- Length: 2-5 hours (generally outpatient)
- Anesthesia: General
- Normal recovery: Return to work in 1-2 weeks, Resume light exercise after 4 weeks, swelling resolves completely after 4-8 weeks
- Possible side effects: Swelling, Bruising, Pain or Discomfort
A flat tummy is a symbol of fitness and youth, but sometimes pregnancy, periods of inactivity, significant weight loss or heredity conspire against us. A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) can safely remove excess fat and skin to achieve the healthy figure patients desire. A Tummy tuck can also help re-tighten abdominal muscles, which often become stretched during pregnancy.
Men and women of all ages and body types can benefit from this safe and proven procedure. Ideal candidates for a tummy tuck have persistent areas of fat and/or loose skin that do not respond to exercise, are in good health, and have realistic expectations about their results.
How Does a Tummy Tuck Work?
A tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty) generally involves the removal of excess fat through Liposuction and the removal of excess skin from the stomach area. It is a body sculpting procedure and is intended to be a supplement to a healthy lifestyle. Dramatic changes in appearance are possible, but maintaining the results will require a healthy diet and exercise.
Women who are planning on getting pregnant, or getting pregnant again should postpone abdominoplasty until they are done having children.
Abdominoplasty can be conducted at the same time as a hysterectomy, and Dr. Min can work with the gynecologist performing your hysterectomy to coordinate a treatment plan.
Abdominoplasty is performed under general anesthesia. Dr. Min will make incisions between your hipbones (below the bikini line) and around the belly button. The skin will be separated from the abdominal muscles, and in some cases the muscles will be surgically tightened. Dr. Min will use Liposuction to remove excess fat surgically remove excess skin. The skin will then be redraped and the navel returned to a natural position. The incisions will be closed and a surgical dressing applied. I some cases, a long acting numbing agent may be used to control pain during the initial recovery.
There will be some discomfort throughout the abdomen after the procedure, but pain can be managed with medication.
Dr. Min’s Approach to Tummy Tuck Surgery
Pregnancy, genetics, significant or surgical weight loss, and periods of inactivity can create areas of fat and lose skin that diet and exercise cannot get rid of. A tummy tuck can provide a narrower waist, a firmer abdomen and a more sculpted shape. It can also make patients more comfortable and confident in their bodies.
Dr. George Min is a board certified plastic surgeon with deep experience in body sculpting procedures and a reputation for delivering beautiful, balanced results. He takes a conservative approach that focuses on patient safety and a natural appearance. Dr. Min does not believe in cutting corners, and our state-of-the-art Bellevue facility is unlike any you will find in the Seattle or Bellevue area. Our on-site surgical suite is equipped with the latest technology and is one of only a handful of locations to meet the stringent new safety certification standards.
We pride ourselves in being the best, not only in surgery, but also in patient care and education.
Your Tummy Tuck Options
A tummy tuck a fairly standard procedure, and while incision points and the extent of fat and tissue removal may vary, the general procedure is consistent. However, there are several variations or combination procedures that may be appropriate for some patients:
A mommy makeover is a common term for a combination tummy tuck and breast lift. After pregnancy, many women experience loose skin, stretch marks, deflated and sagging breasts, and excess fat deposits. This combination procedure firms and raises the breasts while tightening and reshaping the abdomen.
Learn more about Breast Lift procedures and options.
When fat deposits or looses skin are largely below the navel, a mini-tummy tuck may be a good alternative. It involves the same procedure only without the incisions around the navel. The procedure is less invasive, the recovery is shorter, and there are fewer visible scars. Dr. Min will help patients determine if this option can achieve the results they desire based on their body type.
Post Bariatric Tummy Tuck (following surgical weight loss)
Many patients who undergo bariatric surgery for weightloss experience dramatic results, but an unfortunate side effect of that weight loss can be significant excess skin and pockets of uneven fat in the abdomen. Dr. Min has experience performing tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedures specifically for post-weight loss patients and can customize the procedure to fit you body and your health needs.
Your Initial Tummy Tuck Consultation
The role of the consultation is to ensure that you feel informed, confident and excited, and we’ll take as much time as we need to get there.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Min will ask you about your desired appearance, as well as any specific concerns you have about the procedure. He will also ask you questions about your general health and activity levels to determine if he can meet your expectations. He will walk you through your options, explain the details of the tummy tuck procedure, and answer any questions you may have. You will have an opportunity to view extensive before and after photos.
