The tummy can be an incredibly challenging area to shape, even if you eat well and exercise regularly. As someone looking for a proven way to achieve a firmer, flatter, and tighter abdominal region, you may want to consider a tummy tuck. When performed by our Denver area board-certified plastic surgeons, a tummy tuck can improve the contour of your midsection while enhancing your confidence.
Learn if this body contouring procedure is right for you by scheduling a consultation at 303-706-1100. Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery proudly serves patients from Denver, Lone Tree, and nearby areas of Colorado.
- What is a Tummy Tuck?
- Benefits of Abdominoplasty
- Common Reasons to Pursue a Tummy Tuck
- Ideal Candidates for Tummy Tuck Surgery
- Full vs. Mini Tummy Tuck
- What to Expect from the Tummy Tuck Procedure
- Tummy Tuck Recovery
- Your Tummy Tuck Results
- Our Surgical Center
- Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation
What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure to remove excess fat and skin from the stomach area while restoring weakened or separated abdominal muscles. The surgery tightens and reshapes your midsection to achieve a slimmer, better-toned appearance.
Tummy tucks are not a one-size-fits-all procedure. Your individualized abdominoplasty surgery will be tailored based on your unique body goals and physical characteristics. A tummy tuck is sometimes combined with liposuction to remove isolated deposits of fat, enhancing the definition of the waist, abs, hips and overall abdominal area.
Benefits of Abdominoplasty
At the most basic level, a tummy tuck can transform the appearance of your abdominal profile. However, most abdominoplasty patients would tell you that the benefits don’t end there. This procedure has wide-reaching advantages.
For example, you may find that it’s much easier to find flattering, well-fitting clothing options after your abdominoplasty. You may experience a significant confidence boost, find your workouts to be more satisfying, and notice an improved quality of life. As an additional bonus, a tummy tuck even has the potential to remove stretch marks if they are located in the treatment area.
A tummy tuck can also offer potential medical benefits, such as:
- Correcting a ventral hernia
- Reducing stress urinary incontinence
- Decreasing back pain
- Improving posture
Common Reasons to Pursue a Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck is a popular option for both men and women. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over 100,000 patients underwent the surgery in the United States in 2018 alone. Like you, these people all had unique reasons for pursuing a tummy tuck.
Generally speaking, people pursue a tummy tuck because exercise and weight loss methods were not enough to achieve a flat, toned abdominal profile. This is a common struggle, as numerous factors beyond your control contribute to a loose, sagging, or protruding abdomen. These factors include:
- Significant weight loss
Arguably, pregnancy is the most common reason that patients elect to undergo abdominoplasty. That is because pregnancy dramatically alters the appearance and functionality of a woman’s midsection. Many women choose to combine their tummy tuck with other aesthetic procedures in a customized treatment plan known as a mommy makeover.
Ideal Candidates for Tummy Tuck Surgery
Our surgeons understand the very real concerns that affect men and women, such as excess skin, stretch marks, and muscle laxity or bulging in the lower abdomen. They take pride in carefully educating each patient about their options and empowering patients to make their own decisions in an informed manner. A tummy tuck is a significant procedure and is not the right choice for everyone, but for thousands of patients each year this surgery affords the opportunity to move from camouflage to confidence.
The only way to know for sure if a tummy tuck is capable of achieving the goals you have in mind is to meet with one of our experienced plastic surgeons. Together, you can discuss aspects of tummy tuck candidacy including:
- Your overall health and medical history
- The specific body characteristics with which you are dissatisfied
- The result you want to see from plastic surgery
- Whether any other procedures are better suited to your goals
Ideal tummy tuck candidates are men or women that have loose abdominal muscles, excess fat, loose skin & stretch marks around the stomach, or women that did not recover their figure after pregnancy.
Abdominoplasty is a good option if you are physically healthy and at a stable weight, you have realistic expectations, and you are a non-smoker. We provide complimentary cosmetic consultations so you can learn more about the tummy tuck procedure and decide if it is right for you.
How Can I Prepare for My Tummy Tuck?
Our office will provide detailed preoperative guidelines to prepare you for your tummy tuck. You must follow these instructions to help support the safety and success of your surgery.
In the meantime, here are some of the general guidelines that we recommend to our patients:
- Stop smoking at least one month prior to surgery
- Discontinue certain medications and blood-thinners
- Fill your prescriptions before your surgical date
- Drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet
- Fast before your scheduled surgery time
- Arrange for a responsible adult to drive you home and monitor you
On the day of your surgery, plan to wear loose-fitting clothes and easy on/ off shoes. Do not wear any makeup. Remove all jewelry, including rings, necklaces, watches, and piercings.
Is a Tummy Tuck Painful?
Tummy tuck surgery is performed under general anesthesia. General anesthesia is a combination of medicines that induce deep sleep and prevent pain. Under general anesthesia, you will be unconscious, which means that you will have no awareness or feel any sensations.
It is normal to experience discomfort after a tummy tuck. Our plastic surgeons will prescribe pain medication. Swelling, bruising, and tenderness should be expected during the first few weeks. You will also have tightness and stiffness across your abdomen. Avoid standing fully upright.
