An abdominoplasty is a very popular procedure at the Straith Clinic. Also
known as a tummy tuck, this procedure is performed to remove excess abdominal skin and to tighten the
muscles. Most commonly, women who have had children and/or have stretch marks are those who choose to have a tummy
tuck. However, recently, because of the increase in the popularity of weight loss procedures, a new population of
patients who have had massive weight loss are requiring skin removal. Patients travel from West Bloomfield, Dearborn and
Detroit for a tummy tuck by plastic surgeon Dr. Sabbagh. After a
tummy tuck surgery, your midsection will appear slimmer and tauter. Oftentimes, patients feel much more comfortable
showing off their midsections, even in swimwear.
Traditional Tummy Tuck vs. No Drain Tummy Tuck
Traditionally, the abdominoplasty involves elevation of the abdominal skin off of the muscles, which are then tightened.
The skin is pulled down, and the extra skin is removed. And at this point, drains are placed between the skin layer and
the muscle layer to collect fluid which occurs from swelling. This technique results in tension on the incision which
may increase scar formation. A new technique, which is called the” Progressive Tension Sutures” has eliminated the
necessity for drains after an abdominoplasty. This technique involves the elevation of skin and muscle tightening. At
this time, the skin is slowly advanced downwards and sutured back to the muscle covering which closes off the space that
was created by elevating the skin. This also fixes the flaps into position and distributes the tension over the entire
abdomen, rather than at the lower abdominal incision. Not only does this eliminate the need for drains, it diminishes
tension on the incision which can minimize scarring. Patients are generally much happier with this procedure because
they do not have to deal with the drain tubes, which generally will be in place for one to two weeks and can become
fairly uncomfortable. The no-drain technique also diminishes the likelihood of a postoperative seroma, by eliminating
the space where the fluid can collect.
Who is a Candidate for Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Individuals can develop a loose or sagging abdomen due to many factors, including aging, pregnancy, prior surgery, and
fluctuations in weight. If you are unhappy with your protruding or sagging abdomen, a tummy tuck may be able to benefit
you. Those who are at a weight plateau and have realistic expectations are often happiest with their results. It is
important that patients do not smoke prior to or after their procedure, as it can cause complications.
What to Expect
- Anesthesia – Usually local
with IV sedation. General anesthesia is used if surgery is performed in a hospital setting
- Length of Surgery – 2 to 3 hours
- In/Outpatient – A tummy tuck is generally an outpatient procedure in our accredited on-site surgery
center. In-patient may be required for certain patients.
- Recovery – Generally, full social and employment activities can be resumed approximately two to
three weeks after surgery. Strenuous exercise and activities such as sports are restricted for approximately
six weeks and may be increased gradually every day. The healing process and your occupation may cause the
length of time to vary.
- Fading of Scars – Several months to one year
- Duration of Results – Results may last several years, but gravity, aging, and weight changes
may affect the result. Results vary.
For the surgery, an incision is made within an area hidden by a bikini type swimsuit. The excess skin and fat of the
lower abdomen are excised and the muscle tightened. The operation includes repositioning the navel to its previous
position. Any weakness of the abdominal wall will be repaired at the same time.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
Generally, after an abdominoplasty, with
or without drains, the patient is fairly sedentary for the first week. After the first week of tummy tuck recovery, most patients can resume normal
light activities. Some patients are able to resume light work and also driving short distances.
Having my surgeries were the best decision of my life. I
feel great about myself everyday. Dr Sabbagh is the best doctor and I highly recommend him. Thank you.
What are the Risks?
No surgical procedure is risk-free and that includes cosmetic surgery like arm lift surgery. During your consultation
with Dr. Sabbagh, he will review the risks so you can make an educated decision.
Frequently asked questions about tummy tuck surgery
Can I walk after tummy tuck?
Yes, walking after tummy tuck surgery is encouraged. Typically, you will be restricted from more strenuous exercise for 4-6 weeks after surgery.
Do you get a scar from a tummy tuck?
The scar from a tummy tuck is horizontal and low on the abdomen.
Does a tummy tuck tighten muscles?
Yes, typically a key component of a tummy tuck is to tighten the abdominal wall muscles to help contour your waist.
How much weight can you lose having a tummy tuck?
While you may lose a few pounds with the tummy tuck procedure, the major change will be the contour of your abdomen and waist.
How painful is a tummy tuck?
Most patients require 1-2 weeks of recovery before returning to work after a tummy tuck. If your job requires heavy physical activity, you may need more time.