Full Tummy Tuck: Tightening and Reshaping the Muscles
A full tummy tuck surgery, or complete abdominoplasty, can correct and reposition the underlying muscles and eliminate the rolls, sagging, and excess skin. To begin the procedure, a horizontal incision is made from one hipbone to the other and the navel is detached. Once the skin has been pulled back, the the tissue from the bottom of the ribcage down to the pelvic area is reshaped as needed. The skin is then stretched tightly over the newly contoured area, removing excess skin in the process. Finally, a new navel is cut to replace the original, displaced one. The incisions are then closed and the area is dressed with bandages and compression garments to minimize swelling. After the procedure, patients can look forward to a trimmer, more sculpted silhouette. A full tummy tuck procedure averages about 3-4 hours. In general, it is recommended that patients recover for 2 weeks before returning to work or doing any strenuous activity.
The full tummy tuck is not a solution for weight loss or a substitute for a proper diet and exercise. The procedure may benefit somebody who:
- Has an excess of localized fat or sagging skin in the abdominal area
- Has weakened or separated abdominal muscles
- Has a protruding, bulging abdomen
- Is generally healthy and have a stable weight
- Is not considering a pregnancy
- Has lost a significant amount of weight and has maintained it
With proper health maintenance, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, a full tummy tuck can give patients a long-lasting and satisfactory result.
Serious complications with a tummy tuck procedure are infrequent. However, as with any surgical procedure there are potential complications, including bleeding, infection, fluid accumulation, and anesthesia risks. Before the procedure, a complete health history and some tests will be done to assess eligibility to undergo the procedure.
Dr. John Kotis, an IL board-certified plastic surgeon practicing in the Chicago and Arlington Heights area. Dr. Kotis performs full tummy tucks and mini tummy tucks at the Arlington Surgery Care Center. Contact us at (847) 577-6400 if you would like to discuss whether a full tummy tuck can help you achieve a slimmer waistline!
Full Tummy Tuck Chicago FAQs
What do tummy tucks treat?
An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure that can flatten and recontour the abdominal region, creating a slimmer silhouette. A tummy tuck can address lack of muscle tone, fatty deposits (belly pooch), and sagging skin associated with rapid weight loss, pregnancy, and the natural aging process.
Why is exercise and diet sometimes not enough to tone the abdominal region?
In certain situations, the muscles of the abdominal wall can be been stretched beyond a point where they can regain their position. When this occurs, the underlying muscles have separated and lost their original form and, although they can be strengthened, they will not have the definition they once did. This is why the area is stubbornly unresponsive to toning exercises. In addition, skin can lose its elasticity, making the abdominals appear even less tone and tight. This commonly happens due to pregnancy.
What part of the abdomen does a tummy tuck treat?
There are two main types of tummy tucks that can be performed, depending on the extent of fat deposits in the abdominal area. A full tummy tuck, or complete abdominoplasty, treats the middle and lower abdomen, up to the ribs. If fat deposits are mainly concentrated below the belly button and there is minimal skin laxity, a mini-tummy tuck, or partial abdominoplasty can be done. Dr. John A. Kotis, a plastic surgeon practicing in the Chicago, Illinois area, performs both full and mini-tummy tucks.
How does a full tummy tuck work?
A full tummy tuck surgery corrects an unshapely midsection by repositioning the underlying muscles and tissue and stitching them together, thereby strengthening the abdominal wall.
What can I expect during a full tummy tuck procedure?
A full tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure, requiring general anesthesia. During the surgery, Dr. Kotis will make a horizontal incision from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic line. A second incision will be made around the navel to separate it from the surrounding tissue. The skin will then be pulled back to expose the abdominal muscles. Dr. Kotis will sculpt the tissue from the pelvic area up to the ribcage. Once the muscles and tissue have been reshaped and stitched, Dr. Kotis will pull the skin back over the area, trim the excess skin and create an opening for a new navel. After the incisions are closed, the area is dressed and a compression garment is put in place. This garment helps to minimize swelling and assists in the healing process.
How long does a full tummy tuck surgery take?
On average, a full tummy tuck procedure takes from three to four hours to complete.
How long does it take to recover from a full tummy tuck?
Following surgery, you will most likely feel discomfort, which can be managed with medication. You can also expect the abdomen to be swollen and bruised. This swelling usually subsides within about a week. Most patients can go back to normal activities within two weeks, but should avoid vigorous exercise until they have fully stabilized. Surface sutures will be removed in 5-7 days and deeper stitches in 3 weeks. It may take some months to fully recover and patients are advised to walk and move around to facilitate healing.
Will I have scars from a full tummy tuck?
The scars from the incisions will take some time to heal, possibly making them look worse initially. However, the scars will fade and become lighter over time, although they will not fully disappear.
What are the risks associated with a full tummy tuck?
As will all surgeries, there are risks and possible complications involved with a full tummy tuck procedure, such as infection, blood clots, and poor healing. During your consultation, Dr. Kotis will review all the potential risks of a full tummy tuck surgery.
If you would like to know more about tummy tucks, contact board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Kotis at the Arlington Surgery Care Center in Arlington Heights, IL for a consultation. Dr. Kotis can determine if a full tummy tuck can help you achieve your fat reduction and body sculpting goals.