Tummy Tuck / Abdominoplasty
Some people develop laxity of the soft tissues of their abdominal wall. This can occur after childbirth or after weight loss in either sex. There is a class of operations which treats these deformities which is called abdominoplasty. These operations are more commonly referred to as "tummy tucks."
In patients with good skin tone, but with a localized area of fat in the lower abdomen, a liposuction alone may be appropriate, rather than a tummy tuck which removes skin and fat. Dr. Newkirk has occasionally found this to be the case in men who have had weight loss, or in thin women with good skin tone.
Most patients who request a tummy tuck have localized or generalized laxity of the skin of the abdominal wall with varying amounts of fat. In these patients removal of skin and fat is necessary. The operation may be simple or extensive depending on the wishes of the patient and the degree of laxity. It may also be necessary to combine a tummy tuck with liposuction to get the best result.
Following multiple pregnancies, the muscles of the abdominal wall frequently stretch or separate. This If this has happened to you, Dr. Newkirk will tighten or repair the muscles during the tummy tuck.
Tummy tucks are usually not covered by health insurance, and are normally carried out as an outpatient at Columbia Plastic Surgery, with the patients heavily sedated or asleep.
Skin incisions for tummy tucks are usually kept low on the abdomen where they can be hidden by a bathing suit. To give you the best result, Dr. Newkirk pulls the flap of abdominal skin tight, which can cause the scar at the base of the abdomen to be somewhat wide; it is often possible to remove all of the skin between the umbilicus, or "belly button," and the pubic bone.
Risks associated with tummy tucks include infection, bleeding, delayed wound healing, and blood clots in the legs, which is why Dr. Newkirk suggests wearing support stockings following the operation.
Over 160,000 tummy tucks were carried out in 2013. In a patient with realistic expectations, a tummy tuck can markedly improve a patient's appearance.