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Your Guide to Tummy Tuck

Abdominoplasty in Jackson, MS

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fatty tissue on the abdomen, resulting in an abdomen that is flat, tight, and well contoured. This contouring is achieved not only by excising excess tissue but also by bringing the muscles of the abdominal wall closer together to achieve an aesthetic appearance to the abdomen.

How to Know If Tummy Tuck Surgery Is Right for You

Tummy tuck surgery is an excellent choice for those with excess skin and fatty tissue on their abdomen, as well as for those whose muscles have separated with pregnancy, fluctuations in weight, or with aging. A tummy tuck is designed to improve the abdominal contour in those who wish to flatten or tighten their abdomen, or to narrow the waistline.

Individuals who are actively losing weight should continue to do so until they have reached their weight loss goals. Only then should a tummy tuck operation be considered. This is because individuals who achieve their desired weight prior to undergoing a tummy tuck generally tend to have much better results.

It is important to note that tummy tuck surgery is not a weight loss procedure. It will not decrease the thickness of an individual’s abdomen. While stretch marks that are in an area of skin removal will be removed, it will not take away stretch marks in other areas.

Women who plan to have future pregnancies are strongly advised to postpone any plans for a tummy tuck procedure until after all anticipated pregnancies occur.

What to Try Before a Tummy Tuck

Many people desiring a tummy tuck are misguided as to what it will achieve. You should make every attempt at weight loss possible, including diet and exercise, prior to considering a tummy tuck. This will put you on the right track in achieving your desired look. However, because of the weakening of the muscles and stretching of the skin with fluctuations in weight or with pregnancy, weight loss and exercise will only get you to a certain point. For this reason, a tummy tuck may be required in order for you to achieve that next level of satisfaction with your appearance.

After you have achieved your weight loss goals, if you remain unhappy with the appearance of your abdomen, consideration of a tummy tuck is appropriate. By removing excess skin and tightening the abdominal wall muscles, a firm, flat abdomen and improved abdominal wall contour can be achieved.

Candidates for Tummy Tuck Surgery

While tummy tuck surgery is an excellent option for healthy individuals with appropriate expectations, there are some conditions that can increase your potential for a poor outcome. These include:

  • smoking
  • bleeding or clotting disorders
  • conditions which result in poor wound healing capability
  • history of keloid scarring
  • continued fluctuations in weight
  • unrealistic expectations
  • women planning future pregnancy
  • extensive previous abdominal surgery

Tummy Tuck Procedure Details

Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess abdominal skin and fatty tissues. It also involves the tightening of the abdominal wall muscles.

A horizontal incision will be made along the lower part of the abdomen. The skin and fatty tissues will be raised above the level of the muscle. The muscles will then be pulled closer together, establishing an improved contour to the waistline. The skin is then pulled down, and excess skin and fatty tissue are then removed. Drains are placed to help remove excess fluid accumulation, and the incision is then closed with absorbable sutures underneath the skin.

The belly button is then brought out to its desired location and sutured in a way that gives it a more pleasing aesthetic appearance. Tummy tuck surgery is performed under general anesthesia, and it takes two to three hours to perform. In general, patients are up and walking shortly after the surgery. They will go home the same day as the tummy tuck operation.

Can liposuction be performed at the same time as a tummy tuck?

Liposuction can improve results with tummy tuck surgery, particularly in the flank and hip area. This combination of liposuction and tummy tuck is referred to as lipoabdominoplasty. While some areas may undergo liposuction at the time of the tummy tuck, it is not safe in all areas. We will discuss your problem areas during the consultation and develop a plan to help you achieve the goals you desire in a safe manner.

What should I expect in the recovery period after tummy tuck?

Tummy tuck surgery is well tolerated by the vast majority of patients. Pain is moderate and well controlled by oral medications. Most patients go home the same day.

Prescriptions will include oral medications for pain and nausea, which is a common occurrence after general anesthesia and will include an antibiotic. The antibiotic will be continued until the two small drains that assist with draining excess fluid are removed.

What results are expected from tummy tuck surgery?*

Following a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedure, you should expect a flatter, firmer abdomen with an improved contour in the waistline. Any bulging in the midline, which is often seen following pregnancy or fluctuations in weight, should be corrected. The belly button (umbilicus) will also have an improved aesthetic appearance.

Results from a tummy tuck procedure are considered permanent, but fluctuations in weight, future pregnancy, and normal aging may negatively affect the long-term outcome.

Scars from the tummy tuck will mature over the first year and then fade over time. Scars are placed in a location where they are generally covered by clothing garments.

You will need to resume walking on the day of surgery, and you should walk multiple times each day following your surgery. This will help prevent blood clots from forming. For the first few days following the operation, you will need to walk slightly bent forward to avoid putting excess stress on the incision line.

The small drains that are used will be removed as soon as fluid production is minimal. Most individuals will have their drains removed within the first two weeks following the operation. There are generally no sutures to be removed as Dr. Walker uses absorbable sutures that are buried beneath the skin.

Strenuous activity and heavy lifting should be avoided for the first six to eight weeks following a tummy tuck surgery. You will also be asked to wear a compression garment during this time period, which will both help control swelling and support the abdominal wall as it heals.

*Individual results may vary

Safety of Tummy Tuck Surgery

The tummy tuck is a very common procedure performed by plastic surgeons. During your consultation, Dr. Walker will perform a detailed history and physical exam. We will identify factors that may cause your risk of surgery to be increased, and together we will formulate a plan to help you achieve the results you want in the safest way possible.
Risks and potential complications of a tummy tuck surgery include the following:

  • skin breakdown or delayed wound healing
  • bleeding or hematoma formation
  • blood clots and pulmonary embolus
  • fat necrosis
  • infection
  • unfavorable scarring
  • partial or complete loss of umbilicus (belly button)
  • anesthesia risks
  • subobtimal aesthetic contour of abdominal wall
  • seroma formation
  • changes in skin sensation
  • recurrence of excess skin if weight fluctuations or pregnancy or as continued aging
  • need for further surgery

During the preoperative consultation, these potential risks will be discussed with you in detail. Should you have any questions or concerns, they will be addressed. Dr. Walker is dedicated to the education of his patients, and he will help you understand the risks, benefits, and potential alternatives to having a tummy tuck surgery.

Dr. Walker’s take on tummy tuck surgery:

Tummy tuck surgery is a well-tolerated procedure with excellent results. Helping an individual restore their youthful abdominal contour, thus giving them the confidence to wear their favorite dress or swimsuit, is a rewarding experience as a plastic surgeon.

There are multiple types of tummy tuck surgeries available, ranging from a mini-abdominoplasty to a full abdominoplasty. The choice of which procedure is best for you is based on your individual anatomy and goals with the tummy tuck operation. During the pre-operative consultation, we will examine your anatomy and fully discuss your post-op expectations.

Choosing the right plastic surgeon is important. Understanding your goals through in-depth conversation will allow us to formulate the best approach and treatment plan for you. Please call today to schedule your appointment.

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real patient experiences*
at allure plastics

I can’t say enough wonderful things about Dr. Walker. He by far does superior work to anyone else I have ever used. As a woman in my 40s I wanted to look younger but natural. Dr. Walker did an excellent job helping me achieve the look I wanted. He is the best!!!!

– Tammy / Union, MS

*Individual results may vary person to person.