A tummy tuck is the common term given to abdominoplasty, a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen. The goal of a tummy tuck is a smoother, flatter, well-defined abdomen and, in some cases, to restore weakened muscles in the abdomen.
A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss, but rather a supplement to proper diet and exercise. Aging, genetics, prior surgeries, pregnancy, or weight fluctuations can all affect the elasticity of the skin and deposits of fat in the abdomen; a tummy tuck can help to correct problematic areas and give you a more youthful, toned appearance.
AM I A CANDIDATE FOR A TUMMY TUCK?
If you are bothered by excess skin in the abdomen, or if regular exercise has failed to eliminate stubborn fat deposits in the belly area, you may be a candidate for a tummy tuck. To be considered for this procedure, you should be physically healthy, a non-smoker, and not have any medical conditions that may affect the healing process.
If you are a woman considering a tummy tuck, you should be advised that future pregnancies can affect the results of the procedure and may require future corrective surgery. Patients of either gender should also reach their target weight before undergoing a tummy tuck, as major fluctuations in weight can have a negative impact on the results.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR CONSULTATION
If you believe that a tummy tuck is the right course of treatment for you, schedule a consultation with the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago to speak with a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic surgery of the body.
During your consultation, you and your plastic surgeon will review your medical history to ensure that you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck. Be prepared to discuss any previous surgeries you have undergone, any preexisting medical conditions you may have, and known allergies.
Your plastic surgeon will perform an evaluation and suggest treatment options that are right for you and your body type. They will discuss all aspects of the procedure with you, including recovery, potential risks, and cost, and answer any questions you may have.
HOW IS A TUMMY TUCK PERFORMED?
On the day of surgery, a general anesthetic will be administered to ensure your comfort during the procedure. Liposuction is usually performed before the incisions are made to remove excess fat. The length and orientation of the incision will be based on the degree of complexity; the incision is usually made at the lower aspect of the abdomen, just above the pubic hairline.
Next, the abdominal skin is lifted. Excess fat is removed, and any weakened or separated muscles in the abdomen can be repaired. The underlying tissue is reshaped if necessary. Then the abdominal skin is contoured to the new shape of the abdomen and any excess skin is removed. Finally, the incisions are closed with sutures. A drain may need to be placed to remove excess fluid.
RECOVERY AFTER A TUMMY TUCK
Bruising and swelling in the abdomen are normal after a tummy tuck. Though results will be visible immediately following the procedure, the full results will be apparent once swelling and bruising have completely subsided, which may take six to eight weeks after the procedure.
Your plastic surgeon will prescribe pain medication and specific instructions to care for the surgical site. Be sure to follow these instructions carefully to mitigate any potential risks associated with a tummy tuck.
You should avoid any strenuous physical activity until your plastic surgeon clears you to return to your normal level of activity.
POTENTIAL RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH A TUMMY TUCK
Though complications from a tummy tuck are infrequent, there are potential risks with any surgical procedure. The risks generally associated with a tummy tuck include:
- Fluid Accumulation
- Hematoma (blood clot)
- Changes in skin sensation
- Skin discoloration
The Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago takes every possible measure to mitigate potential complications by using the safest and most innovative techniques available. You can further reduce risk by carefully following all instructions from your plastic surgeon.
WHAT DOES A TUMMY TUCK COST?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the national average cost for a tummy tuck in the United States is approximately $5,800. However, this figure may fluctuate based on your location, the surgeon performing the procedure, and the extent of your aesthetic goals. Be sure to speak with your plastic surgeon about all associated costs during your consultation. Most health insurance providers will not cover the cost of a tummy tuck.
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION
If you believe you may be an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck, or if you have any questions about the procedure, please contact the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. We will review your medical history to ensure that you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck, and we will be happy to discuss any and all aspects of the process with you.
All surgical procedures by the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago are performed at top hospitals in Chicago and CMS or AAAASF-certified surgical centers for safety.