A tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) is the intervention in which the appearance of the abdomen and waist is restored and the abdominal wall reconstructed. Weight loss or weight gain, changes in metabolism, and pregnancy, are common factors that can alter the size and the structure of the waist and abdomen. Often times this leads to an excess of skin and fat, stretched marks and laxity of the abdominal muscles , being a problem that now a days affects to an important percentage of the population.
A tummy tuck is one of the most exciting surgeries we have at STIMA that literally changes the lives of our patients, transforming their midsection to have a tense and slender abdomen in just a few hours.
YOUR TUMMY TUCK AT STIMA
At STIMA, the first step to any body contouring procedure is a detailed and personalized pre-surgical consultation. Dr. Victor Astudillo believes in building a relationship with each patient, ensuring their satisfaction with the procedure and results, prioritizing their clear understanding of the procedure, recovery, and outcomes.
We all want a flat and toned abdomen through exercise and diet. Unfortunately, in many cases these methods are not enough to reach our goals. In fact, most patients have separation and distension of the abdominal muscles, excess skin, and fatty tissue. The separation of the abdominal muscles is known as diastasis, and is secondary to the weakening of the fascia (connective tissue covering the abdominal muscles) after pregnancy, surgeries, weight changes, abdominal wall hernias, or even aging. Unfortunately the abdominal muscles are not very elastic and once they are stretched, they do not shrink or go back to their original state. The surgery is needed in order to reconnect and tighten the muscles again, and thus obtain a flat and slender abdomen.
Dr. Victor Astudillo combines different advanced techniques to achieve a tummy tuck with natural results. In doing so, he keeps the scar out of sight at the suprapubic level below the bikini line, which also prevents it from widening. The skin is sutured in several layers, to obtain the best possible (aka least visible) scar. Our approach does not simply remove skin and belly fat. We work with a combination of advanced techniques based on a thorough preoperative planning, thus achieving the desired results: a reduction of the abdomen and waist in an aesthetic and balanced way, promoting a defined, young, and harmonious form.
TUMMY TUCK SURGICAL TECHNIQUES
There are different variations of abdominoplasty and each of them targets a specific aspect. For most patients, a standard tummy tuck involves tensing the abdominal muscles (Rectus and Oblique), and removing excess skin and fat. It is important to emphasize that if there is a considerable excess of fatty tissue, liposuction may be necessary in order to obtain an optimal result.
A mini-abdominoplasty focuses on the laxity of the skin below the belly button only. In the mini-abdominoplasty a much smaller incision is used, also above the pubis below the bikini line. In this technique the incision around the belly button is not necessary (which can typically be lowered when stretching the skin).
An extensive tummy tuck is necessary when the excess of skin is significant at both at the level of the abdomen and flanks, especially in patients who have had a significant loss of weight in recent years. In these cases it is necessary to extend the incision to be able to correct this excess of skin properly.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING ABDOMINOPLASTY OR DERMOLIPECTOMY
What type of anesthesia is used in a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that must be performed in an operating room with all of the required equipment, safety considerations and staff of trained medical professionals. Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure performed under general anesthesia or IV sedation. Patient safety is always our first priority, thus a certified M.D. Anesthesiologist is in the operating room at all times. Patients will stay at the Clinica Latino hospital overnight.
How long does a tummy tuck procedure take?
The duration of this surgical procedure may vary depending on the complexity of the intervention, but it is usually approximately 2 to 3 hours. If the surgery is accompanied by another procedure or intervention such as a liposuction or breast surgery, the time may increase.
What does the post-op recovery look like?
To ensure our patients comfort and to monitor their immediate recovery, they will stay overnight in a comfortable suite at Clinica Latino. Everyone’s recovery is different and, similar to the length of the procedure, your recovery time will be influenced by factors such as incision length and whether your abdominal muscles needed repair. You can typically resume light activities, such as gentle walks, after a few days and return to work after approximately one week to ten days. A full tummy tuck has a longer recovery than a mini tummy tuck procedure.
For the first few days after the surgery the abdomen will be inflamed and the patient will notice soreness and discomfort, which will be controlled with prescribed pain medication. We recommended that the patient start walking as soon as possible, but you will have to refrain for any exercise for six to eight weeks.
You may also be wrapped in an elastic bandage or compression garment, which will help minimize swelling and provide support to your abdominal area during the healing process
Dr. Astudillo do not leave external stitches on the surface of the skin, rather all of the suture is done subcuticular which improves tremendously the final outcome of the scar. The internal suture is dissolvable in approximately 2-3 months, which leaves the patient with enough time for healing. The bandage will be replaced by an abdominal garment that should be used for at least 6 to 8 weeks as much as possible. This abdominal garment can be removed for cleaning or special activities a few hours.
Can the tummy tuck prevent weight gain in the future?
A Tummy Tack (Abdominoplasty) should be performed only on patients who have a stable weight and who do not fall on the obesity index. If there is a significant weight loss or gain after surgery, the results may be compromised. Although excess fat and skin is removed through this surgery, it is important that patients maintain a stable weight through a healthy diet and physical activity to maintain the results of this procedure.
How long do the results of a tummy tuck last?
Our patients are very satisfied with the results. The results from the surgery are indefinite, so long as the indicated guidelines are followed, paying close attention to a balanced diet and exercise. In just a few weeks the patient will be able to see a flat abdomen and a more toned waist line.