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BODY

Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck Santa Barbara

A tummy tuck or “abdominoplasty” is the surgical contouring of the abdomen.   Body changes that occur with weight gain (and loss), along with pregnancy and aging can lead to a patient wanting a recontouring of the abdomen. Liposuction alone can only remove fat.   If the skin and musculature needs recontouring, an abdominoplasty is required.   During this procedure excess fat and skin can be removed and the muscles tightened. This will leave the abdomen flat and tight. Additionally, liposuction may be needed around the sides and to the back can balance the result.

The procedure begins with the patient being marked while standing. This identifies all the area that need to be addressed and the amount of skin that can safely be removed. The planned skin excision will leave a scar and this is planned as to be in the bikini line. In a full abdominoplasty the belly button will need to be repositioned and there will be a scar deep inside the naval. The skin and fat are lifted off the muscles and the muscles are tightened. The muscle tightening pulls in the waistline. The skin is then pulled tight and all the extra removed. The belly button is redone leaving it in it’s natural location.   Liposuction is done as needed to finish the contouring.

“Mini” tummy tucks can also performed. This is the same general procedure but the operation concentrates on the area below the belly button only. The best surgery for any individual can be determined at the first consultation based on the patient’s own anatomy.

The recovery process after abdominoplasty is straightforward. There is some pain and discomfort mostly due to the muscle tightening which is controlled with oral pain medication. An abdominal binder is placed and worn for 4 weeks. Patients are usually back to normal routine in 2 weeks. Full exercise can be resumed in 6 weeks.

Complications are unusual but may occur. Wound healing problems, visible scars, fluid accumulations or other problems may occur. Most of these problems are easily resolved and will not affect the final result. Serious complications are rare. You can limit the likelihood of these risks by carefully following pre and post operative instructions.

The overwhelming majority of tummy tuck patients are thrilled with their results.