Tummy Tuck Miami (Abdominoplasty):
A Comprehensive Guide

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Achieving the perfect figure can be tricky. You follow your diet and exercise regimen to the letter, only to find out that there is a huge amount of loose, drooping skin at your abdominal area due to weight loss.

But before you accept the fact that you can never, ever get rid of those stubborn loose skin and excess fat, there is a cosmetic surgery that will allow you to do just that. A tummy tuck Miami may be the best way to achieve a firmer and more youthful figure.

About the Tummy Tuck Miami

Also known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck surgery involves the removal of loose skin, the tightening of abdominal muscles, and the elimination of stubborn fat deposits to achieve a better-looking figure. Although it is not strictly considered as a weight loss surgery, Abdominoplasty can still refine a person's contours, especially where diet and exercise fail in eliminating excess fat tissues.

Tummy tucks are very popular for both men and women, particularly those who have undergone dramatic body changes during weight loss or pregnancy. A firm and flat abdomen is the hallmark of a beautiful body contour, and Abdominoplasty surgery helps you achieve just that.

However, it is also important to note that a Abdominoplasty is a major surgery, often requiring general anesthesia. It is often regarded as a last resort for people who have exhausted all other measures of tightening their tummy areas and should not be used as an alternative to weight loss.

Benefits

The biggest benefit of surgery is improved appearance. Tummies that have been stretched by pregnancy and weight loss, though appearing to be beyond repair, see a marked improvement in shape, contour, and tone with surgery. It narrows the waist and creates more desirable curves. It prevents muscle laxity and abdominal sagging, especially when exercise can no longer alleviate the problem. It even improves the appearance of stretch marks below the navel at the close of the procedure, when the skin of the abdomen is pulled taut.

Aside from treating the appearance of loose skin, Abdominoplasty surgeries also prevent excessively sagging skin from becoming a health problem. Large skin folds can become infected with fungus, so eliminating these folds can also help get rid of a possible fungal infection.

Improved physical appearance also translates to enhanced confidence. A large, protruding belly can make you feel less self-confident, especially during warm weather months when it is trendy to wear revealing bathing suits and light clothing. The results of a typical surgery provide a dramatic boost in self-confidence.

Candidates

The best candidates for a tummy tuck are individuals in general good health and not far from their ideal body weight. They should have excess weight in the midsection as well as loose or droopy skin around the abdomen that has not adequately responded to diet and exercise.

Those who want to get an abdominoplasty should not be smoking and have serious medical conditions that might be compromised by undergoing a surgical procedure. They should also have no plans of becoming pregnant in the near future. Scarring is apparent for a major procedure like Abdominoplasty surgery, so they should be able to consider that. The procedure should not also be regarded as a sole weight loss solution, as it is better to consider having surgery after weight loss.

If you want to get this surgery, you should be able to commit to maintaining the results with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

To make it easier for you, we have come up with a short checklist of questions that you should ask your surgeon before a Tummy Tuck.
Click Here to Download Your Free Checklist

Factors to Consider Before Getting a Tummy Tuck

Before you get a tummy tuck, here are some factors that you need to take into consideration first.

Pregnancy

If you have tried to regain your pre-pregnancy physique through diet and exercise but to no avail, then you should consider having surgery. For many mothers, a surgical treatment like the tummy tuck is the most effective way to restore their pre-pregnancy figure, often combined with liposuction to remove stubborn excess fat that might remain after childbirth. Pregnancy stretches the skin and separates the abdominal muscles, so diet and exercise may not be enough in tightening your abdominal area after childbirth. Muscle tone and skin elasticity may also be poor, especially after multiple pregnancies.

Weight Loss

Significant weight loss may produce undesirable aesthetic effects, such as loose, sagging skin and overstretched abdominal muscles. Tummy tuck can address these problems to better reflect your efforts to lose weight. It might even be combined with a body lift, arm liftthigh lift, and butt lift to achieve more comprehensive body contouring.

Genetics

For some people, the flab in their abdominal region may not be reflective of their true level of activity and fitness. Genetics may play a role in this, as the overall shape of one's body and the areas where fat tends to accumulate may be determined by genetics. An Abdominoplasty might be able to solve this, although you need to discuss your medical and family history with your plastic surgeon before you undergo this surgery.

