Tummy TuckÂ also known as AbdominoplastyÂ is a cosmetic surgery procedure used to make the abdomen more firm. The surgery involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen in order to tighten the muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall.
Abdominoplasty also tightens the muscles that have been separated and weakened by pregnancy giving patient more youthful appearance, strength and confidence. The procedure may somewhat improve the appearance of stretch marks, especially those located below the navel (typically seen following pregnancy)
This surgery always has a very powerful effect on an individual’s self image and sense of well-being. This surgery will often put a patient back into clothes that they haven’t been able to wear (or haven’t been comfortable wearing) for years
Find out if you really need to undergo this procedure
Before you jump the gun, you need to find out if you really need to get one. Below are the conditions elaborated which could help you decide if you need to go for one:
- Excess or sagging abdominal skin
- Abdomen that protrudes and is out of proportion to the rest of your body
- Gross laxity and separation of abdominal muscles
- Excess fatty tissue that is concentrated in your abdomen
- Aging, heredity, pregnancy, prior surgery or weight fluctuations have left you with extra skin on your abdomen, abdominal muscle weakness, or both
- Your weight is stable. Slender individuals with extra fat and loose skin in the lower tummy are the best candidates; if you are generally obese, this procedure is not appropriate for you.
- If you have a significant amount of intra-abdominal fat surrounding your internal organs, you may need to slim down before going in for this procedure
- You are physically healthy. You must be in relatively good physical shape to tolerate this procedure.
- You are finished having children. The muscles that are repaired during an abdominoplasty can separate again during future pregnancy.
- Internal or external scars from any previous abdominal surgery may also affect your candidacy.
- Women with lax abdominal skin after pregnancy
- Abdominal laxity due to aging for both Men and Women
- Laxity after excessive weight loss or following bariatric surgery
Who Should Not Consider this surgery?
If you’re a woman who plans to get pregnant, then you may want to postpone undergoing this until you’re done having children. During surgery, your vertical muscles are tightened, and future pregnancies can separate those muscles.
Are you planning to lose a lot of weight? Then this procedure also is not for you. It should be a last resort after you’ve tried everything else. It should not be used as an alternative to weight loss.
You should also consider the chance of scarring after this surgery. You can talk about that possibility with the doctor before the surgery.
About Abdominoplasty Procedure
How will my plastic surgeon evaluate me?
Your plastic surgeon may examine your abdomen while you are standing as well as lying down. Your skin tone and the degree of loose skin in the abdominal region will be assessed. Your surgeon also will evaluate the amount of excess fat in your abdomen and the condition of your abdominal muscles.
You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. This will include information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments you have received, pregnancies, previous surgeries and medications that you currently take. It is important for you to provide complete information.
How is aÂ Abdominoplasty procedure performed?
As you can see above, we’ve given a pictorial representation of this entire procedure. In this surgical procedure, your surgeon will remove your loose abdominal skin and tighten up your abdominal muscles with sutures.
- Your surgeon will mark your abdomen to indicate the location of the incisions, the center of your torso and the location of the repositioned navel.
- A solution of lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and epinephrine (a vasoconstrictor that controls bleeding by constricting blood vessels) will be injected.
- The primary incision will be above the pubic mound, from one hipbone to the other. In a full abdominoplasty, another incision is made around your navel. In a mini, your surgeon will use a shorter incision.
- The surgeon will loosen the skin from your abdominal wall to your ribcage and then place sutures in the fascia of your abdominal muscles to pull them into a tighter position. This is the muscle repair portion of the surgery.
- After your abdominal muscles have been sutured, your surgeon will remove excess fat by liposuction or other methods. Your abdominal skin is then stretched down over your incision line and the excess skin is removed.
- Next, your surgeon will mark the placement of your navel. Although the skin around your navel has been moved, the navel almost always stays in the same place. Your surgeon cuts a hole through the redraped skin and sutures it around your navel.
- Your surgeon will use tissue glue, sutures, staples or Steri-Strips to close the incisions.
- In a full abdominoplasty, the surgeon will often insert one or more drains to prevent fluid buildup, which can cause pressure on the incision. The drain is a clear plastic tube placed through a very short incision below the main incision, which leads out of the body to a small oval-shaped bulb. Each time you empty a bulb and before you close it again, you will be asked to squeeze it to help drain the wound.
How much is a tummy tuck? Average Prices revealed
These are full blown plastic surgeries and can turn out to be very expensive. A tummy tuck cost is between $3,000 and $12,000, depending on the surgeon you choose, the geographic location of the surgeon’s practice and the scope of treatment, and several other factors. The average cost of tummy tuck is $8,217 including anesthesia, operating room facilities or other related expenses.
You should also be aware that different Plastic surgeons professional fees may cover different things. As an industry standard the fee generally covers initial consultation, up to 3 pre-operative visits, the cosmetic surgery professional fee and follow-up for 1 year after your surgery. It’s very important that you understand what your surgeonâs fee will pay for.
