Tummy Tuck Cincinnati
‘Ever dream of having the perfect stomach? Everyone desires a flat, tight abdomen with great muscle tone and no excess skin or stretch marks. Working out and getting in shape is great for your muscle tone but can not restore your abdomen to a youthful contour. Plastic surgery of the abdomen (tummy tuck) is designed to remove excess skin, stretch marks, and fat along with tightening of the abdominal wall.
There are numerous types of abdominoplasty and your surgeon will choose the best technique for you. All abdominoplasties are performed in a surgery center or hospital and most require an overnight stay. Typically 1 or 2 drains are placed to remove excess fluid and these are removed in 1-2 weeks. All sutures are placed under the skin and do not need to be removed. This results in less pain for the patient and less chance of “railroad track” type scarring. In order to diminish the pain associated with tummy tucks a pain pump may be used. Post operatively you may shower, walk, and be active. No heavy lifting is permitted for 4-6 weeks. Complications of an abdominoplasty include tissue necrosis, scarring, hematoma, infection, and seroma. If you are a smoker you will have a higher complication rate and must quit smoking 2-4 weeks prior to surgery. Below are the most common types of abdominoplasty.
An incision is made just above the mons pubis from hip to hip, the excess skin is removed, and the fascia and muscles are tightened. Usually the entire area from the belly button to the mons pubis is removed. If a c-section scar is present it will be removed. Stretch marks located above your belly button will not be removed but the excess skin will be tightened when it is pulled down towards the mons pubis. The belly button remains on the abdominal wall and is recreated by making a new opening in the overlying skin. The umbilicus is then pulled through and sutured in place creating a beautiful, “new” belly button. Generally the longer the incisions in an abdominoplasty the more skin removed and the more tightening that can take place. Dr. Martin is able to hide the incisions by placing them low on the abdomen so that the resulting scar is easily hidden in the bikini line.
Abdominoplasty with liposuction
Combining liposuction of the abdomen with concomitant abdominoplasty is a relatively newer concept developed over the last 10 years. Prior techniques would not allow a combination abdominoplasty/liposuction due to high incidences of tissue breakdown. With advances in techniques a combination procedure can now be routinely performed. This was accomplished by modifying the dissection of the abdominal flap and by performing less aggressive liposuction. This approach allows us to achieve spectacular results with only one procedure. Other areas of liposuction can also be performed at the same time. If you smoke you may not be a candidate for this type of tummy tuck.
For minimal skin excess below the belly button a mini-abdominoplasty may be indicated. As the name suggests a smaller incision is used resulting in a shorter scar. Skin will be tightened in the lower abdomen but not in the upper abdomen. Again, the scar will be hidden easily by swimwear. Loose fascia in the lower abdomen can also be tightened with this procedure.
For excess skin above the belly button (epigastric) area a reverse tummy tuck may be needed. This procedure is performed with an incision under the breasts and the skin is lifted up as apposed to being pulled down. A reverse abdominoplasty will have minimal effect on loose skin located below the belly button. The resulting scars are usually hidden under the breasts but scar migration can be a rare complication. Occasionally this technique is combined with a standard abdominoplasty allowing for spectacular results.
For large amounts of skin in the epigastric area or if a previous vertical scar exists, a fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty may be indicated. The resulting scar has the shape of an inverted T and the abdominal tissue can be pulled very tight with this approach. This is used most often in post bariatric patients who have undergone an open gastric bypass.