WHAT IS A TUMMY TUCK?
A protruding abdomen as a result of weak abdominal muscles, weight gain or pregnancy is a condition that causes distress for many of our San Diego clients. This condition does not respond to diet or exercise, because the skin and underlying muscles have been stretched.
At the Esthetica Center for Cosmetic Surgery, we offer a remarkable procedure called the Tummy Tuck. Also called the “abdominoplasty,” the tummy tuck has been designed to flatten a protruding belly by tightening the abdominal wall muscles and removing excess fatty tissue and skin. This is all performed by our highly trained, board-certified plastic surgeons.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A TUMMY TUCK?
The most rewarding change you will experience after a tummy tuck a flatter, firmer, tauter abdomen. The procedure also removes excess skin and fat that can remain after pregnancy, due to age or after dramatic weight loss. Your clothing will fit better, and you can feel confident revealing your abdomen in low cut pants, shorts, or swimsuits.
AM I A CANDIDATE FOR A TUMMY TUCK?
A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss. The objective of the surgery is to improve the contour of the body by flattening and tightening the abdomen. Men and women who have loose, hanging skin in the lower abdomen who would like to have a flatter abdomen are excellent candidates for a tummy tuck.
Often this occurs after pregnancy and childbirth, but loose skin can also be the result of massive weight loss. You should be close to your ideal body weight and committed to maintaining your results through a healthy diet and regular exercise. If you are a smoker, you will need to stop smoking at least three weeks prior to your procedure, as smoking slows your body’s ability to heal from surgery.
I HAD ABDOMINOPLASTY (TUMMY TUCK) DONE ABOUT A YEAR AND HALF AGO. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY RESULTS! THE STAFF IS WONDERFUL AND FRIENDLY AND ALWAYS MADE ME FEEL LIKE A FRIEND AND NOT JUST A PATIENT. DR. KOULI IS WONDERFUL. HE HAS A GREAT PERSONALITY AND IS A WONDERFUL DOCTOR. I WILL DEFINITELY GO BACK TO ESTHETICA’S OFFICE FOR ANYMORE PROCEDURES.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR TUMMY TUCK
Prior to your tummy tuck, a complete medical history is taken to evaluate your general health. A careful examination is also conducted. Dr. Kouli will review realistic expectations with you. Photographs may be taken before and after surgery to evaluate the amount of improvement. The type of anesthesia to be used, the procedure, possible risks and complications, and prescribed medications will also be discussed.
Preoperative instructions may include the elimination of drugs that may result in excess bleeding, such as medications that contain aspirin. Antibiotics will be prescribed prior to surgery to prevent infection. You may also be advised to bathe with an antiseptic soap for several days prior to surgery.
THE PROCEDURE: WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A TUMMY TUCK
Tummy tucks are usually performed in our accredited San Diego hospital setting under general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep and comfortable throughout the experience.
Although there are several techniques to choose from, the most common one involves a “u” shaped incision that extends from hip-to-hip, along with a second cut around the navel.
Through those openings, Dr. Kouli will lift the skin up to the breastbone to expose loose tissue covering the abdominal muscles. He will then tighten lax and stretched out abdominal muscles and remove unwanted fat. From there, Dr. Kouli will re-drape your skin and trim away any excess.
Before closing the incisions with small sutures, the naval will be reconstructed, and drains may be placed to prevent fluid build-up. To complete the procedure, he will apply sterile bandages to the area along with a surgical binder or compression garment.
AFTER YOUR SAN DIEGO TUMMY TUCK PROCEDURE
If drains are used, they will remain in place for 3 to 7 days until fluid levels decrease. The drains will be removed at a post-operative appointment.
Pain or discomfort from the surgery is controlled with oral medication. The garment will be worn for a period of four weeks. During this time, our Coronado patients are advised to refrain from heavy lifting, straining or over-activity.
Although patients are usually up and around the day of surgery, the cosmetic surgeon decides when normal activities may be resumed. This decision is based upon the extent of surgery and the patient’s progress. Bruising and swelling is normal around the treated area and should disappear within a few weeks. Scars from the procedure remain but will fade significantly in time.
WILL I NEED SOMEONE TO HELP ME FOLLOWING MY TUMMY TUCK?
It’s always a good idea to have someone who can assist you in the days following your tummy tuck. You will not be able to stand upright for several days. You should not lift heavy objects and will have a difficulty performing your usual daily tasks and the help will be welcome.
TUMMY TUCK RECOVERY
As a tummy tuck involves sculpting of the muscles as well as removing excess skin and fatty tissue on the abdomen, your body needs extra time to heal. As the muscles in your lower abdomen are active in almost every motion your body makes, the recovery process can be a bit more involved than other surgical procedures.
Most patients find they are able to drive approximately one week following their procedure, provided they are no longer taking pain medication. You may be able to work from home during this stage of healing. You may return to work about two to three weeks following your procedure, although it may take a bit longer for your energy levels to return to normal.
TUMMY TUCK BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOS
RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS
When you work with an experienced cosmetic surgeon, complications are very rare. However, even the best cosmetic surgery procedure is not without risk. Your surgeon will discuss these with you at your consultation.
Dr. Kouli is known for providing among the best tummy tuck experience available. If you’re ready to achieve a flat and fit abdomen, please contact our office today and schedule a consultation for arguably the best tummy tuck San Diego has to offer.