Aging

It is normal for your skin to lose some of its natural elasticity as you age. This may be more pronounced in your abdominal region, hence resulting in a flabby and sagging midsection that could make you appear older and less fit than what you really are. A tummy tuck can have a rejuvenating effect not just on your abdomen but also on your entire body.

Techniques

There are basically five types of tummy tuck techniques employed by qualified cosmetic surgeons, which are as follows.

Complete Tummy Tuck

The complete tummy tuck is the traditional and most commonly performed surgery technique. It is often prescribed for patients who need the most correction.

It involves a hip-to-hip incision on the level of the pubic hair in the lower abdomen. It is also combined with another incision around the belly button to free it from the surrounding tissue. That way, the belly button can be easily moved to ensure natural-looking results.

Extended Tummy Tuck

The extended tummy tuck is an expanded version of a normal abdominoplasty procedure since it also involves the removal of excess skin from the patient’s sides or “love handles” on top of the removal of excess fat and skin from the stomach area. This method is perfect for patients who still have folds of fat and extra skin in the flanks and back area.

Circumferential Tummy Tuck

The circumferential is also a type of body lift procedure, as it is more extensive than a standard tummy tuck. It is performed when there is also excess fat in the back, usually as a result of massive weight loss that led them to have loose, overhanging skin around their entire body. Patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery or other types of bariatric surgery usually go for the circumferential.

Mini Tummy Tuck

Also known as partial abdominoplasty, the mini tummy tuck is the best option for people who have a small amount of abdominal skin to be removed. This technique only requires a small incision that only exposes a small section of the abdominal wall, usually extending from the point of incision towards the navel. The results of mini tummy tucks are not as dramatic as those of other types of surgeries, but the recovery time is often shorter.

Endoscopic Tummy Tuck

This minimally invasive technique is performed on patients with weakened abdominal muscles, little abdominal fat, and no noticeable loose skin around the stomach area since no skin is removed during this procedure. It makes use of an endoscope to tighten the patient’s abdominal muscles and suture them into place, hence restoring a toned appearance to the abdominal area.

Procedure

Despite the different techniques used in a surgery for tummy tuck, the steps in this procedure basically just involve removing loose skin, eliminating fat deposits, and tightening abdominal muscles.

Anesthesia is first administered to relax the abdominal muscles. Next, an incision is created, depending on the type of surgery being performed. The incisions in a complete, extended, and circumferential tummy tuck are bigger and more invasive than the ones in an endoscopic and mini tummy tuck. Sometimes, the navel is reattached or sculpted to ensure natural-looking results.

After making the necessary incisions, your cosmetic surgeon will pull your abdominal muscles closer together and stitch them into a position that will give them a more toned appearance. Your skin will also be stretched downwards and any excess skin will be trimmed away. If there are any unwanted fat pockets before the skin is pulled taut, these can also be removed through liposuction. Stretch marks located below the navel are often removed, along with excess skin.

Once the surgery is complete, the skin is sutured together with surgical stitches. Surgical drains may also be inserted at the incision site in order to speed up the healing process and alleviate pain from fluid buildup underneath the skin. The surgical drain is usually removed one week after the surgery, while the stitches are removed in stages over a period of two weeks after surgery.

A detailed step-by-step tummy tuck guide can be found here.

Results

You can expect your tummy area to appear flatter and more toned after surgery. However, swelling would only completely go away after three to six months. As for scars, they often take a year to fully mature and start to fade.

Under proper conditions, the results of your surgery can last for many years, depending on how well you take care of your body. Living a healthy and active lifestyle will prolong your results for at least a decade.

Future pregnancies or weight gain can negatively affect your results as it can cause your muscles and skin to stretch back out and become lax after returning to your normal weight. Hence, if you are planning to have more children, it is best to wait until then before getting a tummy tuck.

