Tummy Tuck FAQ
One of the most popular and satisfying plastic surgery procedures Dr. Howard Silverman and Dr. Kirsty Boyd perform is abdominoplasty, often called a tummy tuck. Patients from Ottawa, Kingston, Cornwall, and elsewhere in Ontario, as well as Gatineau and other cities in Quebec, have achieved dramatic, transformative results from this procedure that reduces excess skin and fat on the abdomen and corrects muscle laxity. Learn more about how it could transform your life by reading answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about tummy tuck surgery.
If you have more questions about the kinds of tummy tucks Dr. Silverman and Dr. Boyd perform in Ontario, please request a consultation or call our office at (613) 792-4137. We look forward to helping you achieve your cosmetic goals.
Which Kind of Tummy Tuck Is Right for Me?
Dr. Silverman and Dr. Boyd perform a few different styles of abdominoplasty: a mini tummy tuck, a full tummy tuck, and a procedure called a lower body lift that combines the tummy tuck with tissue excision from the sides and back. In Ontario and around the world, the full tummy tuck is the most common option. If you have loose, stretched skin, fat, and muscle laxity both above and below your belly button, this is likely the best choice for you. Your surgeon can excise tissue in those areas, reposition your belly button, and tighten your underlying abdominal muscles during a full tummy tuck.
If your stretched tissue is only below your belly button, you may be a candidate for a mini tummy tuck, which has a shorter scar and does not address the belly button. On the other end of the spectrum is the lower body lift. Most people who are candidates for this option have lost a significant amount of weight and desire correction of loose skin on not only their abdomens, but also their flanks, backs, upper thighs and buttocks. Dr. Silverman and Dr. Boyd offer a variety of post-weight loss body contouring options for these patients.
During a consultation, he will evaluate your body and make a recommendation about the option that will best serve your cosmetic goals.
How Do I Know Whether I Need Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck?
This is a common question among people who know they would like to change the appearance of their midsection but are unsure how to go about it. In a tummy tuck, your plastic surgeon reduces both fat and stretched skin that results after weight loss or pregnancy. He also repairs damaged and stretched abdominal muscles that may be bulging outward. In liposuction, he suctions away only fat through tiny incisions. If you do not have loose skin on your abdomen and are merely struggling to lose fat in that region, liposuction may be a good choice for you. Dr. Silverman and Dr. Boyd frequently combine tummy tuck and liposuction during a single procedure to take care of both concerns at once.
Can a Tummy Tuck Be Combined With Other Surgery?
Yes. In addition to combining tummy tuck surgery with liposuction, Dr. Silverman and Dr. Boyd can also perform other body and breast surgeries at the same time. This is common for post-weight loss patients, as well as for mothers who want to reverse some of the cosmetic effects of pregnancy. In such a procedure, often called a "mommy makeover," your surgeon can perform a tummy tuck with liposuction, a breast lift or augmentation, or other options simultaneously. Combining procedures cuts down on recovery time and helps patients achieve a full, beautiful transformation more conveniently. If you think combining procedures might be a good option for you, your surgeon can recommend a treatment plan that safely addresses all your cosmetic goals.
What Will my Scars Look Like?
This depends on the type of tummy tuck you get. For a full tummy tuck, the scar runs from hip to hip just above the pubic region. Dr. Silverman and Dr. Boyd are careful to place the incision low enough that it is hidden below the line of clothing or a swimsuit. There may also be a scar within the belly button. Dr. Silverman and Dr. Boyd use precise surgical techniques that ensure the incisions are very fine, and our team provides you with detailed aftercare instructions to help your scars heal and fade quickly. For a mini tuck, the scar is shorter, usually not reaching all the way to the hips, and there is no belly button incision. Patients who get a full body lift have more extensive scars.
What Is the Recovery Like?
Abdominoplasty is an outpatient procedure (in most cases) that uses general anesthesia, and you'll need someone to drive you home and stay with you for at least the first day or 2 after surgery. Dr. Silverman and Dr. Boyd have has developed techniques to avoid the use of surgical drains in most cases, and most sutures used are hidden under the skin and will dissolve, which minimizes his patients' discomfort and need for drain and wound care. You receive detailed instructions on how to care for your incisions, when you can shower, foods and medications to avoid, when to wear a special compression garment, and so on.
Any discomfort at this time can be managed with prescription and over-the-counter pain medications. Most patients take about 2 weeks off work. Although you should restrict your activity for the first 1 to 2 weeks, it's important to begin walking soon after your procedure to promote healing. You can gradually resume more activity in the subsequent weeks, with most patients returning to exercises such as jogging after about 6 weeks.
Can I Have a Child After a Tummy Tuck?
Although there is no physical or safety reason you can't become pregnant and have a child after tummy tuck surgery, you should keep in mind that your cosmetic results might be affected and further cosmetic surgery might be required. Pregnancy may stretch the abdominal skin and muscles, just as it would with someone who has not had a tummy tuck. Everyone's body responds to pregnancy differently, however, and many patients have enjoyed their surgical results for years before having another child. Your plastic surgeon can discuss this personal choice with you and help you come up with an option that fits into your plans.
How Long Will my Results Last?
The results of your tummy tuck can last indefinitely if you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Many patients find that they feel renewed motivation to keep their bodies in great shape after abdominoplasty so they can continue to enjoy their results for many years.