People who have lost a lot of weight or have been pregnant can have excess or sagging skin on their abdomen. Over time, even people at their normal weight can develop sagging skin. Diet and exercise often help with extra fat, but that extra “roll” often just will not go away! An abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is a good option for many with this problem. To learn more or to determine whether you are a candidate, dial (203) 453-6635 today to schedule your personalized consultation with our talented plastic surgeon Dr. Derek Steinbacher!
A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen, improving the patient’s abdomen and figure. (Often, muscles are tightened as well.) However, it is important to note that a tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss.
If the appearance of bulges or loose skin in your abdominal area bothers you, then abdominoplasty may be right for you. A good candidate is someone who is in good overall health, understands that a tummy tuck is not a weight loss substitute, and is prepared to exercise and follow a healthy diet after surgery in order to maintain the results.
In a full tummy tuck, skin and muscle from the chest region to the pubic area are tightened. First, a long incision is made across the lower abdomen. A second incision is made around the belly button. The belly button is then repositioned after the skin and muscles are tightened.
A full tummy tuck is most effective for women who have been through pregnancy or have experienced large weight loss. Recovery from a full tummy tuck usually takes two to four weeks.
The skin of the lower abdomen is tightened in a mini tummy tuck. Relocation of the belly button is not required in this procedure. The scar is shorter and recovery is quicker than with a full tummy tuck. As with a full abdominoplasty, liposuction is often done in conjunction with a mini tummy tuck in order to further enhance the result.
An endoscopic-assisted tummy tuck is a minimally-invasive procedure that Dr. Steinbacher performs using an endoscope, a tiny camera that is inserted through small incisions. This procedure involves minimal scarring and a shorter recovery period. It is perfect for individuals who have excess fat in the abdomen and weak lower abdominal muscles, yet still have fairly tight abdominal skin.
The decision to have a tummy tuck should only be made after careful evaluation of your expectations and goals following your consultation. Like any other procedure, there are risks involved in a tummy tuck, including bleeding, infection, poor wound healing, unfavorable scarring, numbness, skin discoloration, prolonged swelling, fluid accumulation, and the possibility of revision surgery.
Full tummy tuck patients will usually need ten days to two full weeks off from work. If muscle tightening has been done, then exercise, lifting, and pushing are limited for six full weeks. Tummy tuck patients usually need pain medication for several days at a minimum, and sometimes as long as two weeks.
Everyone’s pain tolerance is different; the amount of pain with an abdominoplasty is, therefore, variable. Some people report a moderate amount of discomfort and some say it is intense. But, because a tummy tuck is major surgery, there will be some pain. Dr. Steinbacher wants you to have a successful experience during and after surgery. At your initial consultation, remember to discuss your pain concerns with Dr. Steinbacher as well as any other medications you are taking.
There is no normal age or time in one’s life to have an abdominoplasty. Many are performed in a patient’s 20s and as late as their 60s. It is most often done after a woman has given birth and does not plan to have more children, or after someone has lost all the weight that he or she intends to lose. Most cosmetic procedures are not recommended for those under the age of 18. The overall health of the patient is of utmost concern. All patients should undergo a physical exam, a set of lab tests and an EKG if they are over the age of 45.
A tummy tuck cannot correct stretch marks, but they may be improved or removed if they are located on the areas of excess skin that will be removed – the “zone of resection.” Dr. Steinbacher will draw an estimated zone of resection so that you will have an idea of how many of your stretch marks will remain after your procedure.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Derek Steinbacher performs tummy tucks with intravenous sedation, removing the need for general anesthesia and hospitalization. Dr. Steinbacher performs the surgery in his private, fully-licensed operating room.
The results can last for many years. If you have no large weight gain or pregnancies after your tummy tuck, then the positive changes from your tummy tuck will be relatively permanent. There will be some relaxation of the tissues with age, but not to the extent prior to your surgery.
It is common and possible to combine multiple plastic surgery procedures. However, it depends on the patient and the procedures. Some considerations are the length of the surgery and the patient’s overall health. In some cases, it’s possible to combine a tummy tuck, liposuction, and breast augmentation without any problems. These particular procedures are often combined and are given the nickname “Mommy Makeover.”
If you are interested in a tummy tuck and would like to see if you are a good candidate, contact our office at (203) 453-6635 to schedule a consultation with Connecticut Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Derek Steinbacher. Or, you can fill out our contact form to book your one-on-one appointment at our New Haven office!
Dr. Derek Steinbacher has devoted his life to aesthetic and life-changing surgery. He is an artistic and meticulous surgeon who draws patients from around the world due to his perspective, unmatched skill, and exceptional results. He is able to uniquely address the face (facelift + rejuvenation), jawline (orthognathic; chin; contouring; implants), nasal (rhinoplasty), eyelids, profile, neck, breast, and body with one-of-a-kind results.
He is a multiple Board-Certified, Fellowship-Trained Plastic, Cosmetic, and Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgeon. He is Fellow of the most prestigious surgical organizations, including the Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery, Societies of Craniofacial and Maxillofacial Surgery, the Aesthetic Society, and the Rhinoplasty Society. He has served as Full-Professor of Plastic Surgery at Yale, including Director of the Cleft and Craniofacial Program, and Chief of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Dr. Steinbacher has unparalleled training at premier institutions, including Harvard and Johns Hopkins. His perspective brings together the best aspects of many distinct – but related fields – and it is this intersection of scope and expertise, in addition to an artistic eye, which enables excellent comprehensive results.
Dr. Steinbacher's approach: technical acumen, meticulousness, and penchant for combining art and science, together with his eye for balance, beauty, and harmony, helps achieve outcomes that greatly improve a person's confidence, health, and overall quality of life. Patients can trust that they are always in good hands!