We all want to have a flat stomach, but few of us have one. Whether your stomach pooch can be traced back to pregnancy or the gain and loss of weight, there’s not much you can do with the overly stretched skin and muscles. Plus, the simple slackening of muscle and tissue with age can give even a person at his or her ideal weight a slight pooch.
Dr. Lombardo can perform a variety of tummy tuck procedures to give you the flat, firm stomach that you desire.
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What is a Tummy Tuck?
The goal of a tummy tuck, clinically known as abdominoplasty, is to flatten and tighten the lower stomach/abdomen area. The surgery removes excess skin and fat in the abdomen area, and tightens or repositions weakened or separated muscles. It may include minor liposuction to help remove pockets of fat. In particular, the Avelar method uses fairly extensive liposuction.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
Most people develop a slight pooch in their lower abdomen as they get older, particularly after turning 40. Women who have had children usually have skin and support tissue that has been stretched to a degree that it can’t tighten back down. And people who have gained and then lost a good deal of weight can have the same overstretching of the muscles and skin that can’t be addressed without removing excess skin.
These are all good candidates for tummy tuck surgery with Dr. Lombardo. By employing different methods — full tummy tuck, expanded tuck, mini tuck, or Avelar tuck — most people could benefit from this procedure. Tummy tucks are especially good for people with excess sagging skin that won’t tighten back down no matter what kind of exercise regimen they try.
If you only have fat accumulation but your skin is still very elastic and not overly stretched, then liposuction alone could be all you need.
Tummy Tuck Before & After
How Are Different Tummy Tuck Methods Performed?
Dr. Lombardo adjusts your tummy tuck to your individual needs. She can make variations in the length of the main incision, and can opt to either include or not include a second incision around the belly button. Liposuction can be included, particularly with the Avelar method.
In a traditional tummy tuck, Dr. Lombardo makes one incision that runs from hip to hip, generally following the bikini line so that the scar is hidden. A second incision is made either within or around the belly button to address the upper abdomen. After the incisions are made, the upper abdominal skin is pulled away from the muscle beneath. The underlying muscles are brought together and stitched into place for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. Fat pockets may be removed with minor liposuction at this point. The skin is then stretched downward and over the newly tightened muscles, excess skin is trimmed, and the navel is moved to a new, natural position. The incisions are then closed.
These are the variations on a traditional tummy tuck:
- Avelar tummy tuck – This method, developed by Dr. Avelar in the 90s, involves much more use of liposuction than other tummy tuck procedures. The goal is to remove excess fat and skin. Liposuction is performed to thin the fat layer of the abdomen and create as much loose skin as possible. The skin is then stretched, the excess skin is removed and the flap is stitched back into place. No drains are placed, but compression garments are placed to help re-contour the shape. The best candidates for a tummy tuck are men or women who are in good shape and are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin. It is usually safe to perform an Avelar tummy tuck with previous upper abdominal surgeries since the vessels and nerves are not cut.
- Mini tummy tuck – A mini tuck may be all a patient with a small pooch needs. Here the horizontal incision is somewhat shorter and skin is lifted only to the navel area. The second incision at the belly button is not made. Mini tummy tucks are ideal for patients who don’t have large amounts of loose skin and who still have good abdominal muscle strength.
- Extended tummy tuck – The goal here is to expand the target from the abdomen to also include the “love handles.” To do this, the hip-to-hip incision is extended behind the hips. This lengthens the scarring, but expands the area addressed.
- Fluer de Lis (W-plasty) Tummy Tuck – This technique includes a vertical incision in addition to the horizontal incision and is used typically in massive weight loss/bariatric patients who have so much excess skin that it needs to be removed by pulling down and pulling in.
- Circumferential tummy tuck – This is also known as a body lift. Circumferential tummy tucks are often performed on patients who have had gastric bypass surgery. The weight is gone, but now the patient is discouraged by the amount of loose, hanging skin that remains. The incision in a circumferential tuck usually wraps around the entire waste, allowing the largest amount of skin to be pulled down and trimmed.
Avelar Tummy Tuck Before & After
What is the Recovery Like?
How difficult your recovery will be is correlated to the type of tummy tuck Dr. Lombardo performed. But every method involves incisions and a good deal of tissue excision and muscle repositioning. These are major surgeries on the abdomen area, and because these muscles are involved in so many human movements, full recovery can take some time. Patients will need to rest for at least two weeks, and may need up to six weeks for more extensive tucks. You’ll need to arrange help around the house, as you won’t be able to lift more than just a few pounds. Any lifting of more weight or strenuous exercise will need to wait for at least six weeks. You will have soreness along your incisions for weeks, full recovery can stretch to months in some cases.
Dr. Lombardo will discuss the parameters of your recovery before and after your surgery.
Are There Any Risks?
Abdominoplasty is major surgery, so it entails all of the risks involved with that: swelling/bruising, bleeding, poor wound healing, infection, reaction to anesthesia, and others. Complications are unlikely when the surgical patient is appropriate for the procedure.
The one side effect, although not actually a side effect, is the extensive scar. Dr. Lombardo positions it to be hidden under a bikini bottom or panties, but you will have a scar. Lombardo Cosmetic Surgery offers Platelet rich plasma (PRP)which is derived from the patient’s own blood and is sprayed on the wound and incision to accelerate the wound healing and improve the cosmetic appearance of the scar.
Cost of Tummy Tuck
The typical price range of a tummy tuck is $7500 – $9000. For more specific information, schedule your free consultation today!
Contact Lombardo Cosmetic Surgery in Rancho Mirage today to learn more about the tummy tuck procedure where we serve greater Palm Springs & Palm Desert areas.