Dr. Min will assess factors such as the quality of skin, the amount of underlying fatty tissue, the amount of excess skin, the elasticity of the skin, and the contour of your body. He will share and explain his opinions with you about what is most appropriate for your body and what results you can expect. Together you will decide on the details and timing of your procedure. In some cases, he may recommend additional body contouring procedures to achieve the results you desire.
Finally, Dr. Min will make sure you know exactly what will happen on the day of your procedure, what you will experience while you recover, and what you can expect in the months and years to follow.
Safety & Risks of Tummy Tuck Surgery
Our approach at Newvue is always to put our patients’ safety above all other concerns, and Dr. Min is a recognized expert with an impeccable track record for body sculpting. We have invested in absolutely state of the art tools, and our on-site surgical suite is one of the first in the region to be fully approved under the stringent new safety standards.
Nonetheless, we feel it is important that all our patients fully understand the risk associated with this—or any—surgical procedure. The most important thing to know is that Dr. Min and Newvue will stand by you should any complications arise and do everything we can to help you achieve your desired result.
Risks associated with liposuction include:
- Reaction to Anesthesia: Some patients experience an adverse reaction to anesthesia that may result in nausea or vomiting, allergic reactions and in very rare cases death. Be sure to discuss any medical allergies with your surgeon.
- Infection: as with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection. Infection will generally occur within days or weeks of your procedure, and in most cases can be treated with medication. In rare cases, and additional surgery may be required to treat severe infections
- Bleeding & Hematoma: Some patients are more prone to bruising than others and, in extreme cases, may experience excessive bruising, bleeding or skin death.
Prior to Your Tummy Tuck Procedure
Prior to your surgery, we will schedule a preoperative appointment with Dr. Min. The purpose of this meeting is to make sure that your procedure goes smoothly and efficiently. Our staff will review your consent forms with you, answer any questions you might have, and the risks and benefits of surgery will be thoroughly reviewed. You may be given your prescriptions to be filled prior to your surgery. You will be given a list of medications and supplements to avoid for two weeks before and after surgery. If you are a smoker, you will be advised to stop smoking at least two weeks prior to surgery. You should not smoke for at least two weeks following surgery.
Your Tummy Tuck Procedure
We will do everything in our power to help you feel informed and relaxed on the day of your procedure. After you arrive at our Bellevue office, you will meet with Dr. Min and with your anesthesiologist. Once any questions you have are answered, you will be given medication to help you relax.
You will be brought into the surgical suite, where you will be prepped for surgery and given a general anesthetic. Surgery usually takes 2-3 hours.
You will wake up in the recovery room, where you’ll be closely monitored. We’ll let you know how everything went and advise you on what to expect as you recover. You’ll want to be sure to arrange for someone to pick you up and stay with you for the first couple days as you adjust.
After Your Tummy Tuck Procedure
You’re still our patient after you leave, and we will be there for you as you recover to answer any questions you may have and advise you on any side effects you may be feeling. You can expect to feel tired and sore after the surgery, and you will experience some swelling and discomfort in the treated area, both of which can be managed with medication.
You may have a surgical drain installed in your abdomen, which you will use to periodically drain fluid form the site of the surgery. The drain will generally be removed at your first follow up visit (1-2 weeks). You will likely wear a binding abdominal dressing for 2-4 weeks following surgery, but you will be able to shower normally.
While some movement is permissible, most patients will want to avoid any even mildly strenuous exercise (such as climbing more than a few stairs) for 7-10 days.
Most patients return to work in 1-2 weeks, but you should avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting for at least 4 weeks, and avoid high impact activities (skiing, wakeboarding, contact sports) for the duration of your recovery (6-8 weeks). Your stiches will dissolve and be absorbed by your body, so you will not have to worry about getting them removed.
Here’s a timeline of a typical recovery:
First 24 hours:
- Rest, eat and drink normally (no alcohol), avoid activity
- Effects of anesthesia will be gone
- You can shower
- Minimal activity, but light walking may begin
- Your 1st follow up consultation with Dr. Min
- Removal of drain
- Most patients can return to work at this point
- Swelling will peak and begin to subside
- 2nd follow up consultation
- You can remove your dressings
- Resume normal (light) exercise and physical activity (such as jogging)
- 3rd follow up visit
- Resume all activities (including things like skiing, wakeboarding)
- Full results will be visible
- 1st annual checkup
You can expect a thinner waist, a smoother tummy, and a slimmer, fitter figure. Dr. Min and the Newvue staff are always available to help you with any questions or concerns you may have, during your recovery and after. We want to ensure that you are completely thrilled with your new look, and we’ll consider you our patient for life.