Tummy Tuck Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the different types of tummy tuck procedures?
A: Tummy tuck is used as a synonym for a full Abdominoplasty, where the abdominal muscles are tightened, to reconstruct the abdominal wall. It is an important step on the abdominal contouring after pregnancy or moderate to severe weight gain in which cases the muscles separate. Another type of Abdominoplasty is the mini Abdominoplasty that does not involve tightening neither the abdominal muscle nor the relocation of the belly button. It only removes redundant skin from below the belly button.
2. Tummy Tuck – Is It Safe?
A: It is safe if performed by a Board Certified Plastic surgeon in a credentialed Hospital or Surgical center.
3. Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction?
A: Liposuction is a very good surgical procedure when the patient only needs contouring and has good skin tone with minimal stretch marks. If the patient has separation of the muscles, redundant skin and moderate to severe stretch marks, the Abdominoplasty will offer a better result, because it will reconstruct the abdominal wall and will get rid of the loose skin. I also like to do liposuction of the flanks in combination with the Abdominoplasty, to contour the waist better.
4. How long is the Recovery Period for Full Tummy Tuck?
A: Since all abdominoplasties are not alike, recovery times are different. The amount of dissection, the tightness of the closure, the need to tighten the muscles and to what degree may all influence post-op pain, sense of tightness, and recovery time. However, most patients should be able to resume most activities by 3-6 weeks and should be able to stand erect within a few days. Patients who work from home can probably do so after the first week.
5. Does a tummy tuck leave scars?
A: All incisions leave scars and this is not different with tummy tucks, but you can expect the scars to fade and become less noticeable with time.
6. Can I get pregnant after a tummy tuck?
A: Yes, all the sutures used are the kind that dissolves and will not prevent the patients from having an absolute normal pregnancy however is ideal that the patients are done having children, that way they don’t lose the benefits of the tummy tuck.
7. Are tummy tuck results permanent?
A: They are as far as the patients don’t get pregnant or gain a lot of weight.
8. Can a Tummy Tuck remove stretch marks on hips?
A: I like to make my incisions very low which allows me to pull the skin from the thighs to improve the stretch marks. The stretch marks will still be there but they will be a lot less noticeable.
9. Can Tummy Tuck fix loose belly button?
A: Yes, I keep the patient’s original belly button, but I do contour it when I relocate it.
10. Is it possible to have a natural looking belly button after tummy tuck?
A: Yes, not only natural but very pretty.
11. How long after tummy tuck do I have to wait before I can start doing strenuous exercises (such as sit ups, crunches and weight lifting)?
A: I recommend the patient to start walking and resuming light exercise a week after the surgery, but sit ups, crunches and heavy lifting of more than 15 lbs after 6 weeks.
12. How Will Weight Gain After Tummy Tuck Affect Results?
A: We have fat cells superficial to the abdominal wall and inside the abdominal cavity. Weight gain will stretch the skin and will stretch the muscles to allow for the fat cells to grow, so you lose the benefit of the muscle and skin tightening.
13. Is It Safe to Perform Tummy Tuck Surgery Right After a C-section?
A: I like to wait between 6 to 12 weeks to allow for uterine contraction, so I can do a better tightening of the muscles. If the patient is breast feeding I will recommend waiting until they are done because tummy tuck requires general anesthesia.
14. What is the best scar treatment after full Tummy Tuck?
A: I like to use tape on the incisions for 6 weeks, then a cream with silicone and sun protection for 6 more weeks and then massage the scars with vitamin E oil or lotion.
15. How soon after surgery can I start scar treatment?
A: After the first 6 weeks of taping.
16. Does a male tummy tuck differ from a female tummy tuck?
A: Most of the male patients that require a tummy tuck have gained and then lost a moderate to large amount the weight or have a ventral hernia that will require the reconstruction of the abdominal wall and the excision of the redundant skin, so the steps are very similar.
Learn more about Tummy Tucks – read more >
Look at our Before and After photo gallery to view abdominoplasty results by
Dr. Patricia Yugueros at her Atlanta practice >