The Tummy Tuck
An abdominoplasty, also known as a “Tummy Tuck”, can address a number of areas around the belly region (the abdomen). As we age, the elasticity of our skin decreases. Additionally, though the stomach muscles may remain strong, the position of the muscles may change, giving the abdomen an appearance that is less flat than it had been earlier in life. These processes are often exaggerated or made more severe after massive changes in weight and through the rapid weight gain then loss that is associated with pregnancy.
An abdominoplasty removes excess skin. It can also be used to bring the stomach muscles back into proper alignment, tightening and waist to make it flatter and more narrow. An abdominoplasty may be used in combination with liposuction to help further sculpt and refine the shape of the abdomen.
Dr. Cross uses both a more traditional abdominoplasty incision as well as a “mini” abdominoplasty incision depending on the needs and desires of the patient. The traditional approach is more capable of acquiring maximal skin tightening. Although the incision is longer than that of the “mini” abdominoplasty, Dr. Cross uses techniques that allow him to put the incision as low as the patient desires so that it can be hidden in even the smallest of bathing suit bottoms or underwear. In fact, patients are encouraged to bring their favorite bathing suit style or underpant style with them on the day of the procedure to help ensure that the incision is hidden below this area.
A “Mini Tummy Tuck” is perfect for the patient who has mostly lower belly skin excess. During this technique, the incision is made even smaller, often no longer than a c-section scar.
THE DRAINLESS AND PAINLESS TUMMY TUCK
Recently, Dr. Cross has been using techniques that help to eliminate the need for drains after a tummy tuck procedure, and medications that nearly eliminate the discomfort after the procedure. By using advanced suture techniques, drains are often not needed, and patients are, in many cases, able to get back to light exercising within two weeks of their procedure. This is most helpful for active mothers who need a fast recovery to get back to their daily activities.
The “Mini” Tummy Tuck
For those with less significant skin excess, a mini-tummy tuck can be used to correct this laxity. The incision for this procedure is typically the length of a c-section scar, is hidden lower than a c-section scar, and is less conspicuous. Even with the mini tummy tuck technique, at the time of the procedure, if the stomach muscles are found to be positioned widely apart, they are brought back towards the midline, helping to narrow and flatten the belly. Once the procedure is complete, liposuction is often used for further refinement and sculpting.