Complete Tummy Tuck
For many people, genetics, weight gain and pregnancy cause the muscles and skin in the abdomen area to permanently stretch out. For these people, no amount of exercise or diet will help the muscle and skin retract to a more flat and contoured appearance. A tummy tuck, also known abdominoplasty is a Vancouver cosmetic surgery procedure to correct the appearance of excess skin and fat near the abdominal area.
The 8 West Clinic Plastic Surgeons are expert abdominal surgeons who will choose from a variety of techniques depending on the specific characteristics of each patient. Complete Tummy Tuck surgery is ideal for that have experience stretching of all three layers of the abdomen. Tummy tuck surgery helps restore a flatter, more contoured abdomen area and removes the excess skin and fat in the love handles and upper abdomen.
The Complete Tummy Tuck Technique
The complete tummy tuck addresses three components: the skin, fat, and muscle, so it benefits most patients who want a flat stomach and skin as tight as possible. When combined with liposuction, results on the abdomen and the flanks are dramatic.
There are different techniques for abdominoplasty, each of them indicated for a specific abdominal shape. Each technique is associated with its own unique set of benefits and risks. Your plastic surgeon will recommend the best approach for you, and carefully review the risks and benefits of each.
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- Mini Tummy Tuck
- Extended Tummy Tuck
Complete Tummy Tuck Incisions
The incisions used in a Complete Tummy Tuck are more extensive than a Mini Tummy Tuck and less extensive than an Extended Tummy Tuck. Your plastic surgeon makes an incision in the bikini line above the pubic area, which starts at the tip of the pelvis, extends down to the bikini line, and comes back up to the other pelvic bone. A second incision is made around the belly button to free the navel from surrounding tissue. After your plastic surgeon removes extra skin and fat and tightens the abdominal muscles, a new belly button opening is formed and the incisions are closed with sutures.
Benefits of Mini Tummy Tuck
Tummy tuck surgery is a major surgical procedure with a lengthy recovery period, however the benefits often outweigh the costs. You can expect a more smooth and contoured abdominal appearance and often times a more refined waistline.
How the Procedure is Performed
Your plastic surgeon makes an incision on the abdomen from hipbone to hipbone, slightly above the pubic hair. The skin is separated from the underlying tissue up to the rib cage. This skin flap is lifted, exposing the abdominal muscles below. Your plastic surgeon then has access to the abdominal muscles, which she secures together to create a thinner waistline. The excess skin and tissue is removed, then pulled down. A new navel is created then the incisions are sutured closed.
The mini tummy tuck surgery takes 2 to 5 hours and most patients can return home the same day.
Are You a Good Candidate
Complete Tummy Tuck is for patients who have significant excess skin and fat tissue that does not respond to diet and exercise. The best candidates for complete tummy tuck surgery are men and women who are otherwise in good health. This procedure is common for women who have had pregnancies, people who have lost significant amounts of weight, and older patients who have lost skin elasticity.
You may be a candidate for mini tummy tuck if:
- Abdominal muscles that have been weakened and separated
- Excess or sagging abdominal skin
- Excess fatty tissue that is concentrated in your abdomen
- An abdomen that protrudes and is out of proportion to the rest of your body
You may be a candidate for mini tummy tuck surgery if you are in general, in good health:
- You are close to your ideal body weight
- You have been at a stable weight for six months or more
- You have normal blood pressure
- You are not taking blood thinners, or your family physician can safely recommend that you stop taking them for two weeks
- You are not pregnant of breastfeeding
Recovering from Tummy Tuck Surgery
Tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure and requires significant recovery time. Following surgery, drainage tubes are inserted to allow excess fluid to be removed. These drains can stay in for up to two weeks and required some care from home. Your plastic surgeon will instruct you to wear compression garment which should be work at all times for the first hour weeks following surgery except while bathing.
The following information will give you a sense for what kinds of activities are safe during the recovery period.
Time Off Work for Tummy Tuck Surgery
- Most people take three weeks off work
Back to Normal Activities
- You can resume light normal activities, such as light household work and taking a gentle stroll, one week after surgery
- You should avoid bending over and lifting heavy objects (more than five pounts) for four weeks after surgery
- You can resume light fitness activities, such as jogging or yoga, three to four weeks after surgery
- You can resume vigorous fitness activities, such heavy weight training or high impact cardio, four to six weeks after surgery
- All evidence of bruising and swelling should be resolved 8 weeks of surgery
Risks & Complications
All surgeries have associated risks. Your plastic surgeon will review the risks and benefits of the surgery in detail during your surgical consult. In general, complications of tummy tuck surgery, while not expected, include:
- Risk of infection
- Risk of bleeding
- Risk of poor wound healing
- Risk of patient dissatisfaction with cosmetic result
Combination Body Shaping Procedures
Vancouver tummy tuck surgery is often combined with liposuction or breast implant. This combination is particularly popular with mothers who are frustrated by the body changes that occurred as a result of pregnancy. Find out more about common combinations of procedures for the post pregnancy mother.
Alternative Tummy Procedures
Sometimes patients are better candidates for abdominal liposuction alone <link-to: Abdomen Liposuction/>. During your surgical consultation, your plastic surgeon will assess your physical features, consider your objectives, and recommend which cosmetic breast surgery is best for you.
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