What’s the difference between a Tummy Tuck and Abdominoplasty?
The reverse abdominoplasty patient usually does not need muscle separation problem remediation. Specifically, let’s get to where… A person who needs a regular tummy tuck, meaning they have stretch marks on the low abdomen, their muscles are separated, they’re unhappy because they’ve had a baby, gained some pounds. What we do for that is we make a hip to hip incision, raise that skin flap up, open up the little belly button is like a button on a stalk, and then keep going with elevating the skin all the way up to the costal margin, which is called the ribcage line.
Then what happens is we tighten the patient’s muscles in the midline with sutures. That’s what gives you the six weeks of recovery. Now let’s talk about recovery. In recovery, that doesn’t mean you’re sittin’ around or can’t do anything for six weeks, it means you’re not allowed to lift more than about 25 pounds for six weeks after a tummy tuck. So, most people take about seven to 10 days off after a tummy tuck, usually less if they had a C-section ’cause they kinda know what they’re getting into with the discomfort.
Now, people are really worried about a tummy tuck because there are some restrictions. It’s one of the big recovery procedures in plastic surgery. So, people say how long will it take for me to recovery… To recover, and in my mind, I always carefully answer that in the context of their own situation. If you’re a UPS truck driver, you need to lift 25 pounds 50 times, you need to lift a 50 pound door 100 times a day.
That’s a much more restricted patient than someone who has a job that’s clerical or sedentary, or who has a job that doesn’t involve heavy lifting, but still involves intellectuality. For a person who has more of a desk job or an inside job, they’ll be able to go to work, realistically, in seven to 10 days.
They function, intellectually, fine. They might be on some pain medicine in the evening, but by and large you’re able to take a shower by the next day, you’re able to drive a car in three to five days.
The major considerations for abdominoplasty, mini abdominoplasty, panniculectomy, is are you a good candidate for it. So, the best candidates are those people who are the best weight they can be. If they’re not the best weight that’s possible for their height, that means their BMI is a little elevated, and those are patients who get some VASER liposuction. I use a tiny little probe that goes under the skin, and that liquifies the fat and gives an amazing result in terms of shrinking the fat tissue.