What is a Tummy Tuck?
Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a surgical skin and muscle tightening procedure performed many times a week by Reno Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Phillip E. Dahan. Dr. Dahan can remove loose, sagging skin with stretch marks and scars from the mid lower abdomen.* All unwanted deformities from the level of the belly button (umbilicus) to below the pubic hairline including excess loose skin, subcutaneous fat, stretch marks and scars, as well as unwanted tattoos, may also be removed.*
At the same time, the rectus abdominis muscle and fascia may be appropriately tightened to improve abdominal tone and contour. In Dr. Dahan’s hands, this is one of the most efficacious and long lasting procedures with essentially unanimous satisfaction.*
Ideal candidates for a Tummy Tuck
Women who wish to improve their abdominal contours especially after having children or experiencing dramatic weight loss benefit significantly from abdominoplasty. Many men also undergo this procedure. Tummy tuck surgery is ideal for patients who are at a stable weight and do not plan to have any more children, as major weight fluctuations or future pregnancies may affect tummy tuck results. Many tummy tuck patients will also benefit from liposuction of the hips and flanks (lower back) at the same time to achieve the best circumferential contour improvements.*
AMAZING TUMMY TUCK! I am six weeks in from having a tummy tuck from Dr. Dahan and I have to say that my results far exceeded my expectations. I looked at doctors all over the Reno area and even have a friend in Palm Springs that told me to go there, as the doctors are better. She now wants to come see Dr. Dahan. My tummy is tight, flat and gorgeous and my scar is thin and straight and is completely hidden in a string bikini. His staff is very knowledgeable and friendly and they get you in a room quickly. I would recommend Dr. Dahan to anyone that is looking for a tummy tuck. I am so incredibly happy with it and I feel absolutely incredible. Thank you Dr. Dahan.* –Debbie, Reno NV
Tummy Tuck procedure details
During abdominoplasty surgery, Dr. Dahan makes a horizontal incision below your pubic hairline (bikini line) and towards the hips. A circular incision is also made at the belly button. Through these incisions, the unwanted abdominal skin and subcutaneous fat containing stretch marks, scars and unwanted tattoos are removed and discarded. The abdominal muscles and fascia are tightened repairing any separation and hernias resulting in a flatter, toned and more youthful abdominal contour. The upper abdominal skin is then brought down to replace the skin removed from the lower abdomen and sewn to the incision resulting in tighter abdominal skin. Finally, the belly button is brought through a circular incision resulting in a more attractive navel. Both men and women with undesirable fat distribution in the hip and flank area will benefit from liposuction at the same time.*
How to prepare for a Tummy Tuck
Dr. Dahan always advises his patients to have a good diet and attempt to lose excess weight if possible. He also recommends a good exercise program. It is important to discontinue any medications and supplements that may affect bleeding 7-10 days before and after the procedure.
How long is Tummy Tuck surgery?
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and usually takes about 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours. Almost all patients go home the same day. Some patients benefit from placement of a local anesthetic pain pump to diminish discomfort related to the muscle tightening. Dressings are applied as well as a compressive abdominal binder. Drains are also placed for about a week to remove any fluid that may accumulate, decrease swelling and improve the healing.
What to expect after Tummy Tuck surgery
The patient will walk flexed at the waist and sleep with the head of their bed at 45° to avoid tension on the tight abdominal closure. Dr. Dahan will change the dressings the next day and you may shower 3 days after surgery. It is important not to lift heavy objects, exercise or strain the tummy muscles.
The abdominal compression binder will be worn for about 6 weeks to achieve the best results. Prescribed pain medication and antibiotics are used for the first 5-7 days. Scars will fade over the next several months with topical scar creams and should be protected from the sun to prevent darkening.
How long will Tummy Tuck results last?
The individual results vary for each patient.* With age, there will be some relaxation of the skin and muscle tissues, but not to the extent prior to surgery. Since a tummy tuck is one of the only cosmetic procedures where skin is tightened in the same direction as gravity, this is one of the longest lasting cosmetic results.*
Is a Tummy Tuck painful?
Some patients report a moderate amount of discomfort, while others say it is more intense. Dr. Dahan will give you a prescription for pain relievers and significantly reduce your pain with intraoperative injections of long lasting local anesthetics.
Most patients are walking the same day and take pain relievers for an average of 4 to 5 days after. Typically patients are driving about one week post-op and return to sedentary work by 10-14 days. Sutures and drains are typically removed a week post-op. A return to normal activities and exercise without restrictions is usually seen at approximately 6 weeks.
Weight loss expectancy
Weight loss for a patient can be 12-15 pounds, but the results vary for each patient*. Many patients later achieve their weight loss goals and are amazed to see their smoother and tighter tummy. Patients experience a significant increase in self-esteem and like to wear clothing including bathing suits revealing their shapelier figure.
Mini Tummy Tuck vs Full Tummy Tuck
If the storage of excess fat is predominantly in your lower abdomen, a mini-tummy tuck may be best because it improves the appearance of loose, stretched out skin. This technique is often done on an outpatient basis allowing for a quicker recovery period than with a full tummy tuck. Because a small, horizontal incision is made just above the pubic region, the discreetly-placed scar can be covered with clothing. To lose your pouch in the lower abdomen, the excess skin is cut and removed while the remainder is stitched back together for a firmer look and feel.
As compared to a full tummy tuck, this minimal technique allows the navel to remain intact. A mini-tummy tuck can take about a half to one and a half hours, while a full tummy tuck may take about two to five hours. There are distinct differences between a mini and full procedure. Besides the longer, hip-to-hip scar a tummy tuck produces, as well as the repositioning of the belly button, it also involves muscles tightening for beautiful results. Because this procedure is more intricate involving a much wider incision and more skin removal than a mini procedure, you will need to restrain yourself from work and activities during a longer period.
For both the mini and full techniques, you may receive general anesthesia or local anesthesia with a sedative.
Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction
When it comes to tummy tuck surgery, accept no substitutes. No other procedure or non-surgical treatment can tighten your tummy and get rid of loose, hanging skin the way a tummy tuck can. Tummy tuck surgery removes the excess skin and fat on the abdomen and tightens the abdominal muscles. Liposuction or liposculpture only removes the fat layer between the skin and the muscle.
However, abdominal liposuction is a great procedure to combine with tummy tuck surgery to achieve an even flatter, firmer stomach and show off your abs. Many tummy tuck patients also seek breast lift or breast augmentation surgery in combination with tummy tuck surgery to further improve body contours.