Losing weight, either following pregnancy or because of a lifestyle decision, requires dedication and is a significant achievement. Unfortunately, excess abdominal skin can still leave you self-conscious despite exercising and eating a nutritious diet. By removing leftover excess skin and fat and tightening weakened abdominal muscles with a full or mini tummy tuck, Las Vegas, Nevada, plastic surgeons Dr. Terrence Higgins, Dr. Andrew Silver, and Dr. Michael Edwards can restore a flatter, more youthful contour.
If you’ve reached an optimal weight and want to improve the appearance of your midsection, request a consultation to personally meet the plastic surgeons in our Las Vegas office to discuss a tummy tuck. You can also call our office at 702-822-2100 to schedule an appointment.
IS A TUMMY TUCK RIGHT FOR ME?
Patients who come in for a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) at our Las Vegas practice should be in good general health and at or near their ideal weight. If you intend to have more children, you should postpone the procedure because pregnancy will stretch your abdominal muscles and skin.
It’s important to remember that a tummy tuck isn’t weight-loss surgery. If you have a significant amount of abdominal fat, it may be necessary for you to lose weight before undergoing a tummy tuck. Women who have finished having children often combine a tummy tuck with liposuction and breast enhancement (often referred to as a mommy makeover.)
Other considerations before having a tummy tuck:
- Smokers must quit at least 6 weeks before the surgery. Smoking greatly increases the risk of complications and slows the healing process.
- Your expectations should be realistic. Cosmetic surgery is an excellent way to improve your appearance, but it isn’t guaranteed to meet a certain beauty ideal.
- Abdominoplasty, like all surgical procedures, leaves a scar. The incisions are typically hidden within the bikini line.
Our extensive online photo gallery of actual patients is supplemented by additional digital photos patients can browse at our office. The patient shown in the before-and-after photos above underwent abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) with Dr. Higgins. View our photo gallery.
HOW IS A TUMMY TUCK PERFORMED?
Successful cosmetic surgery begins at your consultation. Based on a physical assessment and discussions about your cosmetic goals, Dr. Higgins, Dr. Silver, or Dr. Edwards will suggest the best option for you and prepare a preoperative plan that guides the surgery.
There are different approaches to abdominoplasty, which are generally categorized as full tummy tucks or mini-tummy tucks:
FULL TUMMY TUCK
Your surgeon makes an incision across the lower abdomen, as well as another incision around the belly button. Skin from above the navel down to the pubic area that has been stretched by pregnancies or weight gain is removed, and the belly button is repositioned. Liposuction is often used to contour the area to achieve the best results.
MINI TUMMY TUCK
You might be a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck if you have only a slight amount of loose abdominal skin and some fat and weakened lower stomach muscles. A shorter incision is made along the bikini line, as in the full tummy tuck, but no incision is made around the navel because the procedure focuses on the lower part of the stomach. Good candidates for a mini tummy tuck still have good skin laxity and have remained in good shape.
“You don’t have to live with the extra skin and fat. Many patients have exhausted every other means of getting rid of their post-baby belly only to find that the only way to truly get rid of that extra skin and tighten the abdominal wall is with an abdominoplasty surgery.”
– Dr. Andrew G. Silver
WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING RECOVERY?
The significance of your recuperation process depends largely on the specifics of your surgery, and your surgeon will give you a better idea of what you can expect prior to your procedure. Nonetheless, most patients have a similar experience.
Tummy tuck surgery is an invasive cosmetic surgery, so giving yourself enough time to rest and heal is one of the most important things you can do to ensure favorable, lasting results. Discomfort is manageable with prescribed medication. Most patients take about 2 weeks off work to allow their incisions to heal undisturbed and to give swelling and bruising ample time to diminish. During this time, it’s a good idea to have a trusted friend or family member who is willing to help you around the house, especially with tasks that involve bending, stooping, or lifting. You should also avoid driving until you’re no longer using pain medications and have been cleared by your surgeon.
After several weeks, your surgeon will likely give you clearance to discontinue use of your compression garment, which you should otherwise wear at all times to keep swelling in check. You may also gradually resume light exercise by this point, eventually working back up to your original routine over the course of about 6 weeks.
Over time, your incision will fade to a faint, flat scar, and you’ll enjoy a flatter, more toned abdomen. Your favorite clothes will fit better, and you’ll no longer feel self-conscious by the pool or at the beach. In the long term, you can prolong your results as much as possible by avoiding any significant weight fluctuation or pregnancy. Most patients find the fulfilling results of this transformative procedure last indefinitely.