Tummy Tuck Scottsdale & Phoenix, AZ
A flat stomach. Everyone wants one, but very few of us over the age of 40 have one. This is because no matter how much we diet and exercise it rarely does anything to the abdomen area. The combination of loose, sagging skin and weaker muscles gives most of us a little pooch, no matter how much we try to make it otherwise. This is just a part of natural tissue slackening that comes with the passing years. If you’ve had children or gained and lost a good deal of weight, your sagging, loose skin can be much more of an issue.
Fortunately, Dr. Ong can give you that flat tummy from your youth with a tummy tuck. Tummy tucks target the abdomen and waist and give you back the flatter, contoured stomach of years gone by.
What is a tummy tuck?
Clinically known as abdominoplasty, the goal of a tummy tuck is to tighten and change the contour of the abdomen area. The procedure removes excess fat and skin and restores weakened or separated muscles, resulting in a flatter, more contoured abdomen.
Am I a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
Sometimes patients assume a tummy tuck and liposuction are interchangeable procedures, but they’re actually completely different in who is right for what. With liposuction, the patient should have pockets of unwanted, stubborn fat but her skin should still be very elastic and able to tighten down once the fat is removed.
With a tummy tuck, it’s all about loose sagging skin and potentially separated muscles. The best candidates for abdominoplasty have loose, inelastic skin that cannot tighten back up with dietary changes or exercise. The skin has been overstretched. People who have gained and lost a good deal of weight and women who have had children are good candidates for a tummy tuck because the skin that has been stretched for a period of time usually cannot return to its former degree of tautness. Also, the way that pregnancy focuses the weight gain can stretch and separate the abdominal muscles, weakening their ability to keep the area tight.
Not your procedure if you’re going to have more children
But if you’re considering having additional children a tummy tuck will have to wait. The effects of pregnancy will negate the results of your tummy tuck. Also, people who plan to lose more weight should delay their tummy tuck, as the additional weight loss will create more loose skin. It’s important to remember that abdominoplasty is a body-contouring procedure, not a weight loss procedure.
How does Dr. Ong perform a tummy tuck?
These procedures with Dr. Ong can vary depending upon the degree of loose, sagging skin, and if the problem extends above the navel. During your consultation with Dr. Ong, you’ll discuss your options whether a full tummy tuck or mini tuck is right for you. Here’s how both are done.
In a full tummy tuck, a horizontal incision is made between the pubic hairline and the belly button. The goal is for the scar from the incision to be covered by a bikini bottom. The shape and length of the incision is dependent on the amount of excess skin involved. Full tummy tucks have a second incision at the belly button to remove excess skin on the upper abdomen. This is not always required and is based on the individual patient. After the incision(s) are made the upper abdominal skin is pulled away from the muscle beneath. The underlying muscles are pulled together and stitched into place for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. Fat pockets may be removed with minor liposuction at this point. The skin is then stretched down and over the newly tightened muscles, excess skin is trimmed, and the navel is moved to a new, natural position. The incisions are then closed.
In a mini tummy tuck, the incision made is shorter and the skin is only lifted to the navel area and the navel remains in place. A mini tuck is ideal for patients who don’t have large amounts of loose skin, and whose muscle strength is still relatively strong. Mini tummy tucks are usually not sufficient for women who have had children.
How long does a tummy tuck surgery take?
The length of these procedures varies. Most of these surgeries can be finished in two hours, but sometimes with more involved repositioning of stomach muscles, they may take longer.
What will my recovery from tummy tuck surgery be like?
Tummy tuck surgery recovery is involved, due to the size of the incisions and cutting and repairing the abdominal muscles. There will be some pain, but the amount varies by the individual. You’ll be encouraged to walk after your surgery and should take a short walk three or four times a day for just a few minutes each time. You’ll have to walk a little hunched over and the skin of your abdomen may feel tight. If you have drains, they will be removed anywhere from four days to two weeks after your surgery. You’ll wear a compression garment to help your skin adapt to its new slimmer contour. Most patients can return to work two weeks after their surgery, but this is an individual thing — it may take longer. Any strenuous exercise or lifting will have to wait for at least six weeks.
When can I get back to my normal activities?
As mentioned above, any strenuous exercise or lifting needs to wait for six weeks. But returning to normal stuff such as driving and walking up and down stairs will vary by the patient. Obviously, you cannot drive if you’re still taking your prescription pain medication. But within 10 days or so, you should be good to go with most activities. The pain will be your barometer on what you can and cannot do, and you need to listen to it. It’s key to not place any unnecessary stress on your lower incision.
Will a tummy tuck help my stretch marks?
If the stretch marks are on the skin that is trimmed, the answer is yes. But if the stretch marks are outside of that area they will not be changed much.
What are the risks involved with a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck with Dr. Ong is major surgery, so it involves all of the risks associated with surgery: excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, infection, blood clot formation, and the like. All of these issues are very rare.
The main possible risk or complication is the incision. This procedure creates the longest incision in all of the cosmetic surgery, stretching from hipbone to hipbone. This area isn’t overly vascularized and it doesn’t have as many nerve endings as more sensitive areas of the body, so it tends to heal efficiently. But there is a risk that the incision will not heal evenly. That’s where Dr. Ong’s training, experience, and board certification ensure your incision will heal cleanly and correctly.
How should I prepare for a tummy tuck?
You’ll stop taking any blood thinners, anti-inflammatory medications, and many supplements for at least one week prior to your surgery. These can create excessive bleeding and subsequent bruising. If you smoke, you’ll need to stop for at least two weeks prior and two weeks after your surgery. Smoking hinders wound healing.
Your real preparation is for your recovery. When you return home, you’ll be hunched over — standing up straight will be a challenge for a few days. Climbing stairs will be out, as well, so you need to prepare to sleep downstairs if you normally sleep upstairs. You want to create a recovery nest filled with comfy pillows, blankets, and entertainment galore, as you’ll need to lay low for at least the first week. You’ll also want to enlist help; this is not time to be the Lone Ranger. You won’t be able to lift more than about five pounds for a while, so chores and cooking will be difficult.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
Call today for questions or to schedule an appointment at (480) 771-7771 or complete a Contact Form here! Ong Institute for Plastic Surgery and Health proudly provides Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa AZ and the surrounding areas with tummy tuck procedures.