Tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure to remove excess fat and skin from the lower abdomen, while restoring weakened or separated abdominal muscles creating a tighter, firmer, and thinner abdominal profile. The number of tummy tucks performed annually in both men and women is on the rise.
Well over 100,000 of these procedures are performed annually in the United States (statistics provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2013).
We are all aware of changes that occur in our bodies that are often beyond our control. For many women, motherhood is a double-edged sword of blessing and frustration. Excess skin, stretch marks, and muscle laxity or bulging in the lower abdomen are often the unexpected side effects of becoming a mother. These conditions do not improve with better diet or more exercise leaving many women feeling less feminine and compensating for their unwanted curves with clothing that camouflages these extra "bulges". With the added pressure of feeling "vain" or "frivolous" about wanting to change these problem areas, many women find it difficult to even call and make a consultation, let alone discuss these concerns with their plastic surgeon.
At Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery, our board certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Christopher Williams and Dr. Jeremy Williams, understand these very real concerns and take pride in carefully educating each patient about their options and empowering patients to make their own decisions in an informed manner. We recognize that a tummy tuck is a significant surgical procedure and is not the right choice for every patient, but for thousands of women each year a Tummy Tuck affords the opportunity to move from camouflage to confidence.
Tummy Tuck Incision Options
Is a Tummy Tuck Right for Me?
Abdominoplasty is a procedure for men or women with excess fat or loose lower abdominal skin that is resistant to diet or exercise. Women who are finished with childbearing and who have excess skin, fat or bulging in the lower abdomen are candidates for a tummy tuck. With pregnancy, the abdominal muscles will often separate causing bulging in the lower abdomen. Like excess skin and stretch marks, these stretched out muscles will not retighten with aggressive diet and exercise.
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.
A tummy tuck corrects these concerns by tightening the abdominal muscles creating a firmer flatter abdomen and by removing the excess skin and fat creating a thinner abdominal profile. Liposuction is sometimes used in a conservative manner to assist with sculpting the waist line further. View our photos of Tummy Tuck in our Before & After Gallery.
For other patients, such as men with excess skin or fat, or those who have lost significant amounts of weight, a tummy tuck can be an option for tightening the abdomen. A tummy tuck can yield a flatter stomach and a shapelier waistline, which can enhance appearance and self-confidence. These results will be permanent only if the person maintains a sensible diet and participate in regular exercise.
Abdominoplasty is a good option if you are physically healthy and at a stable weight, you have realistic expectations, you are a non-smoker, and you are concerned about a tummy that feels too large. Our doctors will assist you in determining if a tummy tuck is right for you.
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.
Some procedures can be combined with a tummy tuck such as breast enhancement procedures and limited liposuction. During your consultation, our doctors will discuss these possibilities with you and assist you in choosing a procedure that meets you goals. We are committed to the practice of evidence-based medicine where safety is a guiding principal and proven research shapes what is offered to each patient. In some instances, this may mean that only a tummy tuck is indicated for reasons related to safety and recovery. It is our privilege to walk each patient through this informative process of decision making so that an optimized result can be obtained.
A full tummy tuck addresses all three layers of the full abdomen (skin, fat & muscle), while a mini tummy tuck addresses only two layers (skin & fat) in the lower abdomen.
Traditional (Full) Tummy Tuck
This is the best procedure for most patients as it addresses all three layers of the abdomen: skin, fat, and muscle. A traditional or full tummy tuck procedure exchanges a scar that is usually well concealed behind most bathing suits and underwear for a flatter, firmer and shapelier abdomen. Because the incision is slightly longer the upper and lower abdomen can be addressed creating a more sculpted appearance to the abdomen.
In a full tummy tuck, most of the excess skin between the belly button and the pubic region is removed. This procedure usually requires an additional incision around the belly button to reposition the belly button after excess skin is removed and tightened.
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 embrace® 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, embrace® is highly effective. It can also be combined with scar revision surgery.
A mini-tummy tuck is a smaller version of a full tummy tuck that addresses only mild amounts of excess skin and fat in the lower abdomen (below the belly button). 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.
Types of Anesthesia for Surgery
At Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery, you will have your surgical procedure performed in one of the only dedicated cosmetic surgery centers in Colorado that is both fully state-licensed and accredited by The Joint Commission. 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, insuring your comfort during the surgical procedure and general anesthesia.
All surgical procedures involve some risks, such as the effects of anesthesia, bleeding, infection, pain, and swelling. There are also several possible complications specific to Tummy Tuck that occur in a very small percent of people. The tummy tuck is one the most common cosmetic procedures performed each year, and it can be done very safely. After reading the discussion below, please contact your surgeon if you have any remaining questions.
We have one of Colorado’s only dedicated cosmetic surgical facilities that is both state licensed and accredited by The Joint Commission. Our facility is also licensed for overnight care.
Bleeding: Bleeding is usually minimal and well-controlled during a Tummy Tuck.
Stop all blood thinning medications 2 weeks prior to surgery to decrease the risk of excessive bleeding.
Hematoma: A hematoma is a collection of blood under the skin. Hematomas may occur within the first few days after surgery or further out if the surgical site is traumatized. Small hematomas will resolve spontaneously and can be observed. Larger ones may require aspiration or drainage for optimal results.
Infection: Antibiotics will be given to you, prophylactically before surgery, and for several days after surgery to minimize the risk of infection. If an infection develops, it typically can be treated with different antibiotics. In some situations surgical debridement may be required. This can result initially in a larger scar, which may be revised at a later date.
Pain: Mild to moderate pain and discomfort is expected after surgery. You will be given a prescription for pain medication. If you have severe pain not relieved by pain medicine, contact your surgeon immediately.
Delayed Healing or Wound Separation: In some instances, the incision takes longer to heal than normal. Cigarette smoking, poor nutrition status and a compromised immune system can all increase the risk of delayed wound healing or separation.
Numbness: It is common to experience some numbness around your surgical site for the first few weeks. Numbness can be temporary or it may be permanent.
Dissatisfaction with Cosmetic Results: We strive to attain the aesthetic results you desire. Some people are not entirely satisfied with their results due to asymmetry, scar deformity, or hypertrophic (irregularly raised) scarring. Careful surgical planning and technique can minimize, but not always prevent, such results. If necessary, revisions can be made after the healing process is complete.
Blood Clots: Blood clots may form and travel to your lungs, resulting in severe injury or death. To decrease the risk of blood clots, boots that massage the lower leg will be placed on you during surgery. After the procedure you can decrease your risk of blood clots by walking 3 to 4 times daily. It is important to recognize that medical complications after a cosmetic procedure are often not covered by health insurance and can pose significant financial burdens.
Scarring: Your scars will actually appear somewhat worse over the first 3 to 6 months as the healing process occurs. You can expect your scars to thin and fade by the end of 12 months. However, your scars will never fade completely.
The Umbilicus: The umbilicus (belly button or navel) may have a changed appearance or location after the procedure.
To learn more about tummy tucks, contact Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery online or by phone at (720) 457-4471 to arrange a complimentary visit to our office in Lone Tree. Our board-certified plastic surgeons welcome patients in and around Denver, Colorado, and the surrounding areas, as well as out-of-town guests.