A full tummy tuck, medically known as abdominoplasty, tones both the upper and lower abdominal regions and is ideal for women who have had multiple pregnancies, which tend to permanently expand the skin and muscles of the stomach. If only the lower abdomen needs attention, a “mini” tummy tuck may be all that is required. Patients requesting tummy tuck at our Cleveland and Mayfield Heights-area practice often have fat and excess skin folds in the abdominal region caused by:
- Weight loss
- Genetic predisposition
For many people, the excess, overhanging fat in the mid-section can be extremely difficult to get rid of, no matter how hard they try. A tummy tuck can be a very effective remedy for not only eliminating the excess, but creating a tight and taut abdominal region.
Tummy Tuck Procedure
A full tummy tuck begins with an incision placed carefully along the lower abdomen, stretching from hip to hip. A second incision is made to allow the navel to be separated from the surrounding tissue. The abdominal muscles are brought together and reinforced with sutures, which narrows the waistline and creates a firmer, flatter midsection. Excess fat is then removed and the skin is repositioned and trimmed so that it stretches tautly across the stomach. The incisions are then closed with sutures, and a sterile dressing is applied to the area to provide support.
Individuals who have isolated lower abdominal laxity may be good candidates for a mini-tummy tuck. This procedure does not address the upper abdomen or the belly button. Many of our Cleveland and Mayfield Heights patients opt for this procedure because it is less extensive and involves less contouring than the full technique, enabling patients to return to work and other activities sooner after surgery. Liposuction is frequently performed in addition to a full or mini-tummy tuck in order to better sculpt the waistline and optimize the final result.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
The abdomen will likely be swollen for the first few days following a tummy tuck procedure. Any residual pain and discomfort can be controlled with medication. Dr. Jason Leedy advises patients to take short walks soon after surgery to prevent blood clots. He also suggests that patients avoid strenuous exercise for at least six weeks so they do not strain the mid-section. Patients should expect some scarring from the procedure; however, the scar from a tummy tuck generally fades (though not completely) with time, and can be easily hidden under clothing and swimwear. Depending on the extent of contouring involved in the procedure, patients who have a tummy tuck are usually able to return to work after about two to three weeks.
Tummy Tuck Risks
Any major surgery involves some degree of risk, and tummy tuck procedures are no exception. Some of the risks associated with tummy tuck include:
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Blood clots
- Asymmetry of scars
- Poor healing
The majority of tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedures are performed without complications. Dr. Leedy is an experienced plastic surgeon who is well-versed in abdominoplasty techniques. He will work with you to help minimize any potential risks.
Your Consultation for Tummy Tuck Surgery
At the time of your consultation Dr. Leedy will review your medical history and discuss your desires and expectations. He will outline a plan to help accomplish your goals in the safest possible manner. If applicable, Dr. Leedy will provide 3D imaging to help simulate the results that are possible. You will have time to have all your questions answered. If you so desire we can arrange for a previous patient to talk to you about their experience. We approach the consultation as an opportunity to educate a patient about a procedure and you will never feel pressured or rushed to make a decision about what is right for you. All patients are provided the opportunity to return for further discussions about their procedure at no additional charge and if you decide to go forward there is always an additional consultation prior to the surgery. Educated patients are happy patients and your happiness is our only goal.
It’s something you’ve always wanted to do, but something else was always there to hold you back. Well, not anymore. We offer CareCredit, a card designed specifically for your healthcare needs. CareCredit can help you move forward with getting the procedure you’ve always wanted. With low minimum monthly payment options, no up-front costs, no prepayment penalties and no annual fees, you can get your procedure sooner.
Read what Dr. Leedy’s patients had to say about him and our practice.