Struggling to achieve a taut tummy, no matter how many crunches you do? Sometimes a great diet and frequent exercise just aren't enough, particularly after you've had children or lost weight—and sometimes, surgery is the only way to get rid of that excess skin and repair your abdominal muscles. Tummy tuck surgery is one of the most popular body contouring procedures for smoothing the abdomen and getting rid of excess skin...for good.
A smooth, flat tummy can be difficult to achieve and maintain, period. But for those who have gone through pregnancy, lost a significant amount of weight, or are simply battling the effects of aging, it can feel impossible. Even your genes may be working against you! If you’re concerned with excess, hanging skin and persistent pockets of fat on your abdomen, you have choices.
Tummy tuck surgery (a.k.a. abdominoplasty) is one of the most popular procedures our Atlanta plastic surgeons perform, for good reason! By removing excess skin and fat, tightening remaining skin, and repairing underlying muscles, a tummy tuck can safely and effectively restore a slim, flat appearance to your lower abdomen. It can also drastically reduce the appearance of stretch marks, and give you a waistline back!
Tummy tuck surgery is a great option for men and women who have loose or sagging skin concentrated in the abdominal level but are at a relatively stable, healthy weight. You are likely a good candidate if:
You’re hoping to reduce a “pregnancy pouch”
You have stubborn pockets of fat and hanging skin on your lower stomach
Diet and exercise don’t produce the results you want
You have painful abdominal muscle separation
You are a non-smoker in general good health
The best way to determine if tummy tuck surgery is a good option for you is to get the advice of a board certified plastic surgeon who will listen to your concerns and help you develop an effective surgical plan.
Meet Dr. Cat, Our Mommy Makeover Expert
Dr. Cat is our resident dynamo, and she works hard to help women look and feel amazing through compassionate care, the latest surgical techniques, and a devotion to superb, natural-looking results.
Most of our tummy tuck patients have a few things in common. They are concerned with drooping skin on the abdomen, hope for a flatter tummy, and are worried about post-surgical drains. Traditionally, drains have been an uncomfortable though necessary part of tummy tuck (and other procedure) recovery. And while there is no guarantee that they won’t be a part of your recovery, our board certified plastic surgeons use special techniques that can minimize their necessity.
By using a progressive tension suturing technique, our surgeons are able to create the same gorgeous results while reducing drain-related discomfort after surgery. This technique involves progressively stitching the abdominal skin to the underlying muscle wall before fully suturing the external incisions. Essentially, this closes the “empty space” between the skin and muscles that is typically left after a tummy tuck—and it means less room for fluid to accumulate and have to be drained.
Here’s why our patients love drain-free tummy tucks:
Less post-operative pain
Decreased risk of seroma
No hassle or inconvenience of a drain
Your Tummy Tuck Options
Depending on your unique concerns and desired results, there are a variety of options that may work best for you. For instance, if your biggest concern is a stubborn fatty bulge on the lower stomach, you may benefit from liposuction techniques alone. On the other hand, patients who are worried about sagging skin will benefit most from either a “mini” tummy tuck, which addresses mildly to moderately loose skin and little-to-no muscle damage, or full tummy tuck. For patients concerned with excessive loose or hanging skin after significant weight loss, we may recommend an extended tummy tuck or other body lifting procedures. Your surgeon will help you determine which options will give you the best results during your personalized consultation.
After Your Tummy Tuck
In most cases, you’ll be able to return home after your procedure and begin the recovery process at home. In addition to drains, it is recommended that you wear special compression garments to protect your results. For the first week or so, you will likely see swelling in your abdomen and experience a bit of discomfort. This can be managed with prescription pain medication, though most of our patients switch to over-the-counter alternatives within just a few days.
While rest is important, you will not be bed-ridden. We recommend walking multiple times throughout the day starting 24 hours after your procedure. Within about two weeks, you can resume normal, non-strenuous activity—just listen to your body and follow the aftercare instructions provided by your surgeon. Most patients are fully recovered within three to six months, and you’ll be enjoying your smoother, flatter tummy in no time!
Wondering if a Tummy Tuck is For You?
If you’d like to learn more about your options or get started today, give us a call to schedule a personalized consultation with one of our experienced plastic surgeons! They’ll listen to all of your concerns and work closely with you to design a treatment plan that gives you results you’ll love.