By Peter H. Grossman, MD

Behind the Scenes of a Tummy Tuck

Whether you’ve just lost a significant amount of weight or your family is now complete and you’re winding down your childbearing, the aftermath for many can be folds of loose skin around the abdomen that no amount of diet and exercise can touch.

The best way to erase the effects of these belly-expanding experiences is to have the extra folds of skin surgically removed, giving you a flatter, more toned abdomen. Here at Grossman Plastic Surgery, we offer tummy tuck procedures that not only eliminate the excess tissue but also repair your abdominal muscles, allowing our patients to maintain a slimmer profile, free of loose, flabby skin.

If you’re toying with the idea of a tummy tuck, the following is a behind-the-scenes look at how we release you from hiding behind baggy clothes and lay the groundwork for a bathing-suit-ready body.

 

Beyond the limits

If you’ve successfully won the battle against your extra weight, or you’ve had your last pregnancy, the skin and muscles around your abdomen may have been stretched beyond their limits, marring the effects of your weight loss.

Your skin is amazingly resilient, stretching and bouncing back over and over thanks to healthy muscles, collagen, and elastin. Up to a point. Think of your skin as the waistband on your favorite pair of sweatpants. The band is made up of hundreds of tinier elastic strands that allow the waistband to stretch and snap back as needed. But each time you throw on those sweatpants, you tax those tiny bands and some begin to break, especially if they’re overstretched.

With time and repeated stretching, eventually, the waistband gives way and loses its ability to rebound entirely. The same thing happens with your skin, which is why you’re left with loose folds that refuse to respond to even the most ardent efforts of diet and exercise.

Exacerbating the problem is the fact that your abdominal muscles may have separated or weakened, further hampering the tone of your belly.

 

The step-by-step of a tummy tuck

The good news is that with a tummy tuck, we can not only eliminate the extra tissue but also repair your abdominal muscles. Here’s how it works:

First, Dr. Peter Grossman makes a horizontal incision along your lower abdomen, just above your pubic hairline. He then lifts the skin up from your abdomen to reveal the muscles underneath. After reconnecting and repairing your separated abdominal muscles, he pulls your skin back down taut over your belly and trims the excess tissue.

If you’re also plagued by stubborn pockets of fat around your belly, Dr. Grossman may use liposuction to clear out these lumpy deposits before he closes the area. This is a decision you can make during your initial consultation with us.

With your skin pulled into place, Dr. Grossman makes a new hole for your belly button and sutures the incision.

 

Going halfway

If your problem mainly lies in your lower abdomen, you might be a candidate for a mini tummy tuck. During this procedure, Dr. Grossman tightens your lower abdominal muscles and removes excess skin below your belly button, getting rid of your pooch.

With a mini tummy tuck, your incision is generally smaller and your recovery time is much faster than a full tummy tuck procedure.

 

Give it time

Speaking of recovery, any time you have surgery, your body needs time to heal, and a tummy tuck procedure is no different. Plan on taking it easy for the first week as your incision heals, which means you shouldn’t be moving around much.

And it takes even longer for your muscles to heal and strengthen underneath, so it’s going to be a while before you’re able to work your abs.

Each of our patients is different so we’ll keep a watchful eye on your recovery and let you know when you can start to add on activities that will help you maintain your great new shape.

And this final point is one worth emphasizing: Your tummy tuck gives you a wonderful new canvas to work with, but it doesn’t mean you’re free to hit the ice cream shop instead of the gym. You can still gain weight and stretch your skin and muscles again, so it’s important that you do your part to maintain your results.

 

If you’d like to learn more about our tummy tuck procedures, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Or you can use the online scheduling tool on this website to book a consultation.

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