Preparation

To prepare for surgery, you need to eat a healthy diet rich in protein, fruits, and vegetables. All of these can boost overall health and stimulate the healing process after surgery. However, foods rich in vitamin E should be avoided since these can cause excessive bleeding after surgery. Make sure that you do not go on a crash diet or extreme weight loss before a tummy tuck, as this will deprive your body of essential nutrients for healing.

It is also important to have a regular exercise routine before surgery. With increased muscle mass and faster metabolism, you will face an easier and faster recovery. In addition, a leaner body will function more efficiently, helping you prevent weight gain in the weeks following surgery when you are restricted from doing any strenuous physical activity.

If you are a smoker, you should stop smoking at least two weeks before surgery. Smoking constricts blood vessels and reduces the flow of oxygen throughout the body, hence predisposing you to various surgical complications post-surgery. You are also advised to stop certain medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements several weeks before surgery, such as aspirin, blood thinners, St. John's wart, and green tea extract.

Recovery

Expect to be advised to rest for two weeks following your tummy tuck surgery. Those who have undergone a more extensive procedure might even need to rest for up to six weeks. Moderate walking may aid the healing process, but you should avoid any strenuous activity in general during this period. It is also important to maintain a healthy diet at this time to supply yourself with nutrients that are needed for healing.

Some surgeons might place drainage tubes in your abdominal region to prevent fluid accumulation in the surgical site. The bottles attached to these tubes should be emptied two to three times a day. Bandages should also be changed several times a day. You might also be asked to wear a compression garment around your stomach to minimize the risk of blood clots during recovery.

Your doctor might prescribe over-the-counter pain relievers to minimize discomfort, as well as antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection. You will also not be allowed to shower for two to three days, so a sponge bath works as an alternative.

To make sure that there is less visible scarring, you should avoid direct sun exposure on the incision site. Applying petroleum jelly, silicone sheets, and silicone cream may also minimize the appearance of scar tissue.

Combining Tummy Tuck With Other Surgeries

Liposuction, body lifts, and breast surgeries are the procedures that are usually paired with a tummy tuck in Florida. They are often done to make sure that the other parts of your body correspond with your enhanced midsection.

Liposuction is one of the most common procedures performed in conjunction with an Abdominoplasty since it helps remove stubborn fat cells in the abdominal region. It can also be used in other trouble areas like the upper arms, thighs, hips, and buttocks.

Breast surgeries like breast augmentationbreast lift, and breast reduction are also pretty common among women who underwent surgery. Since the breasts are also affected during breastfeeding and pregnancy, women who get a tummy tuck to bring back their pre-pregnancy figures often combine it with a breast surgery. Thigh lifts, butt lifts, and arm lifts can also be done.

For those who have undergone massive weight loss, they opt to combine tummy tucks with panniculectomy—a surgery that removes the panniculus, which is the excess skin hanging below the abdomen. However, it does not involve tightening the muscles or relocating the belly button.

Abdominoplasty is also often included in full body contouring and mommy makeover packages.

For more information about the common surgeries paired with a tummy tuck, check out this comprehensive guide.

Risks and Side Effects

Risks and complications include adverse reaction to anesthesia, blood clots, and infection. You should immediately inform your doctor if you notice any signs of infection such as fever, chills, sweating, pus around the incision area, and greenish liquid draining from the incision. You might also experience slow healing, which could lead to more prominent scarring. A couple of things that may slow down the healing process include smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke and infection.

Some temporary side effects include swelling, pain, and bruising. They usually fade within two weeks of surgery.

Cost

Tummy tuck surgery can be very costly, and it can range from as low as $3,000 to as high as $55,000, depending on the area covered and the extent of the surgery. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, patients pay an average of $5,500 for an abdominoplasty. Since it is an elective cosmetic procedure, it cannot be covered by insurance.

As a major operation, an Abdominoplasty surgery necessitates an experienced and highly qualified cosmetic surgeon to do the procedure for you. Schedule a consultation with us here on Face + Body Cosmetic Surgery and talk with one of our tummy tuck surgeons to help you determine whether or not this procedure is right for you.

References:

http://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/procedure-learning-center/body/tummy-tuck-guide/

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments_and_procedures/hic_Abdominoplasty_Tummy_Tuck

Our Tummy Tuck Patient Photos

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