Can You Combine a Tummy Tuck With Other Procedures?
You can combine a tummy tuck with other procedures. It is commonly performed alongside liposuction to remove excess fat from areas surrounding the stomach, including the flanks and love handles. This combination approach may be an effective way to maximize your body contouring results. Liposuction can also be used to treat other troublesome areas of your figure.
A tummy tuck is also frequently included in a surgical plan known as a mommy makeover. A mommy makeover is a customized combination of breast and body procedures that patients use to restore their figures after pregnancy and massive weight loss. A typical plan may feature options such as tummy tuck surgery, breast augmentation, breast lift surgery, and liposuction.
How Much Fat Can Be Removed With a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery is a good option for removing excess fat from your waistline. The amount of fat removal that you can expect depends on several factors, including the type of tummy tuck that you choose to undergo. A mini tummy tuck typically removes less fat than a full tummy tuck.
Other factors that play a role include the amount of excess fat in your abdominal area and whether you are planning to undergo simultaneous liposuction at the time of your tummy tuck.
Keep in mind that a tummy tuck does not remove a drastic amount of fat. With excision alone, you may lose one or two pounds of fat, and with liposuction, that may increase to around five. Our board-certified plastic surgeons will be able to provide a personalized fat removal estimate.
Are There Any Risks to Tummy Tuck Surgery?
No surgery is without risk. However, the tummy tuck procedure is considered safe when performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon who has the proper training and experience.
Most tummy tuck patients experience only minor side effects. These side effects are often temporary and include bruising, swelling, redness, tightness, and changes in skin sensation.
Our board-certified plastic surgeons will discuss these and other potential complications. It is important to address all of your specific questions or concerns directly with our skilled team.
How Can I Maintain My Results?
There are several ways to maintain your tummy tuck results. Most of them come down to simple lifestyle choices. For example, you can help make your new look last by eating well and exercising regularly. These two steps are going to prevent weight gain after surgery, which can hurt your results.
You can also protect the results of your tummy tuck by carefully considering your surgical timing. Aim to schedule the procedure after you are done having kids. Future pregnancies can cause stretched muscles, sagging skin, stretch marks, and other concerns you treated with surgery.
Is Getting a Tummy Tuck Painful?
Feeling apprehensive about your tummy tuck procedure is normal. Fortunately, it’s performed under anesthesia. That means you won’t experience any pain while your surgeon works to remove excess skin, contour your abdominal area, and tighten your compromised muscles.
Full tummy tuck procedures require general anesthesia. General anesthesia puts you into a sleep-like state during surgery. A mini tummy tuck is also performed under general anesthesia, but usually takes less time. Our plastic surgeons will gladly provide more details about your specific procedure.
Can I Combine a Tummy Tuck With Other Procedures?
There are situations where a tummy tuck alone isn’t enough to achieve the desired results. Fortunately, it can be combined with other procedures for a comprehensive transformation.
Tummy tuck surgery is frequently paired with liposuction for unmatched body contouring. It’s also commonly included in a customized surgical plan called a mommy makeover. Designed to address bodily changes caused by pregnancy and childbirth, a mommy makeover often incorporates surgeries such as breast augmentation, a breast lift, liposuction, and a tummy tuck.
How Many Operations Are Needed for Excellent Tummy Tuck Results?
You only need one tummy tuck procedure to achieve a flatter and slimmer stomach. It effectively eliminates excess skin, removes stubborn fat, and tightens weak muscles in a single surgery.
The fact that a tummy tuck doesn’t need to be repeated is a big benefit for many patients. Unlike some non-surgical body contouring services, a tummy tuck won’t require you to attend a series of appointments. However, you may opt for a second surgery if your results ever become compromised in the future. Pregnancy and major weight changes can cause that to happen.
Does a Tummy Tuck Leave Any Scarring, and if So Can It Be Treated?
All tummy tuck procedures leave a scar. A full or traditional tummy tuck leaves a longer scar than a mini tummy tuck. The trade-off is a mini tummy tuck will provide less dramatic results.
These surgical marks don’t have to stop you from looking your best. Located just above the pubic area, most tummy tuck scars are easily hidden beneath underwear and swimsuits.
Tummy tuck scars will typically fade over time and become less noticeable. If you are bothered by the appearance of your scar, there are plenty of non-surgical treatments to help improve it. These options include scar creams and topicals as well as in-office skin rejuvenation services.
When Will I Be Able to Return To Normal Daily Activities?
Most activities should be resumed carefully and gradually following a tummy tuck procedure. Walking is permitted right away. And many patients are able to return to work within two to three weeks. Meanwhile, moderate activities such as brisk walking are discouraged for four weeks. After six weeks, you may be cleared to resume lifting activities and strenuous aerobic work.
Full vs. Mini Tummy Tuck
The tummy tuck procedure creates a flatter abdominal area, and there are a couple of different tummy tuck techniques used to achieve the final outcome. The most common methods are a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck, each offering unique benefits to the right patient.
