Tummy Tuck Overview: Three Abdominoplasty Techniques Explained
I’d like to give you a general overview of tummy tuck techniques. There’s basically three techniques that I utilize: a full tummy tuck, a mini tummy tuck, and an in-between tummy tuck, which is called a floating abdominoplasty, or FAB for short. Full tummy tuck is utilized when you have changes involving your entire abdomen, both below the belly button and above the belly button. A mini tummy tuck is designed to be used if your problems are all below the belly button and the upper part looks okay.
The floating abdominoplasty is an interesting procedure, the best patient for that is a woman who’s had one or more children and her main issue is that she has a lot of separation of her abdominal muscles so that she has a big, bulging belly, but doesn’t have a lot of extra skin. Often people will say to her, “Are you pregnant?” but she’s not.
Tummy tuck procedures are performed under a general anesthetic by a board certified anesthesiologist. You’re going to be completely asleep during the entire procedure, but at the end, we wake you up. A full tummy tuck takes about three and a half hours, a mini tummy tuck about two and a half hours, and a floating abdominoplasty in between at three hours. If you have a full tummy tuck or the floating, FAB, abdominoplasty, I’ll usually recommend that you stay over one night. If you have a mini tummy tuck, however, it’s a same day surgery — you can go home the same day. After the surgery, we fit you with a garment. It’s a very stretchy piece of material, very thin so that you can — as long as you’re not wearing skin-tight clothes — nobody will know it’s there. I
t’s wrapped around with Velcro. And I have you in that for the first three weeks, day and night, you can take it off in the shower. And the second three weeks, just during the day, and you start taking it off at night. I usually recommend that you take two weeks of down time — either two weeks off work or two weeks where your responsibilities for your kids, somebody can help you.
In terms of working out, I generally recommend that you stay out of the gym for three weeks, don’t work out at all. After three weeks, you can go back to the gym and you can pretty much get back to everything other than those type of exercises that stress your abdominal muscles. The last thing I want to mention is just the incision in the tummy tuck.
This is a big concern for a lot of people. The incision is definitely long and the way I look at it is it’s the price, not financial, that you have to pay for all the other benefits that you’re going to get. But let me say this about the incision. Number one is, I’ll always try to put it as low as possible so that it can be hidden underneath your underwear or a bathing suit. And second of all, I always suture as nice as humanly possible. I will do a premium stitch job for you. And, in fact, a lot of the time, the duration of the surgery is, it’s actually me suturing. I always use absorbable sutures so there’s nothing to take out and I never use staples.