight loss. The tummy tuck gives individuals who have completed the work of losing weight the final step they need to transition into their new shape.
"Making the decision to have Gastric Bypass surgery was quite a decision, but the next step was an easy one. I met Dr. Damitz and now I love my size 2 and shopping. Best of all is when my husband said 'wow!'"
"This totally changed my life! After 175lbs weight loss from bariatric surgery, I really needed some additional help. Today, I feel so confident, I’m doing things I only dreamed of before- sky diving, white water rafting, motorcycle riding, the sky’s the limit."
During a tummy tuck, UNC plastic surgeons remove excess skin and fat on the tummy, and repair muscles on the abdominal wall in an effort to streamline the waist for more attractive contours in the midsection. A tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure, so it is recommended that patients are near their goal size before their surgery. However, a tummy tuck can be paired with liposuction to achieve optimal results.
Individuals who are bothered by the remnants of lost weight, including loose abdominal skin, may find the tummy tuck to be a good solution. Many people discover that their stubborn midsection will not change no matter how rigorous the exercise or stringent the diet. The ideal candidate for a tummy tuck will need to meet the following criteria:
A tummy tuck operation may last between two to five hours and is conducted using general anesthesia. Muscle relaxation may be administered if you are receiving abdominal muscle repair.
Your surgeon marks the incision sites, taking necessary precautions to place them where the surgical scar can be concealed. The areas for liposuction, if applicable, are also marked at this time. A horizontal incision is made just under the tummy and above the pubic hairline. The excess skin in this area is then pulled down and inward. Overstretched abdominal muscles are repaired and tightened with sutures.
The surgeon will then re-drape the skin and close the incisions with layers of dissolvable sutures. It is common to remodel and possibly relocate the navel (umbilicus) to achieve the desired results. Your tummy tuck may also include liposuction of the upper abdomen, hips, and/or flanks, depending on your surgery goals.
Your plastic surgery team in North Carolina will probably advise you to walk around within 12 to 18 hours to initiate the recovery process. In addition to the gauze dressing and mild compression that is applied immediately after surgery, it is likely that you will be given a compression garment to wear for approximately six weeks. You can expect recovery to last between two to three weeks, depending on the extent of your surgery, general health, and your compliance with the aftercare instructions given to you by your doctor.
We hope you will contact us at the UNC Aesthetic, Laser & Burn Center in Chapel Hill if you are interested in learning more about the costs, risks, and benefits of the tummy tuck. Our center is known for its strong values and has a national reputation for excellence and innovation. UNC plastic surgeons are dedicated to walking through the often difficult decision-making process of how to make wanted changes in your appearance.