Multiple pregnancies, significant weight loss, or the natural aging process may have left you longing for a firm, smooth midsection. While exercise can burn fat and tone muscles, it cannot get rid of loose skin and stretch marks, or repair separated abdominal muscles. At Associated Plastic Surgeons, our experienced board-certified plastic surgeons can renew your abdominal area with abdominoplasty, often called a tummy tuck, in Kansas City.
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Why Choose Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Our surgeons personalize each tummy tuck procedure to address the unique needs and goals of the patient. In general, this procedure can provide one or a combination of the following benefits:
- Remove loose, stretched skin and excess belly fat
- Repair stretched, separated abdominal muscles that cause a tummy bulge
- Provide a firmer, smoother abdominal profile
- Renew body image and confidence
Your Tummy Tuck Consultation
If you're considering tummy tuck surgery, you will start with a private consultation with one of our surgeons. During this first visit, you will be asked questions to ensure you're a good candidate for the procedure, and you'll have the opportunity to describe the improvements you'd like to attain.
Also during your tummy tuck consultation, your surgeon will perform a physical exam to determine how much excess fat and loose skin you have and to assess the condition of your abdominal muscles. Your surgeon will also review your medical history and discuss likely outcomes and potential risks related to your surgery.
Tummy Tuck Options
Most patients require a complete tummy tuck, but in some cases a less-invasive partial or mini tummy tuck may provide the desired improvements.
- Complete tummy tuck procedures improve the abdominal area from the ribs to the pubic bone by removing excess fat, loose skin, and stretch marks and repairing abdominal muscles that are stretched and separated.
- Mini tummy tucks remove excess fat and skin in the lower abdominal area spanning from the belly button to the pubic bone. This option requires a shorter incision and involves minimal muscle tightening and skin removal. Recovery time typically is quicker than for a complete tummy tuck.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
Our surgeons perform tummy tuck surgery at licensed surgical centers in the Kansas City metropolitan area while the patient is under general anesthesia. The surgeon begins by placing an incision horizontally between the hipbones just above the pubic area. Cesarean section scars may be removed at this time. When performing a complete tummy tuck, the surgeon makes a second incision that encircles the belly button.
The abdominal muscles are then repaired, and liposuction is used to remove excess belly fat and contour the waist and hips. The skin is then pulled down, excess is removed, and the incisions are closed. Temporary drainage tubes may be inserted under the skin to reduce swelling and improve the healing process.
|Incisions are made in the pubic area and around the belly button. Skin in the shaded area is separated from the abdominal wall.||After tightening the abdominal muscles, skin is pulled down and excess is removed. The navel is brought through a small opening.||After the incisions are sutured, the scar is low enough to be concealed by a bikini or underwear.|
Tummy Tuck: Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
We recommend that all patients undergoing surgical procedures, including tummy tuck surgery, are nonsmokers who are generally in good health. You should be close to your ideal weight, moderately fit, and have good overall muscle tone. A tummy tuck may be a good choice after multiple pregnancies, prior surgery, or significant weight changes.
When is a tummy tuck not a good choice?
If you are considering a future pregnancy or intend to lose a lot of weight, you may want to postpone your tummy tuck, as many of the improvements you will gain from the surgery could be lost.
How long after having my baby do I need to wait?
Give your body a chance to fully recover after pregnancy and childbirth. Our surgeons recommend waiting at least 6 months after delivery to have a tummy tuck. You can visit them for a consultation before this time to begin the planning process.
How do I know whether I need a tummy tuck or liposuction?
Tummy tuck patients should have the goal of removing loose, sagging skin or strengthening weakened abdominal muscles in addition to removing excess fat. If excess fat is your only concern, we recommend you consider a liposuction procedure instead. Your surgical options will be discussed during your consultation.
How long does recovery take?
Following all of your doctor's instructions is essential to a successful recovery. You'll need to enlist a trusted loved one to drive you to and from the surgery, as well as stay with you throughout the first night.
Discomfort is common following a tummy tuck, but a return to light, normal activity is usually possible within a few days of surgery. For the first 10 to 12 days, you will not be able to stand fully upright. As the skin and muscles gradually relax, you will be able to straighten out.
Most of our patients are able to return to work within a few weeks, provided their jobs don't require heavy lifting or vigorous activity.
Will I have a scar after a tummy tuck?
It may take a year or more for incision to lighten and flatten out. Though the appearance of your scar will improve significantly, it will never go away. Your clothing and swimsuits should effectively conceal it, and our team can provide instructions on how to help your scar heal and fade as quickly as possible.
Will my tummy tuck last forever?
Your renewed body contour should last as long as you maintain your weight and general fitness. Though some loss of firmness is natural as you age, it should be minimal.