There can be large variations in Plastic Surgery prices. For your safety, stay away from both very low and high price extremes as overinflated price does NOT guarantee quality and an unreasonably bargain basement low price is never a bargain but frequently is a gamble on your safety and well-being.
Looking for the Best Surgery?
Firstly, you need to be aware that the cost of any cosmetic surgery comprises of the following:
- Surgeonâs Fee
- Anesthesia Charges
- Facility Charges
The surgeons fee is based on geographic factors (with higher fees being common in major cities such as New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles etc) and on the experience of the surgeon doing the surgery (less experienced surgeons may charge a lot less).
Real board-certified and experienced Plastic surgeons will usually charge more than wannabe doctors who are NOT certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).
1. Is he/she certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)?
2. Does he/she have unlimited Plastic Surgery privileges at one or more local hospital?
Not having hospital privileges in Plastic Surgery (i.e. being allowed to practice Plastic Surgery) in a local hospital is very worrisome and should raise many red flags. It may mean that for several reasons (such as deficient or improper training, past legal history or ethical issues) the hospital refused to expose itself to lawsuits by having your surgeon to operate on its staff. You should seriously reconsider having your surgery with this physician.
Average Tummy Tuck costÂ – Location wise
An inordinately cheap anesthesia fee should be another red flag. It means your anesthesia will be poor and/or provided by an under- or poorly trained individual.
Your comfort and safety are important. For patient comfort and surgical accuracy, the vast majority of Plastic surgeons prefer to perform the surgery under general anesthesia.
Generally speaking, your surgery anesthesia can be given by:
a. Your Surgeon (bad idea) – The vast majority of Plastic surgeons prefer doing this surgery under general anesthesia because of its safety, accuracy and comfort of the patient. When a doctor performs this surgery under local anesthesia in his office surgery room it usually means that local anesthesia may be the only choice of anesthesia he can offer because of his training, board certification and issues in his past, he is not allowed to operate in a local hospital or surgery center.
By having surgery under such conditions, you will be subjecting yourself to a surgeon which the local hospital is not willing to risk exposing its patients to – which should make you think long and hard.
b. A nurse anesthetist (CRNA) â which must be supervised by a doctor. Or
c. Anesthesiologist (best option) – Either of the other anesthesia choices is acceptable. Some people prefer the increased safety (and cost) of having a MD (anesthesiologist) providing their anesthesia.
For your safety make sure your operating room facility is either MEDICARE or AAAASF certified. These organizations perform inspections and demand high standards of safety and performance. However, maintaining and complying with such Federal and State regulations is expensive.
While having surgery in a Medicare or AAAASF certified operating room is much safer than having your surgery done in a non-certified facility, this safety comes with a higher price tag. This increased safety comes at a price.
Tummy Tuck Scars
One of the major reasons for popularity of this surgery is that scars heal well, fast and are very very easy to hide if you have smart surgeon. There are two kinds of scars, one which is made on the bikini line and the other is made on the belly button. You should speak with your surgeon on the importance of creating a perfect bikini and belly button scar.
It is imperative that the bikini line scar be placed low across the abdomen so that it can be easily hidden in under garments as well as a bikini. A smart doc will place the belly button scar inside of the belly button and contour the fat around it to obtain a very natural and nearly invisible scar
The healing of the scar will completely depend on the type of surgery you have had and of course your body’s biology.
You must understand that there are many phases to healing. Let’s take an example – when you injure a part of your body, it attempts to heal itself by increasing the blood circulation causing it to look and feel completely out of normalcy. Similarly, after this procedure your body supplies additional blood to that area due to the cuts given by your docs giving it a red and sore look making the scar look thicker and making it feel painful.
Managing a post procedure Swelling
It is very normal to have a swelling after the surgery. After all, your body has been cut and tampered with – its your body’s natural way of healing. You must remember that more the time passes by, the better your stomach will begin to look.
Patients are normally give specialized garments by their docs and are instructed to wear them to help them combat the swelling. It is recommended and helpful to wear them at night while sleeping as your body will be able to feel compressed throughout the night resulting in a faster recovery.
If you’re facing prolonged swelling and are not noticing a recovery, you can opt for lymphatic massages. These massages force the liquids that are being stored in the surgical area to the closest lymphatic drain system, thereby reducing the swelling drastically.
Financing a Tummy Tuck
The best way to find out is to ask your plastic surgeon whether his or her office offers no-interest payment plans that will allow you to pay a portion of the cost directly to the doctor each month.
It’s also possibility that a patient’s insurance plan may actually contribute, if not completely cover, the cost of surgery. Patients qualifying for insurance coverage of tummy tuck surgery typically have a functional impairment dealing with excess skin, such as a rash, boils, infections, or backaches due to the weight of the excess tissue. Basically, insurance will cover the removal of just enough excess skin to resolve the issue, and this rarely results in a favorable aesthetic outcome.