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Tummy Tuck

Plastic Surgeons at the Center for Body Contouring & Reconstruction at University Hospitals Department of Plastic Surgery in Cleveland, Ohio specialize in tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty.

Tummy tuck is a good remedy for patients who have lost significant amount of weight through dieting and exercise or bariatric surgery. This procedure will allow reshaping and contouring of the abdomen through skin removal surgery.

Removes Abdominal Fat and Tightens Muscles

A tummy tuck removes excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The procedure can significantly reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen.

Patient History and Examination

Plastic surgery consultation for tummy tucks at UH Center for Body Contouring & Reconstruction consists of a thorough discussion of the patient's desires and concerns. An extensive evaluation of the patient's abdomen and body contour is performed, and photographs are reviewed.

The available surgical options and the doctor's recommendations are discussed, including the limitations and risks of surgery. Tummy tuck may be performed in conjunction with liposuction or gynecological procedures.

Ideal Candidates for Tummy Tuck

The best candidates for abdominoplasty are men and women who are in relatively good health but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that will not respond to diet and exercise.

Tummy tuck is particularly helpful for:

  • Women following pregnancy
  • Loss of skin elasticity in older patients

Patients who intend to lose a significant amount of weight should postpone the surgery until they have reached the desired weight. Also, women who plan future pregnancies should wait, as the muscles in the abdomen that are tightened during the tummy tuck surgery can separate again during pregnancy.

Tummy Tuck Procedure

Tummy tuck is usually performed under general anesthesia. Patients commonly stay in the hospital for one day after the surgery. The procedure consists of removing excess skin and fat between the ribs and the pubis along with tightening of the abdominal muscles.

In certain cases a mini abdominoplasty procedure may be performed, requiring less anesthesia and allowing for an easier recovery.

Tummy Tuck Side Effects and Recovery

Following discharge, patients will have drains in place for several days. The plastic surgeons at the Center for Body Contouring & Reconstruction use implantable catheters for continuous delivery of pain medication directly to the site of surgery, which will reduce the need for narcotic pain medication.

Patients are usually discharged with the after surgery pain pump. The pump and the catheters do not need additional care. Patients will return for follow-up visits on a weekly basis for the first month. Return to normal activities is slow, and most people remain out of work for two to three weeks.

Results of Tummy Tuck

Abdominoplasty, whether partial or complete, produces excellent results for patients with weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin. Some women may choose to also undergo liposuction of their hips or other regions at the same time in order to achieve an enhanced result.

In most cases, the results following tummy tuck are long lasting, provided the patient follows a balanced diet and exercises regularly.