Full Tummy Tuck
A full or complete tummy tuck has several advantages, including:
- Skin, fat, and muscle are all reshaped and tightened
- Separated, stretched muscles of the abdominal wall are repaired and tightened
- The incision is most often hidden well beneath underwear and swimsuit bottoms
In the full tummy tuck technique, the incision typically extends from hip to hip, curving toward the pubic bone. In many cases, an incision may also be made around the navel. The belly button incision may be necessary to reposition the belly button once the skin has been tightened.
A full tummy tuck may be a good option for you if you want to remove excess skin and fat throughout the abdominal region. This type of excess fat is often the result of pregnancy, weight loss, and aging. Full tummy tucks are often combined with liposuction to remove stubborn deposits of fat around the abdominal area or other areas of the physique.
Mini Tummy Tuck
If you have only a minimal amount of bulging fat and skin localized to the area beneath your navel, then a mini tummy tuck is likely capable of creating a flatter abdominal area. The ideal candidate for this procedure is someone with a small amount of excess skin in the lower abdomen and tight abdominal musculature. This procedure usually has a slightly shorter scar, but the ability to sculpt and tighten the abdomen is more limited.
A mini tummy tuck can be a good option for the right patients, but a full tummy tuck is often the most beneficial and effective choice for our patients who are unhappy with a protruding abdomen. During your consultation, you can speak with one of our experienced plastic surgeons, who will help you decide which of these procedures will produce the outcome you want to see.
What to Expect from the Tummy Tuck Procedure
A tummy tuck is performed under either IV sedation or general anesthesia. We are proud to care for your anesthesia needs with one of our board-certified anesthesiologists from South Denver Anesthesia. Our board-certified anesthesiologists will be with you, from beginning to end, ensuring your comfort and safety during the procedure.
Our board-certified plastic surgeons will begin by making a horizontal incision below the belly button, across the pubic region. The length of this mark will depend on the type of tummy tuck.
Next, excess fat and skin are skillfully removed. A full tummy tuck may also involve repairing weakened abdominal muscles, as well as the creation of a new belly button opening. With either option, the skin in the area will be repositioned to create a smoother appearance. To finish the procedure, our surgeons will close the incision or incisions.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
Everyone recovers from surgery at a different pace. Factors that affect your recuperation include your age, overall health, body weight, and the type of tummy tuck that you have. Generally speaking, recovery from a mini tummy tuck is faster than recovery from a full tummy tuck.
Our surgeons will discuss what to expect during your recovery period. They will provide you with detailed care guidelines and activity restrictions.
Depending on your career and your rate of healing, you should be able to return to work within 2 to 3 weeks of surgery. Patients are encouraged to begin walking the day of their surgery to facilitate healing. After 4 weeks, you may perform moderate activities, and after 6 weeks you may resume more strenuous activities.
Your Tummy Tuck Results
Tummy tuck surgery can give you a firmer, slimmer abdominal profile. Initially, the results of your surgery may be hidden by swelling and bandages or compression garments. As the swelling fades over several weeks, you should see that your tummy area looks more flattering and well-proportioned.
Although a tummy tuck leaves a scar, our plastic surgeons offer scar revision and reduction options if you wish to minimize its appearance. Innovative adhesive silicone sheets known as Silagen® Scar Refinement System can be worn after surgery to dramatically reduce the appearance of your scar. The sheets work by stabilizing the skin, which prevents pulling and skin tension. By addressing the root cause of scars, Silagen® is highly effective. It can also be combined with scar revision surgery.
The results of tummy tuck surgery should be long-lasting as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Weight gain after surgery can negatively impact your results. These considerations are not an issue for many patients, as it is common to feel increased motivation to eat well and exercise after tummy tuck surgery.
View our photos of Tummy Tuck in our Before & After Gallery.
Our Surgical Center
At Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery, our Denver plastic surgeons are committed to providing you with not only the latest surgical advancements in tummy tuck surgery but also a safe environment in which to have your surgery. Because a tummy tuck is a significant operation, some patients will desire to stay overnight at our state-of-the-art surgery center where they are cared for by our nursing staff.
Not only is Park Meadows Outpatient Surgery one of the state's only dedicated cosmetic surgical facilities that is both state licensed and The Joint Commission Accredited, but it is also licensed by the State of Colorado to care for patients overnight. Most patients can go home the same day as their surgery, but for others who may be combining another procedure with their tummy tuck or who desire a little more care, an overnight stay is a good option.
"Park Meadows Aesthetics is the best provider hands down. They are owned by some of the best surgeons in the Denver metro area. I have used their services for over 10 years. They always have the most experienced nurses providing services. They always listen to my requests and keep me aging well and never make me look different than myself. I whole heartedly recommend them and I hope you will consider them in your search. Good luck!" - L.S.
Schedule Your Tummy Tuck Consultation in Lone Tree
To learn more about tummy tucks, contact Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery at 303-706-1100 to arrange a complimentary visit to our office in Lone Tree. You can also fill out the appointment request form on this page or our contact page! Our board-certified plastic surgeons welcome patients from Lone Tree and Denver, Colorado, as well as out-of-town guests.