Tummy Tuck Surgery by the experts at Sound Plastic Surgery Seattle
An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery, is a procedure designed to create a youthful, flat, and tight abdominal contour to your tummy area. After pregnancy or significant weight loss, patients often dislike the stretched and rounded appearance of their tummy area. Tummy tuck surgery is often one of the plastic surgery procedures that make up our Mommy Makeover surgery set of procedures.
Tummy tuck surgery involves the removal of excess skin and fat, improving the appearance of the umbilicus (belly button), and flattening the abdominal wall. The surgery takes about three hours to perform in the operating room. The recovery time required after tummy tuck surgery is around 2-3 weeks. At Sound Plastic Surgery clinic in Seattle, our goal for every tummy tuck surgery patient is a substantially improved abdominal contour that will last for years to come.
Will Tummy Tuck Surgery improve your figure?
After pregnancy or significant weight loss, the appearance of the abdomen tummy area will change in four significant ways.
- Stretch marks and loose skin folds around tummy area
- A rounded abdominal wall shape
- Stubborn fatty deposits along the abdomen, hips and flanks
- Reshape the belly button and surrounding skin
The tummy tuck surgery is designed to address all of these cosmetic issues, which vary in severity with each individual. The tummy tuck procedure is designed for each individual patient by our board-certified plastic surgeons in our Seattle clinic.
Who is a good candidate for Tummy Tuck surgery?
Healthy individuals that are at, or near their 'goal' body weight, tend to have the best results with this surgical procedure. After tummy tuck surgery, a patient should maintain a stable body weight to maximize the cosmetic results.
How is Tummy Tuck surgery performed?
Tummy tuck surgery is an outpatient procedure that is performed under general anesthesia in a certified ambulatory surgery center. Our board certified plastic surgeons design a tummy tuck incision that is low on the abdomen and easily concealed with clothing. The surgical incision is made and all excess skin and fat is removed. A more youthful belly button is constructed. The rectus muscles (the pair of abdominal muscles that can give one a "six pack") are tightened up with sutures as well.
Liposuction of the hips and flank areas is often added to improve the cosmetic result. The tummy tuck operation takes about three hours. The use of Exparel, a long-acting local anesthetic, has significantly improved the recovery period for our tummy tuck patients. Patients wear a light comprehensive garment (like Spandex) post operative for about four weeks.
Our board certified plastic surgeons believe that safety is paramount when performing tummy tucks. Therefore, all patients are placed on a gentle blood thinner called Lovenox for seven days after surgery in order to minimize the risk of blood clots in the legs. Patients are encouraged to resume a light non-weight bearing activity schedule (walking) the day after surgery. Most tummy tuck patients take at least two weeks off from work to fully recover from the procedure.
"I was immediately impressed with how down-to-earth and personable he was, which was especially refreshing to me because I had a consultant with a doctor at another hospital that did not have nearly as good of rapport. Dr. Cooper suggested an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and brachioplasty (arm lift). He went over exactly how the procedures would be performed and what to expect through recovery. He provided helpful photos to illustrate the appearance I should anticipate as incisions heal/scars fade over time. "
Am I a Candidate for a Mini Tummy Tuck?
Typically, a mini tummy tuck is reserved for a small number of patients who have redundant skin below the umbilicus (navel or belly button) only. If you have an excess of skin above the umbilicus, you may be better served by a full tummy tuck. A mini tummy tuck will not address excess skin above the umbilicus.
In a mini tummy tuck, a low abdominal incision is made, often times shorter than the standard tummy tuck incision, the rectus muscles below the level of the umbilicus are tightened, and then excess skin is removed, and the umbilicus is left in place with no incision made around it. Dr. Cooper and Dr. Sattler reserve this operation for a small subset of their patients, but if performed on the right candidate the outcomes of a mini tummy tuck can be very nice.
"I found Dr. Sattler to be very professional and knowledgeable, with a great technique. The office was very tuned in to safety during the procedure, and pain control during the recovery. Julie, the nurse that works with him, is very down to earth and approachable and spent a lot of time answering my many questions. In summary, I'd highly recommend Dr. S and his team to anyone considering a tummy tuck surgery."
What is Different about the Sound Plastic Surgery tummy tuck?
Our board certified plastic surgeons in our Seattle clinic use several specialized techniques to improve the position of the tummy tuck scar. Tummy tuck scars are typically kept very low on the pelvis, and can easily be concealed under a swimsuit. The tummy tuck scar is kept low in order to prevent it from migrating up and becoming visible. This low scar position has the added benefit of creating a lifting effect for the front and sides of the thigh. The belly button scar is internalized inside the belly button to maximize the cosmetic result and create a 'vertical almond' shape that is attractive and youthful. Our surgeons also use liposuction to narrow the waist relative to the hips, as this further improves the post operative result.
Can Tummy Tuck Surgery be Combined with other Procedures?
Tummy tuck surgery is a natural adjunct to other body and breast contouring procedures, such as breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction and liposuction of the waist, hips and thighs. Combining these cosmetic procedures in reasonable ways is a safe and effective way to rejuvenate the body and create a more youthful look, while minimizing downtime and recovery to a single post-operative period.
What are the Steps Involved in Tummy Tuck Surgery?
A tummy tuck surgery takes between two to three hours to complete under a general anesthesia. It is an outpatient surgery, meaning a patient returns home on the day of the procedure. These are the base steps of a tummy tuck surgery.
1) An incision is made along the lower abdominal wall. The plastic surgeon places his incision as low as possible, which allows the scar to be concealed beneath clothing and swim wear. An incision is also made within the belly button.
The excess skin and fat is lifted from the abdominal wall muscles and connective tissue (fascia).
This procedure continues all the way up to the rib cage to completely reveal any laxity along the abdominal wall muscles.
The abdominal wall muscles are then sutured together to repair any rectus diastasis and flatten the abdominal wall from top to bottom. Experel long-acting local anesthetic is typically used at this time to maximize post operative pain control.
The excess skin is re-draped, marked and removed. A new 'hole' is created for the belly button. This is an important step in which our plastic surgeons create a vertically oriented belly button with an internalized scar.
The incisions are closed with absorbable sutures (do not have to be removed later) and two surgical drains are typically placed. The drains are removed at the first post operative visit in our Seattle plastic surgery clinic 5-7 days after surgery. The small sutures closing the belly button reconstruction are also removed at that time.
The result of tummy tuck surgery by the Surgeons at Sound Plastic Surgery clinic in Seattle is a more youthful, fit and sexy abdomen. Patients tend to look years younger after tummy tuck surgery.